A bullet or arrow through a deer’s abdomen is usually referred to as a gut shot. What some hunters don’t realize is that not all gut shots are the same. The rumen (stomach) shot is probably most common because it is directly located behind the liver. The intestines are even farther back — located just ahead of the hips.
As noted in my book Whitetail Wisdom, a deer’s reaction to a projectile though the rumen is characterized by the animal humping up and walking or trotting slowly from the scene. It is common to find stomach contents (partially digested food) on an arrow, and to notice a foul smell on the arrow shaft itself. Blood trails often appear with brown/green streaks. Hunters should wait at least 10 hours before tacking up this blood trail. If left undisturbed, this deer will often die very close to its first bed. If you jump the deer, it might run a long distance, and it will oftentimes not leave a bloodtrail to follow because the wound will have either clotted up or become clogged with stomach matter.
A projectile through the large or small intestines is a true gut shot. These deer will also die in their beds if left undisturbed. Wait even longer — at least 12 hours — before taking up this trail.
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