Tyler Harkey’s Union County (NC) trophy buck

Tracking dog Stella found Harkey’s deer 800 yards away

Tyler Harkey killed a trophy buck while bowhunting on opening day, Sept. 9, 2023, of North Carolina’s archery season. But he lost track of the buck after finding only a little blood, along with his arrow, which was still intact.

Not long after giving up the search, rain pounded the area, dumping 4 inches onto the ground. About 18 hours later, Harkey went to look again, but this time he called Craig Beachum, who brought his tracking dog Stella along.

Despite all the rain and the time that had passed, Stella led the men about 800 yards to the deer’s body. Unfortunately, the buck had been ravaged by coyotes. But the head and antlers were still in fine form and will make a great trophy to help Harkey remember the hunt, and the recovery of the deer.

“I’m at a loss for words, as there is no way I would have found the deer with them,” said Harkey.

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