Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 57

too weak to continue. The deer is likely to
die, and will do so sooner if it isn't pushed.

About Liver Hits

PICK UP THE TRAIL

"Any deer I've ever hit in the liver - half a
dozen or so - ran 50 yards or less before
laying down. If not pushed, they will lie
down for maybe 15 to 30 minutes before
getting up and moving again. They will
leave a blood trail to where they lie
down the second time. This may happen
one or two times before it dies. The
point is, they do not go far. The exception
here might be a low liver hit, where the
animal will eventually die, but not for 6
to maybe 8 hours, in which case, it may
be worth waiting. A hunter has nothing
to lose by waiting six hours, if the deer is
hit in the morning and the hunter has the
rest of the day and good light to search.
Every hit has to be evaluated for its
lethality, and this is where experience
comes in. With a liver hit, I wait about
two hours before taking up the trail.
If I bump the animal, I'll back off until
morning. Usually, I'll find it dead in less
than two hours. It's a personal judgment
call. Hit a deer at 6 p.m. and wait until
midnight? I wouldn't. I'd be there the
next morning just before daylight if I had
to back off the trail.
Please keep in mind, I never take a
shot unless the deer is quartering away
from me. This means if I do hit the liver
I'm likely to hit the lungs, or at least a
single lung, as the arrow travels forward.
Some hunters take broadside shots and
this is where they could just go through
the liver and miss the lungs. My thoughts
aren't the last word on this. But I do base
them on experience drawn from more
than 50 years of bowhunting."

In a situation like this - after a long
wait - it takes single-minded resolve to
look for every bit of sign.
The deer's out there, and as long as
you don't give up on the trail, you have
a good chance to find it. When tracking,
walk slowly and quietly to the side of the
blood trail; never on it.
Sometimes four eyes are better than
two, so if help is necessary, by all means
call a friend. But resist the urge to call
several of them. The last thing you want is
some well-meaning hunting buddy stepping on and obliterating specks of blood.
I estimate 90 percent of the deer I've
killed were taken late in the afternoon and
it can be difficult to follow the trail once
darkness falls.
If the trail is sparse or, if it takes me a
long way, I'll consider taking up the trail
early the next morning, especially if the
weather is cold. In warmer weather, I stay
on the trail until given a reason to stop.
Finding a deer bed with blood in it is
both good and bad, because a deer that
beds quickly is losing its want to move.
But finding the bed with no deer in it,
could mean you've bumped the deer.
If the trail I'm following leads to a bed,
I assess the level of bleeding and check the
blood's color to get a better idea of the hit.
If necessary, I'll back off until morning.
Following a sparse or intermittent blood
trail in daylight is almost always better
for recovery.

STICK TO IT
While tracking, mark the trail with
flagging because it is easy to see.
If the track has to be taken up the next
morning, the flagging will easily lead to
APRIL 2016	

- Mike Raykovicz
where the trail ended the night before.
In addition, the flagging will delineate
the back-trail and help define the fleeing
deer's general direction.
If the blood trail stops, it becomes
necessary to search for other sign left by
57



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016

Table of Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - a
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - b
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - c
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - d
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Table of Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 65
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 66
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