First time tracking! I got a lot to learn


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Robbins290
November 29, 2013, 04:22 PM
Here is the results from getting a jump start into tracking. I never tracked a animal before. Shot this spike horn twice. Right behind the lungs and in the stomach. Had to track the deer for a 1/3 of a mile. According to gps. Theres alot into tracking i never realized. First time using that rifle, it was my grand fathers from the 70's. it shoot perfect last summer. But it jammed twice one me. Which is why i thought i shot low. I was rushing my shot

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Patocazador
November 29, 2013, 05:19 PM
I'm glad you persevered and found it. I'm rather surprised with 2 hits as you described. Most hit back like that would not be found until the buzzards located them.

Your trigger may need work to lighten the pull or you may just need to practice on silhouette targets. The safest shot is half way between back & belly in line with the front leg when the deer is broadside.

What caliber? The gun looks like a Remington 740 type with a low power scope.

Robbins290
November 29, 2013, 08:06 PM
Ya, its a 742 in 308. Its a first time using that rifle. I wasnt used how it c

jrdolall
November 29, 2013, 08:31 PM
My 742 is a single shot. Years ago it was dependable but I don't even use it any more.

Tracking is an art and one that takes a lot of practice. I'm glad you located the deer because a gut shot deer can live a long time and cover a lot of ground if pushed.

gspn
November 29, 2013, 08:31 PM
Tracking takes a mix of discipline, attention to detail, experience, and determination. Good on you for sticking with it and finding that animal.

I always keep a small roll of brightly colored surveyors tape in my pack. I use it to flag every spot where i find blood. This helps make sense of the scene if I lose the trail...I can look back and get a good feel for what the deer was doing as it fled. I don't often have to use it...but when I need it...I NEED it. The place I hunt gets a fair amount of new hunters...and I end up tracking when they "lose" one.

Next I'd try to figure out why your shots were so far back. Did you zero the rifle prior to this season?

ADKWOODSMAN
November 29, 2013, 09:02 PM
Congrats on your buck. After 55 years of deer hunting I have learned many things and still do on any hunt. Tracking is an art. Sometimes a dead deer, in big woods, will lay dead close and can't be seen. They are the tough ones.

AKElroy
November 29, 2013, 11:48 PM
On my central Texas lease, the weeds are so high that deer could drop within 40 yards and won't be found until the buzzards are circling. The saving grace is is a dense carpet of cactus. The wide blades pick up blood easily, and make tracking simple enough assuming your animal bleeds.

High middle-torso shots can fill the abdomen with blood with nary a drop hitting the ground. I've shot two bucks like that, one I found after giving up after hours of looking. No blood anywhere, but I was sure of the shot. I eventually tripped over him on the way back to camp.

The other I never found, and after hours of searching and several sleepless nights I convinced myself I had missed. No such luck. Another hunter found him 3 months later. Made me sick. He was not 80 yards from the shot, went down in high grass. I looked for at least 10 hours for that deer. No blood, no trail to follow. He was also in the exact opposite direction from where he had run after the shot. The direction they head after the shot is a poor predictor of where they actually wind up.

41 Mag
November 30, 2013, 08:04 AM
Great job on the recovery any way you slice it.

One of the biggest mistakes newer hunters make is getting after an animal to quick after the shot. When your excited minutes seem like hours and all your wanting to do is get out there and claim your prize. It takes more patients to sit and give them 15 - 30 minutes than it does to go out and hunt them in the first place.

Most of the time, even on a blown shot, giving them a minimum of 20 minutes before making any sort of movement will usually be sufficient. Then when you DO ease out to take the initial look be as quiet and move as slow as you can so as not to disturb the area or make any unwanted noise. Good signs are really bright bubbly blood, bad signs are real dark or even brown blood, the latter is a sure fire signal to back off and give them an hour or so before advancing, depending on the amount.

I have had more tracking jobs due to excited hunters getting on a deer to quick than I have had from muffed shots. Most of the time even if the animal is hit bad, they will move out of the immediate area and then lay up a short distance away in heavy cover. Usually given time this is just where you will find them. You still need to go about it as slow and deliberate as if they are watching your every step as in some cases they might just be.

I have slipped up on several through the years that were bedded up in thick brush, and by moving very slow, and being quite and looking ahead on the trial have seen them slowly pick up or lay down their heads. When i am tracking one I always look up ahead as far as I can even using binoculars to look into thickets or brush piles before advancing.

