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Help with tracking deer PLEASE

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Old 11-13-2019, 05:55 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Help with tracking deer PLEASE

Help with tracking deer

Okay so before I get negative thoughts on my shot please read disclaimer...

Iím a 19 year old hunter and have been hunting since I was like 8 and have never bagged or hit a deer barely ever saw any. This year has been a glory year for seeing deer but I donít have a doe tag so all I can shoot is buck Iíve seen the same buck 3 times. First time I saw it he didnít present a shot, second time I saw him I missed low, third time I saw him I hit him about 40 yards away with a crossbow (this is where the story begins).

So itís right early in the morning I woke up late and Iím heading out to my stand to sit til noon and I see a buck in the field right as I pull up. Instantly my nerves start going and I get ready to go sneak up on it. As I sneak up on it I wait for it to get closer and when it does (broadside somewhat quartering away) I shoot the deer. The shot sounded good and when I went to retrieve my arrow I saw 3 things, 1 it passed through, 2 it was dark red blood, 3 there wasnít a whole bunch in the arrow. I called my buddy with my nerves going to tell him to get ready to track in a few hours and he said with red blood to wait 4-5 hours. This is where my first mistake happens, I went out to find blood 2 hours after shooting the deer (I simply couldnít wait) I didnít kick anything out but I noticed that the blood was weak and there was bone fragments every so often the small bone fragments looked something like broken teeth (no it wasnít a headshot) I called my buddy to report what I found and he said to get out of the field and just wait so I did. Fast forward 3 hours later weíre tracking and we find a lot of blood about like 55yards away from initial shot. I was excited we followed the thick blood and at one pile there was a 1 inch by 1 inch bloody cube that felt malleable jello after finding that we continued following for like a for 5 yards only for it to stop and go back to weak blood, then weak blood eventually trickled into no blood. My heart sank. We looked around to see where the deer went and couldnít find anything aside from kicking out a doe. After 3 hours of walking my excitement turned to depression (literally). We finally hung up the search about 2 hours ago and there are several field patches that we didnít get to zigzag through but my hope is ultimately diminished. Can some experienced hunters comment good, bad, ugly of what they thing about my story any comments would be greatly appreciated.

pictures are the arrow, first blood, then first sign of thick blood.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:14 PM
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If the weather is cold, let it sit overnight and try again in the morning. A wounded animal will mostly stay in the same direction. You have a solid shot on the deer. Day light will help tremendously.
I shot a deer in New York with the same situation somewhat. It was a really good shot. Lots of blood. Pools of blood from where it bedded down. This trail of blood and puddles of blood went on for over a mile. Still didn't find the deer. We looked for a very long time. Zig Zags, circles, back track. It happens and it does suck, don't give up just yet though.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:29 PM
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Get back out there at daylight and continue. If you can't find anymore blood, start a grid type search. The land dictates how thoroughly you need to search. If it's thick you might need to walk through every couple of feet.

A few things to consider:

-A little bit of blood goes a long way. Might look like buckets to us. But it really isn't.

-a wounded deer will usually take an easier path if given the option. Ex: uphill vs downhill.

-they will find some thick stuff to die in

-they can hide in a small area. Don't over look anything. It might be a clump of thick grass. A tree branch, a ditch, underneath farm equipment, they will pull themselves up into a hiding spot and you'll wonder "how'd a deer even get in there?"

-a wounded deer can cover allot of ground. I've seen deer make it a long way without a heart. Especially if they take off running, they can cover distance.

-when scanning and searching look for parts of a deer, not necessarily a whole deer. Try to get your eyes to pick up a flash of white or brown, horizontal line of it's back laying down, curve of an antler, a leg sticking out from under cover, etc. You're more likely to catch one of these things with your eyes than to just see the entire deer.

-it takes allot of time to search properly. But you owe it the deer. Especially in this case because you know you have a hit, and probably a pretty decent hit too.

-persistence: keep at it.

-Jake
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:46 PM
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You may also run a Google search, make some phone calls and get a tracking dog out there. My guess is you'd find your buck if you do that.

-Jake
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:28 PM
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I use a roll of toilet paper and leave markers where I've already searched. When the blood trail ends I usually start a tight spiral search. I've literally had to trip over a Deer to find it before in tall grass or weeds. Don't count on spotting a downed Deer from any distance. Grid search or spiral search keep it tight.

A good nose dog is always the best, the nose knows. They can smell invisible blood flecks.

If there is brush, look on the brush as well as the ground. I've found myself fixated on the ground before and missed smears on bush leaves.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:55 AM
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Dark red blood might indicate that you liver shot him. If that is the case...wait 3 hours before tracking him, because he might bed down not far from the area from where he was shot.

And be ready to take another shot while tracking him.

Last edited by Erno86; 11-14-2019 at 10:24 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:01 AM
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Yeah some of my worst tracking jobs involved a liver hit. They can go a long ways.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:44 AM
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Also, once you have run out of blood to trail and have made your grid searches and if still cannot find him I would go to any nearby water source and as others have said, check the thickest spots around where he was headed. Those pieces of bone almost sounds like you hit a leg bone, possibly the front leg as it was quartering away from you. Best of luck to you. Dont get depressed over this. Use it as a learning experience as most all of us hunters have experienced this at some point, especially bow hunters. Just keep positive and look hard as the deer deserves that. Please let us know how it works out.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:15 AM
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Did you go look again? Any update?
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