Tracking Wounded Game
In case you need to track a wounded animal, use this technique:
- Mark the place you were standing when you shot and the area where the animal was standing when it was shot.
- Take a compass bearing on the direction you saw the animal go.
- Look for blood, tracks, meat, hair, or bone on grass, rocks, leaves, and trees as well as broken twigs, disturbed vegetation, and broken ground.
- At first sign, mark the site with highly visible flagging material (remember to remove this tape after you find the animal).
- Follow the animal’s path, marking the trail at each sign.
- Walk to the side of the trail if possible, so you don’t disturb sign.
- If you have somebody helping you track, trackers and flankers should keep 50 yards apart. The tracker concentrates on the trail while flankers look ahead for downed or fleeing game.
- Never give up on a trail until you’ve made every effort to find the next sign. If you lose the trail, start searching in widening circles from the last sign especially downhill and near water since that’s where wounded animals sometimes tend to go.
- Approach downed wildlife carefully. Approach from behind and poke the animal with a stick to make sure it is dead. Watch to see if it is breathing. If there is no sign of movement, check the eyes. If the eye does not blink, the animal is dead. If the animal is still alive, kill it quickly with a shot to the base of the ear, making sure the shot is safe.