Escaping unharmed while counting coup was considered a higher honor than being wounded in the attempt. A warrior who won coup was permitted to wear an eagle feather. If he had been wounded in the attempt, however, he was required to paint the feather red to indicate this.
After a battle or exploit, the people of a band would gather together to recount their acts of bravery and "count coup". Coups were recorded by putting notches in a coup stick. Some of the Pacific Northwest tribes would tie an eagle feather to their coup stick for each coup counted but many nations did not do so. Among the Blackfoot nation of the upper Missouri River Valley, coup could be recorded by the placement of "coup bars" on the sleeves and shoulders of special shirts that bore paintings of the warrior's exploits in battle. Many shirts of this sort have survived to the present.
Joe Medicine Crow (1913–2016) is credited with achieving the feat while serving with the US Army during World War II, as on one occasion he overpowered and disarmed a German soldier, and later stole horses from an SS unit.