Deer Tracking Tips and Tricks!

Here is everything that you need to know for Tracking your deer!deer_tracks

Whether a deer goes 30 yards or a mile deer tracking skills will be required for you to harvest your kill. So what is the most important Skill in tracking a Deer? I believe that proper placement of your shot is the most important Skill in Tracking. With a proper placed shot you will not have to track your kill as far if at all.

After the arrow is released or the trigger pulled, concentrate on the point of impact! With arrow speeds now over 250 FPS it is a good idea to change your nock to a bright color to help you track its path. Tracking you shot till it hits its target can tell you a lot about your shot and if you have bagged a big one or missed your mark.

Now that you have placed that perfect shot. The next thing that you want to do is to watch the animals reaction! Sometime you can tell where your shot was placed based on the deer reaction! So what are some of the reactions that tell you where your shot hit?

Deer Reactions

Deer hit in the heart will often jump straight up in the air and then take off running at a sprint. Animals that are hit too far back in the guts will typically “hump up” or arch their back just like a person with a stomach ache does. If you make a good shot into the shoulder, the deer may simply drop on the spot. If you shoot the deer through the vitals behind the shoulder, the only reaction may be to simply run away. If the deer limps or picks up one leg, you know that you hit either that leg or shoulder. Sometimes, the deer will run away and you won’t know whether you hit it or not. Your ears can help as the sound of a arrow or bullet striking an animal makes a very distinct sound. It is best described as a wet “thwop” sound. Make a mental note of where the deer was shot! This will give you a starting point to start tracking your kill. If your deer runs off watch the deer and make a mental note of where you lose sight of the deer and the area around it.

deer trackingThe shot has been made and our adrenaline is really pumping is it time to go track the deer?

Now is not the time to jump out of the stand and celebrate and start tracking your deer. Now is the time to Quietly remain in the stand for a minimum of at least 30 minutes. Many times a bow shot deer will run a few yards, stop, look & listen, then ease off & bed down close by! Often times deer will circle around & head the way it came from, it feels safe going in that direction. Another reason to remain calm is that many people have been injured while trying to climb down from the stand. If you have a compass pull it out & get a bearing on the last tree or landmark you saw the deer by. If you cannot find a blood trail, then you can go to your stand, put your back to the tree and walk exactly on the compass heading.

Listen to the woods

listen closely to the direction that the deer went, and the sounds in the woods! By listening to the deer move through the woods you will be able to hear how far the deer has traveled or if he ran a couple of yards and hit the ground. The sounds of brush and moving foliage will give you some clues on what to look for when on the trail!

30 min later

Now that you have beat all 200 levels of Angry Birds and it has been 30 min its time to get out of your stand. Its important to remember that views from elevated stands change drastically once you are on the ground! A quick tip that will help you remember your deer’s location is to stop every 4 feet During your climb down and look at your landmarks. now let the deer tracking begin!

Now that we are where the deer was last sighted what are we looking for? We are looking for blood and hair.

If you dont find any blood look for signs of tracks. You want to Pay close attention to leaves, branches and grasses that are about three feet high. As a deer runs they will brush up agains these branchs and leaves leaving a blood trail. Many times there may be a lack of consistent blood on the ground especially if the deer is running. It is also important to remember that deer do not start bleeding at the point of impact blood trail generally starts about 15-30yds from where the point of impact is.If you cannot spot any blood or tracks in the last location where you spotted the deer you should walk between 20 & 30 yards in the direction the deer traveled.If you still do not see any signs of a trail. make a circle around the location last spotted.At this point if you can not find any blood from the deer go back to the last spot you located the deer increase the size of your circle working your way up to 100yds. If there is still no signs then you might have missed your shot!

What can a located arrow tell you about your shot? Located Bloody arrowbloody arrow

Arrows pick up hair and blood as they pass through the animal. Bright red blood is a lung hit. Dark-red blood a liver hit, black blood and green semi-digested vegetation means a gut hit. Brown hair is good, white hair is bad. White hair usually indicates a lower gut shot, a rump shot, or brisket area. White hair and heavy fat on the arrow or broadhead usually means a “grazing” rump or brisket shot.

Toilet paper deer tracking method

You got your toilet paper? I got mine!

Why am I asking you about toilet paper? Toilet paper is the best marker for tracking a Deer, Being white it shows up well in the daylight and in the dark of night and if you accidentally leave a piece in the woods, its 100% biodegradable!

So you have located the spot your deer was last and see a good blood trail. Mark the point of impact with some toilet paper hung on a limb to offer maximum visibility from a distance. Go slow! Finding and marking every speck of blood that you come across!

So Why is it important to mark the trail? If you lose blood sign early, you can work the area of your last sighting for minuscule sign! Look for blood sign on leaves, bushes, trees, blades of grass, rocks, sand, or other natural matter. If you think a spot is blood but you cannot tell, lick the end of your finger and rub the spot. If it is blood, it will dissolve and spread on the leaf and your finger. Mark it. If you lose the blood trail again stop. work in slow zigzag patterns to cover the are 90* left & right. So you stil cant find blood, its time to circle back around till you get back on the trail!

carry a deerWhat do you do if you find an area that looks like a big puddle of blood and the deer is not there?

If you find an area that looks like a big puddle of blood and there is no deer you should back out and wait a little longer, your tracking has put the deer on the move again. A deer that beds frequently knows that you are on their trail, but lack the strength to go very far.

Once you have found your deer immediately tag the deer, then field dress it and take that trophy buck home! Congratulations on a successful deer tracking trip.

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Posted in: Gregory Beckman, Scrolls
Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman