My First Time Tracking a Wounded Game

Place: BogesundVaxholm Municipality, Sweden
Coordinates: Lat: 59.41233, Lon: 18.23497
Time: 1 day in August

Since I started hunting all the game I've shoot at have dropped on site. But I've always dreaded that day I would not succeed in delivering a killing shoot and wound an animal... Today that day came.
To wound the game is every hunters nightmare. Doesn't matter how experienced hunter you are or how good of a shoot you are; wounding the game eventually will happen if you're out hunting on regular basis. This is why it's so important that you prior to your hunt arrange so that you'll have a tracking dog within reach if anything goes wrong.

It's a peaceful beautiful August morning; perfect for hunting Fox. I'm in tower 39 out at
Bogesund calling for game using mice squeaks. It doesn't take long before a curious young Fox turns up at the other end of the field. I raise my rifle an await the animal heading my way. About 80 meters from me the Fox stops as something catches his attention. Luckily for me it's not me he has spotted. The Fox turns to his left raising his head scouting. This is my chance, I pull the trigger and the animal tumbles around from the hit. Then he takes of into the woods before I can deliver a second shoot... This is no good! But I'm hoping to find a dead Fox not far from the field. A lot of thought is spinning inside my head as I await the tracking dog called Axel. As I've memorized the hit spot and in what direction the game took off , Axel immediately get a lead. And as I've hoped for we soon find the hiding place of the Fox, but he's not dead. He has already taken off and now also Axel wants to do the same. We decide to let the dog loose so that he'll have a chance catching up, and immediately Axel finds the Fox and corners him. After approaching the staredown a killing shoot can be delivered finally putting the Fox down. After inspecting the dead game I can see that my bad shoot was placed to low in the chest to be instantly lethal. I feel relieved that we found the animal this quickly and was able to finish the hunt in a good way.

This was not only my first experience of tracking a wounded game; this was also the first time for the young hunting dog Axel. This by-the-book search of course made both dog and owner very proud. It's very valuable to get a situation like this; when the dog succeeds in his tracking, strengthening the dog's self esteem and experience. Of course I'm also glad for Axel and his owner, but as a hunter I most see me wounding the game as a failure. It was of course a inevitable accident, but luckily with a good ending. This experience have now made me even more humble towards the hunting moments Mother Nature offers me. The only thing I can do to posporn this happening to me again is to keep on practicing out at the shooting range continuously keeping my shooting skills at a high level. I like the target practice, but I absolutely learn the most by spending time in the woods hunting. So I'm now eager for my next hunting adventure!

I want to send my warm thanks to my helpful hunting mates for giving this day a good ending.

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