A downed deer or other large animal should be approached carefully from above and behind the head.
- 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 whether 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 the animal is dead, follow the state regulations for reporting or recording a kill. Some states require you to tag the animal immediately and indicate the date of the kill. Then begin field dressing.