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Bow Tip: How To Find Lost Arrows

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November 14, 2011

Bow Tip: How To Find Lost Arrows

By Dave Hurteau

Just for you buckhunter, here are five tips for recovering those arrows that—no way!—missed the whole dang target on the practice range.

1) Keep the lawn mowed short. (Yeah, right.)

2) If possible, set up so the terrain behind the target is uphill, even if only slightly.

3) When you shoot a flier, stop shooting. While the shot is still fresh in your mind, stare at the target and do your best to remember and mentally mark exactly where you missed. (e.g. “Left edge of the target, 2 inches high.”)

4) Drop your bow at your feet. Walk past the target, beyond the farthest point where the arrow could have landed, turn around and line up the bow, your marked miss and yourself—all in a straight line. Drop your hat.

5) Your arrow should be stuck in the grass somewhere along that line, between your hat and the target. If the vanes are sticking out, you’ll find it pretty quickly. Otherwise, look for loose dirt or parted grass where the shaft entered. If necessary, go to the garage, grab a potato hook, and rake the tines perpendicular to that line between the hat and the target, digging a couple inches into the ground. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what will. But maybe you do; any suggestions?

Comments (14)

Top Rated
All Comments
from TNbuckhunter05 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I've used a cheap metal detector of my neighbor's in the past..so if you know of someone that has one, take advantage of it if you lose an arrow or two.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from horseman308 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

If you have a decent metal detector, the insert and/or tip should "ping" when you cross them with the detector.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Get a dog that would loves to retrieve the arrows for you, mine has found many an arrow that's missed or went through the target and ended up in the grass both short and tall. Occasionally when pulling one up she can bend it, but I just try and get there as soon as she finds it to do the actual retrieving.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Dave, thank you for the quick response to my tongue-in-cheek comment about finding lost arrows. I am laughing as I type this but with the price of arrows finding them can be serious business.

My 17 yr old son likes the barefoot-in-the-grass method hoping to step on it. Not recommended with broadheads. I like to rake another arrow along the likely spot and listen for the tip to cross over the shaft of the lost arrow. I do have a metal detector that has paid for itself in time and arrows. While stump shooting I use flu flu's with judo points. They never bury. My last ditch effort will be crawling around on my hands and knees as if I'm hunting for night crawlers. Unfortunately, I find myself on my knees all to often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

i always shoot barefoot when im using field tips. neve with broadheads though i cant say a wat to find a razor in the ground

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

how about you just shoot from an elevated position, tree stand in front yard, garage roof, stand on a step of a ladder, etc

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

You got it, buckhunter.
Funny thing, I intended to be all tongue-in-cheek, too, as I started this post, but it turned into kind of a straight tip; as you say, the price of arrows makes this a serious business.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Usually the only method that really works for me is to wait several months until I accidentally stumble upon it while doing something else.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

buckhunter doesn't miss the target often. Practicing with my new recurve has proved to be costly. Lost two arrows today. Partly because i didn't have a lot of time to look.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Good advice but I rather lay my bow down on the ground, dropping it is hell on the cam!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Titanic98 wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

This really helped I lose all my arrows all the time

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwillard wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I agree, arrow hunting is serious business! I employ many of the same tricks you list in the post. I really like the metal detector route, but considering most arrows are an aluminum insert & a carbon shaft that doesn't always work. However, for a cheap metal detector, you can try and use your android phone. There are free metal detector apps and if your arrow combination is detectable that may be a cheap and less bulky alternative to the real deal metal detector.

Also, if you happen to skim the back of the target, you may be surprised how far some of these newer bows will fling an arrow of a 3-d target. I've had some bounce 100yds or more into the crop field behind my target.

