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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.


Just Look at the Time!
Part of ethical hunting is being fully aware of legal shooting time and adhering to the rules, but keeping up with the time can be a challenge for hunters.
 

Step Up to Your Climber
Here's a dilemma most hunters have dealt with when setting up a climbing stand: You're scouting a new area and finally locate the right tree to give you the perfect vantage point.
 

Fishing For Bucks?
We often think of fishermen as hunters seeking game in the water, but why not reverse this way of thinking? I like to bring my Ugly Stik ice fishing rod into the treestand with me. Some of you might think this is a weird tactic, but it works.
 

Spray Those Platforms and Steps
Have you ever noticed how even a small amount of moisture can make your treestand steps and stand platforms slippery? Rain, frost and even dew can cause this, and especially if mud is stuck to your boots. Mud can make your steps slick as a whistle...
 

Flashlights Save Lives
I edit hundreds of stories written by hunters each year and am constantly amazed at how many describe walking to their treestands in the dark with no flashlight. This is one of the most dangerous things a hunter can do because other hunters only s...
 

Dry Pull Your Bowstring
When I get to my stand, I do a dry pull of my bowstring. This means I attach my release and draw my bow then let it back down quietly. This simple measure helps take the popping noises out of a cold string and bow limbs before an animal arrives.
 

Wild Turkey Drumstick BBQ
Many of my fellow white-tailed deer hunters also love to hunt wild turkey. Here's the best turkey hunter's tip I can offer them, and one that too few hunters are aware of.
 

Don't Skimp On The Big Three
There are areas of hunting where I'll settle for less, but not so with my archery gear - especially the big three: my bow, arrows and broadheads.
 

Relocate Lost Turkey Calls
Have you ever sat down to call a turkey and somehow managed to get up, move and forget you left one of your prized box calls or slates still sitting on the ground? In the heat of the moment, it's easy to lose a call, especially strikers, if you do...
 

Cloth Bow Case Carrier
If you've ever walked to your stand on a cold morning while wearing a coat, you're fully aware of how much you can sweat. This happens even when temperatures are well below freezing.
 
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