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Tracking tricks #8017139 10/20/20 07:41 PM
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Our place we hunt is solid red dirt and rocks. Its so dry that blood soaks into the red dirt within minutes and is nomexistant. After a 15-30 min wait your not going to find blood in the dirt unless its an absolute pile.. We have to trail our deer by the blood on rocks and/or twigs, cactus. Does anyone have any tricks for finding blood in this dry dirt. Ive looked into luminol and hydrogen peroxide.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017154 10/20/20 08:00 PM
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Black light if it’s dark.


See y’all around the campfire.

Originally Posted by Grizz
Wingshooting is like sex for me - I love doing it but I'm just not that good at it.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017159 10/20/20 08:02 PM
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it also works using a Colman gas lantern.


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Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017224 10/20/20 09:06 PM
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The first moment I considered a shot questionable, I would call Cecilia Steele and ask her to bring out her dogs. For gas money and a tip, it's well worth it. I called them out last season and it was impressive to say the least.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017415 10/20/20 11:55 PM
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We haven't had a questionable shot yet but we have had issues with blood. I shot an 8 point and a doe and another guy shot 2 deer and we found all 4 within 30 yards but very hard to find blood on the dirt. The cactus and rocks blood everywhere. I'm definitely going to order some luminol, I've waistrd $20 on worse.

I will say I'm not a fan of the Muzzy Trocar HBX broadheads but that's another story.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017427 10/21/20 12:01 AM
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I applaud you for trying to figure it out. It seems most would but it seems a lot wont worry until its too late. What your saying is interesting. I just killed my first buck with a bow the other day and he ran across a very sandy freshly plowed field. That blood soaked into the sand after awhile and if had gotten any worse it would of been very hard to notice. Good luck, every buck deserves every effort to be found.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017431 10/21/20 12:04 AM
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First thing I’d do is laser the distance to exactly where the deer was standing at the shot. That gets you so much closer to finding where the blood trail starts. Find where you think the deer was standing and laser back to where your shot from. It’s been a big help on long shots. If you don’t see much blood, I’d look for lung tissue (since that’s where I shoot them).

Also worth mention is that severely wounded deer will drag their ‘feet’, if not running. And they’ll stop and rest often because they are weakening. Blood should be in larger quantities there. If there is brush, look for blood on the brush/leaves a foot or two or more off the ground.

Mark any blood found with good old pure white toilet paper. If terrain allows, wounded deer will travel in a generally straight direction or at least not change direction much. The trail of white TP will help keep you on the likeliest track. Even more so at night, since TP practically glows in a flashlight beam.

I’ve been tracking deer since about 1960 or so. Caused by bad shooting on my part or that of younger brothers and nephews, and later in life, bad shooting by customers. As I get older, it seems that my eyes don’t find the blood like they once did.

Last edited by 603Country; 10/21/20 12:32 AM.

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Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017433 10/21/20 12:05 AM
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From someone who hunts with Donger, always a bright flashlight, bright tape and a sharp knife. Cut off and drop tape at your last sight of blood. Make circles from there and hope you find blood again. Repeat. Until retrieval.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017575 10/21/20 01:51 AM
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Don't know what to tell you, get you a good blood trailing dog, if you are going to keep hunting this place it will be in your best interest.
I live in N.C or I would be more than happy to track for you. Forrest

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017597 10/21/20 02:19 AM
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I will throw out something that often works when nothing else does. In the conditions you describe a dog is the surest answer. Get a puppy with the right pedigree, give it the opportunity to develop and don’t worry about losing your deer because of difficulty following blood. There are a lot of breeds capable of doing the work. My only word of caution is if you go this route, you may not want to advertise owning a dog that is capable of tracking a wounded deer if you don’t want strangers calling you at all hours of night and day.

Edit to add: Ha, you beat me to it Forrest.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 10/21/20 02:23 AM.

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Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017607 10/21/20 02:26 AM
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I can’t give much other than to add that about half my
Tracking seems to be looking for sign of foot travel as much as blood.

My future SIL shot his first deer and swore it went off to the right once it hit then woods. My son was on point and I was standing back at last blood. They kept looking to the right where they thought the deer went, but I was looking at the leaves on the ground and thought maybe it went left instead...sure enough we started finding more and more blood going left and found the doe. I can’t say the blood trail was more than a couple of Drops on leaves so looking for other clues can save the day sometimes.
I agree with what was said above, a shot deer will a lot of times drag a foot or not run like normal, so the ground can tell you a lot more than just following blood. Look for footmarks, scratches ground, broken plants, etc. I have also found that most often deer will travel along known trails. Very rarely do I have deer forge new paths except at the very end. A dead deer can be found anywhere, but my experience is a dying deer will try to keep things as simple as possible and follow their normal trails

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017632 10/21/20 02:48 AM
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Rut Ro. Double post!!

