Never trust a ‘dropped’ animal
We have all seen it happen. A hunter dumps an animal with a single shot and it is almost never lying where it dropped when it is picture time. Most animals that drop do so out of bullet shock to the body, but it doesn’t always mean it was a lethal hit that collapsed them. Never trust an instant kill. Always keep watching and be ready for a follow up shot.
Never stop glassing
If you are on a vantage point glassing for animals and you have just completed coverage of the entire area, start glassing again. Chances are good that by the time it takes to get back to your original starting point, an animal could have broken cover and exposed itself. Nature is never reliable so never trust that animals will stay hidden and always assume that you will see an animal at any moment.
Don’t poke an animal in the eye
More than once, a hunter has walked up to a “dead” animal and poked it in the eye with the muzzle of a favorite rifle to see if it is dead. First off, there are better ways to determine death but mostly, more than one buck has jumped up and ran off with a hunter’s rifle and sling entangled in its antlers. Throw a stick or a rock first to see what the living status of a grounded trophy is.
Blood isn’t just on the ground
I have trailed and tracked hundreds of animals and although blood is commonly found on the ground, a lot of blood is missed because it is located one to three feet above the ground on plants or trees. A well hit animal bleeds from the body, so it is only sound reasoning to not limit your blood seeking to the ground only.
Patience is hard thing to honor when your adrenaline is pumping and you are in pursuit, but every hunter I have ever known wished that they could slow down more while hunting. The slower you go, the more you see and hear. We all know this, but it is worthy of repetition.