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By Christopher Anderson
How often has this happened to you?
You've just shot a deer with your bow and arrow, and in your excitement, you've climbed down from your treestand to start blood trailing before taking note of exactly where the animal stood.
When you reach the spot where you thought the deer was standing, you have great difficulty finding it.
You're off to a bad start in the trailing process because everything looks different from the ground than it does from 20 feet or more in an elevated treestand. This is especially true in places where ground cover is thick, like where I hunt in Florida.
For these reasons, I carry an extra trail-starter arrow in my quiver.
Immediately after shooting a deer, I nock my trail-starter arrow and shoot it into the ground where the deer was standing when I shot it. This gives me a solid starting point of reference to begin my search.
I like to use an old arrow that I don't use much anymore, but isn't beat up too much to fly straight.
Also, I use a field tip on this arrow, and put it in the hardest-to-get-to place in my quiver so I won't mistake it for my hunting arrows tipped with broadheads.