1. Do not obscure the trail and sign with your own scuffing. Try to stay to one side of the trail.
2. For older trails or in hot weather, carry a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Dried blood looks like all the other dark brown spots on leaves, but hydrogen peroxide will tell you if it is blood or not.
3. Night tracking is easier with a gas lantern. Blood is hard to see by flashlight but shines visably in lantern light.
4. Mark sign with toilet paper on bushes and occasionally look back at the line. Severely wounded animals tend to travel in streight lines often and the line of paper can help you determine if you are still following the same line. Unlike other materials, the toilet paper does not need to be cleaned up as it will be gone after the next rain.
5. Don't just look for blood on the ground. Look for it sprayed or rubbed off on bushes. Also look for bits of hair or other animal material on the bushes.
6. While not for certain, severely wounded animals tend to travel parallel or down hill. Seldom up hill.
7. Wounded animals will often travel to the nearest source of water. Deer will enter a pond or other body of water if available and die in the water. If such exists, look for an ear, antler, etc sticking out out of the water. Look close in the bushes surounding the water's edge.
8. Pay attention to whether the animal is traveling a trail. It may help you to dead reckon the direction traveled if the sign becomes scarce.
9. Pay attention to leaves or pine straw scuffed up. Wounded animals often drag their hooves. Particularly look for dry leaves when the ground is wet or wet leaves when the ground is dry indicating they may have been turned over recently. On open or rocky ground you can look for tracks, scuffs in the dirt, or overturned rocks. On soft wet marshy ground, look for leaves and pine straw standing verticle where they may have been partly pushed into the mud by a hoof.
10. Stop often and scan the area ahead and to each side for the animal or other animal sign. It is common for an animal to walk a j hook before laying down, and I have seen one backtrack his trail and go off in another direction.
11. Look for broken branches and twigs. Look for green leaves on the ground where all others are brown. Look for bent grass and other limber vegetation.
12. Listen! The animal may get up ahead of you or go to thrashing around. Give him more time if this happens.
13. If you come across a pool of blood, particularly in a fresh bed, give the animal more time. You probably are pushing him.
14. Don't always expect blood to be in big drops that can be seen standing up. Sometimes it is only a fine spray that must be looked for on hands and knees. A small painted spot on a pine straw is all you need to confirm you are still on the trail.
15. Deer will often be found lying right next to a fallen log, in a ditch, under a bush or tree top, etc. Pay attention to these things as you pass them.
16. Deer will often try to travel back to beding areas as these areas were originally selected for their security.
17. It is not unusual for the blood not to travel right up to the deer. Often a deer will be found another 40 yards beyond the last blood sign. Old timers say that the last blood sigh is where the heart stopped beating, but the animal was able to travel a little farther before unconciousness set in.
18. When all sign is lost, and you are sure you have looked throughly, start from the last sign and dead reckon the last direction the animal was traveling. Begin making arch sweeps ahead in the direction last traveling, looking to pick up more sign. Disturb the area as little as possible in doing this. Never discount looking back down the trail to see if the animal back tracked and went off in another direction.
19. Listen for other animal sounds that may tip you off to the animal's location. Crows, starlings, and other birds will make a fuss over a carcus.
20. Do not get impatient and nervous. Take your time and look thoughly. For some reason, humans overlook the most obvious things when they let themselves get nervous and frantic. Be methodical in your observations.