Tracking Wounded Deer
- By: Ethan O. Tanner
Mark your shot. Watch for reaction from the animal after you shoot for signs of a hit. Watch the animal until out of sight and listen for further movements. Identify any landmarks to help in marking the trail and the direction of the wounded animal.
Different theories exist on waiting for extended periods of time or begin trailing immediately. Waiting an hour before trailing will allow animal to lie down without being disturbed. Immediate tracking will ensure the animal's wounds do not have time to coagulate allowing for a more consistent blood trail.
Use biodegradable paper to mark the blood trail. The beginning of the trail should be marked and each area of blood found. Remember, blood can be found ground and on surrounding grasses, bushes and trees up to 3 feet off the ground.
Tracks and stride length in addition to blood trail can aid in finding your downed game. Use a stick to measure the animals stride length or a piece of biodegradable paper to measure the track. In addition to blood these clues can help you find your buck.
Blood tells a story. The type, color and quantity of blood can help tell you how good of a hit you made on the animal. For more information on blood in tracking visit us at The Deer Shack.
Sometimes the blood trail is lost due to the animal doubling back. Walk concentric circles around your last marker until the trail can be reestablished or the animal is found. Many times mortally wounded deer will not follow a common trail but will crash aimlessly through their surroundings. Often they will run down hill or towards water rather than follow established trails.
An option modern archers have are arrow tracking devices that attach a string to the loosed arrow. Earlier versions of these devices were less trustworthy, but with advances in design these devices can help you hunt wet conditions and find out downed game. Another thing archers can do to help ensure tracking success in finding their quarry is to shoot brightly colored arrows given better visibility of your hit. Recently arrow nocks have been made to blink after being released from the bow aiding in finding the beginning of the blood trail.
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Leather expert and knowledgeable Ethan O. Tanner explains the various selections of deer trailing(http://justgohunting.com/) the determining factors in tracking tips(http://deershack.com/) for your outdoor needs.