I remember the day well. While hunting deer on our Jackson Parish hunting club, I heard club member, George Seacrist, shoot. I texted him; he told me he had just shot a nice 8 point buck.

Joining Seacrist at his stand, we could not a drop of blood nor anything giving indication he had hit the buck. Enter Spot, George’s top-notch blood trailing dog. Within five minutes, Spot was standing over the fallen form of George’s buck.

The use of blood trailing dogs is becoming a valuable asset to deer hunters who might otherwise fail to recover a wounded deer. These dog owners who have trained their animals to follow blood trails have created a group by the name of Louisiana Blood Trailing Network.

You can find them on Facebook. Following is a statement that governs the group…

”This group was started and built on a volunteer basis and a means for dog handlers and hunters who need help recovering deer and to conserve our wildlife resources. It’s a win/win deal as dog handlers have more opportunities to work their dogs and hunters are able to recover deer that otherwise may be lost.”

The statement emphasizes that the work dog handlers do to assist hunters is strictly volunteer but adds “donations to help cover fuel expenses are appreciated.”

Seacrist shared with me a list that boggles the mind when I learned just how maNy dog handlers sit ready and waiting to receive a call from a deer hunter. Although virtually every parish in the state has a listing of dog handlers ready to help, north Louisiana has, by my count, 159 dog handlers.

This list includes 14 from Bienville Parish; 14 from Bossier Parish, 13 from Caddo Parish, 11 from Caldwell Parish, 15 from Jackson Parish, 18 from Lincoln Parish, 25 from Ouachita Parish, 15 from Union Parish, 9 from Webster Parish and 11 from Winn Parish.

One of my assignments each fall is to interview hunters who have taken big bucks and write stories about the hunt. So far this season I have done stories on some 25 such hunts and not surprisingly, several of these successful hunters have had to utilize blood tracking dogs to find their wounded bucks.

Seacrist shared with me some insight into what happens when he gets a call to find a wounded deer.

“It usually takes me 2-3 hours after driving to wherever the event took place. I’m 65 years old and Spot and I have been doing this several years so it’s sort of like two old men out there trying to find a deer and by the way,” said Seacrist, “some of the dog handlers are females.”

“Sometimes the dog will find blood to follow and then it stops. This often means a flesh wound and the deer may never be found. I know of a few occasions that a few weeks later, the hunter shot the same deer. I have watched Spot on a trail and he can sometimes be five yards off the trail and he’ll ‘wind’ the deer where a blood trail has stopped,” he said. “This year so far around the state, about 40% of the deer have been recovered by a blood trailing dog.”

Should a deer hunter need the services of a blood trailing dog, they can call one of the Administrators for north Louisiana of the LBTN who will put them in touch with one of the dog handlers. Call Tammy De Rouen at 318/419-4049 or Samantha Lemmons at 318/507-8535.


CANEY LAKE – A few reports are coming in of some bream being caught down deep using cold worms. Crappie are fair fishing the deep water out from the dam on shiners and jigs with the Double Silver Rainbow working best. Jigging spoons bounced off the bottom in deep water are fair for yellow bass. Bass are better on the deeper points on jigs and soft plastics. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – A few bream are being caught on worms fairly deep. Bass are best around the pads and grass. No report on crappie. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Crappie fishing has been best fishing around the submerged tops in the river, fishing 10 feet deep in 20 foot water on shiners or jigs. Bass are fair in the cuts and along the slopes and drop-offs in the river on soft plastics, crank baits and jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been best in the channel fishing 18 feet deep in 20-30 foot water. Jigs and shiners are producing fair catches. Best jigs this week have been the 13-26, 512, Bobby Garland Halo, Tomato Seed and Key Lime Pie. Bass have been fair fishing the channel holes and points using Chatter baits, jigs and crank baits. Bream fishing is slow while catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks.. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing has been fair at night fishing shiners around the lighted docks. Some are also being caught in 15-20 foot water on shiners or jigs. Stripers are slow to fair trolling white bucktails. A few bass have been caught off the banks on plastic worms and jigs. Catfishing has been fair. No report on bream. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Bass are fair in the coves and cut-offs on the north side of the lake. Crappie are slow to fair around the boat slips. Catfishing has been fair to good with mostly smaller fish being caught. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The water is low; launching boats is a near impossibility. No fishing this week. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is at a standstill with a slow rise on the way. Bass fishing for 2-3 pounders has been good but crappie are slow. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

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