If you've ever hunted and thought you made a good shot, but then all of a sudden, you can't find any sign of the animal you're trying to harvest. It's heartbreaking. You've been working hard to find the perfect elk, deer or antelope and now the possibility that you won't find it is real.

Luckily there's a group of dog owners that will lend you their tracking skills.

Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery is a volunteer based tracking organization in the Rocky Mountain region. The group is made up of nearly 30 men and women with skilled tracking dogs, that will come out and help you track the animal you need help finding.

They started as a Facebook group that promoted using leashed tracking dogs to help hunters recover the animal hunters weren't able to find. R.M.B.G.R. has become another great tool available to hunters in multiple states.

Just like with hunting, the regulations for using dogs for recovery, are different in each state. So it's a good idea to know the regulations.

Check out the regulations in the states where the group works.

The President of the group is Scott Gillespie, and he and his tracking dog Lucy have helped relieve the stress and nerves of many hunters. As a matter of fact, in September, Lucy and Scott were able to successfully track three bull elk in a 24-hour period.

Every year hunters reach out to the group asking for help finding their downed animal. Hundreds of tracking jobs are taken by the trackers and Scott told Wyoming Hookin' & Huntin' Outdoors that they take as many tracks as they can and that there is an interviewing process they go through.

I got a list of questions that I start asking guys. You know it could take me 15 or 20 minutes to interview a hunter and determine if I think it's a fatal hit and if I have time to go out and to do the recovery.


There's a lot of different factors that play into the recovery. Private property lines stop us quite a bit, could be weather, could be nightfall, there's just several factors that could play into not being able to make a recovery.

When you take a shot on an animal, things can move pretty fast. There's a chance you're going to get anxious, nervous or confused of what's going on. In our conversation, Scott mentioned that you should use your mind like a recorder.

I'd like to know what equipment you were using, how far the shot was, how the animal was standing when you took the shot?Was he quartering to or corning away? Was it perfectly broadside? Was he looking directly at you?

The big question is how long did you wait once you took the shot to tracking, because that's a major factor.


Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery what to remember

If you're in need of assistance and need to get in touch with a tracker, joining the Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery Facebook page is a direct link to Scott and the other trackers.

When you make contact, they're going to determine which trackers are the closest to you and if any are available to assist you.

This interactive map will give you direct contact information to trackers that are closest to you

Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery Map

Wyoming Game and Fish 2023 Regulations

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