Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 60

THE RESULT of a successful tracking job. This buck was found with not much of a blood trail by following other techniques of following up on a shot.

in mind that deer seldom travel in a straight line and can change direction at any moment. Tracking can be a slow and tedious process, and a few more eyes on the ground can be a big help in picking up the trail once it appears lost. I have two or three bowhunting buddies who are always available to provide back-up if the need arises — and I’m glad to report that I’ve found a buck or two for them over the years as well. Once the blood trail is lost, it’s time to recruit as much assistance as possible to search the area, spreading out at 20-yard intervals and thoroughly sweeping the area. With a liver or paunch-hit deer, this is best done early the next day after the deer has time to expire. The exception to this is if it’s early season and hot weather is in play. This provides pressure to search without delay to find the animal before the meat begins to spoil. In some cases there is no blood trail to be found at all, yet the animal can still be recovered. I’ve had this happen to me twice. The first was many years ago when I grunted in a buck that came in facing me just five yards away. From my treestand I came to full draw with my overdraw compound bow, and the arrow hit squarely between the buck’s shoulders but missed the spine. As the animal ran off I could see the arrow vanes still above the top of its back. The short, overdraw arrow had not exited the deer’s chest and the location of the entrance wound would not create much, if any, of a blood trail. But I was confident I had pierced the vitals, probably the heart, and I marked the deer’s escape route until it vanished in the underbrush. After a half-hour wait, with no blood trail to follow, I simply began tracing long arcs
60

through the woodlot and, within 15 minutes, recovered the buck. The second example took place three years ago when I double-lunged my first crossbow buck. I recovered the blooddraped bolt, but for some inexplicable reason could not pick up the blood trail. Turned out I didn’t have to — the thick blanket of leaves provided all the clues I would need, they were clearly scuffed up at every bound the buck had taken, and led me to my trophy as quickly and directly as any blood trail ever could. Remember, the challenge of collecting your trophy begins a split second after the shot, first by visually tracking the arrow’s point of impact and noting the animal’s body language and escape route. Locating and examining the arrow for clues provided by hair and blood comes next. This helps influence how long to delay before taking up the trail, as do weather conditions and time of day. Look for other clues in addition to blood while tracking, such as scuffed up leaves or broken brush or branches. Diligently mark the last drop of blood discovered before searching for the next. If the trail is lost, don’t give up. Devise a practical search strategy — concentric circles or arcs if hunting alone, or efficiently spaced phalanx of assistants sweeping through the area. Recovering game can sometimes be a tough proposition, but the effort should continue until the deer is found or it can be reasonably determined it has survived. 
GAME NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011
History of the Whitetail
Contents
Beagles, Brushpiles and Growing Up
Public Input and Deer Management
Doodles Along the Delaware
Driving
Room 204
2010-11 Small Game/Furbearer Harvests
Need a Life Jacket?
The Legacy From A to Z
Hunter Access Liability Protection
Thanksgiving Bear
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Fun Game
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Beagles, Brushpiles and Growing Up
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Public Input and Deer Management
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Doodles Along the Delaware
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Driving
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Room 204
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 2010-11 Small Game/Furbearer Harvests
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Need a Life Jacket?
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - The Legacy From A to Z
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Hunter Access Liability Protection
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Thanksgiving Bear
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - bb1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - bb2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2011 - Cover4
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