How long do you wait to take up the trail after shooting a deer? Just curious how everyone else does it. These are my rules. They are not hard and fast and weather conditions can change these as well
Deer Falls dead in sight -- I will give it 5 minutes or so then walk over to it. This one is pretty easy and the most desirable.
Deer goes out of sight, but know for sure I shot it well -- I wait a minimum of an hour before taking up the trail. Most of the time I won't go over to my arrow unless the deer goes in the other direction. I go back to the house (I hunt close to my house) and get rid of some of the stuff in my pack, get my light, rope, knife, etc. Maybe even get a bite to eat, but am usually too excited to do this. Usually make a phone call to my parents to relay the story. By the time I do this I have a half hour gone and then only have to agonize waiting for the other half to pass.
Deer goes out of sight and not sure of where it was shot or know the shot was not the best. Same as above, but when I go back in the hour I will see what the arrow tells me to determine what I do next. I might wait 2 or 3 hours to check the arrow if I think the deer is bedded close and tha I might spook it. Most of the time I will call for some help if I think the tracking might be difficult.
Other than that I will use the available evidence like the arrow, blood trail, deer's reaction, etc to determine how long to wait. I usually wait longer than needed, but have seen too many deer followed up too soon, that once pushed become very difficult to find.