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Snippet of Backcountry Rookies - Big Game Hunting Podcast: Tracking Animals with Brian Barney - Eastman's Elevated Podcast

Last Played: April 12, 2021
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Johnny Mack has Brian Barney from the Eastman's Elevated Podcast on the podcast to go through his tips when tracking an animal after a shot. Brian also tells us the different colors of blood to look for when tracking and where the blood may be coming from to help you track. Brian also goes through how the bloodline could deceive you and why remembering the shot is so important.
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Let's move on to the topic that that I wanted to talk about, and that's tracking animals and and we'll spend some time on this. But the way I kind of want to do this is is we'll talk a little bit about different scenarios, and I have three different scenarios that are probably the most common. Um, we'll talk a little bit about it, and then if you could share a story on each one, where you where you put your what you were in that situation? Um, the first thing that I want to talk about is ideal shot and animal goes down. I know there really isn't a lot of tracking there, but you know that animal, maybe it goes 100 yards and then falls down in some brush and just kind of that little short tracking. How do you deal with that? And then tell us a quick story about that? Yeah, so, um, that's always the goal. And it it feels so good when you can place a perfect arrow in the animal. It it adds to the experience. It it adds to your confidence, the remembering, the hunt that way. And so there's just nothing better than sneaking in with a stone's throw and delivering a perfect arrow. And so, you know, I've had to learn throughout the years and and, you know it's important to to really set your sights at an effective range, and to me it's get close and kill them. Like if I can get close where I'm 100% and get set up, you know, I know, you know, I'm 100% confident that I can deliver that arrow now that distance is different for everybody. I shoot 365 days a year, and I'm not here to put my maximum distance on anybody else. But I think it's important, like with the gear nowadays, like I just get close and killed. Now there is, um you know, there is getting too close. There is, you know, uh, pushing to failure. And a lot of guys get caught in this where they keep stalking the animal until they give themselves away and they end up busting that animal. And I don't like that either. And some of my close kills or my my most remembered moments, you know, killing a giant mule deer at 12 yards or killing a bull elk at seven yards. Like I, I love those encounters. But what I try to do is sneak inside my effective range. And then I really like to let the animal make the last move so I won't push my stock to failure, giving myself away. I'll get into my effective range 40 yards as where I love it in between 40 and 50. I've killed a lot of animals in there, so I get that close or as close as the terrain will allow. And then I just wait and I let that animal get up and make the last move and come out. And he may look around with his head up. And like, uh, like, patience is really deadly in the bow, hunting woods and being patient, waiting for the right shot in the right angle and also waiting to draw back your bow until that deer isn't looking at you. That deer has his head down feeding. It's so important, that element of surprise, and I know if I can get those limbs meant back, and that animal doesn't know I'm there. I can really settle my pin and make a good shot. And, yeah, there's just nothing better then then lacing an animal with a perfect arrow and in in that hunt. Um, but but you never know that it's a perfect shot, and and and weird things can happen on the mountain. I mean, you can center a rib, you can hit a shoulder, you can get a glancing arrow. Like most of times its lungs, heart, liver, they die. But there are strange things that happen. So after every shot, even if I put a perfect arrow and I'm not getting too excited like I'm I'm remembering the details. So I place that shot. I shoot at an animal. Now, as soon as I shoot like I'm looking for that animal, Um, you know, which way is he running? Which way did he go? Over the hill. I'm trying to keep eyes on him. I'm trying to gather all this information because it's going to be a car wreck after it's done. So you want to remember exactly where you were shooting from exactly where the animal ran the last place you saw it? Because sometimes these these blood trails can be tricky. And so you talk about a perfect shot and, like, um, you know, there's a couple of years back I was hunting, hunting bulls here in my home state of Montana and chasing for mature six points and write it at last light. The last 10 minutes of light. I got on this hurt and I'm working this real nice six point as I'm as I'm stalking him and not letting them know I'm there and it's he's kind of rutting. There's 26 points. I'll shoot in there and they're back and forth, kind of fighting over these cows, and I end up getting inside a range, and I I place a good shot on this bowl. But it was kind of those lower light conditions where I didn't see exactly where I hit him. I heard the arrow hit executed a good shot. And so I went down and I just couldn't find any blood right where I was at, right there. Didn't want to push the bowl and I backed out. It was going to get cold that night, and I decided, all right, I got to come back in the morning and and pick up this blood trail and um, you know, I came back in the morning, and and, um gosh, the blood trail was just drip drop, drip drop, really tough to make sense of. But I always you know, the minute you leave the blood trail, the blood trail will lead to your animal. That's what you need to keep coming back to you. Don't Don't leave it to do a grid pattern, you know, unless that's your absolute last option. It's, you know, because it's so wild, which way these blood trails will head, and these elk are so strong. But I ended up tracking this bowl down, finding them early in the morning, and I had made a perfect double lung shot on them. I mean, I couldn't have walked up and place that arrow any better in that bowl, but it was still a really tough blood trail and really tough to track down where that ball