John's Journal...

Hunting Deer - Trailing and Tracking After the Shot

Day 3: Recovering a Deer That’s Shot

Editor’s Note: One of the most-critical ingredients in recovering an arrowed deer is to know exactly what’s happened prior to, during and after the shot is taken.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewBefore my hunting buddy Kevin left the tree (see Days 1 & 2), he took the first necessary step to recovering his deer. He drew an arrow and shot it into the dirt where the buck had stood when Kevin had shot at him. When he came down the tree, he now had a place to begin the search for his deer. When night falls in the woods, trees, bushes and even the land take on different appearances. Often a hunter will be unable to pinpoint the exact location where he’s struck the deer without a point of reference like an arrow that’s been shot into the ground.

A certain amount of mental discipline is required for an archer to become a successful tracker. If the deer does not fall in his tracks, then the best strategy is to wait. But, we live in a hurry-up society. For instance:

… “The early bird gets the worm;”
… “Waiters are losers;”
… “Attack;”
… “Beat the competition;” and
… “Victory belongs to the swift.”

Most of us live by these clichés. However, patience is often the key to locating an arrowed deer.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAfter Kevin had climbed down from his tree stand, he attempted to find blood at the place where the deer had been shot. But the woods were so dark he could see no sign. Reluctantly he left the woods and headed back to camp, realizing that a wounded deer that wasn’t quickly pursued often would lie down sooner than an animal that was pushed by the hunter.

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings,” click here on each. Or, go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Locating a Shot Deer - the 5 Top Ingredients for Success

Check back each day this week for more about Hunting Deer - Trailing and Tracking After the Shot

Day 1: Learning When to Take a Bow Shot at a Deer
Day 2: Shooting a Deer - Remembering What Happened Next
Day 3: Recovering a Deer That’s Shot
Day 4: Locating a Shot Deer - the 5 Top Ingredients for Success
Day 5: Searching for Downed Deer

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Entry 843, Day 3