Last edited by Papalote; 10/21/20 02:53 AM.
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017634 10/21/20 02:52 AM
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+1 on TP and keep others from stomping out the evidence. I'd rather track on my own.

A couple years back I had to track a deer. Once found after dark. I went back to the house and ask my granddaughter if she wanted to track a deer. She crawled on her knees thru the cedars and found it. Awesome learning experience for her.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017740 10/21/20 11:25 AM
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Dog.


"Hey, where the white women at?"
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017774 10/21/20 12:09 PM
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1. A good dog outweighs other alternatives
2. A visible blood trail makes things easier but even if the blood trail is not visible or if there was no blood at all (bled internally) the animal will still leave sign along the route that it takes. In my part of the world, the best trackers I have seen have been native South Africans - Zulus, Tswanas and San bushmen. Some individuals were out-of-this world and never lost a track in places where I couldn't make one out. Point is, the sign is there - blood or no blood - it's a case of how well developed your tracking skills are.
3. In my experience, heart-shot animals often go off on a mad dash and don't necessarily follow existing trails whereas lung-shot animals or wounded animals tend to follow existing trails.
4. I mark the trail of an animal I am tracking with white toilet paper. It makes things easier as mentioned by others above. When you lose the trail, return to the last marked spot and start again. Sometimes - especially in thick bush - you can use a process of elimination if you are struggling. You stand at the last marked track and look ahead. You will notice a number of likely avenues (either existing trails or gaps in the bush). Investigate each one until you find another track or find your animal.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017801 10/21/20 12:42 PM
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Perhaps I missed it but I'm surprised no one has mentioned that wounded deer often run towards water. Some have said it's probably more likely that wounded deer prefer to run downhill, which often leads to a creek or stream. I know I've seen many cases where deer were found in or near them as well as small stock tanks and pounds. I even remember reading where it's believed that deer use water as a form of relief from injury. I've known old timers who would often include the nearest source of water when trying to determine direction of travel.

One of the kids gave me one of those blood lights for Christmas one year but I can't say it helps you see blood very well. With my green and brown colorblindness, it's hard for me to differentiate anything like blood on the forest floor.


Dan

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8017844 10/21/20 01:26 PM
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This is one of the reasons I don't bowhunt. (The other is that where I hunt, the best place is very close to the fence.) I'm colorblind, and blood just doesn't show up to me. I can wait until the rifle season and pretty much nail them to the spot. I've only had one that ran more than a few yards in the past 10 years or so.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: Texas buckeye] #8017865 10/21/20 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
I can’t give much other than to add that about half my
Tracking seems to be looking for sign of foot travel as much as blood.



Im no indian, but i have done my fair share of tracking for myself and others. How are you tracking by foot travel?

Most of our hunting at our place is either done regularly corned senderos or a feeder, the ground is one big track with the activity it sees, how do you discern the track of the deer you shot from the others? I know they will kick and make noticable tracks at the shot, but once they turn down a trail leading to/fro the area seems like it all blends in.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: Texas Dan] #8017907 10/21/20 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Perhaps I missed it but I'm surprised no one has mentioned that wounded deer often run towards water. Some have said it's probably more likely that wounded deer prefer to run downhill, which often leads to a creek or stream. I know I've seen many cases where deer were found in or near them as well as small stock tanks and pounds. I even remember reading where it's believed that deer use water as a form of relief from injury. I've known old timers who would often include the nearest source of water when trying to determine direction of travel.

One of the kids gave me one of those blood lights for Christmas one year but I can't say it helps you see blood very well. With my green and brown colorblindness, it's hard for me to differentiate anything like blood on the forest floor.


Wounded deer will seek water to cool, down when they fever up. That's a last gap tactic days after tracking.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: Hudbone] #8017922 10/21/20 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Perhaps I missed it but I'm surprised no one has mentioned that wounded deer often run towards water. Some have said it's probably more likely that wounded deer prefer to run downhill, which often leads to a creek or stream. I know I've seen many cases where deer were found in or near them as well as small stock tanks and pounds. I even remember reading where it's believed that deer use water as a form of relief from injury. I've known old timers who would often include the nearest source of water when trying to determine direction of travel.

One of the kids gave me one of those blood lights for Christmas one year but I can't say it helps you see blood very well. With my green and brown colorblindness, it's hard for me to differentiate anything like blood on the forest floor.


Wounded deer will seek water to cool, down when they fever up. That's a last gap tactic days after tracking.

Agree, well shot deer are in their last throws, I never seem to see a rhyme or reason to where they run other than in the direction they were pointing when shot most of the time. When they start running into/over things like trees/bushes/cactus you know your getting close!

Our place is covered in 3+ foot grass and brush, almost all of our blood is found on the grass.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: Hudbone] #8017953 10/21/20 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Perhaps I missed it but I'm surprised no one has mentioned that wounded deer often run towards water. Some have said it's probably more likely that wounded deer prefer to run downhill, which often leads to a creek or stream. I know I've seen many cases where deer were found in or near them as well as small stock tanks and pounds. I even remember reading where it's believed that deer use water as a form of relief from injury. I've known old timers who would often include the nearest source of water when trying to determine direction of travel.

