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Rodney482

806 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  rodney482
I read your thread yesterday about shooting the doe in the rain. I have to say, great job.

Your experience in tracking and finding the deer had a few points that matched some of those I've had over the years. I thought it might be good for you to explain in detail what was going through your mind during the recovery. With the many "help me find my deer" post we've seen, I thought people new to hunting might be able to gain some knowledge from your thoughts and actions.

It seemed clear to me there was no doubt you were going to find this deer. You knew you had a good hit. You followed to the end of sign. Walked around the deer a couple times while searching. Found the deer withing 20 yards of last sign. All good information. I'm sure you were not looking for a whole deer when you found it either.

I've found when the sign dries up deer are often within 10 to 20 yards. Sometimes they jump off the trail into weeds, brush, etc. If the trail ends it means one of two things, the deer either turned or it ran out of blood.

Blood supplies the brain with O2 and without O2 it is going to quit. I think to many times people lose sign and begin to think "needle in a hay stack". I've found deer normally stick to trails. I've even found deer with no sign by following the trail the deer was last seen on. Deer can only travel so far after the hit and it isn't a big area to search.

Is there anything else you can share that might help new folks recover their deer?

Thanks.
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Also, if you could speak to the blood in the rain. I think many people believe if it is raining the blood is going to go away fast. I've found blood standing in pools of water and even had blood trail last over night after a hard rain.
 

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Well I was 99% sure it was a double lung so I knew she wouldnt be more than a 100yds, In all my years of bowhunting I have never had a deer that was shot well travel more than a 100 yds.

There are different techniques that I use when I lose sign. A grid search is just that, back and fourth and criss cross. I have also used a spiral, starting near the last place I found blood and then walking in a spiral going out.

I try to stay off of the actual path so I dont disturb any unseen sign.

when on the trail I look at the topography and try to figure out the most likely path.

Not only was the rain a big factor but so was all the red maple leaves,,,,thats a killer and when everything is wet the shiny blood does not stand out.

I go slow and look on higher limbs and brush and on the underside of leaves.

I also pay close attention to fresh tracks.

It is very easy to walk right passed a deer in thick underbrush, (I did this twice)

I would much rather trail at night with a good lantern, the blood stands out better for my eyes.

Confidence is a big factor and I will not give up easily.

I have lost deer and there is nothing that makes me more sick. So I put fourth as much effort into recovery as I do in preperation for the hunt.
 

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Well I was 99% sure it was a double lung so I knew she wouldnt be more than a 100yds, In all my years of bowhunting I have never had a deer that was shot well travel more than a 100 yds.

There are different techniques that I use when I lose sign. A grid search is just that, back and fourth and criss cross. I have also used a spiral, starting near the last place I found blood and then walking in a spiral going out.

I try to stay off of the actual path so I dont disturb any unseen sign.

when on the trail I look at the topography and try to figure out the most likely path.

Not only was the rain a big factor but so was all the red maple leaves,,,,thats a killer and when everything is wet the shiny blood does not stand out.

I go slow and look on higher limbs and brush and on the underside of leaves.

I also pay close attention to fresh tracks.

It is very easy to walk right passed a deer in thick underbrush, (I did this twice)

I would much rather trail at night with a good lantern, the blood stands out better for my eyes.

Confidence is a big factor and I will not give up easily.

I have lost deer and there is nothing that makes me more sick. So I put fourth as much effort into recovery as I do in preperation for the hunt.
All very good points.

One other I would add is if you are returning to begin tracking, keep the party(number of people to no more than 3). One person has to be in charge so that your "help" is not charging ahead and wiping out any traces of blood or sign. If the blood completely runs out and you are confident you need to grid search. Thats the time to bring in more help.

Oh another, thats not directly related to rain. If the animal is not bleeding well and it is still relatively warm temps. Watch for spiders, I guess they are extremely sensitive to the odor of blood. Often times they will be covering up the only spec of blood on a leaf. Seen this many times.
 

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You hit on another good point about thick brush. I've seen deer run like heck through a field after they were hit and after they get to cover they drop within 10 yards or so. I can only assume they stop once they believe they are hid and expire.

Thanks a bunch.
 

