Deer tracking tips

keith meador

Got the Spotted Fever
Sep 18, 2003
Grindstone Branch, KY, USA.
With the posts in the past from hunters looking for tracking advice, it would be nice for the forum members to post up tracking techniques, and suggestions to help hunters recover their deer.

When I shoot a deer, I always try to mark the spot the deer was standing when I shot it. Getting a good start on blood is the most important part of tracking. If the deer does manage to run out of sight, I mark the last spot I saw the deer.

After the will get several different answers on this one. I wait 30 minutes unless I see the deer crash. After a 30 minute wait, I will climb down, and get ready for tracking. If possible, I try to find my arrow, and check it for blood. Recovering the arrow will tell you a lot about the hit.

I keep toilet paper handy to mark blood. Tearing off a piece and dropping it by every spot you find blood makes it easy to check back and get a good visual on the direction of travel the deer was taking.

When in doubt, back out. If you hit a deer, and you feel the hit is marginal, stay in the stand for 30 minutes, and then climb down and leave. If I sit around in the woods, I am always tempted to start looking for the deer.


12 pointer
Dec 1, 2006
Kornfield County,KY
Good tips Keith,heres a few more
After the shot keep your eyes glued to the deer,watch for white flashes or movement as far as you can see him.Listen for crashes,limbs breaking etc.As you take up the bloodtrail ,go to the last place you seen him and mark it before you forget. Then follow the trail ,SLOW and SILENT.Look for blood on the ground and up high on weeds and bush.Also look ahead as well as right and left of the bloodtrail.Wounded deer will sometimes crawl under brush or deadfalls to hide.Look for the white underside of the deer,large patches of white is a seldom seen color in the woods and it will stand out.Dont give up ,a big buck can run two hundred yards or more sometimes,even with a good hit.Good Luck and make that shot count.We all owe it to the deer to strive for a clean and precise shot.


12 pointer
Feb 24, 2008
philville, KY
My tip with all of it would just be time.
If your not sure don't start. That's why I hate hot weather hunting, you can't rush a deer to die and with these temps they will spoil extra fast. Mark the spot you shot and give em time.


10 pointer
Sep 18, 2009
blue side tha' mountain...
All good stuff, well most of it anyways...not sure about the deer rasslin :). Just one thing to add, don't forget to visualize. Put your self in the deer's shoes(haha), if you lose blood or become unsure backtrack and start from the begining but this time as u walk it out imagine yourself as the deer bustn thru there and keep looking ahead thinking if i were him I'd........... Dont be afraid to BE THE DEER! lol
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12 pointer
Jun 17, 2009
When you find blood you can tell which way he is going by the way the blood is lay on the leaves, ground, rock or what ever it may be laying on. There will be two size's on the drop wide and narrow. When you look down the wide part of the blood drop is what hit the object first and the narrow part of the blood drop that is what hits the object last and will give you a sence in direction the deer went.
Also carry a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide with a mist sprayer. If you having a hard time finding blood spray in the area that you last saw the deer or around the last blood you seen. This will bubble up when it hits blood and is good to use in later in the season when the leaves start to turn and the spots on the leaves look like blood a good way to tell the difference.
Deer like the least resistance after the hit most of the time they will go down hill and not up and they use good trails most of the time.
Look for fresh tracks that are long drag marks in the dirt or mud. If one is hit in the shoulder they will not use it much and will be dragging.
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6 pointer
Nov 24, 2009
Central KY
Watch for ruffled up leaves and look for blood on brush and tree limbs waist high, not just on the ground.
If that doesn't work there is an app for smart phones that will triangulate with the 3 nearest cell towers and look for empty spots in service. Everyone knows whitetails use AT&T.


Feb 27, 2002
ky, USA.
I also use toilet paper but I put a piece on a limb about 10 yards apart (if blood allows that far apart) that way you can look back and get a feel of the way he is going. Look for leaves stirred up and sticks and grass blades down. If there is water close by they usually go to it...


8 pointer
Feb 19, 2010
I would say either use a GPS app on your smartphone, or buy a cheap GPS for tracking. These devices allow you to "mark" points on you track. Then, if you can't find your deer, it's VERY easy to see 1) where you've been and 2) where you last saw blood. I messed with the app while hiking earlier this year. It was awesome!

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