12 Steps for Blood Trailing Deer

My cousin hit a buck with her bow last fall. We didn’t find it.

The most important part about finding a deer is shooting it well. In any case, what you should do after shooting a deer is:

1.) Look for where the deer was when you shot it (this is where you’ll start looking for blood)

2.) Notice how the deer acts after the shot (humped back means gut shot – wait more than 3 hours)

3.) Watch the deer for as long as you can

4.) Memorize each tree, rock, bush, grass, etc that the deer goes by (you’ll need to find these spots while on the ground)

5.) Find the arrow (not always possible)

6.) Note what the arrow looks like: dark red blood means heart, bubbly light red blood means lungs, non-red materiel means guts

7.) If you think you hit the heart/ lungs wait for an hour, if you hit further back, then wait for several hours before following the trail

8.) Follow from where the deer was shot until you find blood, even if you saw the deer a long way ahead

9.) Lift your feet, do not kick around leaves that may have blood

10.) If there’s no blood, then follow the stirred up leaves

11.) Understand that if the deer does not drop inside 70 yards, you are unlikely to find it

12.) If you don’t find it listen for crows the next day, they may have found it


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