John's Journal...

How to Find a Buck Deer Thatís Hit with Todd Amenrud

Recovering Deer in Water

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Todd Amenrud of Ham Lake, Wisconsin, the director of public relations for Mossy Oak BioLogic, has taken many deer with his bow and neverClick to enlargehas failed to recover an animal he has arrowed. Even if you’re a master hunter and an excellent shot, if you fail to recover your deer, your hunt will be less than successful. In this week’s upload, Amenrud will teach us all how to recover the whitetails we shoot - with our bows or our guns.

Recovering deer around water can be very difficult. Oftentimes when the trail or the track goes into the water, the hunter assumes he’s lost the deer. However, leave a piece of flagging tape on the bank where the trail enters the water, go to the other side of the pond or creek, and search for tracks directly across from or just downstream from where the deer’s trail has entered the water. You often can pick-up the trail again and/or find your deer. But if you fail to discover your deer, tie a piece of flagging tape at eye level directly across the water from where the deer has gone into the water. Return to the spot where the trail enters the water. If this water is flooded timber and/or a shallow beaver pond, many times you can wade the waterfrom where the trail enters the water to the flagging tape you’ve put on the opposite bank and find your deer just under the surface. Although you’ll get wet recovering a buck like this, you won’t lose the game. However, before you get wet, look out into the water to try to see the deer. Often a deer will not sink, or if it does die in the water, perhaps a portion of its head or antlers will be just above Click to enlargethe surface. I begin to look for something that appears to be a white stick in the water, which often will be a deer’s antler, the inside white of its ear or the white underside of its tail. I use my binoculars to study the water before I get in and get wet.
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One of the worse scenarios is to be trailing a deer you know you’ve hit and find the deer alive. I attempt to get in front of the deer after I determine the direction it’s trying to travel and have my dad do the blood trailing. Then if Dad jumps the deer, the buck should come close enough to me for a second bow shot. Even if Dad doesn’t jump the wounded deer, I remain on my stand. Often if the deer is moving slowly through the woods, it will be looking toward its back-trail, watching for my dad and not looking for me. Then I usually can get that second shot that will put the buck down. Using this tactic, you may take a wounded deer that you ordinarily may lose because of a poor hit. Most of the time, I’ll take a stand 150 to 200 yards in front of Dad in the direction we’ve predetermined the deer will travel. If the deer goes into thick cover, Dad will go into that cover, and I’ll stay on the outer edge and wait for the deer to come out. I think more hunters don’t recover the animals they arrow because they don’t give the deer enough time to expire. Then they don’t plan their stalks to the animals. By taking plenty of time and working the trail out slowly, you can recover the deer you shoot.

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Find a Buck Deer Thatís Hit with Todd Amenrud"

Day 1: What to Do first
Day 2: What Happens Once You Shoot
Day 3: How to Track and Trail Deer
Day 4: What to Do if the Deer’s Trail Ends
Day 5: Recovering Deer in Water


Entry 537, Day 5