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Q:
In 1986, Al Hodacker, a respected deer researcher, published a Deer & Deer Hunting magazine article, "The Philosophy of Waiting." After studying data on bow shoot deer he concluded that it was better to follow-up on wounded deer immediately rather than wait. Your thoughts?

Question by MLH. Uploaded on March 25, 2009

Answers (12)

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from jay wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I don't agree. there are shots such as ones in the a$$ that you should push the deer but the majority of shots its always best to wait the recommended 30 minutes to one hour. I've had great success on waiting overnight if I don't think I had a good shot in the evening. I have never lost a deer by waiting but have lost too many by pushing them.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

The decision to follow up should be based on where the arrow hit your deer and things like the temperature. For example a gut shot deer will usually travel a fairly short distance and bed. Wait a few hours and you will find him either dead or in such shape that you can finish him off. Follow up right away and you most likely will never find him.

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from MLH wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

He even recommended immediate followups on gut shot deer. Data was consistent for all wounds. Basically, hunters pursuing deer immediately, or shortly (within 15 minutes) of the shot, had higher recovery rates. In no situation did those who waited have a higher recovery rate. Its data and statistics, so there are exceptions.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I understand the philosophy. Back in the mid 80's I rarely had a pass through shot. Pushing a wounded deer would grind the broadhead inside the body cavity creating a greater wound.

With todays equipment I blow through everything I shoot.

I say if the shot is questionable let them be. 1 hour maybe two at least. Even coming back the next day is a good idea. Adrenaline is a very powerful drug to give a wounded deer.

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from MLH wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Makes sense buckhunter. Would love to see another survey with both bow and gun, but everyone has been told for so long that we have to wait that getting good date might be difficult.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I track them immeadiately only if the shot was true. If i have any doubt, i'll wait a couple hours.

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from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I never immediately follow up a bow shot deer unless I see them go down. If the shot is the least bit questionable I will wait especially if the hit is a little far back. Del is correct, let them lay down and bleed out or stiffen up.

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from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

If it is agood shot you should go afterit soon. But if it's a bad one wait several hours.

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from MB915 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Just like other people pointed out, factors other than the shot need to be considered. If its about to rain, you should start tracking immediately. If your hunting on public land and other hunters might walk through the area and kick the deer up, you should consider tracking immediately. There is answer that is set in stone, I think everytime it should be considered based on the information you have at that time.

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from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

one to many times I hear of people get out of there stand to quick and send the deer on a adrenaline rushed charge that can send them running a mile or two.

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from DakotaMan wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

With all due respect, it doesn't sound to me like Al hunted much. In most cases, WAITing pays off. Even vitally shot deer can cover a mile pretty fast when they get the adrenilin rush of letahal pursuit. It does depend on where you hit them though. I had a Sioux Indian friend from South Dakota ride me for trying to shoot them in the chest with an arrow. He said that is why we (white men) lose so many deer. He claimed that the best practice passed down from his ancestors was to shoot them in the hindquarters and run them down quickly. Claimed he never lost one that way and that even his grandmother could outrun such a deer and put another arrow into it. I never tried it because I couldn't see inflicting that kind of pain on any critter. I will tell you though that if they are shot in the chest, they can run like the wind and they expire pretty quickly if you don't push them.

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from rudyglove27 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Agreed with Del in KS answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

The decision to follow up should be based on where the arrow hit your deer and things like the temperature. For example a gut shot deer will usually travel a fairly short distance and bed. Wait a few hours and you will find him either dead or in such shape that you can finish him off. Follow up right away and you most likely will never find him.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I understand the philosophy. Back in the mid 80's I rarely had a pass through shot. Pushing a wounded deer would grind the broadhead inside the body cavity creating a greater wound.

With todays equipment I blow through everything I shoot.

I say if the shot is questionable let them be. 1 hour maybe two at least. Even coming back the next day is a good idea. Adrenaline is a very powerful drug to give a wounded deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I don't agree. there are shots such as ones in the a$$ that you should push the deer but the majority of shots its always best to wait the recommended 30 minutes to one hour. I've had great success on waiting overnight if I don't think I had a good shot in the evening. I have never lost a deer by waiting but have lost too many by pushing them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

He even recommended immediate followups on gut shot deer. Data was consistent for all wounds. Basically, hunters pursuing deer immediately, or shortly (within 15 minutes) of the shot, had higher recovery rates. In no situation did those who waited have a higher recovery rate. Its data and statistics, so there are exceptions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Makes sense buckhunter. Would love to see another survey with both bow and gun, but everyone has been told for so long that we have to wait that getting good date might be difficult.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I track them immeadiately only if the shot was true. If i have any doubt, i'll wait a couple hours.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I never immediately follow up a bow shot deer unless I see them go down. If the shot is the least bit questionable I will wait especially if the hit is a little far back. Del is correct, let them lay down and bleed out or stiffen up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

If it is agood shot you should go afterit soon. But if it's a bad one wait several hours.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MB915 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Just like other people pointed out, factors other than the shot need to be considered. If its about to rain, you should start tracking immediately. If your hunting on public land and other hunters might walk through the area and kick the deer up, you should consider tracking immediately. There is answer that is set in stone, I think everytime it should be considered based on the information you have at that time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

one to many times I hear of people get out of there stand to quick and send the deer on a adrenaline rushed charge that can send them running a mile or two.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

With all due respect, it doesn't sound to me like Al hunted much. In most cases, WAITing pays off. Even vitally shot deer can cover a mile pretty fast when they get the adrenilin rush of letahal pursuit. It does depend on where you hit them though. I had a Sioux Indian friend from South Dakota ride me for trying to shoot them in the chest with an arrow. He said that is why we (white men) lose so many deer. He claimed that the best practice passed down from his ancestors was to shoot them in the hindquarters and run them down quickly. Claimed he never lost one that way and that even his grandmother could outrun such a deer and put another arrow into it. I never tried it because I couldn't see inflicting that kind of pain on any critter. I will tell you though that if they are shot in the chest, they can run like the wind and they expire pretty quickly if you don't push them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Agreed with Del in KS answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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