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If all sign is lost, don’t give up.

  • Go back to your last marker, and begin a methodical search of the surrounding area. Some hunters will search in ever-widening circles. Another method is to grid off the surrounding area in squares and to search each one. You may need to get down on your hands and knees to inspect every detail in the area closely. Look for obvious escape routes such as trails, especially those heading downhill or toward water.
  • Be aware of any wildlife activities in your area. Crows or ravens calling, squirrels barking, or vultures circling may indicate the presence of a downed animal. Look around the surrounding area for game trails, openings in fences, thick cover—anything that could attract a running animal.
  • If necessary, you may need to go back and start your search from the beginning. Don’t give up until all possibilities have been exhausted. A responsible hunter will make every legal effort to recover the animal.
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