Deer Tracking Dogs Teach Us What Deer Do and Don't Do


Well-Known Member
I asked for this thread and the admins are gracious to provide this.

The deer tracking dogs and their posters tell us what an animal does and doesn't do. I need to get smarter at recovering a marginal hit animal. I am in the majority - I don't have a dog.

I get great pleasure reading the threads and seeing the recovery photos but I learn things that might help me give a good deer a ride to the taxidermist. :)
This is one of the most surprising things that blood tracking is teaching me. I thought I knew a lot about deer until I started this endeavor. They do some things though that had never crossed my mind before in the past. One of the MOST important things and I can't stress this don't push the deer too early. Most wounded deer will bed up and stay within a relatively small area if left alone. Most deer that have not been pushed in my area of the world are within 300 yards bedded up. If its a questionable hit you need to give the deer a lot longer before tracking than most folks do. It's nothing for a deer to still be alive 4-6 hours later. I tracked a buck shot straight through the guts with a bow last year that was still very much alive 16 hrs after the shot. Most folks don't even realize they are pushing the deer out ahead of them when they track one too soon.
Another very important thing is, if you're going to call in a dog, do not do a grid search. This makes the dogs job a lot harder than necessary as the scent gets spread out over a large area.
Training our Beagle the biggest obstacle was me......I would pull him off a track only to find out in a short while he was dead on. He has found a lot over the years. I only Bowhunt but the biggest tip is dont follow too soon as mentioned above. Give the deer time
Well I can tell you that a buck that that was shot with a 7mm that broke one shoulder, so that the deer could not use the leg, ran up the steepest hill he could find, and that I haven't found one deer that went to water! Deer are like roosted gobblers.... totally unpredictable! I do like to mark a line of travel, because deer tend to stay on line.