Great read by our own Rob/PA. If you've shot or plan to shoot a deer this year (don't we all ), please take a moment to read this. It should be the goal of every hunter to make a clean ethical kill. That doesn't always happen, and if you think you've made a questionable hit, this is a great outline of what TO do. Enjoy. "I wrote this thread more years ago than I can remember and every year our great members here add to it and also offer their own tips and experience. If only one animal is recovered every year because of this thread then it has done it's job. There are much more seasoned hunters and veterans of the woods here than myself with great knowledge of the whitetail. This thread serves as a guidline and not the final word on trailing whitetails. They are amazing animals and can survive against extreme odds. If you have a suggestion or tip to add, by all means do so, I look forward to them every year and I certainly too try to learn from everyone as well. One of the biggest reasons why many animals are not recovered after being shot is that all too often bow hunters take up the trail too soon, simply bumping the animal away, never to be found again. What you do following the shot can make or break a successful recovery. When mortality wounded 90% of deer will bed within 250 yards of the shot. If an animal dies beyond this, most likely some outside factor pushed the animal. Think about all of the animals you've taken, found or lost. You've probably found at least one if not multiple beds within this distance. Now I' m not proclaiming myself the ultimate tracker/hunter but I can testify that my hunting partners and I have not lost an animal that has died or that we not seen another day, in many, many years and several of these recoveries were because of waiting for the right moment to trail the animal,rather than the initial shot placement. I'll give you an example of an animal that I made a poor shot on because I neglected to stop the animal and shot him on the move. At 25 yards I placed my arrow too far back on the buck. As soon as I saw the arrow hit further back than I wanted, I knew immediately not to take up the track until at least 6 hours later. I shot this animal at 7:30 am and got out of my tree at 11:00 and left the woods. At 3:30 I returned to the woods and found my buck not 50 yards inside a woods at the last point I saw him. Had I not waited, there is a very good chance thatI wouldn't have found him due to all the standing cornfields surrounding the woodlot he was bedded in. In this particular case I also glassed the animal immediately following the shot to verify the hit. One important note or tip that I always like to make is, that binoculars are an invaluable tool for archers not only to glass an animal post shot, but also to watch for his movement once he moves off. Quite often we as hunters get caught up in the heat of the moment and become unsure of our arrow's point of impact. A good set of binoculars and some quick thinking can help you verify your shot placement and help you formulate the proper game plan for recovering your animal. Binoculars aslo allow you to see past foliage. A deer can move out of eye shot and bed but you may catch it's movement with binoculars. The following is a list of several tips that I feel are invaluable for bow hunters to use when deciding what to do both before and after the shot. In the past, many members of the HuntingNet.com Message Boards have helped to tweak and add their own priceless tidbits of information as well. Hopefully one of the tips here or posted herein will aid you in a speedy recovery this hunting season. 1. Use bright fletch. You need to be able to see your arrow in flight, in the animal, and on the ground afterward. Dark arrows will not do you any good if you yourself can' t see them. If bright fletching isn"™t enough, try using lighted arrow nocks for better visibility in low light conditions, if legal in your state or even white or bright arrow wraps. Find your arrow, your arrow is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle you may have. 2.Binoculars - use them post shot! They may be one of the most important tools you have after the shot. 3. Watch the animal after the shot. Quite often an animal's body movement will help indicate to you what type of shot you got. An animal that jumps straight in the air and bounds off out of sight is most likely mortally wounded and will not travel far. However, if the animal hunches up and walks off or moves off slowly there is a good chance the hit was too far back or forward and you may need to wait at least 6 hours before taking up the trail.