The Manchester Enterprise: Sports

Post-Season Scouting

Perhaps the most useful thing you can learn from post-season deer scouting is where the deer, and particularly the buck, end up.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 15:40

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Stop, Look and Listen After the Shot

We all put a lot of preparation into having our equipment sighted in and ready. As a community, hunters have done a great job of educating one another about the importance of making a good, clean shot. Many of us in the outdoors media have been so focused on that issue that we’ve forgotten the second part of each successful deer hunting story: what happens after the shot.
While your heart might be pumping and your adrenaline roaring through your body, try to keep focused on what happens right after you shoot. Bow or gun, use your eyes. What did the deer do when you shot? Did it stumble or jump? Was it running crouched low or bounding upright? How about the tail: high and flagging or low and tucked?
Next, take careful note of the deer’s path. Watch it as long as you can and pick out a tree or rock where you last saw it to use as a marker. Remember when you climb down from your stand the lay of the land will look a lot different. The marker will serve as a starting place to begin tracking.
I always begin my tracking slow and quiet. Making sure to mark each drop of blood with a piece of tissue or paper towel. If you have a faint blood trail you can always go back to the last place you spotted blood to re-look for sign you might have missed earlier. The small white pieces of marker paper will usually remain on the ground if it gets dark or if it is raining to refer back to if you don’ t find your deer.
For bowhunters especially: Listen. Many deer given up for lost are found following a hunter saying, “Well, I thought I heard some crashing over there, but it wasn’t the way the deer was headed so I didn’t think much of it.” You can often tell if a deer falls down just by listening.
Good preparation and practice is extremely important to a successful hunt, but it is only half the job. Don’t forget to focus on what happens after the shot.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 14:45


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