Dog Tracker Saves The Hunt

Kiley Harpster


We as hunters strive to be the very best we can be since the stakes are so high. Forget the size of an animal for a second, we are dealing with matters of life and death.  As hunters, we have to take it seriously.  Nobody ever wants to deal with a wounded animal, but it happens. Sometimes we get to experience the strength of the creatures and it creates in us a conflicted storm of humbled respect. Kiley Harpster’s story of this season’s entry is a great example of doing the right thing. The week of the 20th of September, Kiley was set up chasing a big 12 point.  Based on the camera photos on this particular farm, Kiley slipped onto the ridge on the west side of his permission ground. The deer that walked into range wasn’t the big 12 but a slammer ten point which was his secondary hit-list buck.  Kiley said he was surprised that this ten point was on the far west side of the farm since all of his photos were on the far east line. Regardless, the big ten made the mistake of daylighting and giving up a shot opportunity. His shot connected, but in the glow of the headlamps after more than 150 yards he came to a realization. To his horror he was dealing with a single lung shot situation. Single lung shots are a nightmare, as we know.

 How do you deal with a single lung hit? The answer is, be careful. “You have to have the respect to do the right thing when situations go sideways,” he said. “I felt so guilty and wanted to do everything in my power to recover the deer, so I called a dog tracker.” Dog trackers are an incredible resource. They see every kind of shot scenario possible and can give you real expectations and a clearer picture of what likely happened based on the information you provide. It is important to remember to be 100% honest with the dog tracker and not try to fudge details to save your ego. The following morning Kiley and the dog tracker picked up the trail and ultimately were able to make the needed followup shot necessary.  Kiley’s deer scored 152 as a mainframe 10 point.

Read More Hunter Archives

Eight Years of Waiting

Archery hunting demands patience, a lesson Brenden Marsh learned from his grandfather. After eight years of pursuing a bow buck, Brenden’s journey was seasoned with wisdom and persistence. On a crisp October 7th, with a cold front sweeping across the Midwest, Brenden chose a strategic stand with food and security elements. As he watched a congregation of deer and turkeys in the field, an old buck eventually strolled into his range. At 33 yards, Brenden’s arrow found its mark, and the estimated five-year-old deer, well over 210 pounds, met its end. For Brenden, the best part of the hunt was sharing the experience with his grandfather, a fitting way to celebrate his first bow buck.

Big Woods Lessons Create Highly Successful Mid West Hunters

The Dollard duo’s remarkable success in Quest tournaments has set a high standard for all hunters. Chad, hailing from Upstate New York, defies the stereotype of his region. In the land of harsh winters and sparse congregation of deer, he’s earned a reputation for consistent big-buck success. Chad, drawing from his trapping background, approaches hunting with a unique perspective. He’s not afraid to be aggressive, hunting bedding areas early and often, setting stands based on winter scouting, and employing scent control strategies like Nose Jammer. For him, participating in Quest competitions brings back the nostalgia of the old local big buck contests at sporting goods shops, a cherished tradition.

Dog Tracker Saves The Hunt​

As hunters, we take our responsibilities seriously, for we’re dealing with matters of life and death. Kiley Harpster’s story exemplifies doing the right thing when things go wrong. After realizing he had made a single lung shot, he took the respectful and responsible route, enlisting the help of a dog tracker to ensure the deer was properly recovered. It’s a testament to our commitment to ethical hunting.