For anyone who hunts, recovering game should be the most important task. New hunters that have no one to aid them are almost sure to lose an animal due to their lack of tracking experience. The sad fact is, most hunters spend the least time practicing and studying how to recover downed game.
The old saying goes, “if you haven't lost an animal, you haven't hunted long enough.” We have all heard a braggart hunter say that they have never lost an animal. The chances are that they are either full of it, or have never shot at and hit an animal. Therefore, they have never lost one. I have also heard gun hunters make the comment that they don’t like bow hunters because they wound too many deer. Don't make the mistake of thinking using a gun will prevent the loss of game. Anyone that hunts needs to understand, regardless of weapon, that what is done after the shot will directly affect your recovery rate.
Of the animals I have shot, the most memorable are the ones that were not found. I hate losing an animal! The feelings you go through are nearly indescribable, and will affect most hunters for their entire lifetime. You reflect on what you did and could have done to the point that it can make you want to quit. Most sports blunders only create a temporary feeling of insufficiency, while the loss of a hit animal will likely stick with you for life. For this reason, hunters should do everything they can to learn about and practice tracking techniques before entering the woods.