GameKeepers Emag

Gamekeepers Winter 2015

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recover. There are times when you back out and go back the next morning. There are also times when circumstances dic- tate that you give them as long as you can and then proceed carefully. Learning to read blood sign is important and that's a whole other article. I am suggesting in this article that (where legal) you keep a 12 gauge and buckshot in your truck for just such circum- stances. A shotgun is quick to point and a load of 00 Buck can be lethal and can correct a bad situation quickly. There are many loads to choose from and you can determine what's best for you. The same gun you shoot ducks with and the same improved cylinder or modified choke should perform admirably. A pump gun like a Remington 870 is tailor made for this versatile job, but any pump or automatic should work fine. Just be familiar with it and have the correct loads. It's important to note that this tactic would be illegal during bow season and in many states using any kind of "shot" top hunt deer is also ilegal. And recovering a deer at night with a gun and flashlight also brings up a myriad of legal issues and moral ones which you may have to deal with. I am cer- tainly not suggesting you break any game laws, but I don't advocate allowing an animal to suffer longer than necessary either. The point I am trying to make is be prepared for a worst case scenario when recovering a wounded deer. White- tails are tough critters, especially bucks. Hunt long enough and you will have a horror story. Don't take anything for granted. It only takes a few minutes to get back to the truck and get your close quarters weapon and hopefully you may not need it. You probably won't, but that one time that you do…you'll be glad you had it. Lastly, if there is a young or new hunter. Take the time to explain to them what you're doing and why you're doing it. Take the opportunity to pass along the skills you have learned.X © Riley Payne 140 The Gamekeepers Guns continued When tracking a blood trail, be prepared for the worst case scenario. © Riley Payne

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