This is gonna a long post but gotta brag on my dog some(and admit to my screw up.) Last year bout this time I had to put my female catahoula down due to cancer but knew it was coming so got a male catahoula puppy in around June or July to get him going. Put him on one deer bow season last year but he was so young he just kinda followed me around didn't really do anything. Think he was 3 or 4 months old at that point. So rest of the season all the deer we shot were right there easy finds so didn't put him on any other trails. Every deer we killed I let him smell on it and would drag pieces of hide around for him to trail and find but that was it. So now he is around 1.5 years old or so and still a little goofy acting but he listens pretty good and all so high time to get him on some real trail jobs. So hunting this afternoon here comes 3 does and I pick out the smallest one and sent one through her. Of course she stepped forward just as I let get so hit her a little back but not to bad....I didn't think. So off I go to get the dog. He was in the truck ready but it's a 1.02 mile walk one way so took me an hour to get him back in there. Get him on the spot she was standing and there is basically no blood even though the arrow is covered in it and had a clean pass through. Not good but I get the dog on it and tried at first to keep him on a lead but he's young and goofy still so just wanted to play so had to let him go on his own. He started slow and I just followed and started finding a few really small dark specks of blood so I knew he was on it. Went about 100 yards to a small creek and he crossed the water staying right on the blood but quickly lost all blood just across the creek. Dog was working back and forth slowly leaving me as I was searching for more blood. After about 5 minutes I had lost track of the dog and hollered for him and about 10 seconds later he barked 3 times but I thought he was barking back at me and I hollered again and was headed towards him as he came to me but he kept trying to go back that way but I brought him back to the last blood. Milled around there and went the opposite way looking for blood and finally headed back out towards the trail to meet my dad to come help look. While headed out there dog left me again and we were way off from where the deer had been so I hollered for him again and again he started barking way off in what seemed about the same spot. So I headed that way but stupidly hollered at him again calling him off and he met me about half way so back towards my dad we went. Got to dad and told him what was going on and said let's go back to last blood and work towards where he had barked twice. Got there and tried him a leash again but still just wanted to play but as soon as I let him go he streaked straight back to that spot and went to baying again. Ran over there this time and got to him fighting and chewing on the very much still alive deer. Knife finally ended it but man he did great it was me that kept that messing up. On a seasoned dog I'd have never doubted it but being his first trail I just didn't have that much confidence in him but I dern sure won't doubt him again. Sorry for the long post for a little ol doe but I'm pumped that he did so good. He had found her in less than 15 minutes the first time but by the time all the rest of my screwing up happened it wound up being almost an hour. Shot had wound up being a little further back than I thought entering ok enough but only getting liver and exit the utters which the gut(no guts were busted somehow) had the exit hole totally clogged which was why no blood. And don't laugh at my bow yea that's a PSE precision edge series bought brand new in 1996 been killin deer with it for 21 years and still killin ha.