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Need some advice, tracking in the rain?

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Need some advice, tracking in the rain?

Old 11-20-2011, 12:04 PM
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Default Need some advice, tracking in the rain?

Hey everyone,

I've got a hunt planned for Thanksgiving day afternoon and the next day, since I have no work that day. The thing is, it's going to be raining wednesday, Thanksgiving day, and friday. I've hunted for years, but never had to track a deer in the rain. Any tips or suggestions?
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:14 PM
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Drop em in their tracks and you will not have to worry about tracking. Might go for a shoulder shot so that you instantly take out both legs rendering him incapable of running away thus not having to worry about tracking. You could also try for a neck/head shot if you feel you are proficient enough to make that kind of shot.
But other than that I can't help you I have never had the opportunity to hunt in the rain so I have never had to worry about it. Good luck and I hope you get one.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:26 PM
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The best advice is like Westtex said, drop the deer in it's tracks. BUT that doesn't always happen.
My grandpa shot a doe in the rain last season, caught it a little far back and we knew it was a bad hit. Being that he's in his late 70's it was my job to track her. It was raining hard, and I knew any blood trail wouldn't last long. So, I decided to get on it right away in hopes of "catching up" with the deer. I was on the blood trail about a minute after he shot.
He went back to the truck, and drove to the other side of the property to watch in case the deer came out that way. I followed the blood and the turned up leaves slowly for about a hundred and twenty yards. I was scanning out in front hoping to see the deer first. FInally I saw her bedded down laying under a fallen tree. She had her head up looking around. One shot in the neck and it was all done. The blood was quickly washing away and had we waited for it to just lay down and die we probably never would have seen it.
So, the lesson I learned that time was that if the blood trail is gonna wash away, you are gaining nothing by waiting long enough for the deer to lay down. BEst advice is to get on the trail right away and hope to catch the deer bedded down.
-jake
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:43 PM
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Take out the shoulders and you won't have to worry about a tracking job. Do you have access to a blood trailing dog?
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by VAhuntr View Post
Take out the shoulders and you won't have to worry about a tracking job. Do you have access to a blood trailing dog?
Unfortunately, no I do not. But I usually shoot for the shoulders and hope that the deer will drop. I killed a deer over the weekend, and the round went through one shoulder and broke the leg, and the deer still managed to get 50 yards away and die in a dry creek bed.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:41 PM
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I've always had pretty good success in the rain. Knocks down scent and noise a little and, well, I just love rain....back in the day working construction in the field, a rain out meant I could slip off to the deer camp and get in an extra hunt.

Unless its raining buckets, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Maybe get on the trail sooner so the blood isn't washed too bad. Here again, you're less likely to spook and drive them in the rain.

As an aside, we had a nasty drought here and they had some video on the news a while back of some deer (fawn/yearlings)freaking out in the rain. No clue what it was....Point is, rain messes with deer's habits and senses to an extent.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
I've always had pretty good success in the rain. Knocks down scent and noise a little and, well, I just love rain....back in the day working construction in the field, a rain out meant I could slip off to the deer camp and get in an extra hunt.

Unless its raining buckets, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Maybe get on the trail sooner so the blood isn't washed too bad. Here again, you're less likely to spook and drive them in the rain.

As an aside, we had a nasty drought here and they had some video on the news a while back of some deer (fawn/yearlings)freaking out in the rain. No clue what it was....Point is, rain messes with deer's habits and senses to an extent.
I to love hunting a light rain killed my biggest buck at 5 yards in the rain.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:18 AM
  #8  
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Default Rainy tracking

1) Get on the trail of your wounded deer immediately.
2) Use a gps and make a waypoint every drop of blood you see.
3) No GPS? Use trail markers, red tape, surveyors tape, arrows or plain string to mark each blood drop.
4) Call friends and hunting partners to assist. Send one or two guys in the general direction of travel to jump ahead of the trailers.
5) I've trailed deer in the rain this way and it has worked without fail.

Wounded deer will make for a water source if the wound is not immediately fatal (liver/kidney/small artery). If not pressured, they will lie down sometimes. If you discover small pools of blood and an obvious bed, slow down and look ahead. Your deer is not far and will soon die in his bed.

Generally wounded deer will go downhill. If not pressured, they almost never go uphill. Notice I said almost. Their will to survive is strong so they will do whatever that keen sense of survival tells them to do (escape).

After the blood has washed out, use the GPS waypoints or your other markers to focus your direction of travel. Use expanding circular paths once the trail goes cold. Sometimes a deer, full of adrenalin will stumble another 40-50 yards after they have bled out.

Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:36 PM
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I'll get in trouble for saying this but I just don't understand the "Shoulder shot", why not "Lung/Heart" a bigger target and almost a sure thing, I have seen deer go all day after being hit in the shoulder. they don' go far with a lung/heart hit. I know most will disagree, but if a shoulder shot is available most likely the heart/lung is exposed also. also in the rain! not a lot of blood out of that shoulder, heart/lung ya got a good blood trail. I know it is not popular but-- MOP Doc
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:00 AM
  #10  
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Default Tracking in the Rain

Doc, in my opinion and from 50 years of personal experience as a hunter and commercial trapper, under conditions where tracking blood will be difficult, such as raining or rain approaching. The shoulder shot is the best way to go. Keep in mind you must take out both shoulders to get the best odds that deer will go down where it is standing. I have too much respect for these animals to do a head shot, where if you should be off just slightly could result in a long drawn out death for the deer. The heart, lung shot as you suggest will always kill fairly quickly and leave good blood, especially if you have a low exit wound.However a deer can travel an amazing distance with it's heart or lungs destroyed. Just this pass weekend I was forced to shoot a buck in the rain trough the lungs because the shoulder was blocked by a tree. That buck traveled a good 200 yds. with both lungs completely destroyed from a 7mm mag in the 14 or 15 seconds it had to live. Now, I will admitt that is the longest distance I have ever seen a deer go whit such a shot. So for what it is worth, the easiest deer to trail is the one that never takes another step. Now if you still want the heart, lung shot in adverse conditions or darkness close at hand place your shot just above the heart through the arteries going into the lungs and he will go down as if hit by a thunderbolt. I am of the school of thought that if you must track in the rain, you should do it very soon after the shot and hope there is still some blood to follow and you find your deer in the first 40 or 50 yards or you are prepared to make a quick shot when and if you bump him up. Hunt long enough and we will all have some difficult trailing jobs to do! Have respect for your prey and always make the best shot you can and pass on so so shots that will make trailing in even ideal conditions difficult is what I say.
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