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Trail-Starter Arrow

Trail-Starter Arrow

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.


It's Time To Put Your Buck To Bed
Knowing where deer bed down for the day is one of the keys to finding the right place to set up a stand. Unfortunately, you can really mess up your hunting chances if you disturb a bedding area any time close to hunting season.
 

If You Have To Ask, The Answer is "NO!"
We've all heard horror stories of wounded deer, and bowhunters in particular are prone to be the subject of these sad tales. The real statistics show that wounded deer are far less common than stories indicate, but a common theme of many of these ...
 

Are You Leaving It Up To Chance?
There's an old saying that in order to take a big buck you have to hunt somewhere that has big bucks. Most hunters realize the logic of that statement, but they tend to think about it on more of a state or regional level. It's even more important ...
 

Medicine For Buck Fever
It's normal to get excited when you see a good buck (or any deer for that matter). But when a big buck comes along, you can't let that excitement turn into buck fever. When you know a deer is a shooter, don't spend time counting points, estim...
 

Get Off the Field
Just seeing deer gets any hunter's heart pumping. That's why it's so hard to resist sitting right on a green field or crop edge -- you definitely see more deer. If you're meat hunting or are taking a youngster out, watching a field can be very pr...
 

Sometimes It's What's Behind You That's Important
Sometimes we focus so much on what we can see from a stand that we forget to think about what the deer sees from his angle. Whether you are hunting with a gun, bow or muzzleloader, you will almost always have to make some kind of movement to get yo...
 

Test Broadheads for Good Arrow Flight
Most bowhunters today realize the importance of tuning their bows and testing their broadhead flight before hunting. Just because one broadhead flies well doesn't mean that you are done tuning, however. Three different broadheads from the same pac...
 

Don't Confuse Practice with Sighting-In
When sighting in a gun or bow, it is imperative to remove as much human influence from the shot as possible. Sighting-in is not practice - it is a process to get your equipment shooting dead-on.
 

New Thoughts on Taking Does
You've probably read dozens of articles recommending harvesting big, healthy does to help reduce deer populations. Other articles talk about how to tell mature does from yearlings to help hunters cull only mature does. But some biologists are taki...
 

Deer Hunting's Public Enemy #1: A Buck's Nose
Deer have an incredible sense of smell. Hunters have seen deer react to the scent of wood shavings, where a limb was sawed to open a shooting lane. There's no substitute for paying attention to the wind and staying downwind of where you expect to ...
 
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