EWT's Top 25 Helpful Quick Tips for Blood

Trailing and Game Recovery

1. Proper shot placement is the first and most important tip to game recovery. If you make a marginal shot, the wound may not be fatal. In this situation, even the best of recovery systems may not result in a successful outcome. 2. After the shot, watch and listen. Determine the line of flight of the animal. 3. Take note of the last place you saw and/or heard the animal before it disappeared (ex. Tree, bush, rock, etc.) 4. Note if the deer stumbles, arches it's back, lies down or shows signs of bleeding.
 5. Take your Shot Spot-R™ and place the red laser directly where the animal disappeared into the brush or trees.

 

 6. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes after any shot before even exiting the stand. a. On heart/lung shot, 30 minutes is recommended b. If possible liver shot, wait a minimum of 2 hours c. If possible gut shot, wait 4-6 hours minimum.  7. After giving ample time, proceed to the spot that the animal was standing when the shot was made to investigate all the clues left behind.
 8. Look for blood, hair, muscle tissue, or stomach matter. EWT makes a great light for finding blood after dark called the Adjustable Beam Blood Track-R™. You can mark spots of blood you find along the trail in low light or after dark with illumitacks™ so as not to loose your blood trail.

 

9. If bowhunting, give best effort to retrieve your arrow and investigate broadhead, shaft, and fletching. 10. Deer usually, but not always, run in a straight line. Day or night, illumitacks™ can help you project the deer's possible line of travel. 11. Look for blood on ground, grasses, branches, bushes and leaves which will indicate the height at which the animal was wounded and its possible line of travel. 12. Pay close attention to fence crossings and natural barriers, in deer's line of travel, for hair or blood. 13. To stay organized and start tracking, place first illumitack and/or ribbon at the place where the deer was hit or attach an illumitack to your stand for better orientation. 14. To stay on track and keep trail visible, place illumitacks™ and/or ribbon as needed on the deer's line of travel or at spots of blood. 15. When looking at the blood:
a. If it appears pink and foamy, a lung shot has been made. The deer should be less than 150 yards. b. If bright red blood is found, a main artery may have been hit. The deer should not travel far. c. Blood droplets that are dark red and taper off after 200 yards could indicate a muscle shot. Chance of recovery is low.
16. Not all mortally wounded deer leave blood immediately, but start bleeding 10-30 yards from where they were shot. d. If little blood, but a lot of hair, time must be given for deer to lie down and expire.
17. When trailing, do not walk directly on the trail. Side step the trail to avoid contaminating the trail and destroying any clues you may later need. 18. If a possible blood spot is located, touch it with a clean white piece of tissue paper to see if it is blood. If no white tissue paper is available touch or wet the spot. If the spot comes off, it's blood. If not, keep looking. 19. If no blood is found at site of the shot, the shot could have been high with no exit wound. Be sure to give this type of shot extra time before beginning the search. 20. Wounded deer often take the path of least resistance and/or most cover; well used trails, downward slopping hills, runways, thickets, etc. 21. Check water sources. Wounded deer often seek out water, especially if gut shot. On occasion, a deer will backtrack on the same trail to exit. 22. If blood trail thins and/or disappears, place an illumitack and/or ribbon at last spot of blood and get help. Two or three pairs of eyes and ears are better than one pair. Anymore than three can often harm the recovery effort rather than help. 23. If you are unsure of the shot, especially a bow shot, pull out and go back to the last placed illumitack the next morning. If you bump a wounded deer, you could lose him forever. “When in doubt, back out.” 24. If needed, walk out circle patterns or grid patterns from last sign of blood. Having help can greatly increase your odds, especially if ample time has been given for the deer to bed down and expire. 25. Watch for buzzards, ravens, magpies, hogs and coyotes around your hunting area. They can clue you into your deer's location. Remember: Do all you can and don't give up. Time is on your side when it comes to wounded game. We owe it to our quarry to do all we can to make a quick recovery. Good Luck and Good Hunting! EWT Staff

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