Observe the Shot
Try to identify precisely where the arrow struck the animal, as this will provide the first indication of how well it is hit. A hit in the leg, too far back, or too high means you need to wait at least three or four hours before even attempting to track the animal. A good, broadside hit in the vitals means you can get on it anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. Watch the deer until it disappears from sight. Note the direction it was heading. If blood is not found immediately in the spot it was hit, knowing which way it ran can start your search in the right direction. Identify a landmark near the last place you saw it from your stand. Note how it was running. If the deer was stumbling, it could mean a lethal hit; if it was limping, it could mean a leg shot; and if it was hunched up, it could mean a gut shot. Try to determine if your arrow passed through the animal. A pass-through shot should translate into more blood and a shorter tracking job. Listen to hear if the deer collapses.