|A Remarkable Urban Track|
written by Roxanne Dunn
On October 2, 1997 Chris & Targhee were called to married student housing on the college campus by the Montana State University Police . A 6 year old boy was missing from his home, suspected of running away. Chris is a elementary school health enhancement teacher in Bozeman, and it just so happened, that this child was one of her students.
She and Targhee responded with a police officer to the home, got a scent article from the child's bedroom and went outside to start Targhee. He searched only briefly and then headed behind the house to some playground equipment and toys. Leaving that area, Targhee continued through the next yard, circled back, and wanted to go over a fence. On the other side of the fence and he continued on a wandering path that took him into a shed, through people's yards, and down the street. At one point he alerted in a dumpster, where the child's toy gun was recovered. He continued through married student housing, crossed a street and was tracking very solidly across an open grassy area. The track was approximately 2 hours old, and it was 60 degrees and cloudy, with a 10-15 mile per hour wind out of the west. There were lots of people around coming and going to classes. Targhee tracked to a parking area where two cars were pulling in and parking. At this point, no more track could be picked up. They checked around the buildings, but still no luck cutting for track. Targhee worked across a large common area and toward the main campus. He was picking up brief air scent, obviously working pools of scent, but not tracking.
Later, the same day, the boy was found at the Main Mall, approximately 3 miles away. He was returned home, and eventually went to school. It was later confirmed that, Targhee was indeed on the boys track and was only unable to continue the track past the point where the boy had picked up a bike and rode it across two busy streets and along another to get to the mall. Through all of the traffic, people and difficult surfaces, Targhee was able to stay on track and scent discriminate in a highly contaminated area. Good job team!