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Old 11-08-2004, 08:51 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 11,465

Well with all these wounded deer and blood trailing stories, I thought I'd pass this along for all to read.

Blunder #1: Trailing too quickly
The biggest mistake in non recovery is going after the deer too quickly. It is extremely important to give wounded deer time to die. Even on lung and heart shots, it's best to allow at least one hour before taking up any blood trail.
If you need help recovering a deer, be careful not to disturb the area in which it ran. Walk away from the deer, not toward it to exit the woods-even if you have to go a quarter mile out of the way.
The odds of finding a deer after it's pushed are greatly reduced. The longer you wait, the better your chances of finding the deer in it's bed.

Blunder #2: Not Backing Off
If you jump a deer out of it's bed, back off IMMEDIATELY. Once the deer gets it's adrenaline level up, the odds of finding the deer are greatly reduced. It's crucial to give the deer time to die. Come back and pick up the blood trail and keep in mind a whitetail can cover a lot of ground quickly after being pushed - up to 250 yards in mere seconds.

Blunder #3: Absentmindedness
Excitement causes many hunters to overlook key details after the shot. It's imperative to not only know where the animal was hit, but also what the hit sounded like, where the deer was standing, how it reacted, what direction it ran, and where it was last seen.
Hunters should also listen carefully even after the deer runs out of sight. More often than not, a fatally wounded deer makes a lot of noise crashing through brush, running over saplings and plowing into things. If the arrow stays in the deer, it's common to hear the arrow clicking on trees, giving you a good sense of where the deer is heading.

Blunder #4: Losing Focus
Mental fatigue probably causes more lost blood trails than any other blunder. Tricky blood trails require extreme concentration because deer often double back and flee to places where hunters think they would never go.
Retaining your mental edge requires patience, persistence and a slow, methodical approach. Bring along a roll of toilet paper and mark the deers path frequently. This is a good way to stay on track, especially if the trail gets tough. It's also helpful at times to turn around and analyze a deers path, because it helps point you in the direction the deer might go should you lose blood.

Blunder #5: Trailing Parties
Despite the fact that I love to include friends and children when following blood trails, caution is used at all times. If there's a questionable hit or poor blood trail, myself and another experienced hunter do the tracking. A bad blood trail can be impossible to follow if there are too may people helping. Tracks, specks of blood, hair, broken branches and bent vegetation can all be trampled and therefore eliminated.

Tracking a wounded deer is one of the final stages of a successful hunt and sometimes the last few moments of that animals' life. Show some compassion and respect the animal by paying attention to details after the shot.
Whitetails possess senses that cannot be matched by humans. That's why it's important to pursue wounded deer in a predator-like fashion. Be patient, stay calm and most importantly, never give up!!
NY Bowhunter is offline  
Old 11-08-2004, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Troy, Illinois
Posts: 226

Well put...Blunder #1 is the big one.
justhunt is offline  
Old 11-08-2004, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,668

I think your list is pretty solid. I would only add that NO MATTER WHAT.......your BEST chance to find your deer is by sticking with the blood trail. The temptation to just start doing random walking grid searches is always there........especially if you have a couple guys. Everyone just figures with 3 or 4 guys walking all over the place someone is bound to walk up on him. Lots of times that's true but if you don't find him you have just destroyed the area and in all likelihood blew your chance of finding him. Stick with the blood!!! Your deer is at the end of that trail.

Also..........know your blood signs. Know what lung blood looks like vs. liver vs stomach etc.

The buck I killed this year was so much fun because he went EXACTLY like I would hope for. I shot him behind the shoulder......saw the hit looked good......woods was thick so all I had was my ears........heard him run for a few seconds and then crash to the ground........still left him for an hour before picking up the trail......nice blood bright and bubbly......drops at first and then heavier on the ground and spraying out sideways on small trees.........blood became steady stream and that is when I looked up to see his white belly about 30 yards ahead

My goal this year was good blood trail to follow if I was lucky enough to get a shot. I really believe my 4 blade Magnus Stingers played a large role in giving me that good blood to follow.

Don't play games with your broadheads. Just be honest with yourself and shoot what gives YOU the BEST chance at a complete passthrough because 2 holes are way better then 1.

I used the toilet paper markers in the past as well and that was a TREMENDOUS help in finding a deer I shot in the rain.

BTW......tell everyone you know to call you if they need help. Nothing beats following a REAL blood trail for learning what to look for. If your buddy shoots one follow the trail even if he already has the deer. First hand experience prepares you like nothing else can.
atlasman is offline  
Old 11-08-2004, 09:56 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 2,072

Blunder 5 is my pet peave. When the blood trail gets real tough, I have my partner make loops ahead of me while I try to put the puzzle together and gain a direction on the animal, we never walk on the direct path. I liver hit a bull this year that didn't bleed much on the outside. It was a long and grueling process, but the bull was found. Don't give in easy. If you hit the animal go until you are totaly spent. You hit it, you find it. Even if it means giving a few days of your hunt. I actually found a bull once that a guy had hit real bad. The arrow went through the hind quarter and into the back of the cavity. We gave that animal all day. At one point we were looking for logs that had drag marks from the hind quater being too weak to lift the leg up and over. He wanted to give up saying that the bull would make it. No way. He was found dead the next morning. Don't give in easy And keep at it.
Most important above all is pick your shot. Give that animal the quickest cleanest kill that you can give it. Another will come along if the shot never arrises.

Great thread, I hate to hear about the wounded one that wasn't found too
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Old 11-08-2004, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chenango County, NY
Posts: 224

Great thread NY Bowhunter.

If more people are educated as to the best way to track a wounded animal, perhaps the number of lost animal threads will decrease. Very good idea and solid advise.
mjqood0 is offline  
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