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Obsessed Huntress
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Discussion Starter #1
When you have taken the shot and it's time to track, usually night time for me, how do you mark your trail and what lights do you use?
I find hunting with other outfits and in other countries, everyone teaches me something new. In Argentina, they were scared to track after dark, but during the day, they would pull a chunk of long grass and hang it in a tree on the trail.
In Africa, a group of bushmen with a leader, would sing and skip along while on the trail, but when they lost blood, would spread out until blood was located again and the lead man would continue with the others behind skipping and singing. Very cool to witness. They totally made me look like a novice.
My way is I either mark last blood with sticks making an X or in the tree, I put a day orange hanky so I can look back to where I had been and get a line. I use a million candle power spotlight carried in a tool pouch and attached to a 12V feeder battery. If I''m tracking over 2 hours, I can go rob another battery from a feeder. If I don't have sticks, I pile rocks and I only step on the left side of the blood trail.
 

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Senior Member
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665 Posts
Urban Legend said:
I just shoot em where they won't run out of sight.:ack2: Just kidding. When i do track, I carry a roll of surveyors tape with me and tie it to trees and branches above the blood trail. I found that a good old fashion lantern is about the best for finding blood.
thats how I was taught

I leave my arrow where i first find blood and go from there

Some of these new Led lights work nice also
 

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Banned
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1,256 Posts
I bought 2 of the Surefire clones that are very, very bright. They use those 123A batteries you can get cheap off Fleabay or Surefire directly. I also carry a bright LED light with a string loop on the base. All are small and light weight and I take them on evening hunts if I'm going in too far to walk back to camp or a vehicle to get them. I take batteries for all because poop happens. They get bumped on in a pack and it get's dark and you're screwed. Been there done that.

After the shot I look for blood with the Surefire clones. If the blood trail runs out I hang the LED light from a limb where I last found blood. If there are no trees I stick the base in the ground and let it shine up at the sky. At night they usually head to thick stuff and it can get pretty confusing wandering around without a visible reference point. That LED is like a beacon and you can see where the deer was last as well as make a circle where you think the deer might have gone. When I find new blood I drop the one light on the ground and leave it on, use the other if needed to go back to pick up the hanging LED light. I repeat the process until I find the deer. It beats tying stuff in trees as they give no visible reference and you usually end up looking for your markers later on. I get a real good idea of how far from last blood as well as making a decent circle around the last blood. And you need to take any tie on markers out with you as well when you find the deer. If I lose the trail or give up then I tie a marker to come back in daylight and look around.


I've done very well using this method. The 123A batteries are small and light weight and extremely bright. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long rule applies to them too. So use the LED when and if you can. And forget buying those type of batteries at other places as they'll make you bleed on the way out of the store. Ebay is the best and Surefire is a close second. Get a case they have a long shelf life too.

The Gerber blood trailer light IMHO is a POS in case anyone was wondering.
 

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I usually carry a roll of toilet paper with me and at every spot of blood I tear off a piece and either hang it on a branch or stick it on a stick. This gives me a good visual of travel direction. If I loose the trail I then do as Bird does and leave a flashlight at last blood and do small circles until blood is located. Many times I can go back a few marks and get a good idea to where the animal traveled by ligning up the two or three spots that I have marked ahead of me. The one thing good about using toilet paper is that it will disentigrate when it rains and not stay hanging around alerting other hunters that you are hunting in the area like the surveyors tape does. It's also handy incase nature calls.
 

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Armed Citizen
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1,918 Posts
The last shot I had to track was a couple of years ago during muzzle loader season. I shot the deer in somewhat open woods and it ran into clear cut. I did not come prepared for tracking. It was in the morning so I had daylight on my side. My cousin had dropped a deer further up the same hollow. I helped him dress his out and get it loaded on the quad then we went searching for mine. Long story short since I had nothing to drop I was using articles of clothing. I was half naked and freezing and never did recover that deer. First one in 24 years that got away. We did find an old corpse next to our field while deer plotting this year. Not sure if that was the one I had shot or someone else. It was over 500 yards from where I had taken the shot. I would have been in my underwear for sure if that was her.
Lesson learned I now carry a roll of safety tape with reflective material on it like I used to mark paths to my tree stand back in my vertical days. I never hunt without a mini mag flashlight on me and keep a big 6volt light in the truck or quad.
 

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Senior Member
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I mark the trail with toliet paper and use a coleman lantern the lantern really makes the blood trail stand out.
 

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Tracking is important, it nearly killed all bow hunting in the late 70s as most new bowhunters expected deer to drop in their tracks as with a rifle and failed to follow up most shots.

