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Live from the TRACK


crappyice

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Often the Live from the Woods gets muddied when we try to help/comment on stories about hit deer(especially those not found).  Hopefully we can just jump to the Harvested thread after a shot but if not maybe we discuss/offer help here.

No hit deer acts the same but with all of our collective experiences, here we can potentially figure out what happened to that deer as a result of the shot.

Two helpful tracking resources are attached which can start to put the puzzle together. 

The questions I am always asked when I have a marginal shot are:

-coordinate from below image? 
-distance? Elevated stand?  
-broadhead/projectile type? Weapon? 
-reaction after hit? Sound of hit?
-blood pics? Smell? Hair color? Both sides of trail? 


 

IMG_6848.jpeg

IMG_9824.jpeg

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36 minutes ago, crappyice said:

Often the Live from the Woods gets muddied when we try to help/comment on stories about hit deer(especially those not found).  Hopefully we can just jump to the Harvested thread after a shot but if not maybe we discuss/offer help here.

No hit deer acts the same but with all of our collective experiences, here we can potentially figure out what happened to that deer as a result of the shot.

Two helpful tracking resources are attached which can start to put the puzzle together. 

The questions I am always asked when I have a marginal shot are:

-coordinate from below image? 
-distance? Elevated stand?  
-broadhead/projectile type? Weapon? 
-reaction after hit? Sound of hit?
-blood pics? Smell? Hair color? Both sides of trail? 


 

IMG_6848.jpeg

IMG_9824.jpeg

How did you manage to get a mirror image of the hit chart?

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It's so easy to miss read a hit. How many times have we heard "it was right behind the shoulder" but after tracking, it's obvious it wasn't.  

The best thing to do, and the most difficult, is to wait if there's any doubt.  

All the things @crappyice mentioned are things to consider when taking up that track. 

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1 hour ago, mowin said:

It's so easy to miss read a hit. How many times have we heard "it was right behind the shoulder" but after tracking, it's obvious it wasn't.  

The best thing to do, and the most difficult, is to wait if there's any doubt.  

All the things @crappyice mentioned are things to consider when taking up that track. 

I agree. It is so hard to see exactly where the hit is because things happen so fast. I go by what I actually find or hear vs what i think happened.

The deers reaction to the shot is a big clue too.

Edited by BowmanMike
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this is a good thread. if you have a buddy that's recovered many deer call them first to see if they can come help. being there is often invaluable because it's hard to tell someone the ridiculously large quantity of things you could look for as it's presented versus spotting it while tracking.

biggest thing i see people get screwed up with is they celebrate and make noise, get down and then crash around while on the phone with a buddy saying they "smoked a good one".  i've gotten unrolled i've not been able to process simple information after being in autopilot and shooting a deer. taking a minute or 30 won't hurt anything, even if rain is coming or it's getting dark. deer need time to expire. get down quietly and still hunt around to look for your arrow, inspect it, and pick up blood. it might be a gusher but deer run fast and it takes a second for blood to flow. so you might cover some ground with little blood at first. also like i said you're still hunting. keep your eyes up as you move and don't step on the blood trail as if it's a track that you need to keep assessing. sometimes you need to use just tracks in duff or soft earth to keep moving. think straighter paths of travel for the first 30 yards then don't move forward unless you find blood or sign that tells you it went that way. deer can cut right back and any turns between 1 and 180 degrees. keep in mind were cover and water is in relation to direction of the blood trail/track. the deer won't just wonder through open areas like theyre un-hit unless they have good reason or cover on the other side.

like grampy said no two blood trails are the same because no two deer or hits are the same.

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After the shot......

Unless you see that deer fall, stay quietly in the stand a minimum of 30 minutes before doing ANYTHING!

Take note on how the deer reacted to the shot. Mule kick? Hunched back? Tail up or down? A bounding run? Straight run? Slow walk? 

Visually find landmarks on the deers path. Things always look different when you get out there! Those landmarks will help you get to where the deer actually went!

Mark first blood with toilet tissue or orange surveyors tape. Continue to mark blood as you find it. It will give you a line of travel should the blood become sparse.

Should you lose the blood trail, go back to last blood and make small, ever increasing circles until you can find more blood. 

Do not get a gang of people of on the blood line! Only need two or three at the most. Otherwise sign will be tromped on and missed. Only bring in a bunch of people as a last resort to grid search.

