On December 9th, I received a phone call from Riley who is a good friend of mine. He had shot a nice deer and needed help tracking it. Unfortunately, I was out of town watching a basketball game and couldn’t help until later that night. He decided to head out with someone else but they couldn’t find any blood trail, so they made the decision to back out and look in the morning. I hated to see him not find his deer that night; however, I always enjoy the challenge of following a blood trail to find the prize!
We went right back to where they had left off the night before. Riley showed us where the shot occurred and we still could not find any blood. He knew roughly where the deer had gone into the woods so we decided to split up and search every trail for signs or blood. I didn’t make it fifty yards into the woods and caught a strong smell of deer. I instantly got excited because I knew it couldn’t be far away and we were definitely going to find it. It ended up being forty yards upwind next to a brush pile. I could see Riley about seventy yards away from me so I had a little fun and sent him a selfie with it before saying anything.
After we took pictures and celebrated I spent some time looking for blood. From where the deer expired we looked on every trail leading to it and found nothing. This is not my fist time tracking a lethal hit where no blood is found so I want to stress how important it is to exhaust all options when it comes to tracking deer. The coyotes had beat us to it but without them opening him up I might have not been able to smell it from a distance.
I have helped track several deer and can honestly say the feeling of finding one for someone else rivals or might even beat the feeling of getting one for myself. It had been several years since Riley put a buck on the ground and I couldn’t be more thankful for getting to share the experience.