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A *Rant* on tracking deer

Old 09-22-2017, 08:06 AM
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Default A *Rant* on tracking deer

When to track is important. We've all heard the caution against pushing a wounded deer. And many of us have experienced it, and possibly lost one because of it, ourselves.

However, when all signs point to a good shot.... it's time to track!

I'm on several facebook hunting pages that get allot of traffic this time of the year. Seems like every other thread right now is "Hit one, decided to back out until morning.".....

That's a great idea, when it's 40DEG out. But when the low for the night is 63 DEG backing out until mornings is just as bad as loosing the deer. Even so, if you think the shot is bad, I understand backing out. But allot of these guys are saying "Shot looked good, arrows covered in blood, but I didn't see it drop so I backed out until morning" There's even two posts on there this morning of people who heard the deer drop, but it was out of sight... So to avoid pushing it they backed out.

Just a rant to say this: Take account of everything that happened. If the shot looked good, if it felt good, if you have a blood covered arrow,if you have a blood trail, if everything is pointing towards a dead deer, then wait 30 minutes and GET ON THE TRAIL and find your deer before they coyotes do or before the meat spoils.

It almost seems like "Backing out until morning" is a right of passeage, or something they need to do. Maybe because that's what you see on every Deer hunting TV show? Who knows.... But listen to your sign and react accordingly. Backing out and wasting a deer is pretty much the same as losing one.

EDITED TO ADD:

I backed out on a poor shot 8 point one time, and found him about 50 yards away with his hole rear end eaten out. The only other time I backed out was helping a person track a big buck they gut shot. We came back in the morning and he put a second arrow in the deer and ended it. Had we bumped that buck right after he shot it we probably never would have found him.

I'm not saying you shouldn't back out if the situation requires it... But I am saying it shouldn't be the "go to" response ESPECIALLY in warmer weather or anywhere that has predators

-Jake

Last edited by Bocajnala; 09-22-2017 at 09:44 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:19 AM
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I could not agree more. I am guessing that a lot of the people who do this even when"all the signs point to a dead deer" are just worried about the rack and could care less about the meat
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:38 AM
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here in west central Wi if you don't go after your deer within 30 minutes a lot o times the Wolves will have it. But yes your seem right, many are now being to politically correct .
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:28 AM
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In this area if you wait until morning the coyotes will have eaten everything except for some bones and the antlers. That's why my shots are picked very carefully.




One of the places i hunt is military property: Hunters absolutely must be off the place NLT than 1 1/2 hours after sunset.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by grinder67 View Post
I could not agree more. I am guessing that a lot of the people who do this even when"all the signs point to a dead deer" are just worried about the rack and could care less about the meat
I was thinking the same thing. Valid point for antler hunters. But meat overnight in an ungutted deer is garbage.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:22 PM
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You should only wait as long as you think it will take the deer to die.

Deer can be just as easily wasted by going after them too early or late

Last edited by rockport; 09-22-2017 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:12 PM
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I have killed a bunch of deer and did lose 1 until the next morning many years ago while bow hunting. I followed the sporadic trail until almost midnight and decided it was not going to be found so I did pull out. I went back the next day and in the daylight was able to sort out the trail picking it up on the wooded side of the swamp and when I found the deer it was dead. I gutted and actually processed the deer thinking it would be OK. The meat was bad and the whole deer had to be thrown out. The shot was a liver shot and was partially due to a deer that was quartered more than I thought when I took the shot near last light. My fault for sure and that made me much more careful going forward. I seldom wait more than 10 minutes before trailing a bow shot deer. If I know the shot was in the boiler works I am right after it immediately. Almost 100% of them have been dead when I got to them.

Last edited by Champlain Islander; 09-22-2017 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rockport View Post
You should only wait as long as you think it will take the deer to die.

Deer can be just as easily wasted by going after them too early or late
I only gun hunt, but if I think something went wrong with the shot, I wait 3/4-1 hour. Give them time to settle in and bleed out.

Funny story about that, shot a Doe, a wisp of grass and a couple twigs between me and her, likely deflected my bullet a little. She takes off like a scalded Cat. I wait awhile, maybe an hour and start to track her, gave up after an hour and a half, was around 5 F out, I was froze. Decided I'd come back in the morning. Called my buddy to come pick me up, we double checked the blood trail, a few tiny drops, tried to make sense of the tracks, there were many. Get in his car, turn on the headlights and she was laying twenty feet behind my high seat.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 09-22-2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:12 PM
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I shot a doe in very cold, single digit temps a few years ago. I was confident of the shot, and with the snow, tracking conditions were ideal. I decided to take all my gear back to the truck, then head out with just my rifle, knife and drag rope to bring it in. When I got back to the truck there was a dead deer laying about 15 yards from it. I back tracked the trail and sure enough, it was that doe. It had looped around the bottom of the hill and piled up mid stride right by the truck. Those are the easy ones.


-Jake
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by falcon View Post
In this area if you wait until morning the coyotes will have eaten everything except for some bones and the antlers. That's why my shots are picked very carefully.




One of the places i hunt is military property: Hunters absolutely must be off the place NLT than 1 1/2 hours after sunset.
I am in the same position hunting on a military base. They want you out of the woods and logged out of their system to go home. Our system those has an option to sign in from hunting but check out for tracking a wounded animal. Seldom do many people do that, alot wait for the following morning which has it's issues.

But overall I agree with what everyone has said here.
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