Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

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Dan Schmidt
 
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Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby Dan Schmidt » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:02 am

How long do you wait before taking up the trail of a gut-shot deer? What is your trailing strategy?
Daniel E. Schmidt, Editor, Deer & Deer Hunting

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:54 am

10 to 12 hours at least, if I KNOW, or have very strong reason to suspect that it is gut shot.

Yes, if you wait that long and the deer has been dead a while before you find it, it may be spoiled, or the coyotes might get it, but at least you have a better chance of finding it because if you let them bed and don't push them they usually don't go that far. That, and most gut shots leave very little, if any, blood sign. So unless you have snow cover, you'd have to be almost psychic to be able to track one any distance. A gut shot is a FATAL shot. Not quick by any means, but fatal. That deer WILL DIE. Now it's up to you to determine how far it will go before it does. The less distance there is between where you hit the deer and where it first beds makes it easier for you to find it after it's dead, or hopefully sick enough that you can finsih it off. Not the best of scenes, but it does happen.

The WORST case scenario is to start tracking and puch the deer from it's bed. The usually go quite a ways then and the odds of you ever finding that deer again are very low.
Hunt Hard,

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scottflesher
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby scottflesher » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:14 pm

I agree with Woods. Unless I shoot it at first daylight, I typically wait until the next day. Deer seem to have a sixth sense when they're being chased and tracked particuarly when they're injured. If you jump him and he has some strength left, then you're not likely to find him.
I've heard that if the weather is colder, the deer may expire quicker, however better safe than sorry.

Trailing Strategy? That depends. Typically watch his body language and see if you can determine where you think he may go. Knowing the deer patterns and your hunting grounds is key here. More often than not, the deer i've wounded and the stories of others I've heard, seem to indicate that deer tend to move towards water and cover their back trail when hurt.

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JPH
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby JPH » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:25 pm

Confirmed or suspected gut shot? Minimum of 8 hours, but I won't track a poorly shot deer in the dark so it may sometimes take 12 or more hours.

If possible I will enlist the help of one other tracker. If the law and the landowner will allow, we will carry our bows/guns in case the deer needs a second shot. We will keep our voices low and move very slowly. One hunter will hold/mark last blood while the second hunter eases ahead along side the trail. From time to time we will mark a spot and back off to discuss the situation. It is easy to get burned out so we take breaks and try to keep each other positive.

The best tracker I know is my wife. She has an eye for detail and a patience that I don't possess. I am a lucky man.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:52 pm

I usually prefer to track my deer on my own. The one exception is my best friend, who will stay on the spot I tell him to for HOURS if need be. The worst/last thing I need or want on a track is to have 2 or 3 other people wandering around, even if it's just a little bit, because all that does is destroy sign, and maybe jump the deer where no one can see it.

Like Scott said, knowing your ground EXTREMELY well is vital to a successful tracking job. If you hunt long enough and know your ground, many times you can get your eyes down on a deer's level, and then just try to clear your mind of reasoning and then let your "gut" take over...."think like a deer".....if you lose the track. You'd be surprised at how well this can work to find the spoor again.

I've also learned more about my hunting area while tracking wounded deer also, and why I never pass up a chance to help someone out if they ask me.

And you're right about your wife, J'per. It's all about DETAIL, observation, and just a wee bit of faith AND luck!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Bryan78
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby Bryan78 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:28 pm

Well I got lucky then.  I unfortunately gut shot a doe at a reduction hunt a few years ago and at first I didn't even think I hit her until she splashed in a creek 10 yards in front of me (yes I didn't see her until she looked at me).  The one thing that I did noticed is that even with my buddy and I standing over her she would not get out of the water for nothing.

I knew I hit her then as the creek was red with blood but I didn't know where.  And after what had to be an agonizing death she expired.  I know everything is different on any hunt but if you gut shot a deer and there is water nearby and that was last place you saw them running towards then it might be a good bet they may be in the water especially in colder temps due to numbing the wound.  What is awful is that it is not the shot that kills them, it is due to the loss of blood and they end drowning which is what happened in my case.  

boxcallkid
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby boxcallkid » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:59 pm

Dan, Are you cofused on this subject? Or are you just trying to stir the pot? I see you managed to get a couple quick bites. How many ways are there to track a gut shot deer, one might ponder? Is it a one case scenerio your referring to?
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby hunt4fun » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:20 pm

If I shoot a deer in the evening, I always wait over night. If shot in the morning, than I would wait at least 8 hours. I agree with everything WoodsWalker said on this one. It does no good to try and track a gut shot deer any earlier than that, it only makes things harder on yourself and the animal.

For me, the tracking starts as soon as you release the arrow, or fire the gun. You need to pay close attention to the travel route the deer takes and make mental notes of land marks to help you in your search later. A good idea would be to write these notes down as soon as possible. Often the animal will walk off after a short distance, which makes it possible to gather more information than usual. Then get out as quietly as possible after waiting as long as possible. The deer is usually close enough to hear you if you make too much noise. To sum it up, take every precaution possible not to further alert the deer of your presence.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby RNC » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:21 am

If the hit happens early in the day we wait 6-8 hours. If its late in the day we will let it go overnight. When we do get on the track it is a slow pace making sure either one of us stays at the last blood/sign on the trail or marking it so it can be easily seen. After this proccess is exhausted if we dont find the deer we will get some additional help and do a grid search of the area, hopefuly that gets the job done.
Of course this is hard. It's supposed to be hard, thats what makes it great. If it was easy everyone would do it!

Dan Salmon
 
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: Trailing Gut-Shot Deer

Postby Dan Salmon » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:50 am

It depends on the circumstances and my knowledge of the specific area we are hunting.  If I know the area really well and have enough guys to post the exit routes I'll wait until everyone is set and with one other person start trailing.  If no help, I'll let sit for 4 to 6 hours.

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