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  #1  
Old 04-09-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Blood trailing

An unfortunate incident (dog shooting) this past weekend made me realize how bad I can't track blood. My friend could spot the drop of blood in foot tall grass, 6 feet away. He had to show me and even when pointing in the general area from only a few feet I couldn't see it. He tracks tons of deer so he has the experience, but what can I do to help me better track blood trails?

What things have you learned over the years that you can share (other than flies on the trail...I know that one)?
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:05 PM
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I think the biggest mistake most people make when tracking is they get in too big of a hurry. Blood trailing is something that is an art and usually bow hunters are pretty good at it. They tend to be more patient than your average hunter and usually trail more deer/year than your avg hunter. I think it's human nature to want to find the game "right now" and that causes the tracking party to get into a hurry and potentially mess up the trail. I've seen guys just walk in the direction the deer went looking for it and never ceases to amaze me. I shot one directly down through the scapula three years ago and there wasn't an exit wound and the arrow plugged the wound. It was only a ten yard shot, down into the animal with no exit. Needless to say, blood was sparse. I knew the deer was dead but it took me an hour to find her and she only went about 60 yards. Blood was there but it was an incredibly difficult trail to follow.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:09 PM
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Im the same way. Dont know if its partially color blind or what (if thats even possible). My stepson can just about run down a blood trail and Im lucky to see 1/4 of what he does.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:18 PM
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I'm thinking I might have partial colorblindness. I know when I went through military inprocessing they had me go through a Red, Green, White test to make sure I could differentiate. Looking through my old records I failed the color test there.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:03 AM
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blood trailing is an art like they said above. I have shot many a deer, mostly with a rifle, that ran. I have probably tracked about 100 deer in ten years. Those are mine, and friends deer!

Now I am a police officer, and my squad swears I am part bloodhound when we get on a scene, because I find blood everyone else misses! Guess it helps keep me sharp for deer season.

The only way I can describe my method is dont try to spot the blood. Try not to focus on anything in particular. when you dont focus your eyes, you will notice some distorted area in your vision, where lines of things dont continue like they should. when you do focus on it, you will be able to tell if its blood or not. thats what i do to try to spot blood.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:59 PM
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I think maybe some people are looking for a blood spot the size of your hand when in the real world, blood trailing can be a lot closer to spots the size of a BB. Think small, look closely. Depending on the cover, blood may be easier to find on the vertical vegitation vs on the the ground. Biggest error I see is the same as Bonner killa, people trying to go to fast. If the blood trail is sparse, you can make things much more difficult by walking over the sign before you see it. Bottom line, go slow and look for smaller spots. Many times that can mean crawling on your hands and knees.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:15 PM
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Well, you could cut your finger. It must be a good deep cut to allow for plenty of blood! Put a blind fold on and walk through the woods (This way you have no idea where or which way you are going) it also helps to turn in circles a few times. Make sure your hand is hanging down to allow the most blood to drip. At a point, stop and take off your blindfold and track yourself back out. Start off doing this for 20 minutes a few times then you can move up to 45 minutes at a time but may require re-cutting finger to have enough blood.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:25 AM
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I'm a touch near sighted and I've found I can easily follow light blood trails on my hands and knees that I can't hardly see from my feet. I'm talking about when it gets down to pin drops. Just wear plenty of orange and look ahead for snakes!
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_seph View Post
Well, you could cut your finger. It must be a good deep cut to allow for plenty of blood! Put a blind fold on and walk through the woods (This way you have no idea where or which way you are going) it also helps to turn in circles a few times. Make sure your hand is hanging down to allow the most blood to drip. At a point, stop and take off your blindfold and track yourself back out. Start off doing this for 20 minutes a few times then you can move up to 45 minutes at a time but may require re-cutting finger to have enough blood.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merc123 View Post
An unfortunate incident (dog shooting) this past weekend made me realize how bad I can't track blood. My friend could spot the drop of blood in foot tall grass, 6 feet away. He had to show me and even when pointing in the general area from only a few feet I couldn't see it. He tracks tons of deer so he has the experience, but what can I do to help me better track blood trails?

What things have you learned over the years that you can share (other than flies on the trail...I know that one)?
I'm the same way. I have color deficiency and a lot of time red and green look like the same color to me. Take this test.
http://www.archimedes-lab.org/colorb...html#testcolor
You have to move your cursor over the test letter to the right and the image will change, then put your answers down below.
The only one I can see is the first one.
On some of them I can see part of numbers.
On most of them I can't make out any numbers and it just looks like a bunch of dots.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:08 PM
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For practice, I track every deer I shoot that runs off. Even of I see it fall.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:38 PM
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I am a tad color blind. Not much, but a little. Here are some things I have lanred:

1. Start at the beginning. Go to where the arrow hit the deer, and begin there.
2. Get low (great movie by that name, btw). You will find blood much easier on hands and knees. I have found blood the size of a head of a pin. You can to.
3. Mark the line. Deer walk in a line. It may bend and swerve, but it's a line. Use tape, flags, whatever you can to mark that line. When you know what direction they went in, you know where to look next.

