Bad Shot - Will he live?

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Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby MusicproZ71 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi. I am new to the forum, so my apologies if this post is in the wrong location, or if it has been discussed before.
Let me start by saying I am a very ethical and law abiding hunter. I am an animal lover and I respect wildlife, and I eat what I kill.

This past weekend my dad and I were hunting at our leese here in Texas. Even though I am 28 and he is 54, we still sit together and enjoy spotting deer for eachother, etc. We are sitting in a stand that is about 15 feet in the air (in other words a shot would be at a downward angle). A very nice 10 point stepped out and after watching him for a few minutes we decided to take him. Since my dad has always let me shoot the big deer - I gave him this oppportunity to take this nice 10. The deer was close - roughly 90-95 yards away and was perfectly broadside. He looked up and looked back (away) from our location, and my dad shot. His rifle is new, and maybe he is not comfortable with it (and we later found out for some reason it was shooting low, even though we went to sight it in 3 times!!!) but regardless the shot was a bad one. The bullet must have grazed the buck, just in front of his left shoulder in what I would call the "brisket". When it did that, it looked like it "fillet-ed" the hide open creating a wound about the size of, or a little bigger than a fist (it all happened so fast I was looking through binocs when it happened). The buck ran about 20 yards and layed down in a wooded section right in front of us, but behind brush so we could not see him. He grunted a few times, and we waited about 25 minutes. We got out of the stand and to our surprise the buck was laying down just like he was bedded down. As soon as I put my rifle to my shoulder he bolted off, without a limp, down a creek, up a creek, etc. We were sick. We both had NEVER wounded an animal and always had immediate kill shots. We went and looked where he was laying. There was a pile of blood, but not as much as you would expect from laying there for 25 minutes. I would guess about a "coke can full" of blood. We walked the property for 2-3 hours looking for the deer.. nothing. We then realized he had to have crossed over into the neighbors property (This is our first year hunting here and we do not know the neighbors). We went back to his blood and started tracking. We tracked blood for 2 hours. Found the location he crossed the property fence. We went ahead and crossed the fence as well and tracked the blood another 100 yards. But the blood we were tracking was SPECS of blood. No big drops. I am talking like if you cut your leg and ran thru weeds, we were tracking the blood rubbed up against weeds. About 100 yards into the neighbors property the blood trail stopped. Completely. We were in very thick woods. We looked and circled another hour or so and never found a thing.

This whole ordeal has upset us both so much that we both do not want to even go hunting again this year. It is sickening. In 4 days the buck has not re-appeared on our game camera that is by our feeder (Feeders are legal in Texas).

I know deer are resillient and can survive a lot of things. Do you think he has a fighting chance at survival? Before you say no, google "brisket shot deer will he live?" It is a video of a deer shot in the exact spot except with an arrow. That buck did live. The difference with our buck is that it was with a .30.06 and the bullet grazed him just enough to flap open his chest/ it looked like a hole from what I remember in the binocs. No major blood vessels or arteries were hit. He simply just did not bleed enough.

So ideas? Has anyone seen or witness deer survive horrid wounds?

Thanks for the advice!

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby unclebuck » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:48 pm

There is a chance he will live, but without knowing the exact damage the bullet did its hard to say. If you think it went on your neighbors property I would ask him if you can go on and look.

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby MusicproZ71 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:06 pm

Unclebuck -
Yea I realize you really cannot say without knowing the damage. The neighboring property is all woods. No houses, or anything. I do not know who owns it because we lease the land we are on from a family friend. We did go on the property and look even though we did not have permission, but we still lost the blood trail and could not find the deer. We did not go too far past the spot where the blood trail stopped simply because it is not our property.

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby kellory » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:21 pm

You can find out about that property by going to where they keep the "Platt books" (spelling?) down town office. It will be registered, to someone, and of course, the taxes will be paid by someone. Our platt book access is free, but I have heard of a small fee as well elsewhere. I have even heard of people purchasing a copy. Good luck, and sorry to hear about your deer.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:09 pm

Before I give you my take on this let me state that this is just an opinon of someone who was not there and only knows what you've told us.

