Yea, I like to keep a junk arrow and if I shoot a deer, I shoot the junk arrow at the same spot. This has helped me find the exact location on the ground, especially if there is no pass through. I have shot deer in the edge of fields and once you get down out of the tree stand things can look different. Just find your practice arrow and away you go.
This is a great idea! I never even gave this a thought....can't tell you how many times coming down from the tree my orientation was off. Thanks for the tip!
ORIGINAL: Woods Walker
If you carry a range finder, then you should also have a compass for this. When you shoot a deer, try to visually mark where the deer was when you shot at it, and where you last saw it before it disappeared from you sight. Shooting a spare arrow works well for this. But if you don't have a spare arrow, or you are firearm hunting, then take your range finder, and get the distance to those two points while you are still up in the tree. Then take compass bearings as well. When you climb down, stand at the base of the tree in as close to the position you were when you were in it, and take the compass bearing(s). You know the range, so you should be able to walk almost right to where you want to be to see sign.
I find that this works well in heavy cover, or if you are on the side of a hill, as the view that one has one the ground in such circumstances can change drastically from what it was from 20' up.
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