Derek Anderson and his daughters, Jaylyn and Ashlund, took part in the firearms youth deer-hunting season in late October and got to witness a good buck put on quite a show before Jaylyn shot her first-ever deer.

The Andersons were hunting on Derek’s grandparents’ farm near Nelson on Oct. 24 when they noticed a tree shaking in the cattail slough about 75 yards away after 45 minutes in the blind. Derek used a grunt tube to get the deer’s attention.

“The tree stopped shaking and all we saw was antlers heading straight towards us,” Derek said. “The buck stopped 30 yards away in some thick cover and tore up another tree. He then moved in to check a scrape right in Jaylyn’s shooting lane at 17 yards.”

Jaylyn took aim and squeezed the trigger on her shot. The buck hunched up and ran back into the cattails. The family found blood, but lost the track after about 150 yards.

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“I knew we had to do whatever possible to find the deer,” Derek said. “In the past, we would do grid searches but I knew it would be tough in this 100-acre cattail swamp. I had heard that Minnesota had passed a law to allow the use of tracking dogs a couple years ago.”

Jaylyn Anderson used the help of a tracking dog, Oscar, of Lampert's Hounds to find this buck that Jaylyn shot while hunting over a cattail slough on Oct. 24, 2021. The use of tracking dogs to recover deer and bear in Minnesota has been legal since 2019. A list of trackers can be found on the Minnesota Tracking Dogs Facebook page. 
Contributed photo
Jaylyn Anderson used the help of a tracking dog, Oscar, of Lampert's Hounds to find this buck that Jaylyn shot while hunting over a cattail slough on Oct. 24, 2021. The use of tracking dogs to recover deer and bear in Minnesota has been legal since 2019. A list of trackers can be found on the Minnesota Tracking Dogs Facebook page. Contributed photo

Derek got ahold of Andy Lampert of Lampert’s Hounds.

“Andy and Oscar the dog got there with not too much light left,” Derek said. “As soon as I showed him first blood, Oscar was on the trail.”

The dog followed the trail almost 200 yards past where the Andersons had lost the track, so they pulled out to give the deer more time before returning the next day.

“Andy and Oscar came back in the morning when the frost lifted and Oscar got right back on the trail and followed it another 150 yards and found Jaylyn's buck dead in the middle of that cattail swamp,” Derek said. “I honestly do not believe that we would have found this deer without Andy and Oscar’s help. It was pretty amazing watching Oscar work. I would highly suggest people to use a tracker so an animal does not go to waste.”

The Minnesota Tracking Dogs Facebook page lists the names, location and contact information for owners of tracking dogs around Minnesota.

“This was a very special hunt with my daughter that will be the talk of deer camp for generations to come,” Derek said.