When i was game warden at Ft Chaffee Arkansas WMA 114 deer were struck the first day, but only 14 were recovered. One old man with a Coleman lantern taught use how to track at night and it worked fine. But few knew how or even cared. This is what gave bowhunting a black eye from the start. now most of that has changed with the outdoor channel giving instructions on exactly how to track animals such as Ted Nugent. Never the less tracking skills are once again being lost as fewer hunters take to the woods and older master hunters really take few younger hunters out.

Now a days if i cant find a deer I use a cell phone and call the the boys about 20 of them show up with everything from spotlights to blue tic hounds we find them....
 

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In California, I use survey tape....and at night we are only allowed to use 9v flashlights or less....we can use non battery powered laterns for night tracking.
 

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Hunter
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6,187 Posts
Tracking

An ex friend and so called hunter once told me that if he shoots a deer and can not find it within 100 yards or thirty minutes,he moves on to look for another deer to shoot.

We almost came to blows befor he left camp early.
 

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Obsessed Huntress
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5,583 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
targethogs said:
In California, I use survey tape....and at night we are only allowed to use 9v flashlights or less....we can use non battery powered laterns for night tracking.
Are you kidding me? You are regulated on what light you can use to track?
I heard California made trans fat illegal a few weeks ago. Sounds like there's alot of over regulating going on in CA. Less laws, the better IMO. I feel for ya'll. Hope your there making lots of money.
 

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Obsessed Huntress
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5,583 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
SPECIALIZED said:
An ex friend and so called hunter once told me that if he shoots a deer and can not find it within 100 yards or thirty minutes,he moves on to look for another deer to shoot.

We almost came to blows befor he left camp early.
Hey! The way I see it, is that's part of the job and responsibility of taking an animals life. You can't just walk away without giving it every effort possible to find that animal. It is part of the skill of being a good hunter. Almost anyone can do the shooting, but it takes developing skills to recover it. That would infuriate me to no end, and I'd have to 'splain that as part of being ethical.

As most know, I guide. I feel like it's my responsibility to teach. So, when an animal is shot at, the hunter goes with me on the trail so I can teach what I know, or if they want to track, I follow and wait for them to get stumped before I take over. Some guides don't do that. They want you to stay at the stand or the truck. I explain everything straight up. My partner tends to be too optimistic with kids, while I'm shaking my head no in the back ground. I think it's better to be gentle, but honest with what I saw pertaining to the shot so they aren't so dissapointed when the animal is still walking, but if the animal is recovered, it's way exciting then.
There are things guides do that hunters don't know about sometimes. Like while taking lunch, someone else goes and finishes off the animal and then the hunter is lead to the new trail and finds the harvest. Another thing especially over seas, is you may get an animal that wasn't exactly the one you shot in the first place as they want you to be happy with their operation, but of course, that's not a known fact. I won't do that.
 

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Guide Girl, you have good ethics. I would tip my hat to you if I was wearing one.
Quote:
"There are things guides do that hunters don't know about sometimes. Like while taking lunch, someone else goes and finishes off the animal and then the hunter is lead to the new trail and finds the harvest. Another thing especially over seas, is you may get an animal that wasn't exactly the one you shot in the first place as they want you to be happy with their operation."
That is terrible. Wast not want not.
 

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Obsessed Huntress
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5,583 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
OH! Some of the stories I could tell!
Here, I'll share this one.
Another guide service here, used to do this. It was one of those who advertise with the little Christian fish symbol too. They took two clients who had booked a hunt for very large boar hogs, to a ranch for a hog hunt, and sat separately with the guides. One shot went off, and the 1st guide talked to the other on the radio and told him it was a black hog, so he shared with his client. They got out to do a walk and stalk and the guide messed up and said he heard a hog in the creek bottom squeal, and he bet it was a red hog. The hunter asked how he knew it was a red hog. The guide says he could tell by the way it squealed. Continuing the hunt in the creek bottom, they came upon a big red boar hog! The hunter shot it. Now, how did the guide know it was a red hog, and it was in the creek bottom, and why did the hog squeal?
Because they had went to the auction barn and purchased the two over sized hogs and shot them between the hooves with a .22 so they wouldn't run off far.
They had released them from the trailer that morning in the creek bottom and the red hog didn't want to move because it was hurt, and why it squealed.
Ain't that some s...?
Anytime there is money involved, there are going to be crooked people. If a guide lives off of what they bring in guiding, some get desperate and do not so good things in order to bring in that money. I always ask alot of questions when I'm going on a guided hunt so I can get a feel of who they are and how they operate before I book the hunt and while I'm on the hunt. I don't devulge that I'm a guide either. Just a mere woman who is a novice hunter. I get the best areas that way!:rolleyes:
 
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