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John's Journal... Entry 221, Day 1


Look and Listen

Editor's Note: Often your hunt really begins once you've shot or arrowed a deer. Merely inflicting a mortal wound on a whitetail doesn't finish the hunt. Only after you've recovered the animal can you call your hunt a success. Let's look at the steps that will help you locate your downed whitetail.

  • Look
    As soon as you squeeze the trigger on your bow or rifle, watch the reaction of the deer, especially its tail. Does the deer hold its tail up, out or down? You may have missed the deer if you see a raised tail. If the deer's tail points out, you more than likely have hit the deer. A deer with a tucked tail usually means you have a good hit. However, none of these signs will guarantee you'll take home your trophy. Always follow up on every shot. Also ask yourself if the deer has staggered after the shot, dropped down, jumped up, paused or walked away. What attitude has the deer had after the shot? Often the deer's body language will provide you with a good indication of how well you've hit him. After watching the deer for as far as you can see him go, pick out a landmark that you can find at ground level where you've last spotted the deer.
  • Listen
    If you don't see the deer go down, listen to see if you can hear the deer stumble and fall. Often you can hear a deer fall when you can't see it. Try to determine exactly from where you think the sound has originated. Listen to hear any other sounds that may indicate the movement of the deer.




Check back each day this week for more about STEPS FOR FINDING DOWNED

Day 1 - Look and Listen
Day 2 - Wait and Get a Bearing
Day 3 - Carefully Analyze What Your Deer Has Done
Day 4 - Go Slow and Look Up
Day 5 - Know What To Do and Employ a Keener Nose

John's Journal