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In 'Da Head
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We as bowhunters spend lots of time preparing, scouting and practicing. We post trail camera photos, ask questions about stand placement and how to get the broadhead to group with field points. I would like to start a thread about things to do AFTER the shot. Nobody is perfect and sometimes animals do crazy things upon release or something deflects or fails....so let's hear some pointers about sealing the deal and recovering your hit game.

Example: Wait at least 20 minutes after the shot to pursue/track the animal. A pushed animal will go farther and into thicker cover rather than bleeding out after bedding down if left unpressured.
 

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Don't forget about the "Grid" search....this is especially important in "bad" shot and rainy situations. Gather as many freinds as you can and basically search in gred formation....spreading out from the last place the animal was seen.
 

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Excellent thread Doc as alot of folks hate to ask sometimes.

One of the most important things I have found over all my years of bowhunting is to FOCUS ! That is the reason I can shoot without buck fever at a big buck or a screaming bull in my face but punk out at dots with a crowd around....I dont focus as much with dots.
You have to put everything out of your mind as the animal enters the picture and focus on it and the surroundings, other deer, branches, etc. Do not stop focusing intently until the animal is dead and you can see it and 10 mins or so have gone by and it is deader than dead. How many stories have you heard where someone wasnt paying attention and a deer got up and was gone! :eek:
Focus on the shot and where you want it to exit then make your spot for your entrance. Do not look to see where you hit, follow thru on the shot, dont drop your bow arm! Too many people do it! I speak from experience.
Focus on how the animal reactions, sounds, how and where it runs (walks), as it all tells part of the story.
Remember to FOCUS ! :wink:
 

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In 'Da Head
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Discussion Starter #4
Jerry/NJ said:
Focus on how the animal reactions, sounds, how and where it runs (walks), as it all tells part of the story.
Remember to FOCUS ! :wink:
Good tip. A lot can be learned about the sound produced when the arrow strikes the deer; as well as, how the animal reacts immediately after the shot. I prefer to hear that loud hollow thump indicative of a lung shot.
 

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I agree with Jerry, but also think of where the arrow is going to exit also. You aim for your spot and picture the path the arrow is going to take and what vitals and how much of them are in the path. I usually hunt with someone so after the shot and I have got a reference point on th last place I saw the animal I call my buddy and wait for him to arrive before getting down. This usually takes a half hour. Makes recovery alot easier to have him stand where the deer was standing and find the first blood and possibly the arrow too. When you shoot and climb down things change because your point of view changes. I know this works for me and maybe it will be helpful to others as well.
 

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After the shot .....
It is hard for me to remember EXACXTLY were I saw the deer/elk run. Sometimes I get so excited I just remember the direction! Everything looks different when I get on the ground!
 

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give it time,if you do not see the animal expire then give it time if hes dead he is not going anywhere!!!stay alert and listen for a crash or rustling in the leaves i have often heard deer gurgling whenn they lay down after being shot when it was calm you can get a really good direction on where exactly the animal is laying when this happens,always remember when in doubt back out and get some help,some one who is not all jacked up like you will be be after a shot on an animal.
 

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Being Carefull climbing down the tree. Especially when you spine a deer.

Dave
 

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how bout this

i've seen countless people start out on the track without their bow. "i'm sure he's dead" or "he didn't go far". always always always take your bow.
 

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In 'Da Head
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Discussion Starter #12
Here's another little tip...for those tough blood trails where you are analyzing every little red dot on a leaf or ground, take a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide with you. Blood makes white foamy bubbles when the hydrogen peroxide contacts it. As a side note: Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for cleaning blood off of just about everything.
 

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Always carry an arrow with a judo point on it.
Things look a lot different when you're on ground level, so unless I actually see the deer go down, I shoot the judo into the ground where the deer was standing when I shot it.

I've helped track a lot of deer where the hunter says, "he was standing right here when I shot him". Only to find out he wasn't.

--John
 

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Yes after the shot I used to get too excited also. Try and watch the animal til it drops or is out of sight. When you have waited and get down remember the direction in which you last saw the animal. Make a reference point of a tree or other land mark in the same direction. If you are hunting with someone have them go to the last place you saw the animal and find sign before you get down. This has helped me alot on some hunts.
 

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The river bottom is so thick were I hunt my buddy tripped over my buck last year....."Yep! I found it!:embara: "
Sometimes the blood doesn't start at the spot the arrow impacts the animal, so pick some solid landmarks. If you hit it you will find blood withing the first 50 feet or so!

I have also noticed that the deer I have shot or my buddy shot all ran in a semi-circle. We mark every blood spot and this holds true for 8-10 deer taken on my land.
 

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Doc said:
Here's another little tip...for those tough blood trails where you are analyzing every little red dot on a leaf or ground, take a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide with you. Blood makes white foamy bubbles when the hydrogen peroxide contacts it. As a side note: Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for cleaning blood off of just about everything.
Also when blood trailing, look for small ants (bugs) as they love the drippings from an animal.
 

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Here's something that helps me....after the shot I watch the deer as far as I can see it and then take a compass reading to the last place I saw it....then, if I hear it fall which normally I do, I take another compass reading to the direction I heard it go down. Now when you get on the ground you have some options if you can't follow the blood trial....usually you can follow the compass needle right to the deer if you can hear it go down. Be sure to give it time to expire before you climb down and go searching.
 

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When packing out game in multiple trips dont forget to mark your coordinates with the gps and never leave your first aid equipment and bow behind. I did this last week, We took the first half of the elk to the top of the ridge and went back down to get our gear and the second half of the elk it was dark and we got lost. We even left a flashing light by the animal and. it was only .25 miles away. Went back and found everything the next morning. It sure made sleeping hard that night knowing there was about $3000 and an elk laying on the side of the mountain. To top things off we left our water and the hike back I started to dry heave due to dehydration. Drank 32 oz of water back at the car in about 5 minutes.


Is there a thread that explains the different sounds an arrow makes when hitting the animal. I heard a loud hollow thud. I would like to know what other sounds are made when an animal is hit say in the guts or heart or shoulderblade

This thread is a week to late. I got excited and spooked my elk when I was not paying attention. 40 yards from the shot. Fortunatley she was too hurt and didnt run much further.
 

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When approaching a deer that is down if the eyes are closed the deer is alive. Deer expire with their eyes open.
 

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After the shot

1) carry orange reflector tape and mark the blood trail as you go (be sure to pick them up when you're done. Mark the trail high - 6' or so - so you can look back and visualize the prior path.

2) tie a small piece of the tape to your hunting knife / ax while butchering. For absent minded guys like me, it's easy to set the knife down then loose sight of it on the ground / organs etc - esp in the dark.
 
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