The Journey: Miller Deer Tracking

Show Notes

With deer season right around the corner we have learned that dogs are an instrumental part of the recovery process across the states. Robert Miller of  Miller Deer Tracking talks dogs with Heath. They hit on several topics you are going to want to hear about. 

  • Dog breeds
  • Dash hounds
  • Why the change
  • Using 1TDC
  • Knowing odor 

Dogs are making hunts successful no matter what game you're hunting. We love to hear about how dogs make that happen. It’s all apart of the Journey 

@millerdeertracking 

www.houndsmanxp.com

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] The Houndsman XP podcast network is taking you on the journey. Your host, Master Trainer Heath Hyatt, will combine his decades of experience as a houndsman and as a professional trainer that will light the path forward and make our packs lighter on this lifelong journey to become better hunters and houndsmen.

There are no shortcuts. So lace up those boots and grab a dog leash. The journey begins now.

I've been a member and supporter of Go Wild for over a year now. Man, how time flies. Their social media platform is 4Hunters by Hunters. And if you follow me for any length of time, you know that I'm in the woods or on the water if I'm not working. And yes, some ask, do you work? Unfortunately, I do. It's a place that I post all of my [00:01:00] trophies, no matter how big or small.

Mine, mostly small. I get tips, tricks, tactics, and advice from people who eat, breathe, and sleep the outdoors. I log all of my outdoor adventures, including the time spent listening to the best podcast in the land, The Journey, hosted by no other than yours truly. So when I need anything outdoors, I just log on to the Gowild store, pick out what I need, and that's anything from hunting, fishing, camping, optics, outdoor wear, and yes, hound supplies.

I'm proud to partner up with the Gowild team. So let's get your journey started today, here on Gowild. Guys, it's about that time of year, which we're talking about deer season for all you notorious deer hunters. And [00:02:00] we're going to go back into some deer tracking. And today we're going to have on Robert Miller from Miller's Deer Tracking.

And Robert and I have talked on, through we've actually talked on the phone. We've talked through Messenger some. And

it's really intrigued me. Some of the things that he's doing that he's done, and we're going to go through a whole array of things today. We're going to talk about the dogs that he started with, which I was very interested in the dogs that he has now. Why the switch? He's using one of the products that our sponsor used that he's talked to our sponsor about.

And we really want to get down and talk about that. And then we're going to talk about some things that. That him and I have talked about training wise problem solving and seeing how it's working out. So this is basically just a follow up for me with Robert. Robert's up in Michigan. I'm going to let him introduce himself and tell you so I don't make it wrong.

So Robert, I really appreciate you taking your time out of your [00:03:00] day. Sit down and talk with us and just tell us a little bit about you, where you live, what you do. And then we'll get into the dogs because that's what we love. Sounds

Robert Miller: good. First of all, thank you for having me on. It's an honor.

Obviously, I'm a huge fan and supporter of the Houndsman XP. Located in Southern Michigan. My occupation is shop maintenance, welder. Been doing that for going on 30 years now. Going on my 16th season of tracking wounded deer with dogs. And family man of four children. Married my high school sweetheart and life is great.

Heath Hyatt: That's a good thing. So your kids, oldest and youngest.

Robert Miller: Oldest 23. Then I have a, she's a girl. Then I have a son at 21 and then boy girl twins at 20.

Heath Hyatt: Oh, okay. Yeah. So my oldest is 24, just turned 24 in August and my youngest is 14. So I have a 10 year gap there. And it's funny. I know I've said it [00:04:00] before on the podcast, but so my son.

Like he would hunt a little bit, it just wasn't, dogs were definitely not his thing. He was more into the farming part with his granddad, spent a lot of time with his granddad farming, he buys and sells cattle. And that's what he loves to do on the side. He is in law enforcement too.

Now my daughter and I talked about it on a previous podcast, she's all about the dogs and I don't care if I take 14 mile steps in the woods, she's with me every way, every bit of the way. And it's really been I don't want to use the word joyful, but like it warms my heart that she spends as much time with me as she does doing what I love to do.

And she enjoys it as much as I do. Yeah.

Robert Miller: We'd all appreciate that as a father or even a mother, but my youngest daughter she's just now starting to get into fishing and I took her fishing a little bit this [00:05:00] summer. Fishing is probably my number one passion. Then her brother, which is a twin, he's dibbled a little bit with the tracking.

He's did a little bit of training. He's taken sergeant tracking times when I can't get out of work or whatever and made some recoveries. And my older son, he's just a huge sports guy, played sports his whole life, played college sports, now he's coaching sports. And then my oldest daughter she is now nothing to do with the outdoors, absolutely not.

But she's now a flight attendant and being very successful, so gotta be happy for all that.

Heath Hyatt: She likes to fly that much, huh? Yep. Love to travel the world. Yeah. No, that's the positive out of that, but golly, geez, I hate flying. I hate it. I have to make myself do it and I don't even like to do that.

Yeah.

Robert Miller: Yeah. She loves it.

Heath Hyatt: Yeah. Tell us a little bit about your, tell us a little bit about your dog, how you got started in dogs to start with and, Hey, wait, I'm going back up. Hold on. Fishing. What kind of fishing do you like to do?[00:06:00]

Robert Miller: I originally started fishing with my grandpa I, my parents lived in Texas and when I was in third grade, I got shipped up to Michigan as the transition moving back to Michigan.

So I spent the entire summer with my grandpa. He's the one that got me into fishing. Sounds like your boy with his granddad, but so at that time it was bluegill fishing and cause everything my grandpa fished, we ate. So we targeted bluegills. But as I got older, I got into bass fishing. I tried doing the bass fishing tournament stuff.

Wasn't very successful at it. So then after I switched to that, I switched into basically river fishing. I really love wading rivers, navigating the river system, and catching walleye, pike, bass, pretty much anything in the river systems. Then as I got older the wife and I started traveling to Florida, and boy, I got hooked into that saltwater shore fishing, surf fishing.

When I can do it, If I had a choice, I'd be surf fishing in Florida. It'd be my number one for fishing. Yeah,

Heath Hyatt: I, I enjoy it when we go to the beach, I do [00:07:00] that a lot. And I have some friends that actually the canine retired canine guys that's what they do. They live in Florida.

They've worked in Florida and they love it. So yeah, fishing is one of the things that When it gets hot here in the summertime, I spent quite a bit of time fishing. And of course we have rivers, so I've got, we've got the new river that runs pretty much through here. It's a great fishery and the bass are like, it's growing.

It's not as good as it was when I was a kid, but man, it's growing back. I caught some hogs this spring. Some four right at four and five pounders, which for us, that's good. Yeah. That's good for here too. And then in small mouth, that's small mouth, not large mouth. And muskies is, I love to fish for musky.

