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Hunter approaching a downed deer
A downed deer or other large animal should be approached carefully from above and behind the head.

Approach downed game from above and behind the head; and wait a short distance away, watching for any rise and fall of the chest cavity. Do not use the gun’s muzzle to poke at the animal to see if it is alive.

  • If the animal appears to be dead, wait a short distance away for a few minutes. Watch for any rise and fall of the chest cavity.
  • Notice if the eyes are closed—the eyes of a dead animal are usually open. You can be certain that the animal is dead if the eye doesn’t blink when touched with a stick.

If the animal is still alive, it should be finished with a quick shot to the base of the ear. If you wish to mount the head, place your shot in the heart-lung area. For bowhunters, the only option is placing an arrow in the heart-lung area.

Once a deer or turkey is dead, unload your firearm and place it away from you and the animal. Then immediately place the permit properly on the leg of the animal as shown in the regulations.

Tagging a deer
Tagging a turkey