Liesl The Dachshund Helps Find Franz’s Buck
By Franz Menge Jr.
The following story is a hunting experience told by me. I shared it with my great friend Troy Van Every, who wrote it since I have become very sick with cancer since the following hunt took place. The memories of hunting still always carry on no matter what life brings. Always remember to cherish the moments with friends and family, and get out and make some of your own.
We moved Buck Rub Hunting Club just before rifle season started in October 2013 about 15 minutes south of Milledgeville in Wilkinson County. We have 550 acres, and over the last several years we have had very good success.
As I climbed into my favorite tree stand well before daylight on the morning of Oct. 29, my hopes were high that I would shoot a nice buck. The temperature was in the 40s, the wind was calm, and it was clear. The weather was perfect for a great hunt.
By 8 a.m., I had already seen several does and a good-sized 6-pointer. I decided to use my Flextone Black Rack rattling horns, and soon after my first rattling sequence, I caught movement on my left side and quickly saw a flash of antlers. I could see that it was a good buck, and I got into position for a shot. Unfortunately, the buck stayed in the thick brush and never offered me a shot.
About 10 minutes later, I smashed the rattling horns together again, and seconds later I saw another buck behind me. The buck began moving from behind me to my right. I gave him a short grunt and was able to stop him in a small opening. I held the crosshairs right behind his shoulder and slowly squeezed the trigger.
At the shot, the buck hunched up, and his tail was tucked as he ran off until I could no longer see him. I looked at my phone, and it was 9:30 a.m. I waited for about 30 minutes and got down and checked the spot where I shot him. There were deep hoof marks in the dirt where he quickly ran off, but I didn’t see any hair or blood.
I was really disappointed as I headed back to camp, and I kept replaying the shot over in my head trying to figure out how I missed the buck.
I was sitting around camp, and my dad kept encouraging me to take their dachshund, Liesl, to track my buck. I remembered that Liesl had found two deer during last season, and after a few minutes, I decided to continue the search.
There were five of us who headed out on our 4-wheelers, and we soon arrived back at my favorite stand. Our group included my mom and dad, Uncle Ronnie and Troy. My dad and I took Liesl to the spot where my buck was standing when I shot. Although there was no blood or hair, we put her nose to the hoof print. She immediately got on the trail zigzagging through the woods. After a few minutes of walking, my mom went back to get a rifle, so I could shoot the buck again if needed. We all laughed because we were so intent on watching Liesl find the buck that we forgot the rifle.
After several more minutes, I looked down and saw something shiny, and after looking at it closer, I could see that it was a small drop of blood. This was about 65 yards from where I shot my buck. There was no doubt that Liesl was on the buck’s trail.
Right after I found the blood, my dad who was with Liesl shouted “There’s the buck!” I looked up and saw my buck get up and run off. Liesl continued tracking my buck. A few minutes later we found the buck, and I had to shoot the buck again. He was a big 8-pointer with a wide spread and long tines. I knelt down and thanked God for such an awesome hunt and for giving me the opportunity to get my buck.
We went back to camp, and it was so special to be able to celebrate another successful hunt with my family and friends. Liesl was rewarded with some delicious steak for once again finding a deer.
We later found out that there was no exit wound because of the quartering away shot that caused the bullet to remain inside the deer.
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