I hope that helps. You CAN do it, you just have to not cut corners.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:34 PM
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I herd you can use a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide in it and that will help the fresh blood show up easier I don't know about a 2 day track job but with in an hour or so it should help.I don't know I've never tried it if anyone has let me know cause losing deer is heart breaking and calling tracking dogs is wallet breaking.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:43 PM
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It`s an art, and it involves more than just blood. Disturbed ground, tracks, stride length, broken limbs, flattened grass and vegetation, and more. Gettin` with somebody who knows what they are doin` will be a big plus, and then you can go from there. Plus, it`s a lot of fun.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:59 PM
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There was a time when I could track with the best of em. Then I got old.
Now I have a dog to do it for me. I just hold on to the leash and go.
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:55 AM
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One of the biggest things i do that helps me is i make sure i remember exactly were the deer was standing and the last place i saw the deer before i climb down.Being offf a few feet can make a big diffrence.Sometimes you have to get down on your hands and knees to find a drop.Pay attention to what you here when they run off like if you here them knockin down trees and running in to stuff.Good luck.Great feelin when you know you hit them good and you here or see them go down.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:06 PM
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2 words WEENIE DOG. They are good on the blood. They can keep that nose on the ground and still navigate easily. Just make sure you dont step on a cheese burger or she will forget about hunting.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
It`s an art, and it involves more than just blood. Disturbed ground, tracks, stride length, broken limbs, flattened grass and vegetation, and more. Gettin` with somebody who knows what they are doin` will be a big plus, and then you can go from there. Plus, it`s a lot of fun.
remember the blood trail at our first Poole Plantation hunt ....
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:07 PM
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remember the blood trail at our first Poole Plantation hunt ....


Yep, that was like followin` blood poured out of a bucket.

That was a good weekend. It was colder`n a frog too.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:16 PM
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My old man taught us from a young age how to track them. He's slow but steady and always tries to not be rushed. Practice makes perfect. These days if I get stuck blood trailing for more than 10 mins I cheat and run back and grab a few dogs though. Their noses are much better than my eyes and they'll find one in 10 mins that might take me 3 hours. It's added incentive to get the dogs in the woods and watch them work.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:40 PM
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I do some stuff right after the shot that has helped me find critters. If I`m on the ground hunting say for pigs maybe...Right at the shot I naturally as most hunters do watch and listen where the critter went. I REALLY pay attention to the very last place I heard or saw it. Without taking a step I pull my compass from around my neck and get an exact compass bearing. I then pull out a piece of tissue and drop it where I`m standing. I walk to where the critter was standing at the shot and drop a piece there. I start looking for blood. If I get on good blood and know its ok to follow after a short wait I take up the trail. If not I go back to my starting spot and run the bearing changing a few yards every time I run it. I found a lot of deer like this I did not get exit wounds on and therefore little blood.
I do about the same thing from a tree .When trailing once you get a line started if you get low you can almost "feel" which way it went by choosing the most likely direction. When I get a bit stumped for some reason I check the probably not directions first then bare down on what I think is the for sure direction.Kinda like anything you get better with practice. Like one Feller said above. Trail the ones you saw fall for the practice.Good hunting,RC
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:45 PM
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Big broadheads also help..RC

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Old 05-23-2012, 02:45 AM
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Patience by far is your best friend. My last buck def was found with the help of 2 buddies. 8 hours we tracked this 6 pointer. (Take a guess where I shot him). First off - learn the subtle signs (hair color, density, blood types) at the point of impact. Look for fresh turned leaves and dirt. Remember how it reacted when shot (heart shot vs low gut - both make dear react differently).

Dont let your eyes stay fixed to the ground - look at the surrounding brush for smear and or splash marks from ground level to about 2-3 feet high. Look for dead critters (twice Ive come across smashed frogs and small turtle that the deer stepped on as he ran!). Use toilet paper to mark trails and EVERY SPOT of blood you find. Often times you'll see a straight line pattern pointing the direction.

Know how deer react on hills vs flat terrain when wounded (hint - they like to side slope). Also expect blood to taper off as he goes up or down hill as his muscles tense up and strain.

LOOK AT THE CRITTERS AGAIN! Ants and woodsman spiders have helped me more times than I can count - even when there was a light frost on the ground. They both came out seeking the fresh blood on the ground.

Hope these helped a bit bro. Every track Ive ever done (finding and not) I learned so much from.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:31 PM
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I pulled a shot on a doe last season. She floundered a second and went scooting uphill and towards the right.

went to where she was and no blood, no hair, no nothing.

Followed the path she took - looking for something.nothing.

Walked up and down every row of pine trees for 150 yards, maybe 200 yards - walked up and down the same row then moved to the next - maybe 30 or 40 rows to a road. Nothing.

Walked a dirt road that she would have crossed - nothing. Too many deer tracks to worry about. No obvious blood drops (I can see color).

Started walking every major trail off the dirt road into the hardwoods from the pines. First one nothing, second one, nothing. Third one 30 feet in - Blood! 2 drops of watery blood about the size of the "o" in this sentence, on one leaf. BINGO!

Start circling, find a red smear on some tall weeds, then a stick, then a semblance of a blood trail - drop, drop, smear. Then a little puddle where she stood, a little more blood, drip, drop, splatter, red on branches she rubbed on...She went maybe 60 yards thru the woods slowly as indicated by the blood, then it hit the road and went right, another 30 or so yards.

Dead 100 pound doe laying in the road about 50 yards further than I walked, just around a corner. She went 250 yards. Hit straight thru the stomach. With a 150 gr 30-06 from 125 yards +/-.

90 minutes to find her. Over 60 minutes to find first blood.

Blood trailing isn't just an archery thing.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klemsontigers7 View Post
I'm the same way. I have color deficiency and a lot of time red and green look like the same color to me. Take this test.
http://www.archimedes-lab.org/colorb...html#testcolor
You have to move your cursor over the test letter to the right and the image will change, then put your answers down below.
The only one I can see is the first one.
On some of them I can see part of numbers.
On most of them I can't make out any numbers and it just looks like a bunch of dots.
Got 10 for 10
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