How to Track a Deer With No Blood

Deer are widely distributed animals that inhabit many different ecosystems across North America, especially whitetail deer that inhabit numerous habitats throughout their range.

Tracing deer can be an extremely challenging endeavor, and can become more so if the blood trail stops cold. Here are some strategies that may help you locate wounded deer without an obvious trail of blood.

Go Back to Where You Shot It

Even without blood trails to follow, start your search near where the deer was standing when you shot it. Wound animals tend to circle back home territory before bedding down near where their wound occurred – this makes starting your track in that direction usually the best approach.

Bring something to mark your trail; orange surveyor’s tape or toilet paper work just as well if desired, as this will enable you to quickly return back onto the path if you get disoriented while tracking, as well as signal when it is time for a break.

Once you arrive at the spot where the deer was standing when hit, replaying your shot to try and figure out where they ran off to. Remember that things look different when looking down from a treestand compared to looking from above ground, so if the first trail you find has minimal blood on it consider getting down on all fours and searching for fresher blood trails.

When starting off on your trail explorations, be careful not to tread on any signs. Aiming for wide sweeping circles instead of going straight across will increase your chances of discovering signs such as fresh hoof prints or deer debris left by them.

Remind yourself that you’re dealing with an animal who may be very wounded; do not push too hard. A gut shot or liver shot requires additional time for death, so if after waiting your waiting period has passed and no trail has been located after searching, perhaps it would be best to call it quits and try again later – maybe next time will bring more luck.

Look for Hoof Prints

Hoof prints of wounded deers provide some of the clearest indications that an animal has been injured. Hoof prints can be found anywhere from mud and snowy terrain to ground areas; and can give an indication of distance traveled based on how far apart its tracks are; walking deers leave more space between their front hooves than running ones.

Blood color can also provide an indicator of where deer were struck by gunfire. Blood that’s bright red or pink indicates oxygen-rich organs such as the lungs or heart have likely been hit, while dark blood usually indicates liver or stomach shots. If uncertain as to where exactly your wound lies, look for any blood trails leading away from it that lead in its direction when hit. This will give an idea of where exactly your target was traveling when hit.

Once you’ve followed a blood trail, begin searching for other signs of deer activity such as hair, droppings, chunks of fat or tallow and disturbances to the ground or leaves. Also keep an eye out for fresh tracks and signs of scavengers like buzzards, crows or coyotes who could find signs before you do.

Size can help identify whether a deer was male or female; male deers typically leave larger tracks than their doe counterparts, with equal stride length being an indicator that they could be an adult doe while closer-together tracks could indicate they belong to a yearling buck.

Once you know which direction the deer was traveling in, draw up a compass heading based on its current position at the time it was shot. If the deer was bedding somewhere prior to being shot, search that area first as they may return there when injured – this can help speed up finding them faster.

Check the Ground

Even without an obvious or trackable blood trail, signs may exist of where a deer fell on the ground. Brush or other vegetation the animal ran through after being shot often provides useful clues; fans of blood painted across branches or leaves or even rope-shaped signs suggest your shot entered or exited major arteries; blood that adheres to vegetation usually signifies lung or heart shots while brown tinted blood may indicate stomach shots – or bright pink bubbly blood means you are close and can begin tracking immediately.

If the blood trail abruptly stops cold, consider that the deer has taken to retreating after realizing you are following it. Searching the ground carefully for pin-sized drops of blood could net additional yards ahead.

Tracking the speed and direction of blood trails can also assist in finding wounded bucks. Slow-walking deer leave fat drops with narrow tails that point in their direction of travel; longer tails indicate quicker moving deer.

Look for fresh tracks in taller vegetation as well. Running deer are known to stomp their feet against plants as they run, leaving behind footprints in their wake.

If the blood trail proves difficult or abruptly stops, try searching from different angles, such as crawling on hands and knees instead of standing up. Bring flashlight, thermal device or buddy so you can work together – tracking wounded deer alone can be extremely hazardous if the animal turns up its nose to start sniffing around; an experienced hunting partner can mark the initial point of impact with a marker for easy reference while tracking.

Look for Debris

If the blood trail becomes cold, you need to look elsewhere for clues. A great place to search is branches of trees or shrubs taller than the deer you’re tracking; deer often rub against such vegetation when walking and its debris could help lead you directly to them.

As part of your search, look out for small blood drops leading back to where the deer was struck. These tiny blooddrops typically feature thin tails pointing in the direction of movement to help pinpoint its track. Furthermore, their rate of appearance could give an indicator as to the speed with which the deer moved.

Blood color provides an invaluable indicator of where and how severely an injured deer was injured. When looking at bright pink or bubbly blood, this indicates a lung or heart shot, meaning you can track down its location quite quickly with stealth tactics. On the other hand, dark blood indicates liver or kidney shots and you should wait several hours before beginning tracking this animal.

An abrupt stop may signal that the deer have taken flight, so it is crucial that you listen out for any sounds of struggling or labored breathing, as well as listen out for any potential crashing sounds from whatever surface the animal collided against while running away from you.

As deer are notoriously unpredictable creatures, it is possible for one to run back into its core bedding area and hide there for safety. If this is the case for you, head in that direction in search of it. If this fails, check any water sources which they might frequent; these provide shelter when injured deer need somewhere safe to hide until you can locate them. However, be wary if one heads towards water as these locations provide ideal refuge. Should one head toward water sources though – these places could provide temporary refuge from further attacks by sharp hooved animals! Be wary when approaching water sources since deer can become very aggressive if in pain – take caution as soon as one comes nearer as they could gore you or kick you with sharp hooved hooved hooved kicks!

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