Many hunters these days think they have missed when a deer doesnít drop in its track. However, this is no indication of missing the deer. Incredible as it may seem, many deer hit by high velocity bullets arenít killed on impact. In many cases bullet shock seems to cause a sudden adrenaline flow, which deadens their nervous system and makes the animal do things they normally find impossible to do. Wounded deer run for many kilometers with broken legs, punctured legs, and exposed intestine. Many deer donít even break stride when hit.
Unless a deer displays some positive sign, such as stumbling, going sideways, humping its back, grunting or swapping ends, its next to impossible to tell if it has been hit or missed. It is a myth that a deer will always drop its tail when shot. This is not a sure sign; it depends on the location and severity of the wound.
The hunter should always look over the area where the deer was standing when shot at. Even if he finds no blood on the ground near the track, he should check for blood sprayed on the bushes at waist level because the bullet may have exited high after going through the lungs.
Follow the tracks for at least 150m and look for sign of irregularity in them. One hoof may be dragged or one leg out of line. Even if there is no blood in evidence, these signs indicate the deer is wounded and may have broken a leg, hip or shoulder.
Trailing should be done using extreme caution, for a deer knows when it is being followed and keeps a constant watch on its back trail.
Submitted by Phillip West
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