Tracking, also known as blood trailing, is the technique of trailing a deer you have wounded with your shot. It’s not a skill that hunters perfect overnight. This takes experience and time and [more than a few] expert tips. Towards that end, our big game hunting team put together a short list to get you started on your journey towards being a proficient tracker.



Avoid the urge to immediately jump out of your blind or stand to follow the deer. There is a lot that can be determined by waiting and listening. Some of the clues an expert tracker looks to observe include the following:

  • What sound did the arrow make upon impact?
  • How did the deer respond to the hit? Did it immediately run a great distance or run a small amount and then struggle to continue?
  • If the deer goes down, make note of how quickly it laid down. The amount of time between the hit and the deer going down will give you clues as to how long it will take for the shot to kill the deer.
  • If you don’t see the deer go down but you think you hear it go down, we recommend waiting approximately an hour before tracking it.


Know Your Shot

Pay attention to the location of your shot. The place your arrow hit the deer can give you a pretty good idea of how much time may pass before it dies. Use the following guide for a guick reference:

  • Heart: Immediate up to ½ hour wait
  • Lung: Immediate up to 1 hour wait
  • Liver: 3-5 hour wait
  • Gut: 10+ hour wait
  • Ham: 2-3 hour wait

It’s also important to take a close look at any blood found right at the shot site. The color of the blood will give you an indication of where you hit your deer. An organ hit will either be bright pink (heart or lung), dark red (liver), brown-tinged (gut) or bright red (muscle). At Edenwood, when you book one of our big game hunting packages, our guides will help you identify these clues, making your experience much more exciting and successful.


Use Good Lighting

Be sure you are using high quality lighting to do your blood trailing. The drops of blood that you are looking for may be as small as pencil erases or smaller. The brighter your light, the better chance you will have of finding the drops that lead to your deer.


Mark Where the Deer Was Shot

The first mark you will make in your tracking is where the shot occurred. It is important to mark this location so that, if you must wait a significant amount of time before tracking, you can begin accurately. It’s surprisingly easy to forget the location in the excitement of the moment; stay focused. The only time this is not necessary is if you see the deer topple over.


Mark Each Blood Sighting as You Trail

As you follow the blood trail, you must continue to mark each blood sighting with a brightly colored indicator. A bright piece of cloth or clothing will work or even neon flags if you prepared ahead and brought those with you to the stand. These markers will allow you to retrace your steps if you have to double-back. It will also prove valuable if a significant amount of time passes before you can complete your tracking.


Wisconsin Whitetail Hunts

Edenwood offers a unique opportunity for all hunters to hone his or her skills.  We provide all the essentials, lodging, beautiful hunting land, hunting stands and blinds, & more. Whitetail, Elk and Fallow call this property home.  You are in charge of your hunt—All hunting packages below can be customized as you wish. Additional animals can be added to any package and any animal can be a DIY hunt.  Contact us today to learn more or book your guided hunt!