They're so hard to catch and challenging and yeah, but anyway, yeah, the fishing,

Robert Miller: have you thought about making a trip up to fish Lake St. Claire for musky?

Heath Hyatt: Some guys down here that guide. They do that every year. They have a tournament, they go up [00:08:00] for that tournament. I have... It has been in the back of my mind, but I have not done it.

For sure. You need

Robert Miller: to do it. You need to do it. It's world class. Yeah. Yeah. And the smallmouth fishing is world class. In the lake. But I know how much you like the musky fishing. You come to St. Clair, Lake St. Clair, and it is... I don't think it gets any better, to be honest with you, in the United States. Yeah.

Heath Hyatt: Robert, so what got you into the dogs or what got you into tracking?

Robert Miller: Okay. Yeah. So growing up my parents were always members of an archery club. Traditionally traditionally traditional hunting is what we predominantly did. So as I got into the age of bow hunting, I was out there with a long bow and I hate to admit it, but I wounded a few deer in my day.

And that always just really ate at me. We, get the search party out, get the lanterns out. And we'd go in here and it was physically exhausted and you couldn't find the deer. In the back of my mind, I always wondered if that deer made it or not. And [00:09:00] back in those days, we didn't have trail cameras.

You didn't know what's the deer you had on your property. You just went and hunted and you just did your best. So as I kept getting older and older, I switched from traditional to compounds, I wanted to get the sights because again, I hated wounded deer. I just drove me crazy. I could shoot 3D targets all day long.

But boy, when that buck came in front of me, I would shake me out of the tree and I would botch my shot. And it got to the point where I finally had a mature target buck in front of me. Caught me by surprise. Made the shot. Hit where I unfortunately aimed, which was the shoulder with a bow.

Arrow only went in maybe three inches. He spun off. And man, I spent three days searching for a deer that was what I know now is still alive. And after that time when I wounded that deer, I was searching for tracking dogs. And how I came about tracking dogs was John Gennanay out in New York.

There was a publication in [00:10:00] Peterson's Bowhunt Magazine about his wirehair dashhounds. And they're used for for game recovery. So at that time... We had no social media, no Facebook, no nothing. So I just started calling archery shops to see if anybody knew anybody. And Heath, there was nobody at that time in Michigan doing it.

The great way for me to fall into that passion is the time my family was very young. All my children were two or three years old. And I told the wife, let's get a family pet. And I want to get a dash hound. And I want to try to figure out how to track deer with it. So that's really where it started. So at the time, I got a hold of the Gin and A's.

There was a big waiting list. You had to be vetted for a dog. And, to be truthful, I couldn't afford one of their dogs. It was pretty expensive. I just started going to the newspaper. Found some dash hounds in the newspaper. No... [00:11:00] Pedigree as far as hunting or show dogs, they were just puppies and wanting to go to a good home.

So I took one of these dogs and it was actually a straight natural tracking dog. I put on some deer hoof scent and that dog followed it to the tee no matter where it went. And so at that point I just started putting some flyers out in some bow shops and grocery stores. And my first year I think I went on six calls.

That was it. I found one deer. And it's been growing ever since that day.

Heath Hyatt: So when you started out, and I know that we talked about John and how the dogs were overseas. And then when he passed, did the dog that you started with, is that the same line of dogs you're still using?

Robert Miller: Nope. So the dog I started with was a miniature Dachshund.

It was a long hair, chocolate and tan. Probably weighed 15 pounds. As that dog got older, I [00:12:00] quickly realized long hair in a tracking dog is not a good combination. I'd be getting in from tracking and the wife and I would be picking briars and pickers out of that poor dog. Eventually we just had to start shaving him because it was just so bad.

So as Scout got older I realized I needed a more specialty breed. I needed a dog that had higher prey drive. More hard headed is more what I wanted. This dog was pretty soft. I started doing some research and I located a breeder out in North Carolina. Her name is Sean Quah. And, boy does she have some elite smooth coated dash hounds.

She's very good with genetics. She matches lineages up. She matches certain dogs characters to other dogs characters to get exactly what she's wanting out of the dog. And so I ended up picking up a dog named Cypress. She's probably what made me legendary in the state of Michigan and maybe even some other states they know about this dog.

She has since [00:13:00] passed away. She passed away at 11 years old. Cypress was about a 22 pound, 23 pound smooth coat. And boy was she gritty. This dog had more fight in her than I could handle for a couple years and it was too much for me. And the time being, I've actually called the breeder back up and had conversations like, Hey, I'm not sure this dog is cut off for tracking deer.

This thing wants to kill coons. It'll take on the biggest dog in the neighborhood. It didn't care. It was just full grit. And Sean just kept talking to me and guiding me and mentored me and really educated me on how to handle this type of tool that I had coming from the miniature pet that I had to this went from driving a Chevette to a Ferrari.

Is how it felt for me. And it took about three seasons behind that dog to fully trust that dog. And ultimately I was that dog's worst enemy as a bad handler. I didn't know how to handle that dog. That dog was 100 percent accurate. And I'd be sitting behind that dog, joysticking it, not trusting her. [00:14:00] And until one day I finally you know what, I'll follow you to the end of the earth.

And we'll see what's at the end of it. And she took me on like a mile and a half track. And then we found the deer dead. And right then it was huge educational point for me as a handler to trust the dog. And then, man, we went on years and years of finding 50, 60 deer every season with that dog.

Heath Hyatt: So when you said your first year, you found six or had six calls and one deer. Was that disappointing? Or did you say, okay, this is where I'm starting. How did you tweak your game from that starting point?

Robert Miller: It, the only frustrating part was, is not getting calls. But at that point, no one knows about dogs.

No one even knew that it was legal to track. They say they passed it in the late eighties in the state of Michigan to make it legal to track deer and the dog had to be on a leash. And then I think I, I forgot the gentleman's name, but he had a radio station here in Michigan. He's no longer [00:15:00] on, but he actually got wind of it and we had a good conversation.

So year two, that got put out there. And I think I went on the next year, I went on 50 calls and we found 23 deer. So I was batting just shy of 50 percent on year two. Then after that, I think it was shortly after that social media started coming in, had my space, things like that nature. And once social media really got going, Heath, it has exploded.

Tracking dogs have exploded in almost in every state that it's legal. And it's never been a problem since then to get calls. It's just trying to get a good dog to be hunt, to track

Heath Hyatt: with. And what was the draw? Because in my mind, like, why a dash hound? What was it that drew you to that other than the article in Peterson's magazine?

What was it about the smaller, built dog to, to go that route?

Robert Miller: Great question. Very nice. I'll just say I [00:16:00] had no idea what I was doing. I had I've not, I never grew up with hound dogs, never grew up with hunting dogs. I simply took an article. They used dash hounds. I figured it's working for them, it'll work for me.

