Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

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dlg@gleasonvideo.com
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby dlg@gleasonvideo.com » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:05 am

When I first posted I said the yardage I thought it to be at the time. After I walked it off the next day, that's when I knew for sure. He was broadside mostly, but at a very SLIGHT angle. My question is then, if I can't pass through bones, but I know I hit him in the right line horizontally associated with vitals, if I was too high then how did it pass through without hitting vitals but low enough to miss backbone? Apparent by the lack of blood and a bunch of meat on the arrow? I know what your saying about being in the moment and not knowing for sure, but I know I hit him, and I know it went through, I know it was a little high, I know there was no blood that I could find and that it rained the next day... that's what I know. What I don't know is how it can pass through without much blood on arrow, caked in flesh, without blood trail, and not somehow have passed through the back muscles? Anywhere else is vitals, spine, arteries, etc. If anyone has experience with that, please let me know. Even if I hit him a little back, and say hit a high liver shot, wouldn't arrow have more blood on it?

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Deebz
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby Deebz » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:31 am

Sometimes weird things happen... I shot a doe once when I was just getting started hunting. She was standing in front of a downed log at 20 yards broadside when I drew. As soon as I shot, she jumped over the log. I knew the arrow was back further than what would be considered a good shot. As she turned and trotted away I could see the arrow hanging out the opposite side, and I watched it fall to the ground. She didn't run away, just kept trotting along the path back the way she'd come. I checked the arrow, which was coated with dark red blood. There was a good blood trail for awhile. I got my dad and my uncle and brothers, and after about 2 hours we started tracking her. We followed her trail for the next 5 hours. She was just meandering around the woods, never bedded down, and the blood trail eventually just petered out. I would have sworn I had shot her in the guts, but something about the angle she was at when she was jumping made the arrow pass through without hitting anything vital.

Another time I shot at a small buck at what I had guessed to be just over 35 yards. I put my 30 yard pin just over halfway up the vitals and shot. The buck ducked a bit, and I was certain my arrow totally cleared the back of the deer. When I picked up my arrow there was blood and tallow on the fletchings, and a few drops of blood on the ground... I followed the trail he ran away on for the next 1/2 mile or so and didn't see any more blood.

I've also watched videos of deer being shot (and examined deer shot by myslef and my family) where the angle of the entrance is totally different from the angle of exit. It's hard telling what kind of forces are going to be exerted on an arrow that would make it change direction...

My point is that it's really impossible to tell exactly what happened, other than that it sounds like somehow the arrow only caught muscle, or just enough of the lungs that the deer lasted a long while before dying. It is one of those things that happen when we hunt. It sucks, but the only thing we can do is try to learn from it and do the best we can on the next shot.
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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JPH
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:12 pm

dlg@gleasonvideo.com wrote: My question is then, if I can't pass through bones, but I know I hit him in the right line horizontally associated with vitals, if I was too high then how did it pass through without hitting vitals but low enough to miss backbone? Apparent by the lack of blood and a bunch of meat on the arrow?


The reality is that you are very unlikely to have passed through, high in the chest, without hitting vitals. I admit that the "meat" on the arrow is puzzling. I've seen arrows pull blood, stomach contents and tallow through a deer but I've never seen meat. In spite of that puzzling bit of info, I'd still lean toward a dead deer. Lung shots do not always bleed heavily or quickly. This is particularly true for high lung shots. You may have hit high, clipped one lung, pierced the diaphragm and exited just above the paunch. If you missed the kidneys and major arteries, your deer most likely went a very long way before bedding. I once shot straight down onto a doe, taking only one lung and exiting on the bottom of her chest. She zig-zaged over 500 yards, trickling blood, before entering a CRP field where I lost the trail. I have no doubt that she died. A few years later I hit a buck with a lung/liver shot. He covered a mere 50 yards and then bedded in a corn field. I watched him lay there and look around, getting up several times, for over an hour before he died. Can a deer survive on one lung and a pierced diaphragm? Yes, but it is very unlikely.

Again, it's good that this is eating you up. It proves that you are contentious and the thought of leaving a deer out there bothers you. But it is a part of the experience.

Now a few points of advice, all of which I've come by the hard way. #1) Buy a laser rangefinder. I bought mine after a bad season and now I will never bow hunt without it. #2) While it is good to give a deer some time after the hit, don't leave the area without at least quietly recovering your arrow and marking the spot. #3) Rather than returning with six buddies, try one (two max) at first. Six trackers make noise, walk on sign, and probably do more harm than good. Often a poorly hit deer (especially a gut shot) will go less than 200 yards before bedding. A big tracking party is likely to kick him up but not even know it. The six man party is a last resort, after all sign is washed away. #4) Do not leave a deer with rain on the way.

Seriously, everything I offer you came to me via painful mistakes. No judgement, just hoping somebody can learn from my mistakes.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:12 pm

X-2 JPH!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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JPH
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby JPH » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:03 am

JPH wrote:Seriously, everything I offer you came to me via painful mistakes.

Okay, I exaggerated my personal experiences in one point above and guilt is eating me up. I've never tried to recover an archery deer with six trackers. I don't think I've ever had six friends at one time. I couldn't get six kids to come to my 8th birthday party...but that's another story.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:21 pm

You don't need 6 people to track a deer. Two at the most, and that's only if the second person is willing to take orders and is disciplined enough to maybe have to stand in one spot for a lengthy amount of time when the main tracker looks for sign. There's only two people that I'll track with and they are both long time friends and hunting companions. If they're not available I'd much rather track on my own.

Now if you've essentially given up on the tracking part and just need bodies and eyes to literally look over the entire property then that's another story.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

huntingaddict1984
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby huntingaddict1984 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:38 pm

I had a.very similar thinghappen to me early this archery season....... I had some spots.ranged to 40 yards in a field and miss judged a deer standing inside the range I shot my 30 yard pin and clearly saw the shot go high I thought it must have been vital lots of blood and 6 hours of trackin still no deer.... after further research and checking distance with my range finder I found out the deer was actually only 23 yards and because he jumpped the string caused me to make a non lethal shot......the shot was also not a pass through although he did shed the arrow within 70 yards of where I shot him ..... I did get another chance at him about 3 weeks ago and.I connected and.put him down.... these things happen ..... that's why its called hunting..... take what you have learned by this experience and learn from it... use a range finder and always mark the trail you are following starting with where the animal was standing when you took the shot and continue marking all sign of the wounded animal as you go so you always have a starting point to find the next sign....



Good luck and may your arrow always fly true
In every hunt there is a trophy not always of the physical nature but in the experience....

Huntingaddict1984

spearfisher
 
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Re: Is My Deer Dead? Need help!

Postby spearfisher » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:02 pm

My first ever bow kill was my first ever bow hunt. I used a grunt call at 12 noon. At 1220 my deer was hit and hauling through the woods like a maniac. Complete pass through. He was broad side. I literally saw my nock disappear into the animal. Perfect hit. Never found the arrow. I only found pin drops of blood. I tracked him 100 yards off of leaf disturbances, broken branches and hair he left on brush etc. I hit him in the vitals. He had no lungs and a chunk was gone from his heart. All of his bleeding was internal. Never did find my darn arrow tho. He could have dropped anywhere close by unfortunately. I hate it for you. hate it for the animal most of all. Chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. At that range its no telling. If you did get backstrap most likely you just nicked the top of his back and all he got was a scratch. Like others said, hard to hit that and not hit the spine. With today's bows even at that range you probably would have seen evidence of a spine hit with him floundering. If you went under the spine the aorta is right there. You'd have seen blood before he took two steps and he would have gone down fast.

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