UKSHA FOLLOW UP AND STRIKE SITE
In the event of shooting a deer or boar then running off into cover we would like to highlight certain things to do to aid recovery of the animal and to also minimize the suffering caused.
Once the animals hit note the reaction to the shot and wait 30 minutes before following up on the animal.
· Mark the shooters position.
· Find the strike site.
· Mark the strike area in case a dog and handler need to be called out.
· If bone and skin fragments found and on last light recover pieces for the handler or cover the area if possible.
· Call the tracking team for advice at the strike area which also gives the team time to arrange to come out if needed
Spend time looking at the strike to determine where the animal is hit.
You should find small fragments of bone or hairs these will show you were the animal was hit, maybe small amounts of rumen or fleshy parts all building up a picture of the strike for either yourself or the handler to follow up on.
Pink frothy blood will indicate a lung shot animal and is the only true way to tell where the animal is hit from blood alone but this can also be deceiving as if head shot pink frothy blood could be from the saliva and blood mixed.
Once you have an idea of strike on the animal you can follow up if shot placement is correct for a heart lung shot beast.
If the shot reaction and strike area point to a shot placement where the animal could be highly mobile then the best course of action is to wait because the animal will want to couch down if undisturbed and usually within 100-200 yards if not in danger.
It would be better to follow up with an experienced team on a mobile deer or boar.
Going in too soon to find the animal will make it run further but once pushed it will not stop for a long time.
The best action is to wait for the animal to feel out of danger and couch up.
The animal will then stiffen up this seems harsh but will dramatically increase your chances of recovery and help the animal in the long run but more importantly cause less suffering.
The UKSHA team can be called on for advice at the strike site for the best course of action as things like a gut shot animal needs leaving 4 hours minimum not minutes because it will be highly mobile and without an experienced dog will be lost if an immediate follow up is done.
If the stalker has a deer dog use the dog once you have determined the reaction to the shot and shot placement is good.
If not back out and wait for the animal to couch up and for the adrenalin to subside.
If again you find bone fragments which point towards a leg shot animal this will need to be left alone 12-24 hours again this seems harsh but the animals stress levels and being highly mobile will push the deer away from the ground altogether.
Again an experienced dog and handler could be used to recover the animal.
Careful consideration is needed when using a deer dog with a highly mobile deer or Boar if it hasn’t been trained to deal with them and could end up being moved off the ground without dispatch or recovery prolonging the suffering.
Sometimes nothing can be found at the strike area and the stalker presumes the deer wasn’t shot but this needs careful checking as, if at last or first light, perspective changes and you might not be on the exact spot.
If it gets dark start again at first light as this gives a better look at the area for small sign and a follow up with an experienced dog and handler.