Small dog worked out for I lived in a small house at the time, had four kids at the time, so the small dog really fit my family values. And it worked good as a pet because in all reality, Heath, you get this puppy, you don't know if this puppy is going to turn out into a hunting dog or not. My end goal was I need a family pet first, and if it works out to be a tracking dog, that's just a bonus.

And thankfully it was a bonus. And since then that's why I went to the bigger Dash Hound because the call volume started coming in. I needed a dog that could handle the workload that I was putting on that dog. And that's why I went with the standard size Dash Hound. And now today, fast forward again I moved to a larger breed.

And the reason for that transition [00:17:00] was I started finding a lot of deer that were alive. And when I had a live deer in front of me at the time, the leash laws means the dog had to be on a leash. We simply could never catch up to these deer that were running ahead of us. So when I had the dash on, we'd we jumped the client's deer.

All right, let's assess the situation and realize how much time we need to back out and come back in later. And we're the bigger dog. My thought was maybe I can just put my Nike's on and just start running these deer down. So that's what we tried doing.

Heath Hyatt: And the bigger dog was more successful or it not, maybe not successful, but it made the task easier.

Which one?

Robert Miller: It was. Once that dog got trained, the task was 1000 percent easier. The struggles I had again was I went from a 20 pound wiener dog to a 50 pound medium sized dog. And the way that dog tracked versus the way the Dashon tracked, [00:18:00] again, I was back novice with that. I could not read that dog. I couldn't understand that dog's head, its tail.

I couldn't understand anything it was doing. So I went back to a complete green handler again. Knowing, not trusting that dog for, again, a couple of years. Once I had to learn how that dog followed scent trails, I was considered a new tracker again. I was back fishing out of water trying to learn how to track deer with another dog.

What I learned with that dog was, that dog's a trailing dog. It doesn't follow hoof to hoof since, like my wiener dogs, they follow the track exact. No matter where that track went, them wiener dogs never left it. Where Sargent, his breed is a Slovakian Kopov, and for your listeners, it's the national breed of hound of Slovakia.

It's a boar dog, similar to a cur dog, a blue lacy dog, that size frame dog, but it's a very fast. It's a highly intelligent [00:19:00] and agile breed and it's not a breed that's made to be put on a leash. I'll tell you that much. It's not, it did not like being on a leash. So now where that's at,

Heath Hyatt: You brought up like, so you've picked a couple of questions here.

So with your dash hounds, were you running him in a harness or off of, off a collar?

Robert Miller: I started on a harness, and I did the harness because I was worried about the dog's neck. Then I realized the harness was causing the dog to overheat. So then I went to a 2 inch wide collar on her neck, so when the dog would dive into the collar, it wouldn't put pressure on the esophagus.

Cut her breathing out. So I finished her career out using a 2 inch wide. Amish made leather collar for her and when I switched to the Slovakian kopov breed I went back to a harness and [00:20:00] because boy this dog pulled it pulled my arms right off my sockets and That worked good for a while Again, the harness the issue had a harness was overheating the dogs kept overheating with the harnesses I had on them And so I switched to the two inch wide collar, and I ran the leash underneath the dog so it came through its legs.

So when I pulled up tight, the leash was up under its crotch region. And that's how I handled that dog. That allowed me to slow the dog a little bit. That allowed me to keep the dog's head down. Because he was not a head down dog. He was a head high. He wanted his head high as he could get it in the air.

And I struggled with that. I was so used to watching the dog nose in the dirt. So I'm like, all right, I'm going to run it this way, get the head down, and I'll be honest with you, it made it all worse. That dog did not like tracking that way. I forced that dog to track that way, but I created more issues than it did resolving

Heath Hyatt: them.

Yeah, and so the harness and I just I just [00:21:00] finished up a school for detection and tracking guy, like literally just finished it up yesterday. And, we were talking about equipment and a lot of my patrol guys, they have the bulletproof or the cut proof, the Kevlar vest that they run on their dogs.

I don't, I have one. But like in the heat and stuff, I just, I don't run it. And I try not to put my dog in a situation that I need that too, because I'm just sending him into a suicide mission. But when you talk about the harness and I'm talking about my, the law enforcement side for me at this, right at this point.

The harness that I'm running on Pino is a it's a storm, canine storm. And it's basically just a V down to his chest, a single strap, and then straps around to the back with the the buckle on it. It's is, it takes up nothing like nothing. And some, in fact, if you're not looking at it, you don't even sure he has one on, but I don't want to overheat or constrict my dog any more than I have [00:22:00] to.

And I've changed several times throughout my career, I've went from the big bulky ones to the medium ones and they didn't sit right or they didn't, they would always pull the side or pull around. And then I got a harness from Jeff Shetler and that harness work really well.

And I use that or the canine storm depends on what I'm doing. But if, but because Pino's in the patrol function. I can use the storm harness for multiple applications, not just tracking. But back to the collar part is when I spend time with the Dutch guys, which I have quite a bit over the last six, seven years, they believe they don't use harnesses.

They use the flat collar and they believe that your dog should work. In a collar and if you want to use a harness fine, but what happens if you don't have it and the dog don't want to work. So they switch, they [00:23:00] said that I should be able to track in a harness or a flat collar, just what you were doing, which I can put Pino on a flat collar and take off.

And if I don't do it to pull his head down, but Pino pulls so hard that I will run the line right up under his front right leg just to slow him down a tad. Not so much to, to pull his head down because I don't want him to work that way. But I've learned to operate both things. So what you're saying is I completely understand the philosophy and the mentality behind it,

Robert Miller: it's so when the dog overheats, as you obviously know, when the dog's panting, it's not smelling and not smelling as well. I don't know the exact percent. I've heard 30%, 40 percent scent reduction. Regardless, I don't want any reduction. I want that nose at 100 percent power the whole time we're in the woods.

And if I had a dog that would dive into his harness and kept a real taunt line, I would use a harness. But I've never had a dog... That's able to successfully do that and then deal with the navigation [00:24:00] of swamps, cattail marshes, timber, briars. So whenever I had a dog that would dive into the col or the harness like Sarge did, I paid the price for it as a handler dragging behind it.

Either I'd be too close to the dog and the dog would be checking and turning or I'd be too far back and the leash would be catching on stuff. It was just an absolute nightmare. So that's where I switched over to the collar and I, 90 percent of the time I just allowed that leash to drag and I stayed with that leash just in case I had to step on it for whatever reason to stop that dog.

But ultimately I trained that dog to work naturally as the dog wanted to follow that scent trail. And I like to call it, I was just a dog walker. I was just a dummy on the end of the leash. I just followed the dog at that point. And my job was to make sure my dog was not trashing on stuff. And obviously and not chasing game because again, the laws in Michigan means a dog has to be on a leash.

