By: Glynn Harris
In the hunting club where I hold membership, Two Creeks, we have several deer hunters who collect their venison every season. In fact, we have more than a few members who bag more than one deer each year.
One member, however, holds the “most deer recovered” award and he has won it going away. Last season, he had seven deer to his credit.
Wait, you say. Isn’t the season limit per hunter six? Is he going to get in trouble by being responsible for seven? Not likely. Let me introduce you to what most of us consider the most valuable member of Two Creeks Hunting Club. You might think “Spot” is a peculiar name for a hunter but in this case, it fits perfectly; he’s white with a round brown spot etched on his forehead.
Every other member of our club has two legs; Spot has four. He’s a dog, a blood-trailing dog and a good one. Spot is suspected to be a mixture of Catahoula Cur and if research by his caretaker, George Seacrist, is correct, he also has an exotic sounding bloodline as part of his lineage, Dogo Argentino.
Whatever his pedigree, Spot was the primary figure in the recovery of seven wounded deer last season. He found three the season before, one of which was a doe I shot that high-tailed it through a dense thicket. Within five minutes after releasing him, Spot was standing over my doe.
One Saturday in particular, Spot was the sleuthhound on the trail of three wounded deer that day. He found them all.
One of the deer, a fine 8 point buck George Seacrist had shot, left the scene without a trace of anything to indicate he had been hit. It took Spot all of five minutes to find the buck.
“The bullet didn’t exit so there was no blood trail to follow. I don’t know if Spot was finding drops of blood we never saw or if he winded the deer, he went right to it,” Seacrist said.
“Spot is a foster-dog that was brought to our kennel, Petite Paws Pet Hotel. Somebody had left him in a crate with a bag of dog food when he came to us,” Seacrist continued.
“A neighbor of ours has a Catahoula that is a good blood trailing dog and since I suspected Spot had some Catahoula in his bloodline, I thought he might make a good blood trailer so I started working with him.”
Seacrist trained Spot by taking him to his ground blind with him so he could see what it was all about. He was very quiet and got to see deer and hopefully get an idea of what he would eventually be tracking down.
“If I hunted in an elevated stand, I left him at the truck in a crate. If one of our members shot a deer, they already had instructions to let me know and just sit tight until I could bring Spot to the site. I would put him on a leash and let him follow the blood trail and he picked it up really quick,” Seacrist said.
Seacrist said he learned early on that Spot had a good nose and it was just a matter of giving him exposure to what he was supposed to do. Over the last few seasons, he has developed into an excellent blood trailer, helping hunters recover and retrieve deer that might otherwise have been lost.
Who is the most valuable member of your hunting club? Do you have someone who is hard working and willing to go above and beyond to make your club more successful?
We do. I’m thinking of nominating Spot for club president if we could just break him from hiking his leg on every bush he sees.