As for the tall grass always look on the grass instead of the ground when they head into it. They will leave smears and sprays of droplets up a foot or so off the ground, and in many cases will lead you right to them. If they head into a high grass pasture or windrow, before moving in after them, always position someone on the far side of it if possible to keep track should they hear you and try to slip out.

There is a lot more to finding a wounded deer than most realize. Even hitting them with a high power magnum rifle doesn't guarantee they are going to hit the ground and stay put if the shot isn't where it should have been. If you hunt them long enough and shoot enough of them it is going to happen that one bolts or turns just as the trigger breaks making the worst situation out of s sure thing.

WALKERs210
November 30, 2013, 09:07 PM
Reading 41 Mag's post it is almost like listening to my late brother in law. My sister married him when I was around 12-13, he had grown up in Jackson Hole, Wy and he gave me a wealth of knowledge over the last 45-50 yrs. Not all was to do with hunting but in one way it was all inter mingled. Being man enough to say that "NO I don't know it all " is the starting point to being a well educated man and again not only in the realm of hunting. You did great just use this a a learning aspect and keep learning.

Cocked & Locked
December 1, 2013, 11:13 PM
Congratulations on tracking and finding your buck!

I would scrap the 742 as most of them are jammed shut these days. Bad bolt/locking lug design. Supposedly Remington will not accept them for attempted repair work any longer.

Two of my hunting friends have jammed tight ones...one guy has two. :scrutiny:

Robbins290
December 2, 2013, 11:09 AM
Cocked and locked, i do not like the rifle at all. But it was my gtand fathers, and wanted to shoot one last deer with before i put it back in the safe. I have used a remington 700 in 30-06 for the last 10 years.

Patocazador
December 2, 2013, 11:13 AM
I shot my biggest mule deer with a 742 in .280. That was 40 years ago. I haven't used it since. They are crappy guns.

Cocked & Locked
December 2, 2013, 11:49 AM
Cocked and locked, i do not like the rifle at all. But it was my gtand fathers, and wanted to shoot one last deer with before i put it back in the safe. I have used a remington 700 in 30-06 for the last 10 years.

Good choice!

jrdolall
December 2, 2013, 02:06 PM
The 742 in my safe was given to my youngest son by his grandfather and will stay in the family for as long as I have control over it. It is scoped and ready to go but is just not dependable as a semi auto. He shoots a Savage bolt action 30-06 instead.

WaywardSon
December 8, 2013, 11:28 PM
Great job on the recovery any way you slice it.

One of the biggest mistakes newer hunters make is getting after an animal to quick after the shot. When your excited minutes seem like hours and all your wanting to do is get out there and claim your prize. It takes more patients to sit and give them 15 - 30 minutes than it does to go out and hunt them in the first place.

Most of the time, even on a blown shot, giving them a minimum of 20 minutes before making any sort of movement will usually be sufficient. Then when you DO ease out to take the initial look be as quiet and move as slow as you can so as not to disturb the area or make any unwanted noise. Good signs are really bright bubbly blood, bad signs are real dark or even brown blood, the latter is a sure fire signal to back off and give them an hour or so before advancing, depending on the amount.

I have had more tracking jobs due to excited hunters getting on a deer to quick than I have had from muffed shots. Most of the time even if the animal is hit bad, they will move out of the immediate area and then lay up a short distance away in heavy cover. Usually given time this is just where you will find them. You still need to go about it as slow and deliberate as if they are watching your every step as in some cases they might just be.

I have slipped up on several through the years that were bedded up in thick brush, and by moving very slow, and being quite and looking ahead on the trial have seen them slowly pick up or lay down their heads. When i am tracking one I always look up ahead as far as I can even using binoculars to look into thickets or brush piles before advancing.

As for the tall grass always look on the grass instead of the ground when they head into it. They will leave smears and sprays of droplets up a foot or so off the ground, and in many cases will lead you right to them. If they head into a high grass pasture or windrow, before moving in after them, always position someone on the far side of it if possible to keep track should they hear you and try to slip out.

There is a lot more to finding a wounded deer than most realize. Even hitting them with a high power magnum rifle doesn't guarantee they are going to hit the ground and stay put if the shot isn't where it should have been. If you hunt them long enough and shoot enough of them it is going to happen that one bolts or turns just as the trigger breaks making the worst situation out of s sure thing.
For those of you who may be new to the game...read this man's post carefully. Pay attention....there is a lot of knowledge and good advice here.

