A call came at 1.30 Friday for a lost beagle near holsworthy. Hed been missing since the day before but owners had just had a call from a farm to say he had been in their yard. the farmer tried to catch him but scared him and he took off at high speed. It was about 1 and a half hours after this sighting that Forager and i arrived on the scene. Forager was given a vetbed as a scent article and took off at high speed down the farm drive (as the farmer had described "Willis" as doing earlier.) and then into a lane. he went down the lane and through a gate onto an open moor, where he was clearly air scenting something. he was unsure about this gate way and certainly I found no small dog tracks in the mud there, and suddenly he back tracked 100 yds up the rd to another gate into the same moor and took off again at speed. the moor was thick rushes and bog and getting through it was very tricky but Forager kept trundling along, but constantly raising his head and air scenting into the distance, convicning me Willis wasnt far away. His owner and I called as we tracked but he wasnt going to show himself.The ardous trek across the ponds, bogs and moor slowed us down considerably, and the trail rejoined the lane by some cattle pens, where Willis's tracks could clearly be seen leaving, and we were off again at speed, tracking 2.5 miles of tarmac. After 3.5 hours hard tracking we kept returning to the same road junction and drawing a blank, and I did worry someone had picked him up at this point (however with hindsight I think the lane was so busy with traffic that Forager just couldnt go any further ). As dusk was starting to pull in, and it appeared the scent had dropped right off, we advised the owners to leave THEIR scent and back track the lane to the farm, leaving scent (and yes, peeing in the hedges!!) so Willis had familiar scents to hold him in the area. Im glad to report he was spotted on the same piece of lane we lost the scent at, the next morning by one of our supporters Alex, and picked up by his owners shortly after, so a happy reunion for Willis and his family. I hope our tracking helped the owners in some way.
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