Tracking question

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fatbob240
 
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Tracking question

Postby fatbob240 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:46 am

I shot an eight point today around 10 AM that was about 60 yards away. At the shot, it looked like I hit him perfectly with a 170 grain bullet from my 30-30. It looked like he was favoring his right leg (the side I shot) but he ran up hill. I waited for about thirty-minutes before getting down from my stand and took up the trail...what there was of it. Not much blood at first, but then there was a lot of bright red blood and I could track it fairly easy. Then it started getting sparse. Then, I'd find more good blood, but darker in color and then nothing. Never kicked him up never found another drop. I looked for over two hours today, came in for lunch and I'm heading back out to look some more. Does anybody have an idea where I may have hit him to cause him to run over 300 yards with no blood, then good blood and then nothing? I'm beating myself up here trying to figure it out.
Goal: 1 shot= 1 kill

Squirrelhawker
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby Squirrelhawker » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:14 am

You did not mention finding any hair and so without that benefit, I will blab accordingly.
 
The distance covered without blood makes me think the wound may be high up. Bright red is oxygenated but blood from lots of more superficial places can contain oxygen.
 
You did not mention the angle if any.
 
It is possible you punched a hole in his front leg but not his chest cavity, perhaps exiting across the front of his chest or brisket. Again not knowing or seeing the angle, there is more room for speculation than I like.
 
Dark blood often speaks of liver or gut hits but not always.

Squirrelhawker
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby Squirrelhawker » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:18 am

Re-reading your post, I don't like the sound of dark blood and then nothing. Could be a gut shot that plugged with omentum. Not good.
 
May be time for some help with either a grid search or a deer search dog. 

nateberly
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby nateberly » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:31 am

I would also think that it was a leg shot. USUALLY with a gut shot they like to go downhill, or into swamps. Maybe look for more hair or bone at the shot site. Blood will get darker if it is let sit for a while, so the color will change a little if you are on an old trail.

Do you have snow, because you say no blood for 300 yards, but you still seemed to track him fine?

I would let him lay down for a while, if it is cold out give him a good couple hours and then get back on the trail. I am still confused about your tracking though. You should be able to keep tracking him without blood if you already did for 300 yards with no blood.

Good luck!

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buckfarmdude
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby buckfarmdude » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:45 pm

leave some trail tape or a marker of some kind at every place you have found blood. Once you get to the last place you found any, very carefully circle the area, widening the circle each time around. The deer could have circled back and bedded to watch his own trail. I don't know what kind of terrain you hunt, but one good tip is to look for any kind of tracks, disrupted leaves, anything that could possibly lead you to your buck. You may need to really reach deep into your bag of tricks for this one. 
Psalm 42:1 "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee O God."

fatbob240
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby fatbob240 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:51 am

Sorry, after rereading my post, it may have added to the confusion of the distance traveled without any blood. There was no blood for the first 50-yards (no hair at the point where I shot) and then I tracked it another 300-yards afterwards with fair to good blood and then nothing. I found a couple of spots with darker blood and a few spots with watery blood...I went back and searched the afternoon and again today. Nothing. There are two large fields to both the east and the west of the location and to the north (the direction the deer ran) there is a huge area that was select cut and pretty much wide open. I've listened for bluejays, crows, coyotes and everything else during my search. There are a number of hunters in the select cut area and nobody has come across a dead deer. I have no idea what happened. The gun was double checked the day before and was dead on. I had a good solid base and the shot felt good. The distace was only 62 yards on a slight downward angle. I'm pretty much sick over this.
Goal: 1 shot= 1 kill

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69Viking
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby 69Viking » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:21 am

ORIGINAL: fatbob240

Sorry, after rereading my post, it may have added to the confusion of the distance traveled without any blood. There was no blood for the first 50-yards (no hair at the point where I shot) and then I tracked it another 300-yards afterwards with fair to good blood and then nothing. I found a couple of spots with darker blood and a few spots with watery blood...I went back and searched the afternoon and again today. Nothing. There are two large fields to both the east and the west of the location and to the north (the direction the deer ran) there is a huge area that was select cut and pretty much wide open. I've listened for bluejays, crows, coyotes and everything else during my search. There are a number of hunters in the select cut area and nobody has come across a dead deer. I have no idea what happened. The gun was double checked the day before and was dead on. I had a good solid base and the shot felt good. The distace was only 62 yards on a slight downward angle. I'm pretty much sick over this.


