depends on your shot, what your arrow tells you, what the animal did, sometimes 20-30 min is enough if you double lung em right, sometimes the animal falls in sight, and other times you may have the less than desirable evidence of a gut shot, in that case, you would give it 12-24 hours, time, weather and scavengers permitting. there is no set time table and only experience will tell you what is right in any given situation, good luck
More time never hurts unless you have to worry about weather ruining sign. If you don't give it enough time, you will be sorry.
If you are sure of a good shot, 20-30 minutes and go find your arrow. Then go from there. If you're not sure of the shot, looking around for your arrow might spook a wounded animal, so you have to take that into consideration.
Realtown12 is right on the gut shot. Give 'em 12 hours minimum.
Most times I watch it drop. If it drops,I'm on it quick. If it beds down,I'll watch it for as long as it takes until I'm sure. Last Nov. I shot an 8pt at 10yds and watched him go down within 40yds...I was tagging him 5 minutes later
I think the overnight waits would be from late evening low light shots where vision after the shot is in question. If a confirmed hit location is not for sure and animal did not go down might be better waiting till morning rather than running wounded animal into next county.
I have waited overnight once. most of the time i see them fall and if i have a long pack or nothing else to sit and wait for i go and start dressing the animal right away. The sooner the animal is dressed and the sooner the meat cools the better it tastes. It is very seldom i 'have' to wait more than about 15 minutes but it all varies on the situation. If the shot was marginal and the animal goes out of sight i give the animal a solid 30 minutes, again depending on the situation. There is no rule of thumb and i won't leave every animal for an hour or two unless i absolutely have to.
If I see it die, then I'm on it. If I don't, then it depends on the shot. If I figure it was a good shot, then I have a hard time waiting. I'll usually start sneaking down the blood trails for 20 or 30 yards to see what I think. If I see it dead, I go gut it. If I don't, then I'll give it awhile. If I know it was a marginal shot, then I give it a few hours and start tracking slowly.
I have never waited overnite.
Most I have shot dropped in sight.
It would depend on the situation, just dont put to much faith in what you see on TV.
If in doubt and its possible, post something on here and ask for advice. Then be selective on the advice that you take to heart.
It also helps to have a good woodsman/tracker that you can get for help if its necessary. Thats probably the most important piece of the puzzle, until you learn to do it for yourself, and its definately a good way to shorten the learning curve.
The way I see it, depends on the hit mostly and the animals reaction.
My usual action:
1.) Go to stand
2.) Shoot deer (or any other animal). With bow.
3a.) Watch the hit. If it looks good then get down 20 minutes later and find the arrow.
3b.) If it is bad hit. Wait out the rest of your hunt and then find arrow.
4a.) After you find the arrow, inspect the arrow for blood color and what the blood actually looks like. If it is bubby thumbs_up) or has chunk types then your golden.
4a2). If it is a buck (bigger animal) then I still wait an hour plus to be on the safe side. But if it is a doe or a smaller animal I will give her/it a half hour
4b.) If it is bad hit, then find the arrow at least an hour after the hit. . Smell it. smells like poop then you hit it in the guts and it needs . AT LEAST 4-6 hours. If you suspect a liver shot. 2-4 hours
5.) Go find your deer.
Now at night sometimes if it is a good deer and you wanna be sure not to jump it, then they will back out and get it in the morning. If you jump a wounded deer thats bedded down, good luck finding it. And it is easier to track in the daylight so that may be why!
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