went. And he probably went a few 100 yards with a double lung shot. They're just extremely tough. And so, you know, that's one of those animals where I made a perfect shot. But he didn't fall right in front of me like I had to go back and do that. C s. I do that. You know that groundwork and then track them down to my animal that I had harvested. And then, um, you know, able to track him down and find them. But, um, man, there's nothing better than making a perfect shot. That's the best case scenario. Yeah, for sure. Uh, before we move on to the next one, that's just kind of popped into my head. And I think it's an important. It's an important topic to cover. And that is that what the blood looks like on the arrow so that you can kind of you're talking about doing CS I where you're you're trying to really analyze what happened at the shot or at the animal. Can you talk about what? Without having visual representation of these. But what's that blood look like? If it's a good lung shot, if it's a hard shot, if it's liver, if its stomach kind of you know those those different, how do you analyze that arrow? Yeah, so there's different ways to look at those arrows, But gosh, I find it that the blood can be a bit deceiving. And so the one tell for me like I love to get eyes on the animal I just shot. I love to see where that entrance or the exit is and be able to make sense in my mind where that shot was. But I almost find the blood is a bit deceiving. And, um, you know, definitely if you see guts on the arrow, if you can smell guts, any green on the arrow, you know, it went through the guts. Um, but But it can also, you know, like on a quartering away shot. Or a lot of times what I find is these animals will roll right as the arrow gets there, almost react to the shot, and you'll find that the arrow took a different path through the animal than the way he was standing there looking at you. And so when I go up to the arrow, um, you know, there's some factors like the dark red blood can be liver blood. You can see bubbles in the blood, which can mean lungs. Usually that lung hit is like a bright red blood. Um, you know, one of the hotels for me is like, um, I want to see good spray out of it. So if it's spraying, you know, out. Um, you know, I know I've made a good lung hit where it sprang, but I find it a bit deceiving as muscle blood can be deceiving. Uh, you know, bone chips in it is definitely not a good sign. Bone chips is that you hit something, but I find that the muscle and the lungs and things all kind of bleed similar. And so I don't put, you know, I'm looking at the blood and how much I have and how it's spring out and what sides it's coming out. And definitely, if I see a lot of bubbles in it, I'll think it's I think it's lung blood, or you can see chunks of lung that will actually come out. You know, that's when I know I've got, like, a pretty good lung hit on them. Um, but But I do find the blood to be a bit deceiving. Gotcha. Is there anything else that you're looking at right there at the scene? Tracks that are digging in? Is there anything else that can indicate a good shot or a bad shot? Yeah. I mean, the blood trail is number one, the blood trail. And how much blood you're seeing is going to determine whether that animal is going to die or not. He has to bleed to death from an arrow, and so he has to be losing a lot of blood. Now, uh, sometimes it takes a bit for that to open up. Sometimes the 1st 100 yards can be the toughest tracking job because where you hit him, he takes off running. And if you have, like, a high brisket hit and you just have an entrance hold and it's not going to bleed a lot out of there And so the key is just being able to follow that blood trail. But just like you're saying, like you don't want to mess up your C s. I seen when you go in with boot tracks and things because a lot of times like where you remember this animal and where you go Yeah, a lot of times you're following just on tracks like tracks l going downhill or this deer running until that, that wound can open up and really start bleeding. So, yeah, I've had really sparse blood trails that 1st 100 yards. And that's where it's really important to remember that that car wreck as soon as you shoot that animal details details in your brain. Where was that animal standing? Where did he run? What tree did he go by like this? This snapshot, this picture you can take in your mind is gonna be so valuable when you're trying to track down this animal and trying to find where where he leads to. And so you don't want to step all over the scene. You want to get there and then, yeah, You want to look for these tracks and then you want to put blood to the tracks Every time you find blood, I like to stick a like a stick vertical in the ground. So then I can look backwards, and I can see the trail and see the direction he's headed. And you almost look through country like the trails are. The easiest way through country is a lot of times the way that deer and that elk is going to go. Um, I really like to see him go downhill. I like to see embed really close to where I shot him. That means they're hurt. If they just take off and they go and they go and they go, Um, you know, that's when I start to get worried when they make it over 400 yards, 500 yards, you know, and they can go a long way with a one lung hit. But that's when I start to get worried. So I want to see him bed right near the site and it's really important, you know, We all know to give animals 45 minutes. It's a lot easier said than done. It's like you get so excited and you think you made a perfect shot and it's like, Oh, I'll just go up there and track a little ways And then you end up jumping that animal and then they can. You can lose that animal or lose the blood trail where if you just would have let him get sick right there, you know he would have died and in the majority of times you make a good shot and that animal is dead. Within seconds, it wind sprints and it's dead. But you're trying to prepare for the worst case scenario. You know, you just want to take every precaution to make sure that you track that animal up and get them. But yeah, I'd say it's just C s I to pay attention around that scene, attracts disturbances and then put blood to those tracks and just try to get on that animals trail that you just shot. But that that 1st 100
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