After the shot - Locating your game

Canadian Bushman

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Jan 24, 2012
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1,814
Location
Houston, Texas
This is something i began thinking about today during the 2.5 hr runtime of my machine.

Ive run into this problem in the past after making a long shot in tall grass or over hipped row crop and stubble. I got excited and took off after my game and ended up looking for a while. Now i simply drop and item of no significance and pick a heading and walk the distance of the shot. Here in the coastal plains this works 90% of the time.

But for some of you guys shooting game much further than i and over much more difficult terrain, what do you use and how do you locate your game after the shot. Gps is the obvious choice but i know some of you experienced gents got more tricks and know how than gps.
 

longrangebo

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Oct 8, 2005
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229
For long range hunting, most guys I know have a spotter, who uses a walki talki to walk the shooter into the game!
 

FearNoWind

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Jul 10, 2012
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North Central Valley California
i like using compass bearings and, along with a map, associating those with whatever landmarks might be available. Even in open plains or rolling terrain where there's not much brush or tall grass to contend with (e.g. Wyoming Pronghorn country) it's very easy to misjudge where the game actually fell. Leaving something (i.e. a shirt or other material on a stake - or my pickup truck) at the point where the shot was fired from and using it as a reference for distance when walking toward the target zone can help.
 

yobuck

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Aug 23, 2008
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east central fl. /n.c. pa.
For long range hunting, most guys I know have a spotter, who uses a walki talki to walk the shooter into the game!

This is the way everybody i know does it. Using this method weve locked a set of
glasses on a deer and walked the hunter to it after dark. That can pose some risk
depending on the terrain and saftey glasses should always be worn.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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10,723
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Texas
Years ago I saw a device that worked well and got to try it out and found it simple to build and use
in a featureless landscape.

I always recommend finding a landmark that is easy to identify close to the game "Before the shot is made" so I can find the downed game.

In a featureless landscape this becomes difficult so this device worked very well (Before GPS).

It was simply three disc that mounted on a 3' rod/bar on the center of all disc, All three disc had a had a small hole in the center (to sight through). the back disc was a 12" solid painted white. the second disc was 10" painted black ,And the third disc was an 8"" disc with the sighting hole in it and It was painted orange or white.

To use it you simply clamped it on something that would hold it steady and aimed the 3 disc (Through the all 3 holes in the 3 disc) at the game or the spot where he was standing when the shot was made. they were used on dear stands a lot.

Leaving it un-disturbed you simply walked away and occasionally looked back at the device with your binoculars and moved to get all three disc lined up (It works like an aperture sight)and when they line up you turn around and you should be in the sight line. If you are head high then it must be farther away but at least you have the line on the shot.

It sounds complicated but it is simple and effective. I am sure there are other versions that worked
also but I only know of this one.

With the accuracy of todays range finders and GPS you can plot the distance over ground and the heading and should be able to get very close.

Just a poor boy method, But it worked in south Texas and was simple to use before we moved into the electronic
age.

J E CUSTOM
 

azsugarbear

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Sep 20, 2005
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1,441
Location
Central AZ
Like others have said, I make note of a landmark, tree, or rock outcropping near where the animal was shot. I then move to that area to find the point of impact. Since I often hunt alone, there is nobody left behind to guide me in. So I have taken to tracking the animal and then using surveyors tape to mark the location of drops of blood, hoof prints, hair, etc. I will then move to the last place that I saw the game and mark that spot as well.

I then return to the point of impact to begin tracking the game. As I get further away from the impact spot, it becomes easier to see the general direction the animal was taking. This helps in making an educated guess when the trail goes cold. Using this method does require that the responsible hunter return to the trail and remove the tape once the game has been found.

Another trick for finding a 'cold' blood trail (especially in tall grass) is the use of is diluted hydrogen peroxide in a small spray bottle. I spray over a small area where I think the game traveled. Often there are still drops of blood there, but they are hidden or just too small to see. When hit with diluted hydrogen peroxide, the blood will foam up and make it clearly visible - especially in lower light conditions. I then use the tape to mark the spot and move forward.
 

Canadian Bushman

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Jan 24, 2012
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Location
Houston, Texas
Another trick for finding a 'cold' blood trail (especially in tall grass) is the use of is diluted hydrogen peroxide in a small spray bottle. I spray over a small area where I think the game traveled. Often there are still drops of blood there, but they are hidden or just too small to see. When hit with diluted hydrogen peroxide, the blood will foam up and make it clearly visible - especially in lower light conditions. I then use the tape to mark the spot and move forward.

Thats a good trick. Never thought of that.
 

geo4061

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Jun 25, 2014
Messages
2,015
Location
Southern Oklahoma
Use it full strength. It also works great for getting blood off your clothes. Put it on the blood spot and brush with an old toothbrush. Works pretty darn good.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,723
Location
Texas
Thats a pretty neat idea JE. Some one got up early the day they thought of that.

In south Texas the brush and cactus are thick and it is impossible to walk in a straight line or see very far when on the ground, so as you walked, you looked for the stand or the device. when you spotted it you knew which way you had to move.

Also as far as being bulky, It came apart and could be assembled in minutes. They were normally
left in elevated stands because that is where most shots were made from and they were just clamped on the stand window where the shot originated making it easier to spot once on the ground.

For night hunting the new way is to use a Green Laser (Visible beam to the eye) and just follow it to the game.
At night there is no mistaking its beam and it will last for plenty of time to find your game and get you back to your shooting position unless you are in the mountains and then it is best to leave someone at your shooting position to guide you back if the laser uses up the batteries.

Now that I have a very good rangefinder and GPS I prefer to use them if the country does not allow a straight line direction for the search.

J E CUSTOM
 

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