dealing with not recovering your deer.

What's the hunt looking like this year in your area? Share!
Mathews bowhunter
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:46 pm

dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby Mathews bowhunter » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:01 pm

I recently had my first extreme low in my short bowhunting career,I shot a buck yesterday evening at 15 yards broadside.I could tell that the arrow hit a bit high but figured it would still get the top of the lung(s).After 300 yards the quarter size blood trail ran out,3 friends with alot of experience and myself combed the area.There was no sign of blood and no distinct hoof marks.After 8 hours of looking there was nothing more to go on.How do you get over the feeling of that?I will always bowhunt as it is my favorite hobby,but its something that is always there, the doubt.What has anybody else do to cope of knowing the fate of the animal?

Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:44 am

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby hunter480 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:39 pm

First of all, and this may sound harsh, but don`t take it bad, if killing anything is your "hobby", do us and you a favor, and get out of it.
Secondly, as awful as it is, you`ll never lose that gut-sick feeling of knowing you`ll not recover an animal. And maybe it`s your fault, not enough practice, bad shot, whatever. Maybe it`s not your fault, it jumped, moved, again, whatever. Fault or no, it won`t make the agony any less. Look as hard as you can, as long as you can. Then, like an athlete, learn from it, put it behind you and move forward.
And hey, sorry for the hard lesson.

User avatar
Posts: 740
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:02 pm

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby EatDeer » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:45 pm

Sometimes the deer's fat will block the exit wound which makes the blood trail weak. You shouldn't worrie yourself too much over the ones that got away. That's why its called hunting.
"Let a young buck go, so he can grow."

User avatar
Posts: 2980
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:28 pm

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby buckhunter21 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:00 pm

I'm not saying that it's not a big deal that you hit a deer and didn't recover it (yet?), but trust me we have all been there.  Just like what 480 said, we don't know the circumstances as to why your shot went high.  There are many reasons for that...Maybe only you know!?  Anyways, none of us like this to happen to us or to any other hunters.  The feeling is something horrible...But at the same time a great learning lesson. 

Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:55 pm

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby striker » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:18 pm

Sorry to hear it. I shot a buck last year I did not recover and I am still sick about it. I looked for it for 2 days and felt I gave it all I could to recover the deer but it just didn't work out. I go over it in my head over and over to think about what I could have done different. I think you just use it as a learning experience and move on which is what I am trying to do.

Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:12 pm

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby bowtech21 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:23 pm

Ive bowhunted 5 years now. There's been 4 deer that i hit and never found, (2 of them when i was 12 lol). There's been 1 deer that i completely missed. And i finally shot and recovered my first deer about 5 hours ago. A small buck, but one my brother got on his trailcam a number of times and we decided to take it out if we saw him. What a feeling! After i shot the 2 and never found them 10 years ago, i took quite a few seasons off. But started back up 4 years ago. I've learned a boatload of things over those years. I know the feeling buddy. Especially when ya got people left and right tellin you stories of all the deer they've harvested with a bow. But trust me, DONT let this get you down. You'll think about it for years and wonder what could've possibly happened when that arrow went flying? I wonder if the deer is dead? You'll ask yourself a million questions about it. But put it behind you and use this experience as one to help you in the future. And trust me, it will only help you strive to get out there again and focus on the things that could've possibly went wrong that night. Keep your head up. 


Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:12 pm

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby bowtech21 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:27 pm

Wow. forgot to adjust the size [8|] Let's see if this works.


Posts: 558
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:40 pm

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby danesdad » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:42 pm

Probably everyone who has bowhunted any length of time feels your pain.  I know I have.  It happened last year and sometimes, even now, I go back over it and try to think what I could have done differently.  All you can do is try your best to recover the animal and keep in mind, not everything goes as planned.  If you make every reasonable attempt at recovery, your conscience should be clear.  Even so, if you aren't a little sad and a little disappointed, then you aren't human.

User avatar
Posts: 3415
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby JPH » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:46 pm

ORIGINAL: Mathews bowhunter

How do you get over the feeling of that?

You don't. That is the feeling that motivates you to be perfect.
Being a bow hunter will force you to confront the fact that you are not perfect, on a regular basis. But that feeling will keep you trying.
I'm sorry this happened to you, but these are the moments that make great hunters.

Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:59 am

RE: dealing with not recovering your deer.

Postby msbadger » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:45 am

You just never get over it...and I hope you don't for one makes you try just that much harder to not have it happen again...
I lost a doe last year she was quartering away and swung away at the sound of my release...I watched the carbon go in behind her rib on the heart side and heard it hit her opposite shoulder.......she spun and headed straight down hill but going through the trees as she spun it broke the carbon off leaving 20in of arrow in her..I shoot a long arrow 30 in...because I shoot"instictive" but still aliegn my broad head up with vitals and need a long arrow to do this....That muzzy was solidly stuck in her shoulder to have broken a carbon and I waited an hour before getting the broken shaft and marking the spot.....the next morning a nieghbor and I went out to find a good blood trail....we called for permissions and her down hill trip led us through a rough swamp...bad enough that the neighbor begged off the search...I continued until I managed to lose my tags knife and had sunk up to my knees in muck... actually frightened I would'nt be able to get she managed to go through this stuff boggles my mind...I finally had to call Mr. B to come and pick me up 2 miles away...he grabbed my stuff and realizing I'd lost my tags had to go back for another two hours to find them...and did...I know from the blood she was leaving she was dead and most likely not far from where I had to stop....every time I go out and every time I practice I think of her...I had practiced that quartering away shot for weeks...but targets don't move...I'll never take that shot again...broad side or nothing for me from then on....


Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests