Tracker string
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Whopper Stopper 22-Sep-20
Charlie Rehor 22-Sep-20
BOHUNTER09 22-Sep-20
Will 22-Sep-20
skookumjt 22-Sep-20
mature8pointer 22-Sep-20
ground hunter 22-Sep-20
tobywon 22-Sep-20
ground hunter 22-Sep-20
wraith8 22-Sep-20
GF 22-Sep-20
Bou'bound 22-Sep-20
canepole 22-Sep-20
Buffalo1 22-Sep-20
Shuteye 22-Sep-20
kstout 22-Sep-20
jstephens61 22-Sep-20
APauls 22-Sep-20
Pete-pec 22-Sep-20
Tonybear61 23-Sep-20
Tonybear61 23-Sep-20
blindgood 23-Sep-20
RD 23-Sep-20
Nemophilist 23-Sep-20
ki-ke 23-Sep-20
Too many bows Bob 24-Sep-20
ground hunter 24-Sep-20
Burt 24-Sep-20
MOBEN 24-Sep-20
JL 25-Sep-20
Vonfoust 25-Sep-20
ahunter76 26-Sep-20
Shug 26-Sep-20
Dale06 27-Sep-20
Does anyone use a string tracker on their bows to help in recovering deer? I used them about 50 years ago and actually saw the benefits with them. I probably shot 4 or 5 deer while the string was attached and if nothing else they got me well into a blood trail before breaking or coming off the arrow.

I saw them advertised again and it just brought back some memories. I read all the time about young guys who are starting out having problems trailing deer or learning how to follow a blood trail, or that are color blind. I have no idea how they would work with todays modern equipment. It worked well on my old Outers Astro at 45 pounds out to 30 yards.

Just thought I would ask.


If you watch the animal run away after you shoot your eyes will take you further than the ole string tracker. It was a solution to a problem that didn’t exist.

Full disclosure: I did use one in 1983 season. Silly me

Shot a bear in Ontario in the late eighties with string tracker. It was a pass through and arrow stuck in the ground. After about 10 seconds of line zipped out, I could pull the tracking string and make the arrow move. Knew I had the bear. It turned out to be a huge blood trail so tracker did not really help

From: Will
I tried one, probably around 1990 on a trusty Pearson Renegade. I remember trying it and feeling like it was a significant impact on my accuracy, so I gave up. It's an interesting idea, but not so good a solution, it seemed. A little GPS thing that pops off the arrow so it stays with the animal on a pass through and then connects to your phone would be great. Feel like I saw one of those, but the cost was more than I would have wanted. That just seems like a better option, other than just blood trailing :)

From: skookumjt
They weren't out yet fifty years ago and they definitely affected point of impact at any distance much less out a #45 astro.

They were the difference between finding an animal and losing it sometimes but probably just as often caused poor shots or misses.

In many situations you can't see where the animal goes within feet of the shot and many people can't follow the same path once they get out of their stand and perspective changes.

If limit your shot distance the way bow hunting was once promoted and and watch out for a few minor things they work very well if you get the right one. I've used them in the seventies on hogs several times and I was impressed. It's just like any other product we use in the woods. It has it's place in the right circumstances.

Yes I still use them. Have for a long time. I use them on days of light to medium rain. I started to use them on bears back in the early 80's. I shoot a Hoyt Carbon Spyder 2016 model, set at 45 pounds and it works well. With a new spool attached, I will put out about 20 yards of it, and cut it off, so that it will spool out well, and never had a hang up.

This is for close shooting, out to 25 yards. What I do not have is the attachment connections that they use to make, which is, a small wire, that slides on the ferrule of the bh, as it is screwed onto the shaft, and the opposite is where I tie the line onto. I have made my own, but I wish I could find some more. I see the TRACKER advertised locally, in an outdoors paper, so I think I will ask them.

I like the blaze orange color spool the best. I have had hits, where the string broke off, but finding it, found my first blood sign easily. Growing up my whole life in the woods, I track pretty good, but again, I use it on days of rain, or rain in the forecast.

As for bears, when I first started out, the guide wanted them, at the time. That is how I started with them. Todays equipment is so well tuned, bh are superior in sharpness etc, not many use them. However I like to hunt in the rain, shot some great bucks in the rain, that is why I use it. hope this gives you some insight

From: tobywon
I remember my brother using one back in the late 80s. He forgot to take the cap of the tracker after he got into the tree and the arrow knocked. Not sure how he would actually do it, I think he left a small section of string out and used a cap in the small hole to make sure the string didn't come out. Deer comes in and lets just say his arrow immediately headed He did shoot a deer where it helped stay on the trail for a short bit.

By the way, I just found the Tracker clips on line. Comes from a company in Iowa. You want that information, send me a PM, plus they sell and handle the Tracker system.

From: wraith8
I had a friend that used one in the mid 90's. On a couple of occasions, while heading out late, I knew which part of the woods he was in when I'd come across 50 - 100 feet of the line strung in the tall grass at the edge of the woods. He had a habit of forgetting to put the stopper in the container at the end of the day and would often snag the line in the tall grass on the way out the next morning. He also noted his arrows were hitting several inches low when using the tracker string at just 20 yard compared to when he wasn't. I think he only used it for one season, possibly two, before giving up on it.

From: GF
I know one guy who really likes them for turkey hunting…

Not sure why a clip is necessary, though; convenience, I suppose, but a knot should do

From: Bou'bound
did not even know they still existed

From: canepole
Seems like the only time I used one was 30 some years ago. The whirling sound that the device made as my arrow took off was rather loud. Looking back I guess the noise that would alert the deer and cause it to crouch would help offset the loss of velocity and in theory end up with a perfect shot.

From: Buffalo1
I remember them and remember they did not replace "the shirt pocket." I remember them being used more for bear than for deer.

From: Shuteye
I have used them years ago with really good luck. Haven't used them lately. The reason I started back then was because two game warden friends of mine used them when hunting sika deer in the swamps. The said it really helped recovery in the tall grass and water up to your knees. They hunted from 12 foot step ladders with big feet to keep them from sinking into the mud. On the ground you couldn't see but a few feet.

From: kstout
I’ve used them for several years on turkey, and had good luck with them. Never tried them on deer. I thought they were too noisy for deer.

From: jstephens61
Used them back in the 80s for bear hunting. Don’t know that they helped all that much.

Them and the old string trail times! Couldn’t see what went through, but ya knew what time. We thought we were hot stuff.

From: APauls
Never used one but found a mile of the stuff one time wrapped around all kinds of branches when we were out chicken hunting when I was a kid

From: Pete-pec
Killed several deer with them. Always used them on rainy days. The key was to use the color white string. The orange had more wax in the spool, and it would melt, coagulate, and create clumping that would cause issues with arrow flight. There was two string weights. I believe 27 and 17 pounds. I used the lighter stuff, and never had an issue. I would always shoot the spool twice out to 20 yards, and it performed just fine then. I actually have the spool holder, and two spools of string. I haven't used them since the mid 80's. My buddy still uses his to this day on rainy weather. He loves them. I remember when they used to provide sticky pads that had pointy catches on them that would stick to your arrow, but those were flawed as hell. Then they came out with the tensiled steel wire loops that went between your broadhead and insert. There was nothing like watching that spool scream out after the shot. I'm convinced a passthrough would burn the deer as it ran, and the string would be pulled through the deer. They would often times stop and run, and stop again, as if the string would irritate them, even beyond the satelite (lol) as it was shot through the lungs of a deer. This brings me back to a different time as a hunter. A deer with the bow was a congratulatory moment, and anything was worthy. Time has taken the "fun" away from bow hunting, because think about it. Was there ever a bigger gimmick? Maybe? Trail timers triggered by a deer pulling a string as it passed a trail lol. One and done! Sure has been trumped by the cellular advantage ha!

From: Tonybear61
I shot and recovered my first deer with one in 1984. Used it about 10 years shot some more. Lost several others when string broke or it affected the shot. All the issues noted above were encountered at one time another.

Even funnier one time my hunting buddy didn't disconnect the string while trailing. Set down his bow while looking at the blood trail. Next thing he knew bow takes off through the grass, leaves and sticks. That would have been hilarious to see,

From: Tonybear61
Trail timers with strings, still have mine. Before those came out we just used thread and a notebook....

From: blindgood
I used tracker string for turkeys. Did shoot a couple bear using it. I also shot Astro Bows. There were two types of tracker string. Game tracker was most popular because it had a larger spool. Game tracer was the second and only had 300 yards. I set up both and shot test on each. The larger spool Game Tracker affected the arrow flight the most. In fact it frequently would ball up the string and break. The Game tracer worked great. I even set it up for my two boys. The youngest shot his first turkey at 18 yards with a 35# Astro on New Years Day. The key was to sacrifice a few spools and practice with it.

From: RD
I still use them for turkey and bear. They definitely help finding birds that fly off bluffs when shot. My last one glided for 300 yards out of sight across a valley.

From: Nemophilist
I only use string trackers for turkeys.

From: ki-ke
I remember a buddy using them back in the oild days....early 80's...This guy was flinging strung arrows almost daily. A few weeks into the season, between missed shots and arrows that actually connected, the woods around his stand resembled the old neighborhood on mischif night after the kids TP'd the trees in front of all the houses.

Not sure if he ever followed the string to a dead deer, but that visual was a big turn off for me....


Too many bows Bob's embedded Photo
Too many bows Bob's embedded Photo
I always use one when hunting turkeys. Here's why. I've been working on a Turkey Slam. I was in Texas to get my Rio and it was a tough hunt because the birds were just not cooperating. On the 3d morning a bird comes in and I whack him. He falls over but then gets up and runs off. I'm sitting there with the string whizzing out of the tracker, like I had a bass on the line. After after minutes it stops and I get out to follow the string. The bird had run about 25 yards straight away and then hung a hard right. About another 20 yards and he hangs another right. Then about another 20 yards and he hung another right, winding up about 10 yards behind the blind. There was not a drop of blood on the whole trail. I never would have found that bird without the string. I've had similar experiences using it with deer. String tracker, don't leave home without it. TMBB

Turkey Hunting Secrets, out of Des Moines Iowa, has just about everything you would need when it comes to tracker strings stuff

From: Burt
It's somewhat of a situational thing. In most areas wouldnt bother with one. However if you have shot a deer or bear at last light in the rain, you will wish for one! We lost one of the first deer my son shot when he was 11 due to blood trail washing away. Arrow was a little high but still a solid hit. Deer went right for a swamp area bordering private land where we did not have trespass permission. The owner basically said no and the CPO next day said wouldnt force the issue to get us on the land to find the deer since there wasn't any solid sign it had entered his property. Would the string have helped? Mostly likely. Arrow was still in the deer when he ran and we didn't find it on the public land anywhere. Given the shot was about 7 yards, it would not have affected the arrow flight. We hunted with a tracker every time after that in that area and worked fine, though my passthroughs the line would pull for a little while then break. Easy to find a starting blood trail.

Always remember the sight of a wad of line stacking up at the entrance hole on a black hog just before in entered the swamp.

From: JL
Never used a string on an arrow. Uncle Ted did a show using one. He shoots the deer and the camera turns to Ted as he is watching the string pay out. All of sudden the string stops paying out and he says something like the deer is dead. Sure enough...there was a dead deer at the end of the string. Pretty cool at the time. I used the string timers before...those were pretty cool too until trail cams came around.

From: Vonfoust
Seems to be a very large new push on this thing. I'm seeing it all over the place.

From: ahunter76

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
I use them on Hogs & will again this coming Jan.. Taken several from 10 thru 25 yds...

From: Shug

Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Haven’t used on one a while ... here’s a neat grabbed frame from video... also I think this hunt may be on Bowsite videos

From: Dale06
I used a tracker string on several deer, 25 years ago. It sure is noisy as it spools out of the holder at 250 FPS. I used it only on sub 20 yard shots. It led me to some dead deer, but at least 1/2 of the time the string broke.

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