Sign On The Shaft
On-the-spot analysis can tell you where your arrow struck and how long to wait before you begin tracking.
Blood is not the only sign that indicates where you have hit a deer. When bowhunting, your arrow is often the best clue you need to decide if you should begin or delay tracking.
A pass-through arrow is usually found 2 to 3 feet behind the location where the deer stood when you shot. Arrows that stick in the ground can provide proof that you passed through the heart and lungs, or abdomen. Rib bones typically break easily, but if the arrow hits bone or thick muscle, it could be carried a few yards, or much farther, before breaking off or falling to the ground.
Arrows should be examined thoroughly before stuffing them back into the quiver. Dark-red blood — and sometimes specks of organ tissue — are found on arrows that passed through the abdomen. You also might detect an odor on the arrow.
If the arrow passed through the “boiler room,” it will usually be coated with bright-red blood. A damaged arrow or broadhead usually indicates it hit solid muscle or bone.
Tallow is a sticky, milky-white substance that may or may not be present on the arrow. Often, it is found mixed with blood on portions of the arrow shaft or fletching. Alternatively, sometimes only tallow might be present. It is usually spotty and difficult to notice, appearing as only a light glaze. Tallow is often found on arrows that pass through the brisket, located on the bottom of the deer’s chest cavity, or high on the back. An arrow with tallow and little or no blood could indicate a superficial wound. However, always follow up by searching for blood and tracking the deer as far as possible; it is possible for an arrow to wipe almost clean as it exits the deer.
Seasoned deer hunters know it is imperative to know where their arrow or bullet struck before taking up the trail of any whitetail. For the first time ever, D&DH’s Shot Simulator allows you to take as many “do overs” as needed to get that information! In this state-of-the-art animated program, you can position the deer exactly as it was when you were hunting, “take the shot,” and then learn exactly which organs were hit. Position yourself from tree-stand height or ground-blind level and position the deer at any angle. After the shot, click on the navigation bars to peel away the hide, skin and bones to see which organs were hit. Then, use our instant trailing guide to help you decide what your next move should be. Wait 30 minutes … or wait 10 hours? We will provide you the best course of action!