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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.


Stop That Deer!
How many times have you watched a hunting show and have seen this scenario? A deer approaches a hunter, usually a bowhunter, and the shot is made as soon as the deer is in range, yet it is still walking.
 

Cold Weather Bow Practice
If you're a late season bowhunter, you likely haven't target practiced while wearing your bulky hunting clothes. I highly recommend you practice shooting your bow with all the layers and warm clothes you'll be wearing in an actual cold weather hunti...
 

Evergreen Cover Scent
One I have found that using cover scents from trees growing naturally in the area where I hunt works very well at masking human odors.
 

Pack Extra Bootlaces
One of the cheapest and handiest items you can put in your hunting pack is an extra package of bootlaces. In fact, I like to keep several packs.
 

Illuminated Nocks Light the Way
I just wanted to pass on a very useful tip for illuminated arrow nocks that my husband and I recently discovered while tracking a doe in the pitch-black darkness.
 

Check Your Back Trail!
Still hunting (stalking from the ground) is a very traditional and popular method of deer hunting, especially in areas from Maine and northward. It's something we do a lot in my native Ontario, Canada.
 

Buckmasters Beginners Test!
Here's a great reason to save your old issues of "Buckmasters." When a child or beginner shows they can safely operate, handle and accurately shoot their firearm, I give them take a little test before allowing them to shoot at a live deer. This is...
 

Artificial Christmas Tree Camo
For years I've been collecting used artificial Christmas trees from garage sales and thrift stores to use as camo and cover up material on my deer stands. I have box stands sitting on the ground, and I've attached the limbs from the Christmas tree...
 

Reverse Trail Blazing
I like to hunt in the hard to get to places. This often means finding a stand site where most hunters won't go, simply because it's too hard to get there quietly. These are the places where the big bucks are!
 

Zip Ties: An Archer's Friend
When archery hunting, whether from a treestand or ground blind, I like to remove my quiver from my bow. I simply don't like the added weight or the extra noise it makes when I shoot and the arrows buzz. One less thing to rattle is a good thing.
 
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