I've also switched my fletchings from neon green to blaze orange to help me find my arrows easier. Neon green is hard to find in grass, depending on the lighting conditions. I've looked for 30 mins for an arrow one time of day and never found it, only to go back out to the exact same location at a different time of day and find it immediately.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Football n Whit... wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Good tips, arrows are expensive, and you don't want to lose them if you do happen to miss.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tristyn Croman wrote 44 weeks 5 days ago

paint the arrows orange, blue... bright colors. I am 13 and i love shooting compound bow, keeps me occupied but i live in a big yard wich is good, but still i can only shoot in one direction, wich if it misses it goes down into the thorns so i have to take my machete and chop around for a few minutes or days to find it, i use bails of hay to try and trap the arrow but it dosent allways catch it, all the other angles are eaither pointed to houses, roads(only a few people go down it but i dont wanna risk anything, so i just put up with it, besides, i like machetes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from TNbuckhunter05 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

I've used a cheap metal detector of my neighbor's in the past..so if you know of someone that has one, take advantage of it if you lose an arrow or two.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Usually the only method that really works for me is to wait several months until I accidentally stumble upon it while doing something else.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from horseman308 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

If you have a decent metal detector, the insert and/or tip should "ping" when you cross them with the detector.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Get a dog that would loves to retrieve the arrows for you, mine has found many an arrow that's missed or went through the target and ended up in the grass both short and tall. Occasionally when pulling one up she can bend it, but I just try and get there as soon as she finds it to do the actual retrieving.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Dave, thank you for the quick response to my tongue-in-cheek comment about finding lost arrows. I am laughing as I type this but with the price of arrows finding them can be serious business.

My 17 yr old son likes the barefoot-in-the-grass method hoping to step on it. Not recommended with broadheads. I like to rake another arrow along the likely spot and listen for the tip to cross over the shaft of the lost arrow. I do have a metal detector that has paid for itself in time and arrows. While stump shooting I use flu flu's with judo points. They never bury. My last ditch effort will be crawling around on my hands and knees as if I'm hunting for night crawlers. Unfortunately, I find myself on my knees all to often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

i always shoot barefoot when im using field tips. neve with broadheads though i cant say a wat to find a razor in the ground

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

You got it, buckhunter.
Funny thing, I intended to be all tongue-in-cheek, too, as I started this post, but it turned into kind of a straight tip; as you say, the price of arrows makes this a serious business.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

buckhunter doesn't miss the target often. Practicing with my new recurve has proved to be costly. Lost two arrows today. Partly because i didn't have a lot of time to look.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

Good advice but I rather lay my bow down on the ground, dropping it is hell on the cam!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Titanic98 wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

This really helped I lose all my arrows all the time

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwillard wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I agree, arrow hunting is serious business! I employ many of the same tricks you list in the post. I really like the metal detector route, but considering most arrows are an aluminum insert & a carbon shaft that doesn't always work. However, for a cheap metal detector, you can try and use your android phone. There are free metal detector apps and if your arrow combination is detectable that may be a cheap and less bulky alternative to the real deal metal detector.

Also, if you happen to skim the back of the target, you may be surprised how far some of these newer bows will fling an arrow of a 3-d target. I've had some bounce 100yds or more into the crop field behind my target.

I've also switched my fletchings from neon green to blaze orange to help me find my arrows easier. Neon green is hard to find in grass, depending on the lighting conditions. I've looked for 30 mins for an arrow one time of day and never found it, only to go back out to the exact same location at a different time of day and find it immediately.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Football n Whit... wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Good tips, arrows are expensive, and you don't want to lose them if you do happen to miss.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tristyn Croman wrote 44 weeks 5 days ago

paint the arrows orange, blue... bright colors. I am 13 and i love shooting compound bow, keeps me occupied but i live in a big yard wich is good, but still i can only shoot in one direction, wich if it misses it goes down into the thorns so i have to take my machete and chop around for a few minutes or days to find it, i use bails of hay to try and trap the arrow but it dosent allways catch it, all the other angles are eaither pointed to houses, roads(only a few people go down it but i dont wanna risk anything, so i just put up with it, besides, i like machetes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

how about you just shoot from an elevated position, tree stand in front yard, garage roof, stand on a step of a ladder, etc

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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