When we shoot at a deer and miss from a tree stand, most of the time the arrow sticks partway in the ground with broadhead buried. But sometimes a shaft deflects off a limb or sapling, sails and comes to rest on the ground or tangled in brush with broadhead blades exposed, and potentially dangerous to a hiker or another hunter that walks through the area. After a blown shot, we should always try to find and retrieve our arrows to prevent a freak accident from occurring. Not to mention that we can save $15 to $20 by finding and reusing that shaft and broadhead!

Arrow Finding Tips

Wrap shafts in fluorescent orange, yellow or green that is easy to spot and stands out from leaves on the ground and brush. Fletch shafts with brightly colored vanes; flo-green and flo-orange are good choices, as are bright red or even pink.

If legal where you hunt, consider using lighted nocks. Whether you miss a doe or buck clean, or make a great shot and get complete pass through, the faint glow of the nock will help you locate the arrow and broadhead.

When you miss a whitetail clean as a whistle from a tree stand, compose yourself and tamp down the frustration. It’s part of the game, man. Then use your binoculars and search the ground and nearby brush thoroughly for the arrow. When you spot it, pick a nearby rock, stump or tree and use it as your landmark. After you climb down, the woods will appear completely different than they looked from 20 feet up. Look for your landmark, walk over and retrieve your arrow.

If you look closely but can’t see the arrow that missed its mark, pinpoint where the deer was standing as best you can, walk over there and look for loose dirt or parted leaves or grass where the shaft might have bored in and become buried.