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Congrats on your find yesterday and it sounds like you have one of the best tracking plans I have ever heard. i think you need an 'at a boy'
 

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I just want to share my experience from last night.

I shot a doe in the last 15 minutes of shooting light and believed it to be a great hit, probably both lungs. I was wrong, I hit the liver and ended up on my most puzzling trail to date.

This doe went into brush so thick that I had to crawl hands and knees on the trail. It worked out for me, but this one tracking job required a lot of persistance. Here's what I have to offer:

1- Step carefully, on more than one occasion this doe stopped when the brush got too thick and turned left or right. If you lose the last spot of blood, you may miss the turn.
2- DO watch for spiders. I saw at least 6 spiders on the blood along the way.
3- Don't get caught up in just looking down. I found blood on the tree trunks and bushes when I had none on the ground. Even high blades of grass can hold a small speck of blood.
4. Don't give up. Take your time and keep looking. I truly believed that the trail had stopped, only to look under a bush 5 feet away and find her. She had died on her belly with all legs tucked under her and NO white showing.

BTW Rodney- nice job on the tracking!

SS
 

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Well I was 99% sure it was a double lung so I knew she wouldnt be more than a 100yds, In all my years of bowhunting I have never had a deer that was shot well travel more than a 100 yds.

There are different techniques that I use when I lose sign. A grid search is just that, back and fourth and criss cross. I have also used a spiral, starting near the last place I found blood and then walking in a spiral going out.

I try to stay off of the actual path so I dont disturb any unseen sign.

when on the trail I look at the topography and try to figure out the most likely path.

Not only was the rain a big factor but so was all the red maple leaves,,,,thats a killer and when everything is wet the shiny blood does not stand out.

I go slow and look on higher limbs and brush and on the underside of leaves.

I also pay close attention to fresh tracks.

It is very easy to walk right passed a deer in thick underbrush, (I did this twice)

I would much rather trail at night with a good lantern, the blood stands out better for my eyes.

Confidence is a big factor and I will not give up easily.

I have lost deer and there is nothing that makes me more sick. So I put fourth as much effort into recovery as I do in preperation for the hunt.

Good post. One thing I will add is that I have double lunged deer and they would run a little farther than 100 yards. The first doe I shot this year ran a solid 125 yards. It is puzzling when this happens but, I heard her crash and saw my arrow center punch her lungs. I am confident that the reason this deer made it so far was that it ran about 25 yards up to the top of the ridge and then the rest of the way straight down a steep hill. Gravity assisted the length of the recovery.

I have had one deer that ran farther than 100 yards on a double lung hit on flat ground and that was extremely odd.

Also, in my experience, once a deer makes it past 200 yards and you haven't recovered him, the numbers are going against you. I have only found a couple of deer, both of them being mine, that ran farther than 200 yards. I have only lost 3 deer to bad shots but, have been on many track jobs with friends where the animal was not recovered

Of the deer I have shot that ran farther than 200 yards and I still recovered them, one was a gut shot 8 point about 15 years ago(probably 1/2 to 3/4 mile blind luck recovery) and one was last January when I hit one lung and filleted a sliver off of a does heart. She ran forever, bleeding a lot before I found her. At least 200 yards and probably more like 250.

Here is a pic of a doe I shot this year that ran >100 yards. You can see the entrance wound in the pic.
 

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Yes! Good post.

The one point here that I think many miss is the looking high for blood. The wound will brush up against high weeds, leaves etc, and it's easy to miss it when you're looking down.

Another point is make sure you watch and listen after the shot. Even after you think everything is gone. Stay still and just watch and listen in the direction the deer went for several long minutes. Sometimes you'll pick up clues that help later.
 

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Yes! Good post.

The one point here that I think many miss is the looking high for blood. The wound will brush up against high weeds, leaves etc, and it's easy to miss it when you're looking down.

Another point is make sure you watch and listen after the shot. Even after you think everything is gone. Stay still and just watch and listen in the direction the deer went for several long minutes. Sometimes you'll pick up clues that help later.


+1 listen listen and listen some more.

When in doubt check water and most of the time shot deer will run down hill(not all the time)
 
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