Pennsylvania began allowing hunters to recover wounded big game with dogs during the 2018 season. While we always aspire to place shots that require short track jobs, it's only part of hunting to make a bad shot. On this week's episode of the Pennsylvania Woodsman we sit down with bowhunter and blood tracker Otto Shick. Otto is a humble farmer from Southeast Pennsylvania that has been bowhunting his entire life and helping people find their deer with his dog Otis since it has been legal. With all this comes a substantial amount of knowledge regarding tracking and what to do after the shot.
Patience is an attribute that seldom goes unrewarded. So why is it so difficult for many people to be patient after they release an arrow? Frankly, it's easier said than done when you're dealing with adrenaline and excitement. Without discipline, it can quickly ruin your recovery experience. Slow down and ask yourself things such as, where do I think I hit? How did the deer react? Where was the last place I saw it run? What time did I shoot? Otto shares with us what to do on specific shot situations, the amount of time to wait before tracking, how to mark the trail as you go, and what to do when you lose blood and decide to call someone with a dog. When in doubt, back out, they say. Not only is this true for allowing enough time for the animal to expire, it's also true for dog tracking. Grid searching can hinder a dog's ability to follow up efficiently by molesting the track's scent profile. If you need help with a track this fall or would like more information about blood tracking with dogs, go to www.unitedbloodtrackers.org.