Who else has been there? If you are a hunter, it has happened at least once. In all of the excitement that comes with an animal walking into shooting range and then taking that shot, it can be easy to blank out in those moments leaving you grasping to remember all of the details and where your arrow hit. Seasoned hunters know that the follow thru of a shot is crucial, watching and waiting to see the impact and reaction of the animal. Christian Berg is the Editor of Petersen’s Bowhunting and he joins The Revolution this week to talk recovery and reading the signals of an animal that has been hit. Christian tells Jim and Trav that watching intently directly following the shot can tell you a lot about how quickly your animal will expire. If your shot produces a substantial amount of blood immediately coming from the animal, Christian says, that’s a good indicator of a lethal shot. With a heart or a double lung shot the animal tends to run, sprint, right away. This is especially true with a heart shot Christian says. They will generally run until they fall over in their tracks which is usually 80 to 120 yards. Tracking a deer in this scenario is ideal because these situations usually produce great blood trails and the animal tends to run in a straight-line making recovery quick and simple. Many people look to the tail as an indicator of the placement and effectiveness of their shot, but Christian says it’s crucial to watch body language. If a deer is hit in the liver or guts, they often times run for a short distance before stopping to assess the situation. At this point Christian says that if they have been hit they may flick their tail a bit up and down as they hunch up and walk away. Behavior such as this is often a good indicator that the hunter hit the deer a little further back than they intended to, and they might want to give the animal a little time to expire before setting out to recover and possibly bumping them. The burden of recovery is on the hunter and that’s what makes it so crucial to observe everything you can from your blind, watching for the impact and reading the body language of the animal directly after the shot. Knowing where you hit the animal, which direction they fled and being able to find sign greatly increases your chances of recovery.
Be sure to listen in as Christian Berg, Editor of Petersen’s Bowhunting joins us this week to talk recovery and reading signals. Make sure to check out www.BowhuntingMag.com where you’ll find tons of helpful articles, plus you can sign up for a subscription, too!
Straight Shooting friends,