Oh Deer: Loss Rates and Recovery (part 1)

Wounded deer found using the Pro-Tracker system.

As hunters our primary goal every time we go out is to hunt and recover our animal; not only because that is the point of the hunt, but because know that there is no feeling worse than knowing you injured, or killed, an animal and that after exhaustive searching it is nowhere to be found because of issues beyond your control; like no blood trail, rain, or the blood trail just quitting. Unfortunately, that exact thing happened to one of our owners and spurred him to create the Pro-tracker recovery system. We know many of you agree that this is an issue, and we hope that this will never happen to you, but this is still an issue worth reviewing. So, let’s take a deeper look, shall we?

• Even though deer loss was first presented as a serious issue via controlled studies performed in 1989, we are still experiencing at 18% wounding rate per 104 bowhunters.
• In a normal hunting season it is estimated that 908 white tail deer are hit, but only 746 are actually recovered. That means that there are approximately 162 lost, injured, or killed animals that are never recovered (1).
• In further studies it was found that most hunts they experienced had a 50% wounding rate; meaning only half of the hunters performed a kill shot on the first try.
• Of the animal’s injured by hunters in that controlled study, 14% of those lost, injured, or killed animals were never recovered.
• Furthermore, that controlled study found only 4% of these injured deer actually died from their wounds annually, which means 96% of these injured deer were left to suffer through life with a potentially debilitating injury (2).
• If you look at studies, such as this one by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agency, you’ll find that in their research they have found that 50% of the deer that were shot were never recovered, which to us is entirely unacceptable.
Upon further reading you’ll find that in this study there was a wounding loss of 14%. That means that 14% of those deer that were failed to be recovered sustained fatal injuries and one of those deer managed to survive with these injuries for 5-7 days before finally perishing. We as hunters owe it to these animals to ensure they suffer as little as possible, which means we need to recover them in a timely manner.
• In similar studies it was found that for every 8 deer shot and killed, an average of 9 were wounded (3)

We don’t know about you, but we find those statistics incredibly upsetting. Which is why we feel like our Pro-Tracker recovery system is such an important part of a bowhunters arsenal. Our system will allow you to hunt and track as you always have, and to enjoy taking advantage of the knowledge and skill those require, but when something goes awry our system will be there to help you make sure you recover your animals. Let our system help make sure you can hunt with confidence, and add our Pro-Tracker recovery system to your hunting equipment today!

1. Ditchkoff, Stephen S., Edgar R. Welch Jr., Robert L. Lochmiller, Ronald E. Masters, William R. Starry, William C. Dinkines. 1998. Wounding of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 52:244-248. Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ronald_Masters/publication/237609363_Wounding_Rates_of_Whitetailed_Deer_with_Traditional_Archery_Equipment/links/54c63cdf0cf256ed5a9d4dfe.pd
2. Pedersen, Andy M., Seth Berry, Jeffrey C. Bossart. 2008. Wounding Rates of White –tailed Deer with Modern Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 62:31–34
3. Adrian, Benke. The Bowhunting Alternative. 1989.

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