The Hit Site Evaluation Seminar is a new idea for the United States. The goal of the Seminar is to educate hunters to better interpret sign at the point of impact and along the ensuing wounded deer trail. It’s important as an effective means of showing hunters how to interpret and deal with deer that have been shot outside of the quick kill target zone. Traditional hunter training programs don’t dwell on this subject, but in the real world deer do move just as the shot is taken. And bullets and arrows have been known to deviate from their intended course.
The center piece of the hit site seminar is a hanging road-killed deer. The idea originally came to North America from France, and John Jeanneney first witnessed it in Quebec, Canada, where two of his French friends led a seminar on finding wounded deer. In June of 2013 Andy Bensing and John tried out an expanded version of this hit site evaluation at the annual United Blood Trackers Trackfest at Arena, Wisconsin and then two weeks later at a North American Teckel Club event in Pennsylvania to which non-member deer hunters were invited. In both states the reception was enthusiastic. The seminar was certainly a departure from the usual presentation on the subject, and the practical applications of the new information were easy to understand.. Those who attended actively participated in the evaluations, and of course this is the best way to learn.
In both seminars a road-killed deer in good condition was used. Acquiring a road-killed deer is not difficult, but local game laws regulations should be consulted, and it must be kept in a suitable cooler or freezer before the event. The deer was hooked up, in a standing position, suspended by a rope stretched between two trees. A plastic sheet was hung up about five yards behind the deer and extended forward under the suspended deer. Its purpose was to catch hair, flesh and bone fragments blown out of the deer by strategically placed shots. Shots were taken with bow and arrow, shotgun slugs and high caliber rifle bullets.
|The hanging deer carcass was the centerpiece of the seminar.|
After the shots we found “sign” on the plastic sheet well behind the deer that probably would have been missed by most hunters in a real deer hunting situation. It seems likely that many American hunters are not inspecting a broad enough area behind the hit sites as they look for the sign that will tell them where they have hit the deer and how they should deal with the situation.
One of the many things hunters learn at the hit site is that flat sections of bone usually come from the legs; they are not “pieces of rib” as is often reported. They learn the difference in the amount of hair that comes from a grazing hit as compared to a solid, more straight-on shot. The physical results of high back shots can be shown and the identification of types of hair can reveal where the animal was hit.
Additionally bowhunters learn how the sloping surfaces of the rib cage can deflect broadheads so that there is no effective penetration into the chest cavity and vital organs. They also realize that the real kill zone is considerably smaller than what is presented on 3-D Tournament targets.
|The bowhunter demonstrates the risks of a head-on shot|
|The PowerPoint introduction to the seminar|
|Andy demonstrates shot placement|
The Hit Site Evaluation Seminars have great potential as an interesting half day event. No doubt the seminars would improve hunter effectiveness in recovering the deer that they shoot. For more information about the seminar contact Andy Bensing, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hunters who attended the seminar sponsored by the NATC.