Hopefully this deer season you will need your blood trailing skills. You have some, right? No, not the kind where you shoot a deer and watch him fall over, or when it walks off you go to the spot and find so much blood a blind man could follow the trail. I am talking about being able to track a deer that leaves a miniscule blood trail, the kind that takes someone from CSI to figure out.
Here are some points to ponder when you find that crummy blood trail:
Give the deer some time: If the blood trail is skimpy it may mean a poor hit. Bullet, arrow, it doesn't matter. Give the deer some time before following him. That may mean overnight.
Too many cooks spoil the broth: The worst thing you can do is have a lot of people involved. Two or three guys is plenty, otherwise there is no control and you end up having people trample over blood or tracks and destroying the evidence as well as making too much noise.
Silence is golden: Track as quietly as possible. If the deer is still alive, you do not want it to know you are coming.
Slow but steady wins the race: When the blood virtually disappears you have to go slow to avoid missing the next spot and/or trampling it over. A good plan is to have one man try and find the next speck and another move ahead on the anticipated line of march looking for a spot.
Light it Up: When the light grows dim or you are tracking at night, you cannot have too much candlepower. Conversely, nothing is worse than trying to find blood with a mini-flashlight.
Assume the worse: Somebody should have a weapon in case the deer is still alive and needs to be put down. During bow season, if it is legal I like to bring a gun. My motto is, why take chances when the goal is to dispatch the animal as quickly and cleanly as possible?
Always watch ahead: As you creep along the blood trail, somebody always needs to look ahead. Sure, you're looking for a dead deer, but mainly watching for one that is still alive that may get up and run off.
Persistence: Never, ever give up. My rule is if someone in my camp needs to trail a deer we look for a full day before giving up the ghost. No exceptions. That's just the right thing to do.