Lots of hunters I know use surveyor’s tape to mark the last known sign when trailing a wounded animal, but there’s a better alternative: toilet paper. TP has several advantages in this situation:

  • It’s easy to attach to leaves and branches, even if your fingers are too cold to tie a knot. Just poke a hole in the middle of a square and stick it on.
  • It will be readily visible in all conditions except solid snow.
  • TP is biodegradable. If you forget to pick up everything you’ve left–easy to do when you’re dragging out a deer in the dark–TP will eventually take care of itself.
  • During the fall, many kinds of leaves and vegetation can look as if they have drops of blood on them. When in doubt, apply the corner of a piece of toilet paper to the spot. If it absorbs a red stain, it’s blood.
  • Finally, it’s easier to use toilet paper to do the job of surveyor’s tape than vice versa.