How to Trail the Deer Successfully

By: rhusain
Don't waste your time in unnecessary detecting works. This is when the expertise of the hunter comes to good use. Wounds in different parts of a deer's body cause it to run in an unnatural manner and these variations in the animal's gait will show in the tracks especially when the deer is hit in the paunch.

This detective work is seldom necessary if the hunter has much experience shooting deer, but when it is necessary, it is invaluable. The expert can tell by the deer's actions if, and where, it is wounded and in many cases can determine this by the tracks alone. Tracks made by a deer with a broken or badly wounded leg are easily identified.

Wounds in different parts of a deer's body cause it to run in an unnatural manner and these variations in the animal's gait will show in the tracks. Perhaps the most pronounced of these occurs when the deer is hit in the paunch. In such cases, the tracks will be quite close together and not in line with the direction in which the animal is traveling. The deer's running in a doubled-up position causes this. This is very pronounced if the liver has been ruptured. If the animal can be seen after the shot, it is not necessary to see the tracks in order to identify the position of this type of wound.

The animal seems to cover more distance up and down than it does ahead. On the other hand, a deer that has been shot in the heart or lung area will put on a burst of unnatural speed, running in this manner until it dies. Strangely enough, a superficial wound will sometimes cause this same desperate, unnatural burst of speed. The hunter who depends on the theory that a deer will always drop its flag when it receives a wound is apt to walk away from a dead or badly wounded deer unless he investigates. Sometimes deer do and sometimes they do not make this motion with their tails and it is always advisable for the hunter to make a thorough investigation of the scene before deciding that he has missed his shot.

Many hunters approach the spot where they fired at a deer with the expectation of finding a lot of blood, if not a carcass. This is seldom the case. External bleeding is usually delayed until the deer has had the time to make several jumps and, if the wound is through a body cavity where the internal collection of blood is possible, it may not be plainly visible on the ground for some distance. If no blood is found after following a track for fifty feet from the place where the deer was shot, the hunter should return to that place, making sure he has hit the deer. With this assurance, he will be able to find some trace of blood which he overlooked. With this encouragement, he can follow the trail for greater distances with the knowledge that if the wound is at all serious, the bleeding will increase with distance.

Following a blood trail is a simple matter if there is snow on the ground. Each drop of blood stands out as it is absorbed by the snow and a small amount will spread until it seems as though the deer must surely bleed to death within a short time. On bare ground it is a different proposition. Unless there is profuse bleeding, it is very easy to overlook small amounts of blood and thus lose the trail.

The deer which is already wounded will unnaturally burst to speed when running from the trailer. The hunter who depends on the theory that a deer will always drop its flag when it receives a wound is apt to walk away from a dead or badly wounded deer unless he investigates. But this motion also varies.
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