So I did push the gray area because nowhere did our literature say [00:25:00] the leash had to be in the handler's hands. So I talked to a couple of conservation officers and they said, Robert, you're definitely pushing the gray area, but we understand the things you're dealing with. They just said, just make sure dogs and I out there hunting deer and doing things it's not supposed to be doing and we'll have no problems.

And I've done that for a decade and it's never been an issue.

Heath Hyatt: Yeah. I was going to ask you, I know, I'm hunting, of course we get into some thick areas hunting man but for the most part, not always, but 60, 70 percent of the time. A man's going to take the path of least resistance.

You are in the woods. And I know where I bear hunt and where I get, how do you keep, I was going to ask you how hard do they track? Like Pino, I can slow him down, but like it's a handful. I go through a pair of gloves about every three months. If I'm tracking hard, cause he, he pulls it he, I get holes in them.

He just pulls that hard. Yeah. First question is how hard do they [00:26:00] track? Can you kick, can you keep up with them at a steady walk? And like how do they navigate? How do you guys as a team navigate the thick underbrush and what you're just saying?

Robert Miller: So great questions. So let's go back to the dash on was blessing because the dash on would track at a walking pace and the dash on the drawback to the dash on was.

Sometimes she would go through areas I couldn't fit. Yeah. And she would just dip underneath, let's say a, a briar patch and go right through it where I had to walk around it. I would drop the 30 foot leash, get around it as fast as I could, and then catch back up to her. The Dachshund took me through what I call rabbit holes all the time.

And that's how he navigated that. And then the big dog... Instead of going under stuff, he liked to jump over stuff. Here again, if it went over a big log, he would just jump the log and I'd be trying to, slowing down, trying to get over it. And, I never wanted to stop the dog from its [00:27:00] pace.

I never want, like if the dog wants to track at 3 miles an hour, we went at 3 miles an hour. If it wanted to go at 10, we went at 10. And, there's a lot of people that say, Rob, you should be controlling your dog's pace. It could be true. But for me, I like to keep up the way how my dog works. I don't want to manipulate that anyway.

So GPS collars came in, getting them e collar trained. So if for some reason that dog is going beyond my abilities, I just give the dog a little beep and he would stop and check back in and then I'd catch back up and we'd re we'd keep resuming at that point.

Heath Hyatt: Yeah. And when I first learned tracking. In the law enforcement side, I was taught that way you grab a hole and we were using a 15 lead foot lead then.

And I was told to hold on and don't slow the dog down. That's what I was. And I had a lab that actually sprinted and how I didn't get ambushed or get myself in a situation that I couldn't get out of is beyond me, [00:28:00] but I didn't thank the Lord. Thankfully. Yeah. Thankfully. Yeah. And of course now we've changed our method and like I do control that I can have Pino, especially if I'm running with a tack team, I can down him.

And hold him up. I don't like to hold him up for long because the more, the longer it is, the distraction becomes greater and greater. And it's hard to get them back on task, but yeah, I can down him for a minute. Maybe two minutes is where I like to be. I don't like, I don't like to be over one minute.

Let everybody get caught up, catch your breath and let's move. And I just tell him to get back to work. Boom. He goes right back into tracking profile. I did not think that was possible until until Jeff showed me. That yes, you can do this. So we had to tweak errors. Of course, we don't want to run up on an ambush.

It's different, a little bit different than what you guys are doing. But yeah, I understand that. And I was taught that, the same thing is go, just go with your dog. Whatever your dog's doing, go with it. Yeah. So

Robert Miller: I had a [00:29:00] situation where we jumped the deer and I picked the dog up and left.

It was with Cypress. She was about three years old and the deer was stomach shot, needed more time. So we came back 12 hours later, Heath, and I put her back down and told her to track, she wouldn't do it. I worked her, couldn't not do it. So I eventually started eye tracking this particular deer myself while she was involved.

And then after a good two, three hundred yards, she started tracking again. And we ended up finding the deer all as well, but it really bothered me why we left and came back and she wouldn't resume tracking. And the only logical thing I can have in my head is, at one point I told her no. I picked her up. I took her away from the scent trail.

So that really set hard in my mind if I'm joysticking the dog with the leash, I'm, saying, hey, we need to go left, we need to go right, or let's stop, let's go forward. I could be telling the dog [00:30:00] some wrong things. So that's why I always say if the dog's locked on the scent trail, I'm just staying at that dog's pace.

And then as the dogs get older, you can definitely get away with bad handling, bad communication. The dog's very forgiving for that. But a young dog, it really paid the price for me and all the dogs, actually all the dogs I've ever trained. Once I intervened with that dog's track, it took a little while to get that dog back focused.

Yeah, but

Heath Hyatt: didn't you make the right decision by not pushing, a gut of deer? I would have done the exact same thing. We

Robert Miller: made the right decision, but the dog don't know that. Yeah. Hear that deer? That deer jumps up in front of that dog, and that dog's ready to go. Here's my prize, and here's a chase.

Chase is exciting for a dog. At that point, the dog was ready to go and not ready to leave, and ultimately... It's a learning curve.

Heath Hyatt: Have you tried, and how do you reward the dog at the end? What is the reward for the dog? Once they find the game, is it food, toy, or is it the animal itself?

Robert Miller: It's the [00:31:00] animal itself. All my dogs have enjoyed pulling hair. They like to go to the rear end and pull hair. Sergeant's trademark is he chews the tail right off and he'll actually eat the whole tail. He likes that cart the cartilage in it and chews a tail. But yeah, I've never used food or a toy once they found the live game.

If we don't, if we, I'm not sure to say live game, but just the deer. But if, let's say we go on a track and we come up unsuccessful, all I do is just get outta my hands and knees and have a human conversation with the dog and tell 'em how proud I'm and lots of petting and patting on the head and just say, we'll go on to the next one.

Yeah,

Heath Hyatt: have you thought of, and I'm just food for thought here, because we've run into some of the, it's funny how your world and my world are so similar, but yet so different. We had, we took a period in our, Tracking with the last group of guys that I've had, and I've got pretty much new guys now, and we would do the [00:32:00] exact same thing you would just did.

We would get in close to the hide, and we would pull the dog off and have another dog come in and finish the track. But we were, we, the, what we were trying to accomplish was, is a two dog system. Because we need that. We may, the dogs may gas, they may be worn out, whatever. We were trying to do that.

But what we did is the exact same thing you're saying is you pull the dog off of the track hurts her feelings. So I contacted my buddy in Florida, Jeff Barrett, who we've had on the podcast and said, Jeff, Hey, I need to break my tracks up into many tracks and pull the dog off. What do you think?

