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Good afternoon fellas, I took the dog and the flip and a 44 on a walk today. The flip is for squirrels and bunnies. The 44 is because three days ago I found some very fresh bear sign by the river.

About a half hour into our stroll down the trail the dog bolted up a rabbit run to the right. I watched him chase a ghost for about 3 minutes, before I looked left and saw a weird brown patch in the snow about 50 yards away. While the dog was off doing his thing running round like a bull in a china shop, I tried my best to sneak up on a hare while posthole-ing up to my knees every third step. I got to about 20, which is a bit far for me, but the dog was making his way back toward me so I was running out of time. I loaded up a ball of 45cal lead and held over about three inches. Well I hit the hare. It was not the head shot I was hoping for. I hit back near the rear ribs, and he BOLTED!

There was a little bit of blood, here and there to trail but the snow was so crusty there were no tracks. I leashed up the dog and let him follow the trail keeping an eye on little specks of blood here and there. About 40 minutes later we bumped the hare and he took off again. There was a little puddle of purple blood where he had laid down so I assumed It was a liver(ish) hit. I kicked myself for not giving him some time before following him up. So I sat there and had a snack and talked things over with the dog. We waited for an additional half hour. Then tracked very very slowly. posthole after posthole, blood speck after blood speck, for what I estimate to be about 300 or more yards.

Several hours later I knew we were close because Salty dog was getting pretty excited. So we took it easy and looked very closely. I didn't want to bump the bunny again. I could not see it. The dog saved the day. The Hare had crawled under a fallen log and blended in beautifully. Salty gave it a sniff and sat next to it. Thank goodness it was dead.

4 important lessons from today:

1. Know your limits and the limits of your equipment and ammo. Don't push those limits as it leads to less than clean kills and lots more work!

2. If an animal is hit and runs, give it time.

3. When tracking it is best to assume that the animal is still alive and proceed like you are stalking a living animal.

4. There is no better wounded game locator than a good pup. (even if he runs the wrong way after live bunnies)

Thanks for coming along.

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I also cut a few forks on the way back to the trail. The ones I cant get a respectable slingshot out of I will make ice fishing poles out of.

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Ice fishing rig made from alder stump cut off the butt of a slingshot last year.

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