After The shot
Only sometimes will you be lucky enough to find the arrow at the sight of your hit. When this is not the case it is still important that you find the arrow. The arrow should have fallen in the deer’s escape trail. Arrows will typically fall out quickly unless it is deep in heavy muscle or bone, in these cases it might not come out on its own. If you find yourself discovering the buck before the arrow you will have to do some back tracking to recover your arrow. It is very important that you look closely at the used arrow. This is important because the arrow can give you more knowledge about the buck you have hit. A few things the arrow could tell you are the severity of the wound, how lethal the hit was and how quickly you should track the deer. Other things an arrow could tell you are things like how good of a shot you made, the angle of your arrow and what came into its path before you got it so don’t be too eager to pick it up right away, examine its positioning and placement first.
Once the arrow has been found you can start gathering your information. One vital ting you can learn from the arrow, that you hit the buck with, is how deep your arrow went in. You can tell this simply by looking at how far blood goes up the arrows shaft. In most cases this will work with the exception of an abdominal hit or when the arrow goes into debris and blood is removed. A good thing to know is a full grown deer is about fourteen inches from shoulder to shoulder. If you can get through most of this fourteen inch space you have high chances of going through the bucks organs. Going through these organs can give you high hopes of bringing that buck home. Another thing you can tell by just looking at the arrow is if it went through heavy muscle or bone. You can assume that this is what happened if your arrow is bent or broke. To make this information more useful to you, you can subtract the length of the piece of arrow you have found from the arrow’s original length, this will tell you how deep the buck was penetrated with your arrow. This may be less accurate if the buck had the arrow stuck in him and it broke in two as it was running or it broke on impact with something other than the deer. Other than blood and breakage on of the arrow there could also be other things like tallow or stomach and intestine remains along the shaft. Tallow is a white substance that is along and near the cartilage and bone from the deer. If you find these remains on your arrow you can assume the arrow went through a tough part of the deer. To be able to tell if your arrow went through the deer’s stomach or intestines look for darker spots or particles along the shaft of your arrow. If you find these traces on your arrow it is likely that the buck has died, or will die soon, from the hit. Any blood on the arrow can be a good sign of a hit but if the blood is only on one side of the arrow you may have only grazed the deer without any actually penetration. In a case like this the buck has probably just gone on its way with little harm, so all you can do is try again in hopes for better results next time.