Approaching Downed Game
When approaching downed game, use extreme caution. The animal may appear to be dead but actually is not.
- Approach the animal from its rear. If the animal is still alive and jumps as you approach, you don’t want to be in front of it.
- Stop at a reasonable distance from the animal.
- Observe its rib cage. If the chest is heaving, the animal is still alive.
- If you can’t detect rib cage movement, check the animal’s eyes—the eyes of a dead animal are usually open.
- Some hunters use a stick or bow tip to prod the rear of the animal to see if there is a response.
- If the animal is still alive, back off and take a careful finishing shot.
- Don’t pose or handle your animal for photographs or begin field dressing until you are positive it’s dead.
- Once you have determined that the animal is dead, immediately attach the proper tag or identification according to state or provincial regulations.