Game Recovery Steps When Bow and Crossbow Hunting
When recovering game you have shot with a bow or crossbow, you should:
- Wait quietly for at least 30 minutes after your shot. Allow the animal to lie down and die from massive blood loss.
- Locate and examine your arrow when the animal moves off.
- Stomach contents on the arrow indicate a poor hit.
- Wait several hours before beginning to track a gut-shot animal.
- Look for blood and other tracking signs.
- Check nearby vegetation for indications that the animal went by.
- Look for overturned leaves, broken branches, and footprints.
- Walk beside the game sign. Walking directly on blood or other sign may destroy the trail.
- Mark your trail with bright-colored material.
- If you can’t find new sign, a marked path will allow you to start from the last located sign.
- If you lose the trail, begin to walk in widening arcs in the direction the animal headed.
- Approach downed game cautiously.
- Walk up to the animal from the rear and stay clear of the legs.
- Watch the animal’s chest for signs of breathing.
- The animal’s eyes will be open if it’s dead.
- Tap the animal with a long stick to check for a response.
- If it’s still alive, quickly place another shot in the vital area.
- Tag immediately if required by law.