So he said, Hey, he, this is what we do. We do the exact same thing. And we went through this regiment and we just started doing a different reward system for that to let the dog know, okay, you're good. You've done exactly what we can do. We're just not going to find that [00:33:00] person today or this hour or whatever.

So we started incorporating multiple mini tracks. So we'd track. 500 yards, the track would be a mile long. My, my portion of the track would be 5, 6, 700 yards, whatever. Then I would pull my dog off and then you would come in behind me and start where I stopped and picked up and you would pull your dog off and we just kept rotating that.

And it took us, I don't know, three or four training sessions over a period of three to four months of doing that. And it never seemed to bother him after that. I don't know if that's something that you could train, but it's just food for thought. Like I said I'm not in your world.

I don't know, but like you got to, you have to pull the dog off a a jumped animal, right?

Robert Miller: Yeah. Certain cases you have to.

Heath Hyatt: Yeah. So I don't know. Just something to think about. We started doing that unintentionally and then. That's what come out of it. And of course our fine ratio is nowhere [00:34:00] near what yours is either.

Yeah, we don't find humans every time.

Robert Miller: Yeah. What prevented the dog from backtracking that from that new dog coming in and starting where you left off? What prevented the backtrack?

Heath Hyatt: Basically we started them in the same direction. And we really didn't, I can't really say that we had a dog that.

Nothing sticks out in my mind where a dog wanted to come in and backtrack because we would come in and say we would still be standing there with our dog and, guy would come in and be like, okay, this is the last place I had to track and I was headed in this direction and we would, give them the why, like here here's the why the funnel point and then they would just cut the track and go I don't remember ever having to work a backtracking problem.

Now, the dogs did pay attention to where the dog stopped, like they would go and, you know how they work around and whatever. Yeah. But I don't recall, like I said, I don't recall having to work out a backtracking issue. Okay.

Robert Miller: I was just sitting there thinking, what if it was a situation where you stopped [00:35:00] and that human decided to V back away.

And that dog comes in and you've already pointed its direction. For us, when I come into a shot site, I bring the dog in, make sure the dog is upwind of the shot site, so the dog can't smell what I want it to eventually smell. And then after the dog calms down from a two or three minute hold, and I do a two or three minute hold for one reason, two reasons I should say.

Calms the dog down, two, when a dog sits in it's same spot for a few minutes, it actually clears out it's palate. It clears out all of the olfactory.

Heath Hyatt: You know what we call that? What? Scent

Robert Miller: inventory. Okay, there you go. There you go. So when the dog's sitting there it takes everything in and then it clears itself out and then the first initial bam of scent will be the target scent.

But I always tell the hunter don't tell me which way your deer went. I want my dog to circle in the roundabout area and then [00:36:00] once my dog gets going and we start leaving go ahead and holler at me yeah you're right or yeah you're wrong. And that's one way I can build the trust of my dog, but also build trust with my customers knowing, yeah, this dog is knowing what it's doing.

But yeah, I definitely need to incorporate, I've never incorporated the whole stop, start during my training. I've never once ever in all the years doing it, I've always just learned on the fly when the situation happened. Yeah, that's a good point. It's something I definitely should try to do.

Yeah.

Heath Hyatt: Just something to think about. And it took us a couple of months to, to get it down. And like I said, we were, we'd be tracking, we've been on several multi day man hunts and, especially when it's hot and humid down here, you can, you can't, you can get, three quarters a mile out of some of our dogs, some of our dogs go mile and a half.

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Robert Miller: Yeah and, it's a valid, it's a valid strategy, especially when the state requires a dog to be on a leash, but we just finally got it passed in the state of Michigan. We can run our dogs off leash now on GPSs. So if we now have that jump, say liver, stomach shot deer, that's is going septic and it's very weak and it's, but it's still moving.

I can just have my dog run up there now and catch that deer and bay it up and have the hunter dispatch it or a broken leg deer. A broken leg deer is not a deer you want to pull off and give it more time. So now in the past, literally he's, I've had one situation where we had a broke leg deer. It took us four miles to get that deer to finally give up where it finally kept running and jumping on us.

And then we were able to dispatch it. But now with a broke leg deer. Sergeant, he can run [00:40:00] 25 miles per hour. So a three legged deer that's crippled, he can have that deer stop within a couple of hundred yards easily. So the whole stop start situation may not be that important. The time I see it would be important if we come to a property line where we have to stop and go get permissions, then we may have to back out, drug, get in the vehicles, go find landowners, then come back.

So it's going to happen again, but I don't see it happen as often as it was.

Heath Hyatt: Got it. So let's talk about Sergeant and the injury that he's got and what you're doing to work on that. Because I thought this Olivier was with me at, or with me and Chris at Autumn Oaks, and we talked about that and, he told me that he had talked to you and of course you told me that he got back with you, tell us about that injury and what you're doing and what kind of progress are you seeing,

Robert Miller: if any?

Yeah, so the injury caught me by surprise. Sergeant is now 8 years old. The breed, again, is a Slovakian kopov. So the back history and the breed... [00:41:00] It's actually Austria Austria is black and tan hound mixed with the dash hound is how this breed was developed. So Sergeant has a longer body than most dogs.

His legs are not as tall as your, most of your black and tans or medium sized dog. He's if you've seen him in person, you would think he's just a ginormous wiener dog with tall legs. That's how he looks. So at the time, until just recent, I never realized they had the back issues. As now Sarge has it, I'm doing more and more research and find out people are having this.

But ultimately, I took the dogs for our afternoon run like I normally do. I free cast them in the woods, just allow them to go be dogs. We go do two, three, four miles. We got back. In this particular time, I had Sargent sitting in the front seat of my Toyota. And I got out of the driver's door, was heading to the back to open the hatch to get my other dogs out.

Sargent popped out of my driver's door. He yelped, and he dropped right in the [00:42:00] driveway, and he started panting, and I could tell he was in pain. Then at that point, I let him sit there, and he walked in the house completely hunched up, his tail was straight down, and the boy was just in excruciating pain.

I got him on some pain meds that I had in the house, got him to the vet, and the vet took some x rays, and they see he's got a bulging disc. And ultimately, anytime, like we as humans, if you have a bad back... You. You just can't do nothing. It hurts. You don't wanna do nothing. You don't wanna move.

Nothing. So that's when I reached out to you. Listening to the podcast. I listened to it literally almost every day. And you keep saying this one, T D C one T D. C one T D C, it was just, And I said, man, this might be a great time to try this supplement out. So we had our conversation about it, and you told me, how one dog, your older dog, quickly recovered from it.

How your one dog that had the broken leg was recovered from it. [00:43:00] And I thought, at this point, I'm going to do anything I can possibly to help my dog. I don't care at what cost. It don't matter. So I purchased the product. I was not expecting Olivier to call me. Within hours of the purchase going through, he called me right up.

