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Rem2arms's picture
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Location: Currently Whitehall,NY but soon to be back to Whiting,Vt
Joined: 02/28/2011
Posts: 195
Hunting Evenings?

Do you hunt evenings? I know I'd rather hunt them during archery season, most of us do. What if you hit a deer and you have to trail it for a ways? say you're alone with no one close by to help. Whats your best way of finding your way back to your vehicle? Sometimes you may have to travel a ways and unless you have and use a GPS to find your way back, and sometimes you cant get cell phone signal because the mountains block that. try this for a simple cure.

I carry a box or 2 of the reflective tacks in my back pack.I simply stick one in a tree while tracking so that they're facing me on the way out and I pull them as I go on the way back to my truck. Easy to find your way back after dark. I've had times when I thought about leaving the trail and coming back the next morning but where I am there's to many coyotes and bears that would love an easy meal. What method do you use to accomplish this chore? How far would you travel before giving up for the night.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
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Evenings for some reason have

Evenings for some reason have always been more successful for me. I enjoy the morning hunts and have done well but evenings have produced more deer. On the other hand most of our elk have been taken early but the hunting of each animal can be different.

I know the area I hunt very well and use a head mounted flashlight now to keep my hands free. Even if I am away from the trails I know which way to go to get on track and from there it's just a long up and down drag back to the truck. If it's more than a quarter mile I will get the deer taken care of first and then go for help. It can take many hours to drag one that far in the mountains. Of course if it's to far it's going to get cut up right there and carried out on my back, I keep 2 or 3 good packs in my truck at all times just to be ready. And I recently purchased a game cart, a lot of places the trail is to tight anyway and the brush to thick but it does have it's uses. For antelope in Wyoming it is one of the best things we have ever bought.

I don't use things like the tacks. In the mountains I rarely would go out the same way I went in as you can sabe a lot of time cutting through a saddle between hills or going around a different way to get back to the truck.

Elk there is no question, get them down and cleaned up and take one quarter with and go for help if at all possible. Work all night or go back in the morning if you need to.

Rem2arms's picture
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Location: Currently Whitehall,NY but soon to be back to Whiting,Vt
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Yup, I agree with what you

Yup, I agree with what you said Hunter. I can only go by our area here in NY and Vt. I havent had the chance to hunt out there yet but I hope to some day,lol  All mountains and forrest here.

arrowflipper's picture
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Deer vs. Elk

Where I hunt deer, I know the land very well.  On top of that, I usually hunt my friend's 640 acres and it has a fence around it.  (and NO, that fence will NOT keep any deer in or out)  I could find my way home without a light.  I recently started hunting a new area a few miles from his place, and even though I had never hunted it before, it's pretty easy to find your way around.

Elk is another can of worms.  Where I did most of my elk hunting was a wilderness area and it is big.  It is easy to get turned around and lost.  And while being bent over looking for blood, is a recipe for getting lost.  While following a blood trail late in the evening, we would mark our way with plastic ribbon.  We would follow our ribbons back out and remove them as we went.  We also carry a GPS to get us back should we need to leave part of the animal in.  In that case, we either tie it as high as we can or cover it with a coat or other piece of clothing.  The idea is that it will keep bears and/or coyotes off for at least a night until we can get back in at first light.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
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I very rarely come out the

I very rarely come out the same way i went in, i use my gps to mark my truck and go. When I wanna come out i just see on the screen where my truck is and go.( i also mark on a map where i parked for back up). If i get an animal and have to make several trips I will mark it with the gps and also use reflective ribbons, they work pretty darn well. most deer i can feild dress and tie down to a small tarp and drag the thing out. Over all now a days I will start my trek back to my truck before dark and still hunt(move very slow) so i can make it back just after you cant see anymore.

JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
Joined: 09/23/2008
Posts: 314
I had a couple of times back

I had a couple of times back before GPS that I got an animal down at last light. After tracking and finding the animal and getting turned around I just did what my dad had told me back in the day and walked down hill. Here in NM if you do that you will hit a road and be able to find your way to the truck, even if it is on the other side of the mountain at least you are on a road.

Now with the GPS it is prety easy to keep track of the truck, animal and camp.

ManOfTheFall's picture
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Location: Dover, Ohio Tuscarawas County
Joined: 07/07/2010
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I hunt here in Ohio. I have

I hunt here in Ohio. I have never used a GPS and don't know if I ever will. The land I hunt on I have been hunting this land a long time and know it really really well. I do alot of evening hunting I have tracked all of my deer and shot in the evening except one. The one's I did track I recovered all of them. The one I did not track I went back out the next morning and I found her tore up by coyotes. I like morning hunt better form October until the first part of December. After that I will hunt mornings, but I pretty much stick to evenings in the late seasons and usually hunt over food sources.

groovy mike's picture
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I stay out until the end of shooting light.

I stay out until the end of shooting light.  I guess I never even considered any other option.     Going in early might mean NOT getting a deer in those last few golden minutes of day light.  Usually, ‘after dark’ isn’t really dark enough to stop me from walking if there is moonlight.  GPS and flagging tape are wonderful things.  I mark the truck on GPS if I am hunting away from home and use flagging tape to mark anywhere I want to find again in the woods -  like a downed deer if I am going to get a 4 wheeler etc.  But I don’t use markers to find my way OUT of the woods.

The first time that I ran out of daylight in an area that I did not know real well I did get a little nervous.  Until I realized that the worst case scenario was building a fire and sitting down until daylight.  Really no big deal in the big picture.  My family would be worried if I didn’t check in after a few hours after dark so I did end up walking out – exactly by walking down hill until I hit a road (not exactly where I planned but close enough to walk to my vehicle on the road) so it ended up ok.  The key for me was NOT panicking.  After that any time I thought I might be lost it was easy to keep calm just by skipping ahead to “worst case” and working my way back to a better plan.  For instance – walking around the mountains at night and risking breaking a leg or stumbling into a bog would NOT be smart – so avoid that by staying put and building a fire if it becomes too dark to travel.    

Easy enough – especially if you have  matches and an emergency blanket plus a little food in your daypack or pockets!

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