One of the kids gave me one of those blood lights for Christmas one year but I can't say it helps you see blood very well. With my green and brown colorblindness, it's hard for me to differentiate anything like blood on the forest floor.


Wounded deer will seek water to cool, down when they fever up. That's a last gap tactic days after tracking.


You comment brings to mind the last deer I knew to be found near water. It was one that a good friend had shot several years ago (can't remember if it was with a bow or gun) on this small, 100-acre tract. After searching and giving up finding it, he just happened to notice it laying at the edge of the only pond on his place as he was driving back to his trailer home.

I'll never forget the time a neighboring hunter came to get me help find his deer. He said he had been searching for at least an hour with no luck. Helping other hunters search for a downed deer is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport for me so I was eager to assist. After searching the area where he had been focusing his efforts, I moved to search along a small, nearby stock tank. I found the buck laying right at the foot of the pond's bank. He would later laugh and say he had checked around the pond earlier. I suspect it was because being dark and not walking closer to the pond's edge, he couldn't see it with a flashlight alone. It took walking closer to the edge of the bank so that you could see immediately below it.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 10/21/20 02:48 PM.

Dan

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: redchevy] #8017978 10/21/20 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
I can’t give much other than to add that about half my
Tracking seems to be looking for sign of foot travel as much as blood.



Im no indian, but i have done my fair share of tracking for myself and others. How are you tracking by foot travel?

Most of our hunting at our place is either done regularly corned senderos or a feeder, the ground is one big track with the activity it sees, how do you discern the track of the deer you shot from the others? I know they will kick and make noticable tracks at the shot, but once they turn down a trail leading to/fro the area seems like it all blends in.


it can be easy and it can be hard, but there will be sign out there. Next time you track a deer, don't keep your nose to the ground so much looking for blood, but look up and see the visible ground and plant life and see if you can follow where the deer went and use the presence of blood as a secondary feature. Many times I can not discern the track right aorund the feeder due to heavy traffic, but youcan sometimes see where the animal took off running from the feeder and see the hoof prints deeper and more irregular from where it was shot.

Most of the time I go to where the shot hit, and scan the direction I saw the animal go and just look for sign of animal travelling fast through the area. A deer walking cautiously works hard not to stir things up, a deer hit hard doesn't care to do anything but get outta dodge. Very different travel patterns that are usually pretty obvious.

Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8018341 10/21/20 08:27 PM
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I've hunted quite a bit in my time and not just deer. I was in Africa and we hit on a Zebra track. Trackers started talking and PH said lets go. I looked at him and said thats tracks not fresh. He laughed and said its about 10-20 min old. PH said all you guys that think you can track come to Africa and have no clue how dry is its. This time of year we have no humidity, you have some catching up to do. I shut up and listened from then on.

One of the PH's taught me how to use a blade of grass as a measure to tell one track from the other. Those guys were good tracker I tried to learn as much as I could.

I hunted with a guy I am pretty sure was confused as to which end of a deer was which. Seems like everything he shot we had to track and in some cases could not find. Didn't matter if it was bow, season rifle season, we always had to track his deer. He shot a doe with his bow, told me he shot it behind the shoulder. He son was tracking one way, I was the other side of the trail and his son jumped the doe. We caught up to each other and he said, daddy shot another one in the a......ss! I said how do you know, he said pretty easy to tell when you see an arrow sticking out of a deer a.....ss!


Thanks, Billy
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8018361 10/21/20 08:45 PM
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Don't eat for a week before your hunt. A hungry hunter hunts best. rofl

Look
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Patience is key.
Then go get the dog out of the kennel and let him work. grin


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Tracking tricks [Re: ChanceHuiet] #8018612 10/21/20 11:51 PM
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I never have put much faith in thinking wounded deer move to water, except maybe gut shot deer. Of course, I grew up hunting swampy land in NE Louisiana and there was always water everywhere. Maybe that skews my thinking. But, here in relatively dry Texas I still haven’t seen any indication they move to water when wounded.

Thinking back over the decades about deer I’ve tracked long distances, there really aren’t that many. Seems like they go about 50 yards max, with a rare one going 100 yards or so. If the deer doesn’t show up dead in 100 yards or so, I’m of the opinion that shot placement was poor, and you might not find that deer.

Nobody so far has talked about the actual blood. I’ve always been unhappy to find small amounts of dark red blood, which indicates to me that it’s likely a non-fatal wound. Foamy blood tells me it’s a lung shot and the deer is close by. That’s always good news. Runny blood with grass, acorns, corn, and such in it screams gut shot. Really bad news for the tracker.

I just shoot em in the lungs. They don’t go far. That said, I still always have my tracking TP with me. Don’t leave home without it.


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