Hey Robert, thank you for the purchase. What's going on? So I explained it to him. He explained to me how I need to put a topically in the area of the injury. He explained to me how I need to put topically to his gums. So it can absorb in the body really fast while taking the supplement orally. For surgery right now we're doing it three times a day.

And... I will be honest with you, he's obviously on a steroid and an anti inflammatory right now. He's on one month of anti inflammatories and then a three week process with the steroids of weaning off the steroids after week three. But I can tell you, when the steroid wears off, I can [00:44:00] tell his whole demeanor changes.

But the 1TDC, when I put it in on him, I'm telling you, within five minutes of putting it back on him three times a day, you can instantly tell it's giving pain relief. It's allowing him to move more freely. And it gets even crazier because I have a bad knuckle on my hand. It's every day.

It's killing me. I literally took one of those the gels and I busted open. I rubbed it on my own my, my knuckle myself. It was in five minutes. I was moving my knuckle complete and grand in motion with no pain. And I told my wife this, and I may have even told you this, I told some, and everyone's that's some little BS, it's a little bit too good to be true.

My wife had a footache. I literally busted open a gel, I rubbed it on her foot. A few minutes later, I said, hey baby, how's your foot? She goes, it's not hurting no more. So topically, it does go right into the blood system. It gets right in there and gets right to where the injury is. [00:45:00] And it's helping.

Now, we're only three weeks into this. I don't know the long term effects of the 1TDC. But I'm going to tell you first hand right now, it's helping my dog recover. And I'm hoping that he can stay on this product the rest of his life. And I'm hoping that I can put him back into service. And we'll know this in about two more weeks and I go back and see my vet to see if I get to all clear to put him back to work.

And I plan on using it throughout. If he's able to go back to work, Heath, I plan on keep putting it on him in his mouth. I'm going to put it on his joints topically. I'm just going to keep doing it to allow him to recover and hopefully prevent any more future injuries.

Heath Hyatt: Yeah, it's funny you say that because I have not used the human version.

And at Autumn Oaks, Olivier gave me a, so Maddie broke her ankle in volleyball. And she had just got out of the boot and was walking. Olivier gave me a, [00:46:00] the sample pack. And we went back to the house that evening. And she put it on her ankle and I same thing we eat and was sitting around and I was like how's your, and she goes it feels okay.

And I'm like was it hurting? And she goes, yeah, all the walking gets it really stiff. She goes, it's not stiff right now. So she started, she's using it every day. So that, it's been a couple, two weeks ago, I guess we could, yeah, two weeks ago. She's been using it every day. Yesterday I walked off.

The mountain off the north and it kills my legs. It's steep. It kills my knees. So I got home last night and I'm like, I'm going to try this. So anyway, I put it on myself and it had the menthol smell to it. Yeah. Yeah. The menthol. And I will say probably, of course I was sitting on the couch when I got up to go to bed.

My legs didn't hurt, like they didn't hurt. So I don't know what it is about it, [00:47:00] but the human part surprised me. And I, I'm still giving it to my dogs. Right now I'm running I've run every day this week and I'm, they're getting everyone, I was getting two capsules a day because I've already loaded them.

I loaded them back when season started. But I liked the product and it, I have seen results. I can't say, I would never say that it's a miracle thing, but it like I'm seeing enough results to keep me buying it and using it. He

Robert Miller: also sent me a two ounce sample of the human grade stuff. And my son Aiden, which I told you he's did a little bit of the track and he's had two meniscus injuries on his right knee.

So we got it in and I said, Hey, how's your knee feeling? He said, Oh, it's hurting. I said, Hey, let's try it out right now. He put it on there. I'm telling you within five minutes, he said the pain was gone. It's God's honest truth. Like I said, long term, I don't know what it does. But it sure helps with pain relief.

And I'm a firm believer in it and it's going to continue being in my house. Yep.

Heath Hyatt: Good. I'm glad that [00:48:00] we were able to get you put in the right direction. And Olivier is good people.

Robert Miller: He's good people. Oh, for anyone to call, he genuinely cares. Yep. There's no other word as he generally cares.

Then he even went one step further and got me in contact. I'm not going to try to pronounce her name. I'll just call her Dr. T. And got in a conversation with her. What's

Heath Hyatt: that? The animal physical therapist.

Robert Miller: Yes. So we had a FaceTime evaluation and she gave me some amazing tips, some home treatments.

Even some dietary type things to supplement feeding. Adding eggs with the shells to my dog's food. And things I've never thought of feeding my dog hard boiled egg, including the shell. And she was saying the membrane in the shell, it just adds so much vitamins and stuff to your dog's healing process.

So we've incorporated that into my feeding now. Farm fresh eggs. So it was an amazing conversation, very helpful. And it's only done possible because how much he cares about about, the Houndsman XP [00:49:00] listeners, about dog owners. He's an incredible man. Yep,

Heath Hyatt: absolutely. So let's shift gears real quick.

I know like Sid, you and I have talked a couple times. What is one of the things that you've taken from the podcast training wise that you have incorporated and you're seeing a result

Robert Miller: that taken from the podcast is mostly... was about scent, how scent works, how weather affects sense, how, because we as humans, we can't smell like a dog can smell. So we like to think of what scent can do, where it can go. But boy, until you actually listen to some of the, your guests on your show with years and years of experience and then back with science.

It's [00:50:00] mind blowing of how weather affects scents and then how I incorporate that into when I take a certain, when I take a track when I lay a training track, when I run the dog on the training track, all of that now plays a major role into how successful I am as a trainer, how successful I am in as a tracker, far as the hunter standpoint.

Chris has said how many times going down the road Coon runs across the track. He wants to dump the box. Yeah, then the old timers like nope, we gotta let that scent rest. We gotta let that scent do what the scent does with the atmosphere. So the dog can be successful. So if you don't understand scent and you're a houndsman you got a lot to learn.

As soon as you learn part of it, I don't think you'll learn all of it, but if you can learn most of it, your dog is going to be way more successful. You're going to be happy [00:51:00] as a houndsman. You're going to be happy as a trainer. That's what I got most out of the Houndsman XP podcast is the episodes you guys had about scent.

It's for an example, let's say it's 90 degrees out and a hunter shoots a deer and that deer runs off and it's a high pressure day. We automatically going to know that's going to be a tough track. Unless that scent trail has got tons of blood, but if it's a superficial wound on that animal and that animal is really not that hurt you're going to be, you're going to be showing up to your dog and your dog might be looking back at you like there's nothing here to track.

And I can't tell you how many times over the decade that's happened where I show up and the dog's looking at me like, there's nothing here. So what do I do? I start eye tracking. I start following the blood trail. Next thing you know, we're out of the clover field and we're into the timber where there's shade, there's moisture, all of a sudden, boom, the dog's nose all of a sudden wants to work.