Years ago I started doing something that I found to be very helpful in learning to track a wounded animal. Get as clear in your mind as you can as to where the animal was when you shot. Then, even if you saw it fall and know it is dead...go to where it was standing when you shot & look for hair, blood, flesh, tracks...anything you can find. Forget that you know where it is and track it until you find it. May sound stupid, but it is a great way to get real world experience that will come in handy for those times when you do NOT see it drop.

Most of the area where I hunt is very thickly wooded with a lot of underbrush. I've been amazed more than once how hard they can be to see even within 10 yards. A dying deer will try and burrow into the thickest stuff it can find. Lastly, check out closely anything you see that is white:-)

twofifty
December 9, 2013, 12:20 AM
For those of you who may be new to the game...read this man's post carefully. Pay attention....there is a lot of knowledge and good advice here.

Years ago I started doing something that I found to be very helpful in learning to track a wounded animal. Get as clear in your mind as you can as to where the animal was when you shot. Then, even if you saw it fall and know it is dead...go to where it was standing when you shot & look for hair, blood, flesh, tracks...anything you can find. Forget that you know where it is and track it until you find it. May sound stupid, but it is a great way to get real world experience that will come in handy for those times when you do NOT see it drop.

Most of the area where I hunt is very thickly wooded with a lot of underbrush. I've been amazed more than once how hard they can be to see even within 10 yards. A dying deer will try and burrow into the thickest stuff it can find. Lastly, check out closely anything you see that is white:-)
Thanks for that advice.

41 Mag
December 9, 2013, 07:24 AM
I wished I could say I have no idea how to track one that took off after the shot. In a perfect world maybe, but we all know that isn't reality.

I have hunted every year since I was 5, and shot my first deer at 6 sitting on my pop's knee. I have hunted with folks ranging in experience from never shot a gun before, to folks on their last hunt due to their age. It happens to them all. All you can do is be as observant and inquisitive as possible and not muck up the area with a bunch of walking around disturbing what little evidence might be there.

I have had some that left a trail Ray Charles could follow that we never found, and some that left only a pinhead sized drop every 10-20yds that we tracked half a mile to where they laid up. Most however were within the first 50-75yds or less of the initial hit, if they weren't spooked or pushed by getting on them too soon.

Even the most perfect shot going through the heart and lungs can result in a deer running flat out a hundred yards or so. Some of them have a tenacity to life that is sometimes mind boggling. I shot a nice 6 point a couple of years ago. I knew he was hit hard and good due to how hard it was for him to keep his feet as he headed across a hundred yards of pasture and into the edge of some thick woods. I would have shot him again but all I had to aim at was rear end.

If you want to read about it look here,Tough Deer (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=626642)

Other than that one being one tough ol bruiser there was no reason why the first shot shouldn't have done him in. The only time I came even remotely close to spooking him was at the second shot when he got up. Even that one should have anchored him. Granted I was using a light weight caliber and bullet, but neither of the shots was more than 65yds max, and were, or should have been kill shots.

The bottom line is to never underestimate the will to survive in any wild creature. They fight for life every day and are by no means quitters. I have seen so many weird things through the years where a deer or other animal had a leg missing or wound which had healed up, that in looking at it, anyone would have thought it should have been terminal. These animals were getting around like it was nothing. On one lease we had a doe who only had three legs and ruled the place. She could run just fine and fight off the other does for her place in the hierarchy. She also had twins for several years running while we were there. We simply left her alone since we figured she earned and deserved it.

Shanghai McCoy
December 9, 2013, 08:55 AM
Congratulations and kudos for staying with the tracking.

gamestalker
December 10, 2013, 11:34 PM
Don't feel bad, we lost one last week. We searched into the night, but finally gave up until morning. At first light we got back out there and found that deer by finding the crows, which only took about 10 minutes. The night before we followed blood trail for about the first 30 or so yards, and then nothing. And the ground was hard surface, rock mostly, so tracking his movement was impossible. also got lucky as the coyotes and other varmints didn't find him before we did, the crows hadn't even landed on him yet, as it had only been light out for a few minutes when they started circling. It was actually about the luckiest find I've ever experienced, cause a couple crows landed on a tree right above the buck. I zoomed up on the spotting scope from about a mile away, and then spotted him laying in the wash, bingo. I've never been so lucky, as it usually involves hours of looking on foot before we find them.

GS

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