First off, brisket shot.....yes, they can surive that. It's usually a non-vital hit. From what you've told us there was not a lot of blood loss and from what you've said about the blood trial it is indicative of a muscle wound. Will he? Maybe. But then.........

He was shot with a rifle. I don't know anything about the caliber or the type of bullet used. Rifle bullets kill by hyrdoscopic shock, which is essentially a "shock wave" of energy from the bullet that travel through the flesh and/or organs similar to a sound wave. This creates a lot of tissue damage and is why a wound from a firearm is usually not a "clean" wound like muscle tissue would get from a broadhead arrow. The bottom line is that POSSIBLY even if he does not die from the immediate effects of the wound itself he may very well die from secondnary causes like gangrene. But we have no way of knowing this either. Let's hope that he does survive it and that you fellows learn as much as you can from the situation. I know that's what I try and do when somehting like this happenes to me. It doesn't happen all that often, but if you hunt enough it will.

Good luck to you both.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby MusicproZ71 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:50 pm

Woods Walker -

Thanks. It was a .30-06 loaded with Remington Core Lokt 165 grain.

I too am afraid of the secondary problem such as infection. It was not just a cut or scrape but a hole (then again when he was running I guess it could have looked a lot worse thru the binoculars since him running). Heinsight is 20/20 and we thought well what would have happened if we waited hours instead of 25 minutes in the stand after the shot? Or what if we were prepared to shoot the minute we jumped him? (i guess we assumed he would be lying down like a dead deer not laying up and alert as if he was bedded). But it has started raining, more bad weather was on the way, and he stopped making noise so we figured he had died.

I understand every situation is different and no one knows for sure without being there and seeing it, but I just want to know what people have to say, if anyone has ever shot a deer in a similar mannor and later learned he lived, or if anyone has ever shot a deer with a rifle in any other location of the body and have him live.

The worst part of this ordeal is knowing the buck suffered. Even if he died, he suffered greatly, and that really bothers me.

I appreciate all of your responses.

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby Jslotter » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:23 pm

Its tough, but not recovering an animal will sooner or later happen to most hunters. It happened to me for the first time this season. It sucks. You guys may have pushed him to early after the shot. But, with your situation and the rain beginning to fall, I would have probably done the same thing. Deer are very resilient animals and he may live, and he may not. Its 50/50 chance.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby Deebz » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:46 am

A couple years back I blew a shot on a flat out MONSTER buck... biggest I'd ever seen in real life. He was roughly 12 yards from my tree stand, and I shot him with my 12 ga pump... I made a couple huge mistakes... I tried to shoot too perfectly, I only shot once and didn't take advantage of the possible 2nd and 3rd shots I could have made, and I was hunting with a shotgun I wasn't really used to or comfortable with...

He did live, the neighbors have seen him a few times limping around...

It does suck, but it is good to know that he made it... they are tough critters.
"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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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby MusicproZ71 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:02 am

Yea this 10 point was also the biggest buck we have ever seen in person while hunting - so it makes it that much worse! Even if he does live I will probably never see him again or never see him on the game camera. I am sure he will associate our location as a dangerous one.

I hope to go back this weekend, which by Sunday would be a week since it happened. I will keep everyone updated.

When you shot yours with a shotgun, were you using slug or buckshot?

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Re: Bad Shot - Will he live?

Postby JPH » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:23 am

Woods Walker wrote:First off, brisket shot.....yes, they can surive that. It's usually a non-vital hit. From what you've told us there was not a lot of blood loss and from what you've said about the blood trial it is indicative of a muscle wound. Will he? Maybe.

I would agree with this assessment. Left alone in the woods with this type of wound, you or I might die of infection. A deer, on the other hand, has one heck of an immune system.

There are a few things missing from your story however. How did the deer move when he ran? Was he bounding or lumbering? Tail up, down, or flickering? Did he crash through brush of run over and around it?


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