I was hanging out in the neighbor's Garagemahall talking about archery hunting this past weekend. I mentioned how a friend just recovered his 1st doe of the season but not without using skills he has honed from years of bow hunting. Upon release of the arrow he was listening and observing. Listening and observing are certainly two key elements for a successful hunt.
Listening for the solid hit vs. a bad hit that sounds like hitting a water melon. He watched that arrow hit the shoulders. Observed the deer’s reaction to the hit and where he lost saw it. Listening for the deer in a failing light for a direction or perhaps an indication of it piling up and expire. Once he processed all that and also waiting an additional 20 minutes he got down of out his stand and walked to the point of impact. That’s where things were not right. 1st he didn’t see anything. No arrow no blood. What to do? Get back up in the stand and with a good flash light shine it down to where you shot that deer. Everything always looks different when you get down. In most cases in the dark you may wander off into the direction you heard the deer last and not to the actual site of impact.
All this is known facts and have been written about over and over for sure. But what if your site of impact leaves you with only a speckle of blood? What does that mean? The arrow is covered but yet nothing but a speckle of blood on the ground.
Now the shot as you can see in the picture is pretty good. If it was a gunshot the trauma would have been devastating and probably would have dropped that deer where she stood. With the bow, it was a dead center shot on both shoulder blades. The theory is that since the arrow got a pass through on both bones and gristle, the wound effectively sealed itself with the soft tissue plugging up against the bone. Where as if it was a rib shot, bleeding would not have been impeded by bone. The hunter putting together the puzzle with years of experience was able to recover the doe within 30 yards of his arrow through 6ft tall grass under brush and a fallen tree. (for the picture the deer was moved) The only other blood found was at the site the doe expired.
This brings me to the hunting tip my conversation went into with another experienced hunter. That hunting tip is attempting for low exit wounds. On low exit wounds the extreme shot angle is a plus. High on the entry to the lung, and low on exit, promotes a serious blood trail. When these hunters in the Garagemahall got to really thinking about all their bow kills where the shot and exit was high they for the majority left no blood trail. Obviously, the blood is filling the cavity but it takes a lot of blood to fill the entire cavity and most likely that just is not going too happened. So get higher in the stand, terrain permitting and aim higher exit lower. That will be my focus when possible. Crawling on hands and knees looking for blood is not a good start to the hunt which is never over until recovery is complete.