First I'll say don't believe that a gut shot deer won't run uphill. I gut shot a doe when my scope had come loose without me knowing it and that doe ran uphill following a ravine. I found her the next morning about 300 yards uphill from where I shot her hiding near the top of the ravine still alive. She left know blood trail.

Now as far as finding your deer what I have learned is they are going to find something to hide under when they get tired. With the fall leaves on the ground they are very hard to see if they have crawled up under a downed or leaning tree or maybe a brush pile. Go to where you last saw blood and start making circles from there going in the direction the deer was headed. If you can find a friend or hunter with a tracking dog use the dog. Good luck, I shoot a 30-30 and really hate hearing that. I've never had a deer go more than 300 yards and that was the gut shot doe. Most drop in their tracks with the 30-30 especially at such a close range.

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby Everyday Hunter » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:24 pm

ORIGINAL: 69Viking

First I'll say don't believe that a gut shot deer won't run uphill....

I have experience with only one gut-shot deer, so I'm probably not as much of an expert as most people. [;)] (It's interesting that lots of people comment whenever/wherever this topic comes up -- which is odd since expertise on this subject is tantamount to admitting you're a poor shot!)

Anyway, here's my one experience. I was 16, and it was my second buck. I caught him slipping by behind me on a trot, and I got off a shot. I was shooting a .222 Rem., 63 grain bullet. It hit the last rib and the bullet angled into the gut. He took off on a run and I got off a second shot, which (I found out later) went through his ear and hit him in the antler. It knocked him down, but he got right up. My dad and I tracked him up the hill, across a bench, and then we lost the track. The next day my dad and my uncle found him lying dead at the bottom of the valley beside the stream, probably 300 yards from where we last saw him.

My conclusion: A gut-shot deer often will have no problem running up hill, and he may do that for as long as his strength allows, and for as long as he is free of pain and free of a fever. He may soon develop a bacterial infection from the mess in his gut, and get a fever. If so, he'll seek water, and may even lie down in the water. But if he has no fever, and the bullet did limited damage to a major organ, he could go a long way uphill.

I see three reasons for them to go downhill (and I see no reason why this doesn't apply to any wounded deer): fever, pain, and loss of strength. Until one of those reasons comes into play, there is no guarantee -- they're as likely to go uphill as downhill.

Make sense? Feel free to add to this.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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botenann
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby botenann » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:19 pm

I tracked a deer saturday who was hit a little high above the chest, who couldn't walk but managed to CRAWL up a hill and make it about 350 yards before dieng... (shot with 175grain 30-30 froma bout 100 yards) I couldn't believe it, and the blood trail stopped at the bottom of the hill but the deer dropped when my brother shot him and he said it couldn't walk it just crawled into some thick stuff and disappeared.. he waited about 45 minutes and lost the trail after trying to find it...we went back out after lunch and scanned the whole area... I oculdn't even find any blood on the hillside but after a lot of looking I finally stumbled across him...

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Tracking question

Postby Everyday Hunter » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:21 am

ORIGINAL: botenann

I tracked a deer saturday who was hit a little high above the chest, who couldn't walk but managed to CRAWL up a hill and make it about 350 yards before dying....

I'm guessing that this was not a gut-shot deer, but a deer that was hit in the spine that was hit high in a rib close enough to the spine that it did some spinal cord damage -- maybe broke a vertebrae or sent a bone shard into the cord. That's why the deer couldn't get up. The fact that there was little blood is evidence that the wound didn't damage a major organ.

Congratulations on your dedication to finding the deer. Great job.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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