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!