Bloodhounds often make it into the spotlight for finding lost children in the wilderness or tracking down convicts on the run. But, for Jessie Rich of Bahama, North Carolina, the biggest buck of his life remained at large after he looked for hours deep in the woods of Vance County, North Carolina. And the expert nose of Country Boy Blood Tracking’s bloodhound quickly picked up the trail on his lost eight pointer and saved the day.
On Oct. 17, Rich’s friend, Andrew Darroch invited him to come up for the afternoon to hunt on his Vance County property. Some big bucks were moving through their property and he wanted Rich to take a stab at one of the big deer they had been seeing. That was music to Rich’s ears, so he headed up that afternoon to get in the stand.
“There were some nice deer up there, but we had no idea there were deer on Andy’s property this big,” said Rich. “I had been out there four times so far and hadn’t seen anything big enough to shoot.”
According to Darroch, the deer move early on his Vance County property, triggering the need to get in the stand early. Rich did so shortly after 2 p.m. and was set for a five-hour hunt. He was looking down a power line that had heavy trails cutting across it all over. After several hours, there wasn’t much happening, but with an extended afternoon hunt, he still had plenty of time for the big one to come out before dark.
Then, shortly after 5 o’clock, Rich started seeing does all over the place. Deer were everywhere.
“I texted Andy that there were deer all around me and then five seconds later, the big deer came out chasing two does at 100 yards away from me,” he said.
Instinctively, Rich pulled up his gun, aimed, and pulled the trigger.
“He came out and I shot him five seconds later. I didn’t give him a chance,” he said.
Rich climbed down and started looking for the deer. Until dark, he looked and looked, but the deer was nowhere to be found. He felt as if he had made a good shot, but the blood trail went cold. He knew he had to do something and decided to call Kirk Vaughn of Country Boy Blood Tracking.
The next morning Vaughn showed up with Mac, his prized bloodhound. And in no time at all, Mac picked up the trail and led Rich right to his missing trophy.
“If anybody loses a deer, (Vaughn) has one hell of a dog,” he said.
When they got to the deer, it sure was a sight to see. Rich’s deer was a massive 8-point with a 20-inch spread that scored 132 1/8 B&C.