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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.


What You Can Learn From Tracks
Once you've located deer trails, look for tracks. If all the tracks are going in the same direction, follow the trail to determine where it goes. Depending on where the food source is, you might have found the main trail heading to the food source...
 

How Important Is Camouflage?
Just how important is camouflage? After all, weren't hunters taking deer long before fancy camouflage became all the rage? The answer is that camouflage is very important to today's hunters, largely because so many hunters are using shorter-range w...
 

Where Do Pressured Deer Go?
Have you noticed how all the deer you see while scouting seem to vanish during hunting season? It's natural to think those deer have left your area for "more safe" country. In some cases, that's true. Deer adjacent to posted land are smart enough...
 

Silent Drives
There are times when the deer are simply not moving and you're forced to make something happen. Maybe you're up against a full moon or hot weather. This is when a silent drive to force deer to move should be considered. By silent drive, you're no...
 

Take More Bucks Outside the Rut
We all like to hunt during the rut; that's when most of the big bucks get taken, after all. But the reality is that we spend a lot more time in the woods when the rut is not taking place. So how can we take more bucks when the rut is not happening...
 

Do You Really HAVE to Tune Your Bow?
Tuning a bow can be a frustrating, time-consuming undertaking, which is why many dedicated bowhunters skip the process entirely. And if your broadheads hit where you are aiming and your arrows enter the target straight, there is no real need to "t...
 

Don't Push That Wounded Deer
It doesn't matter how much you practice or how selective you are with your shots, sooner or later you are going to make a bad hit. Gun, bow or muzzleloader, things happen in the deer woods beyond our control. While a bad hit is inevitable, losing ...
 

When It Comes To Trophy Bucks, Plan for the Best -- And the Worst
More and more hunters are passing on small bucks in hopes of a trophy. What many newcomers to holding out are not prepared for, however, is to go through the season without taking ANY buck -- but that's what passing up smaller bucks often will mea...
 

Making the Right Call
Successfully calling deer is based on the deer’s natural curiosity about other deer in its immediate area. However, deer are more curious at some times than at others. Does with fawns, particularly in groups, are in their mothering mode and will oft...
 

How High Is High Enough?
These days, whitetails look up. Back in the old days, the treestand was a magic bullet, and it didn’t have to be very high to work. It’s uncomfortable to the deer to look up. Its neck is more rigid than ours, and its eyes are situated to detect grou...
 
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