Editors Blog

Get a Handle on Blood Sign Before Trailing Your Deer

Blood sign from lung-shot deer typically features bubbles in the plasma. (Photo: Dan Schmidt)

Ask any seasoned deer hunter, and they will tell you that bubbles in deer blood is a good thing. Besides the shot, the very instant my eyes spy the first crimson splashes on the forest floor is perhaps the most exciting moment of a successful hunt. Ranking a close second would be the moment my eyes spy bubbles in the blood.

Bubbles in deer blood mean one thing: oxygen. Oxygen means air. Air usually means a lung hit. Should you take up a lung hit immediately? No. Not unless you heard the deer go down. I’ve been on countless blood-trailing efforts over the years where a deer has sustained a hit to only one lung. The blood trail looks almost the same: bright blood with bubbles. The only difference is a deer with one collapsed lung can run a long, long way before dying. When in doubt, back out and wait at least an hour. If it’s after hours, be sure to come back with a good blood-trailing flashlight that will help you see even the smallest drops of blood.

This approach can save you a long, frustrating night of trailing your deer.

For more insights, check out this great CD, Blood-Trailing Whitetails.” It is packed with articles, visual aids and even several video clips of successful hunts.