Recently, I had some time off and was able to take a few tracks. Better yet, my wife wanted to tag along. The first track was a hunter located just over 3 hours from me. He was down hunting from Wisconsin, where he tracks for other hunters. He had come down without his dog, but had arrowed a nice buck "pretty far back," and knew that a dog would increase his chance of recovery. The buck was shot "halfway between the ribs and rear leg" according to the hunter. He had watched the deer bed down 75 yards away and remain motionless for over 45 minutes. Thinking the deer dead, he climbed down from the stand, only to watch the deer bolt from the area. With little blood to go on, he got out of the woods, went to the hotel, and started looking for a tracker. I wasn't able to arrive until the next day, putting the track age at about 28 hours when I arrived with two of my dogs in toe. The fact that this guy tracks with a dog, and was an experienced hunter was a big bonus. Rarely do I get a call from a hunter who hasn't totally adulterated the track by tearing up the woods with all of his buddy's for over a day before we get the call. In this case, we essentially had a virgin track. The hunter had to be going out of his mind, waiting in the hotel room for an entire day until I could show up. Arriving at the hit site, we jumped a couple of deer from near the stand. There was little blood at the site of the hit, but Echo, the newest addition to my tracking team, made short work of getting started on the right track. He took the track right to the first bed, showing me typical gut blood along the way. There was moderate blood in the wound bed, then very little exiting the area. The trail led from the thin woods into a tall grass field where the hunter was unable to see the deer exit. 100 yards further into the track, I began finding small spots of blood and kept each speck marked on my GPS as we progressed. Another 100 yards into the track, and no further blood. Echo seemed a little distracted and took a hot line with no sign of the dead deer. We restarted a couple of times, and finally moved the track to a small trail along the edge of an osage and cedar thicket. Echo took little interest in any of the small trails entering the woods, so we walked along the woods edge scent checking each possible entry. He would take a sniff at each area, but seemed uninterested. Finally, he stopped at one trail, and moved into the woods. I looked down to see a small drop of blood. We were on! We moved into the thick cedar glade, crawling as we went. 75 yards into the woods, I saw the great buck. Sweet Victory, and one of our biggest bucks to date. The only one more excited than me was the hunter, and he only slightly more than me.