And you're looking back at the hunter like, dude, I don't know why my dog was an [00:52:00] idiot, but my dog's working now. End of the day, I was the idiot because I didn't know what I was putting my dog into. I set my dog up at the field right after sunset, where if I would have waited 3 or 4 more hours until sunset, and then brought the dog in with the dew growing on the alfalfa, or developing on the alfalfa, and the sun's gone, the pressure's changing, the dog would have been way more successful.

To answer you that, that's probably the number one thing was learning about scent. I knew a lot about scent through trial and error, but I didn't have the answers why I knew what I knew.

Heath Hyatt: And that makes sense. Yeah, I'm going to give you two examples real quick of just two things you touched on.

My last training session, Monday before last, we actually did road pickups. So I had my track layer come in, into the woods, they started to track in the woods. They made either a 90 or a 45 degree turn and they go up to the road and they would be picked up by a car. Okay. And [00:53:00] so some of my younger guys have never seen this before.

And I wished I would have had my GoPro on or my camera. I wished I would have videotaped some of this. Because... 80 percent of the dogs would come up into the road. They'd go into perfect, they'd be in perfect profile. And they'd be tracking, they'd be tracking, they'd be tracking, they'd hit the road and...

One, one of the, one of the tracks that I was speaking about specifically had six cars go up and down the road. So you know what it was doing to that odor. Like it was blowing it this way, that way, up, down, sideways. Dog comes up into the road, goes spastic. From, from profile tracking to holy cow, what's going on up the road, down the road back.

But what really, I really liked about this training experience for him is the dog run around for 30 seconds, 40 seconds, a chicken with its head cut off. That was the perfect example. [00:54:00] She goes back to the last place she had to track, which was coming up the bank into the road, and she started working it.

And I'm like, okay, now you need to make sure that this track hadn't went down the road, up the road, across the road. How are you going to handle this? So anyway, I had to make a hundred yard Take the dog, short lead it, walk down the side of the road, cross the road, walk back up the side of the road, pass a hundred yards and come back.

When he got back to me, he goes, I don't have anything. I said, so what do you think happened here? Where'd they go? He goes no one knew, they probably got picked up in a car. And I said, that's exactly what happened. But, you're talking about that odor and the coon crossing the road. Man, I love to watch my guys.

Get bumfuzzled because it's so fun for me. But it is what it is. And then we had a deployment. Somebody stole one of the animals at the hospital, took off, wrecked it. Same thing you just talked about. He bailed out and run through a field. Hot during the day.[00:55:00] Thank goodness a witness said that they seen him crossing a fence and going into a wood line.

So they tried to start the track in the field. Yeah, no go, not happening. No, they crossed the fence and they could see where he crossed the fence. Like he pushed the fence down, got over, hit the wood line. Dial goes into profile, goes to tracking. Of course they knew this, they knew to not be discouraged.

And once you got into the shade, they knew all the things that we're talking about. But yeah, the stuff that you're talking about is. It's it's just the way things are. And if you understand it, you're a lot more successful. Yeah. One thing

Robert Miller: I learned is Cloverfields. What a nightmare Cloverfields are for us tracking deer.

They're so filled with chlorophyll, the green plant, it totally, Eats up the sense on top of it. You have the wide open wind beating on it. If you [00:56:00] have a high pressure day, the sun's beating on it. I've came, we've tracked into Cloverfields and literally you think the deer just flew away. Then we have to do a complete perimeter search similar to like you had your guys do.

But what I've also learned over the years, Heath is a live, healthy deer that hits a Cloverfield has no problem going across it. Okay. But a deer that's dying, let's say a liver gut shot deer that needs 20 hours to die. He comes up to that clover field. He ain't crossing it. He's backtracking. He's double backing on us.

And that double back could be 100 yards. It could be 50 yards. It could be 10 yards. It could be a V back. So you come into that clover field and you're, and I already know dog ain't tracking it because of the conditions. Now, did the deer crossed it? Did the deer double back? So I have to do a perimeter search, but I got to make sure I go far enough back [00:57:00] on a backtrack to cross off that opportunity.

And these white tails backtrack more than they'll cut across a wide open field because especially a big mature deer, he don't want to be seen anyways. So it's interesting that you talk about your guys training. I wonder if you threw a backtrack on some of these guys that think the guy got in the car.

But actually he just followed himself back 200 yards and then took off in a different way how they'd handle that

Heath Hyatt: I have actually done this Some of our pointers because we have seven pointers in my group the pointers are really bad about shortcutting the track if you walk the track back and then cut off of it and go 50 100 yards and hide usually when you get to that backtrack where that track is parallel, walking each other and it splits, they'll usually take the split.

Robert Miller: So you'll never knew that they went that one way? Yeah, not

Heath Hyatt: all of them but five of the seven are hard to trick on the [00:58:00] backtracks. Because their head they're constantly head up. But they're not staying in what we would visualize as a. Head down, tail up, shoulder level boom, tracking profile.

They're they're constantly bouncing. So they're hard. They do pretty well at that, but I have tried that.

Robert Miller: So the same thing here the dash home will follow a track verbatim, wherever it went, backtracking out. Sergeant he's more of a trailing dog, like I explained.

I probably, a deer would probably double back on us. I don't know how many times, I never would know because he already figured out. He just cuts the corner and keeps going. Yep.

Heath Hyatt: Same. Yep. Robert, to finish this up, tell me your most memorable track.

Robert Miller: Okay. I got to ask you a question. Do you want it to be a live deer or a

Heath Hyatt: dead deer?

I want it to be your most memorable track. I

Robert Miller: don't care. Heath, I got to give you, I'll give you, can I give you two then? Yep. I want to give you one dead, one alive. All right. So let's start with a dead one. It's [00:59:00] with Cypress, my dash hound. The deer was known liver gut shot with it, with a bow.

The hunter has used myself before, so he knew exactly back out. Do not disturb the scent trail. Let's just call him a dog. We wait 24 hours to come in and trail this deer. We come in, start tracking it. And we track it, I believe, about a half mile to a gravel road. Cypress gets on the gravel road, goes down the gravel road, maybe a hundred yards or so.

Now we're into a front yard of a residence. She tracks through the yard of the residence, goes along the house, really close to the house. And then behind the house has a man made pond. She tracks down to the pond. She jumps in the pond. She circle rounds in the water. Comes back to the shore. And she's just problem solving the shore, right?

And she's she know it went somewhere, but she can't figure it [01:00:00] out. I walk her around the pond, she gets around the other side of the pond, and boom, that nose back hits the ground. We track hundreds of yards more, and we find the buck dead. Total distance was 1. 18 mile. This deer was unpressured, but it still went over a mile.

