Tracking an Arrowed Deer

January 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Bowhunting Tips

Bill Lawson – Stick’em Archery

amended2223432SmallThis will be one of a series of articles discussing points on tracking an arrowed deer.  The information you will read is based on over twenty years of first hand experience of tracking deer.  This is an overview of things to consider based on most situations.  I will be addressing a few specific scenarios here, and more in the future. If you will keep these points in mind, it should dramatically increase your chances of finding your deer.

The first point that I want to instill is NOT to RUSH it! While your nerves are in full motion and you are beyond anxious to put your hands on that animal.  Stop and think about what just happened.

Consider the following:
1. Mark last spot where you saw the animal
2. Listen if the animal crashes
3. Think of your shot placement

a. Did you get a pass through?
b. Did the arrow go with the animal?

4. Mark spot where you shot the animal
5. HEART shot deer often will buckle down or drop & run
6. GUT shot animal often will jump in the air & then run
7. LIVER shot animal often will buckle up & walk/run off
8. Even if you see the deer go down, consider waiting at least 15-20 minutes to go to the animal

Scenario # 1

You have followed the above steps and see the following at the site of the animal being shot.  You see Green with Stomach contents and very little blood.  You have GUT shot your animal.  What next?

Consider these points:
1. GUT shot animal often times goes to water to cool it’s guts
2. Often they will go to bedding area/thick cover & lay there
3. Many times they will lay down & then get up again

You should leave this deer alone or overnight.  If you jump the animal leave the woods and come back the next day.  Always keep in mind to mark the spot where you last saw the animal.

Scenario # 2

You see Dark Red Blood on the arrow.  You have most likely LIVER shot your animal.  What next?

Consider these points:
1. Often they will go back to bedding area or thick cover
2. Many times they will lay down for a period of time & then get up again

This deer was most likely shot too far back and the arrow could be a little high.  Remember that you may not see blood on the ground right away.  Look for blood on the side of trees or waist high on leaves and limbs.  You should leave this deer alone for four to six hours or overnight.  If you jump the animal leave the woods and come back the next day.  Always keep in mind to mark the spot where you last saw the animal.  Over the years we have found bucks who were shot in the LIVER and circled back to their bedding area.  If all else fails and you have lost the blood trail.  Go back to where you shot the deer and walk in the direction they came from.

Scenario # 3

You see a clean pass through but didn’t see the animal crash.  You go to investigate the arrow and see the following:

1. You see lots of bright red blood with air bubbles
2. This is most likely a heart/lung shot animal

This is good sign but what next since you don’t see the animal?  We have all done this but don’t chase that deer without finding blood even though this is a well-placed arrow.

1. Find your first spot of blood and then follow your trail
2. Slowly move along blood trail without moving ahead of it
3. Always mark your blood sign along the way.  Take an extra arrow with you to mark the last spot where you saw blood.
4. Don’t just look for blood on the ground.  Look for blood on brush that would be shoulder level for the animal.

Good Luck!  “You Won’t Get’em, If You Don’t Stick’em”


Originally posted 2009-12-25 14:59:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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