Calling Your Shot
Once you've made the shot and watched the quarry run off, re-create the shot in your mind. What did you see or hear? Did the animal lurch, stumble, kick its legs violently, hump up? These all may indicate a hit. Did you hear the bullet strike or hear the animal crash to the ground out of sight? Before you head out to check for signs of a hit, be sure you've absolutely pinpointed the spot where the animal was standing when you shot at it. This is important. Often hunters have taken me to the spot where they thought the animal was standing when they shot at it and have found no blood. In truth, they marked the wrong spot and it took a long time to locate the animal's actual position when it was hit. It's especially easy to lose sight of the spot if the animal was standing on a featureless hill or surrounded by nondescript brush. If you're hunting with a companion, send him to the spot, directing him as he goes. If you're alone, take time to find the spot by using any distinctive landmarks you see: snags, branches, shrubs, etc.