Tip......

Blood drops are not perfectly round. they will have little "fingers" off to one side. Those fingers point the direction of travel. So...... what if you find those fingers pointing in opposite directions??? You likely have a deer that backtracked on it's trail and jumped to one side or the other.

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8 minutes ago, grampy said:

After the shot......

Unless you see that deer fall, stay quietly in the stand a minimum of 30 minutes before doing ANYTHING!

Take note on how the deer reacted to the shot. Mule kick? Hunched back? Tail up or down? A bounding run? Straight run? Slow walk? 

Visually find landmarks on the deers path. Things always look different when you get out there! Those landmarks will help you get to where the deer actually went!

Mark first blood with toilet tissue or orange surveyors tape. Continue to mark blood as you find it. It will give you a line of travel should the blood become sparse.

Should you lose the blood trail, go back to last blood and make small, ever increasing circles until you can find more blood. 

Do not get a gang of people of on the blood line! Only need two or three at the most. Otherwise sign will be tromped on and missed. Only bring in a bunch of people as a last resort to grid search.

Tip......

Blood drops are not perfectly round. they will have little "fingers" off to one side. Those fingers point the direction of travel. So...... what if you find those fingers pointing in opposite directions??? You likely have a deer that backtracked on it's trail and jumped to one side or the other.

big fan of TP for marking. breaks down fast. last tip is a good one. i've seen it four times on one track in thick cover. new bowhunter. we found the doe the next day.

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Grampy’s stuff is all good.  A couple more suggestions I would add for gun hunters are:

If the deer goes down in sight, keep your gun aimed at it for at least 5 minutes.  Do not text a buddy, that you got one, until after you stick the muzzle of your loaded gun in its eye, and it does not blink.  

Use a follow up shot if needed.  A little more wrecked meat is a lot better than a whole lost deer.  

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3 hours ago, Wolc123 said:

Grampy’s stuff is all good.  A couple more suggestions I would add for gun hunters are:

If the deer goes down in sight, keep your gun aimed at it for at least 5 minutes.  Do not text a buddy, that you got one, until after you stick the muzzle of your loaded gun in its eye, and it does not blink.  

Use a follow up shot if needed.  A little more wrecked meat is a lot better than a whole lost deer.  

Lol, a buddy of mine texted me saying buck down, even sent me a picture.  20 minutes later when he lowered his gun, he hears a noise and his buck got up a ran.

I don't think I've ever poked a deers eye to see if it alive. Never seen a live deer with it's eye open and glazed over.  I have however twice walked up a deer and it's eyes were closed. They were not dead. 

Edited by mowin
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26 minutes ago, mowin said:

Lol, a buddy of mine texted me saying buck down, even sent me a picture.  20 minutes later when he lowered his gun, he hears a noise and his buck got up a ran.

I don't think I've ever poked a deers eye to see if it alive. Never seen a live deer with it's eye open and glazed over.  I have however twice walked up a deer and it's eyes were closed. They were not dead. 

I had a buddy do almost the same thing a few years ago.  I heard his shot, then felt my phone buzzing.  He Texted me :”got one down”.  I don’t know if he even finished his text, before the buck got up and ran off, never to be seen again. Why he didn’t use his trigger finger, for the job it was made for and not on his phone, is beyond me. 

Another time, my late uncle (who was my godfather) downed “the biggest buck he ever seen” in the thick jungle-like brush across the road from our farm.  He walked up to it (eyes closed I assume), rested his shotgun against a tree, and pulled out his knife. Thats when the buck got back up and disappeared into the jungle, never to be seen again.  
 

Another friend had a similar deal, dropping a big 12 point with a shot to the head from his tree stand .  The shot knocked off one of the antlers.  He climbed down and walked over to it, thru the thick brush.  He heard it get back up and run off, leaving him only the broken off (6-point) antler.   
 

It’s good when you can learn these lessons the easy way (by not making the mistakes yourself).  
 

Ive never had a downed deer get back up and run off.  Ive lost track of the ones that needed “a finisher” though (mostly broken backs).  I usually carry an oddball mismatched cartridge or two, just for that purpose.  
 

I forget that, when I needed one during the early antlerless season a few weeks ago, forcing me to “waste” a second $5 12 ga. Hornady sst.   

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