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Shot a doe cant find a blood trail.

I was hunting today here in Fort Stewart Georgia,after walking for about an hour through thicket I cam to a small opening and saw a little bit of movement. Well to my surprise considering I thought I was going to jump some hogs walking through here I saw some does feeding on some little red berries. They were about 40 yards in front of me. So I took a knee and sized up all three doe. I shot the largest one and she fell to the ground and flailed for a minute then once her other 2 doe friends took off running she got up and bolted. She ran into some thicket and I went to the spot where I hit here to see if I could find some blood but there was none and I couldnt find any on the thicket. What should I do? This is my first time hunting without my father with me and he taught me how to track but this is the first time I havent dropped a deer where it stood. Any help will be appreciated.

Tndeerhunter's picture
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tough one

Hi J. and welcome to BGH! There are any number of things which may have happened to cause what you've described. A couple additional questions; was there any hair present where you felt the deer dropped? Were you able to determine the route the "hit" deer had traveled as it departed? And, finally, where was your aiming spot and what was your firearm?

If your intended aim was in the head/neck area, it is very possible your shot was simply a tad offline (hit a branch?) and just barely clipped the deer's head or neck. It's common for a deer hit in that area (including a buck hit on an antler) to be dazed, perhaps knocked out for a second or two and then jump up and run off with nothing more than a scrape and an "excedrin headache".

It is pretty unusual for a killing shot to knock a deer off it's feet and then allow them to recover and run off without a good blood trail. It is normally a shot that breaks a leg or clips backbone, head or neck that allows that type thing to happen.

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blood trail

The only thing that you can do at this point is to go back to where the deer was with something like a rll of toilet paper (really!) to mark the trail.  If you know anyone with experience tracking go ahead and call them in to help.  Go to where the deer was when you last saw it and look for blood.  If you don't find it work out about 3 feet and make a circle checking every bit of ground and brush for blood. 

If you don't find it add 3 feet and try again.  Keep doing this until you find blood.  then mark it with a strip of flagging tape (or TP) and start from there.  After you find  three of four spots with blood that will give you an idea of which direction she was going and it should (God willing) be easier. 

Check the brush up to 3 feet high.  Blood might not make it all the way to the ground. 

Ideally, when looking for the next drop of blood, you will find a dead deer!

But if not, keep going and be sure to have your rifle ready.  You just might track her close enough for a follow up shot even if she is not dead.

Good luck!  Let us know how you make out.

 

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Hey J, hopefully you are out

Hey J, hopefully you are out there dragging your doe, cause you found her this morning... Wink

These guys both gave good advice. Just don't rush, take you time, and follow their lead.

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Do you have any friends who

Do you have any friends who have a dog that could go with you to track the deer? Even if the dog hasn't tracked a deer before, if the deer is down, the dog will be able to track to the deer by the smell. My lab tracks deer this way for me. She could never pick up on tracking blood, even to this day, but she will find a deer if it is dead. She just need time to roam downwind of where the deer was shot. Good luck finding your deer and keep us informed. Thumbs up

BTW, welcome to BGH!

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any update?

I hope you find her, but don't be ashamed of missing or messing up.  It happens to everyone sooner or later.....  Any update?

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answers

I do hope we all hear back from the OP as to what the final disposition was in this encounter. For the recored, I thought I'd make a few comments. The incident related in the OP happened on post at Ft Stewart. For those unfamiliar with hunting on a military installation, it is very different, perhaps from "typical" hunting. Normally a hunter only has a very specific area and for only a specific timeframe to legally be in an area and hunt. Normally that is from official check-in to a specific time on the day one has permission to hunt and, this end time is normally about 1 hr after SS.

The addition of a friend to help with tracking chores would not be allowed unless he/she also somehow got approved to hunt that area, as entry to most all areas is strictly controlled and monitored. Also, unfortunately, utilizing a dog for help tracking would be in the same category and most likely not be  allowed. A typical hunter would only have the remainder of the same day he fired the shot, plus someone already approved to hunt that specific area for help in searching for a wounded animal.

Your thoughts are correct in that this doesn't exactly make for a great hunting scenario, but this is imply how at least most military installations allow hunting to be done. 

There may, of course, be some differing rules governing hunting at Ft Stewart.

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Goods points that I wasn't

Goods points that I wasn't even thinking about. I should have remembered from hunting on Bragg years back, but it had slipped my mind.

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