Following A Blood Trail

At about 7:45 a.m. I had something catch my eye just to the left of me in the brush. Within seconds a nice 5×5 buck stood there, 25 plus yards away, looking directly at me. There was no way I could move without being detected! He starred in my direction for what seemed an eternity and then, with a little flick of his tail, started walking away from me. He quartered away 45 degrees and at 35 yards walked behind the only tree in the field! This gave me the opportunity to draw my bow and at 40 yards he was walking perpendicular to me. I focused on his vitals and let my arrow fly.I saw the deer jump and as he ran away from me I could see my arrow had been placed into his side. He barreled back into the thicket and I heard him stop for a moment and then start crashing through the brush once again. After not hearing anything and waiting for what seemed like an eternity it was time to go find my buck.

Weather your a seasoned pro or just cutting your teeth we’ve all been there. That moment where we question ourselves once the deer is out of sight. Was it a good hit? Was it to high? Did I gut shoot it? Or was I spot on. Regardless of the answer it’s time to follow the blood trail. Over the years I’ve picked up a few tips here and there and thought I would share some of those with you. Something just to put the odds a little more in your favor.

Hit Placement

  • Lung Hit – Blood that is frothy usually indicates a lung hit or possibly a neck hit where the arrow has cut neck arteries and the wind pipe.
  • Liver or kidney hit – Very dark blood.
  • Splattered blood – Might indicate a fast moving animal or one where major arteries have been cut. Splattered blood sometime leaves fingers which are a good sign of the direction of travel.
  • Stomach hit – Blood greenish in color or mixed with vegetable matter.

Hopefully you have one of those shots where the animal runs 50 yards falls over and is an ready to harvest. If that’s not the case and the blood trail seems as if its disappeared there’s no need to panic. There’s a simple fix, Hydrogen Peroxide, the cheap antiseptic in the brown bottle. Just fill a small spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and spritz over the area you suspect the blood to be in. You can’t just go in there spraying everything like you spray yourself down with scent blocker. Make sure you narrow your target area down. A few drips of hydrogen peroxide will bubble up on a suspect substance, confirming that it’s blood. This will work on any kind of blood be it deer, bear, moose, elk, caribou etc.

Do use with care however because once it reacts with the blood the blood will disappear. Therefore make sure you mark the spots with biodegradable flagging tape as you go.Another thing I always try to have with me when hunting are glow sticks. They’re inexpensive and a lot of times can be found at the local dollar store. These can be invaluable in many ways. One of those ways being able to mark a blood trail as dusk approaches.

A 99 cent bottle of peroxide could be the difference between putting fresh meat on the table or eating yet another chicken pot pie.

Shoot Straight and Happy Hunting!!!