No one in their right mind, human wise, would have found that whitetail. Never would have found it. Hence back to, like I told you back in my younger days as a bowhunter, and you get all your friends and family to go look, how many times have these deer just gone beyond what we think a deer is capable of going?

Dogs have proven to me, whitetails are the strongest creature God's ever made, and they go much further than we can even imagine, and dogs have taught me this. Backstory to this deer after being recovered, Zach actually talked to the homeowner, and that deer was alive in their pond [01:01:00] through the whole entire day.

He shot in the evening. The following day, that buck was laying in that water all day. The residents thought the deer was just, it was hot out and he was sitting in the water. Didn't think nothing of it. Wasn't, they're not hunters or nothing. That person went to bed. And that deer was still there, alive.

We came in at the 24 hour mark and it was night time now. We found it dead and it was still rigor mortis hasn't set in yet. So we found it within a half hour, 45 minutes of it finally dying. Jaw wasn't locked up or nothing. So that's probably one of my most memorable with Cypress. Now fast forward again to last deer season with Sergeant, same thing, we have a liver shot whitetail and it's right during the heat of the rut.

And a lot of people don't know about a ruck, ruck crazed whitetail is, they're, they are zombies. They literally, they're almost indestructible. They go, they don't feel pain. I [01:02:00] don't know what's going on with them chemistry wise, but they're not a normal deer. So this deer's also liver shot. And same thing, the customer's used my services before, and we already know the deer's off the property.

He's seen the deer run off the property. I said Mike, you gotta go get permissions from the landowner. So he starts door knocking and everyone owns like 5 acres, 5 acres, 5 acres, 5 acres. About the 5th or 6th property down the road, he talks to the wife and the wife says, Oh, my husband is actually hunting right now.

As soon as he gets in, I'll let you know if you can come on our property. He calls back and they're talking with Mike and he says, That deer came by me at about 11 a. m. And I could see blood coming out of that whitetail. So we already know the deer has gone 8 tenths of a mile from where this resident is, from where this deer is shot.

We come in at the 12 hour mark. Heath, we tracked that deer 2. 28 miles. Across, I think, a total of 10 properties. [01:03:00] Crossing two different roads. Across two separate streams. And then we finally found that deer. Virtually lifeless, but he was still alive. He couldn't get up. And again, it goes back to how can a deer go two miles shot through it?

And we had blood drops often enough that I kept finding with the dog. So I never had a doubt the dog was not correct. This deer went 2. 28 miles, never pushed. It could, he could have bedded up however many different times he never bedded. He went that whole distance and then we found him in his resting place.

Without a dog, you're never getting there. Even with these fancy thermal drones that are coming out would have never found it. So these are the crazy things that I've witnessed with my tracking dogs. And it's one of those ones you have to be there to believe it.

Heath Hyatt: Yeah. And real quick on the drones, we train with the drones a lot and[01:04:00] you cannot replace the dog with a drone.

You just can't do it. The foliage changes, everything the thermals are going to pick up heat signatures off of rocks, off of tree stumps old metal laying in the wood. Like we're finding everything and. It's been about six months ago one of the tech team commander come to me and they had trained with the drone all day.

And he goes, Hey, he's I thought it was going to be more valuable to us than it is. He said, but there's always a place for the dog. Like you have to use the dog and the drone's a good thing. Like for us, especially, sweeping a perimeter for us or staying out ahead of us. It's a great tool, but it's not the, it's not the answer all the time.

Robert Miller: No, and for the deer tracking world, I will say the drone has a real strong spot in it. If a deer is three, four, five hundred yards away and dead, out in a soybean field or corn field, you launch a drone, it's going to find that deer within seconds. Really is. But, a drone's not going to do any good when that deer has got a broken leg and [01:05:00] crippled.

It can locate the deer, but now the hunter can't come in and legally dispatch that deer because then you'd be hunting with a drone. Mhm. That's illegal. But a tracking dog come in in, in the states where you have off leash tracking that's allowed, like down in the south, when they have a broken leg deer, you're bringing a dog and a catch dog, that deer is caught in, in suffer, the, it's, and it's suffering in a timely manner.

Mhm. And a drone's not gonna help you with that. So a drone has its place. I definitely, currently it's not legal in the state of Michigan. I sure hope one day they get that overchanged. I do feel like they should be used. There's no damage in flying a drone looking for a deer. There's no harm in that.

And unfortunately, people that violate with drones is ruin it for the guys that want to use it for ethical reasons. And that's unfortunate, but yeah, that's pretty much a lot of it. It's been a great conversation we've had today. Yeah, I

Heath Hyatt: appreciate it. So any last thoughts? I

Robert Miller: would just tell any listeners that want to use a tracking dog, [01:06:00] stop tracking your deer when you realize you need to start grid searching.

When in doubt, back out. Uncontaminated track is the fastest and most accurate work for my dog. If you want to continue looking for your deer and your buddy's looking for your deer. You can't expect a dog to come in here and walk and track that track with great accuracy. The dog's got a lot of problem solving to do.

So if you really feel like your deer's mortally shot and you're struggling to follow it, I would just say back out and find a tracking dog and you're gonna be pretty impressed with how quickly and how much little scent damage you can do to your property by bringing that dog in. A dog doesn't spook deer.

Deer not, deer do not freak out when they smell a dog. And, okay, let's go back to the scent real quick. When a hunter is sitting there all day for 3 4 hours on stand and that scent cloud is just growing and growing, then that whitetail comes through and hits that abundance of the scent cloud from that human sitting there.

That's high [01:07:00] alert for a deer. If a deer comes through and it comes across the hiking trail that you simply have just passed by yourself, that scent profile is so minute. Yeah, the deer knows it's a human, but he also knows that human's not there. It's not damaging to that deer. That deer's gonna keep going on like it's a daily thing.

And a lot of guys think the dog's gonna come in and ruin your property. It doesn't happen. The dog comes in, the deer smells the dog, it realizes the dog came through at whatever time the deer, the dog was there, it knows the dog's not there no more, and the deer is not alarmed by it by one bit. And in a lot of cases, the deer we don't find, Heath, within one to four days, the deer's back on camera, or the hunter's already seen it.

In some cases, the hunter shot the deer within 24 hours of us being there with the dog. So I like to debunk the everyone that thinks the dog's going to ruin your hunting property or your neighbor's property. It's just simply not

Heath Hyatt: true. Yeah that's a fact. Even in the coon hunting and the [01:08:00] bear hunting world, deer can care less.

That's right. Yeah. Robert, I really appreciate your time. Enjoyed the conversation. And as always, thank you for helping us teach, train and learn.

Robert Miller: Appreciate it. And I appreciate everything you guys do for us.