Hunting for deer isn’t an easy task. It needs skill, observation, expertise and a crossbow or a compound bow. Even if you have all of these qualifications, you might not be able to catch the deer that you’ve shot.
You might stand there thinking if you should have shot it twice or should have waited to see where the deer was when you shot it. It’s hard to find the deer that you’ve shot because it runs away to its bed and you don’t know the actually place you’ve shot it.
That’s where I come in. I will tell you everything you need to know about tracking a wounded deer. This will help you harvest your deer.
Sometimes you can also make an excellent shot and the deer will drop down on its place. That scenario is quite often but mostly the deer runs away after the shot and from there your tracking takes place.
Here are some steps by which you can recover the deer that you have shot and track it down.
Things You Should Know Before Tracking
There are some things you should know before you go for tracking.
If you’re using an arrow it is easier for you to track your deer down as it will bleed out more which gives you an easier trail of blood to follow.
While Deer that has been shot with a gun can be harder to track because it dies from tissue damage and shock so there is less blood which makes less blood trails.
You can use a special light for further assistance that is available on the market.
These flashlights or sprays can detect blood so that the human eye can see the blood. Especially used at night.
Calm Down & Think
Initially you have to calm yourself down for 10-20 minutes so that you can think properly and take good decisions for the upcoming tracking process.
You need to leave extra equipment that you carry and preferable some of your cloths that weigh you down while tracking. You need to map out an area in your head where you think the deer was shot. Doing that it’s easier to find its beginning tracks.
You need to think of a land mark or some kind of a unique thing that was near it like a tree, rock, sign or maybe a nest close by so you can have an idea where it was standing.
Write it down somewhere so you do not forget this important information.
Recall your memory
The next thing you need to do is recall your memory and figure out what was the deer’s reaction when you shot it.
If it ran off and was standing arched up then you must have probably shot it in its guts or stomach which means that it will die soon.
A deer mostly retreats towards its bed so you might have to wait for a few hours before it dies there and then you have to start the tracking process.
But if it jumped high with a kick and ran off at high speed then that means you’ve shot it in the vitals which means the deer is a 100 yards away and you can leave earlier than an hour for tracking.
Go to the Spot
Go to the mapped out spot to see if you have shot your deer or not. Find blood trails that the deer has left behind and if you don’t find them that means you haven’t found the spot. You need to search for the spot first.
After finding the blood, the next step is to guess the visible trail by observing the color of its blood.
- Dark Crimson – Indicates a hit on liver or kidney which means you will have to be observant and look closely because this is a fatal shot. You need to wait 2 – 3 hours before tracking.
- Vivid Red – Indicates a shot that was made close to the heart so the deer might be close and not that far away.
- Bright Pink- Blood with pink bubbles means that the deer was shot on its lungs by which we can take the idea that the deer is within the limit that can be reached. If it is hit on an organ like that the deer might take some time to die.
- Yellowish Green–You’ve hit the stomach which means this will take a lot of time preferably 10 hours so you have to wait a lot.
Blood Scatter Signs
Look at the signs on the ground, on the trees or nearby areas.
- Uniform Drops – The deer was walking and the trail is clear right on the tracks.
- Here & there – This means that the deer is about to die that’s why it is moving side to side.
- Spray – This means that the deer is running and hence spraying its blood.
No Blood Signs
Sometimes there is no blood sign immediately because if you have shot the deer with a buckshot or slung then it won’t bleed that much as it might fill up its whole body first and then bleed from the entrance shot and will still clot a little. So be observant you might still see blood.
Mark Your Way
Mark the areas like trees, bushes or branches while you’re tracking. Use some pieces of surveyor’s tape so that you don’t go round and round your trail and are right on your track. This helps you to come back to the initial position if your trail is lost somehow.
Found Your Deer
When you found your deer, don’t just take this easy as it could jump up and run away. Take an arrow or gun with you. Look at the eyes; if they’re open then its dead otherwise it might have a little life left. Check a touch the deer’s eyes to see if it blinks or not.
Tracking a deer is all up to you and you have to do efforts for it. Choose the best time and look out for the weather, other animals around and your health before you do hunting. Use sense, calm your nerves down, don’t hurry and take your time. Use all these steps to get the best outcome. You can also check some deer hunting techniques here.