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deer loss

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. About 7am, I kicked a deer out from under my stand. At 8:30, while in my stand, 3 doe walk in on me. One lays down 15 yards away. They get spooky, and one starts blowing and stomping. The one laying down gets up and starts walking away. At 22 yards, she is broadside and framed between two trees. I can see from the point of her elbow to her hip, with all the mid-section clearly visible. I fire, knowing I'm trying to get closer to the elbow, but the arrow flies higher and farther back on her than I want. Hit her in the short-rib area, and the arrow doesn't go in far at all. At least 3/4 or more of the arrow didn't go in.

    Why didn't the arrow go in farther? 60 pound old compound bow that is not very fast compared to the modern stuff, with a 4 blade broadhead. Didn't hit her high near the spine, and didn't hit far enough back for the hip. Not far enough forward for the heavy ribs. I figured the best I could hope for from where it hit was a liver shot, but still couldn't figure why it didn't go in.

    She walked and trotted off, stopping once to look back at the arrow in her. I waited in the stand for 45 minutes, then walked back to the house, and started tracking at 10:30. I didn't like the hit and figured maybe 2 hours would be enough to kill her, if she was going to die that day. It was supposed to rain in the afternoon, so I was concerned about that. Blood trail didn't start for about 80 yards, with just a few drops then, and a real heavy trail from about 110 to 250 yards, then a few drops from 250 to 300 yards, then nothing. I think at 275 yards she had loose poop, looking more like unshaped dog poop, but not liquid, and with a slight green tint.

    Her trail was sort of like an S, and had one circle back, near the end the heavy blood. That threw me for a long time, because it was hard to find the trail out of her circle back when it stopped to drops, but I did find the line out of there, but after another 50 yards, nothing.

    Couldn't really follow hoofprints, because they are basically everywhere. The blood was bright red. I didn't notice bubbles or anything like that. Does bright red mean I hit the end of the lung? No dark red, so probably not liver hit. No blood in poop, so maybe not gut shot? The blood didn't seem dried, so she might have been being pushed ahead of me as I was tracking, meaning she was still alive at least 3 or 4 hours after being hit. I tracked until 4:00pm and just couldn't find any continuation from the last drop, and kept looking in that area for the body.

    So, where do you think she was hit, and why didn't the arrow go in?

    Well, at least now there's one less deer eating from my wife's veggie garden.

    I've got to get a new bow. I think the arrow should have driven farther into her, helping out the bad shot. And with a new bow, hopefully I'll shoot a little better. Still, it is my responsibility for the bad shot, but I'll take a little help if a new bow gives it to me.

    Note: The tracking distances are estimates, and all through some pretty thick stuff. The last drop was on the edge of some open woods and she may have made a run across those woods, or she may have kept back into the thick stuff. I searched both. Anyway, if you live in open country, 300 yards won't sound very far. But in thick stuff it is a very long ways.
  2. could be any thing but I doubt it was lung hit and it sounds more like the liver shot but you say you didn't find her at all and very little blue till later on? Was the blood dark red or just bright red?

    Also as far as the penetration issues, was the BH handtighten or with a BH wrench. Reason asked since I know of a hunter or two that had shallow pentration due to the BH being loose on the shaft and in all cases the arow was bent at the front end. Since you never recovered the arrow ( assumption ) you can't rule that out or in.

    the old saying of; " sometimes it's a day for the hunter and other times it's a day for the animal". Will the animal won ( kinda ) but don't let this bring you down or discourage you ;)

  3. Curious to know why you doubt lung shot. Because description of arrow being too far back? Or because she went so far, and for so long?

    The blood for the entire tracking was always bright red. Never a dark spot. Just the gooshy poo toward the end, that I think was from her. And that wasn't very dark, and had no blood in it, but was tinted green, which might be normal, except for not being in pellets.

    Broadheads are hand tightened, with a leather glove. It is a good point you raise, and something for me to keep check of.

    I never found the arrow. And haven't found the deer yet. I'd say the arrow appeared to be pretty firm in her, not floppying loose, but didn't seem to be in more than a couple inches. Maybe it wedged between two short ribs. No telling what happened after she went through all the brush.

    I feel like I played a game of NFL football yesterday. That's how much tracking I did, contorting my body to get anywheres in the thick stuff. And then losing the trail, and making circles over and over again to pick up the next drop. On and on this went. I really thought I had her for a while. Didn't feel good after I shot her, but then felt good after I found a lot of blood, but didn't feel good again after the blood trail thinned down to nothing. I had two stands in the area to climb up and glass what I could, but didn't see anything. She could be anywhere in there. Not sure if the blood stopped because she ran out of it, and was soon going to drop, or because it stopped up to give her some extra miles.

    I am discouraged. It was very difficult to get that shot, but I got it and ended up wounding a deer. Those deer knew I was there when they came in toward me, knew I was there when they layed down, and knew I was there when I shot. They looked at me repeatedly, to try and get me to move, but I didn't. They then didn't know exactly where I could be, or how far away I was. You fellow hunters know what that means for the hunter. It means my heart was pumping like crazy and my breaths were going like crazy as if I was with a girl when I was a kid. I fought to bring the heartrate and breaths down. And most importantly, I didn't move, didn't blink, even though my body was aching from being in the same position. When a deer lays down 15 yards from you, it is like your wife is laying in bed next to you and knows every move you make and even knows if your stomach grumbles. It was nerve wracking, and then ultimately the perfect opportunity. The other 2 deer got spooky and started to walk away from me, giving me a bit of freedom, and the only laying near me got up and followed, but stopped broadside, with a tree blocking her view of me so I could raise the bow. I thought for sure she'd hear me draw back, but she didn't. I think the way she was framed between the trees sort of made me shoot to the center of her, as we usually shoot to the center of our targets. I wanted to be down and right, but was up and left. I know I could do that shot better. I've got to do that shot better or I've no business archery hunting.
  4. NO I doubt it was double lunger was what I was getting at from my 1st reply.

    Since the arrow was not recovered and did not fully penetrate we don't have any idea as to how far back the deer was hit.

    since you mention ;

    The blood for the entire tracking was always bright red. Never a dark spot. Just the gooshy poo toward the end, that I think was from her. And that wasn't very dark, and had no blood in it, but was tinted green, which might be normal, except for not being in pellets.

    It most likely was NOT a liver hit but was a simple gut shot deer, which btw will die but just takes alot longer. The color and description of crap makes me think it was gut shot, but than again I don't know since I never gut shot a deer with a bow. But everything I read and heard suggest that's what the problem was.

    A knew a guy at the begining of this year that gut shot a sml FLA yearling and they took over 12hours and late into the night to find it and that was with the help of 2 extra noses on a few hounds. They stated almost none to little blood was found. The meat was obvious spoiled and they stated when dressing his deer out and cutting into the belly it sound like a cut car tire lettig off gas. The hunter was just happy that he found his deer which is what counts but even if he didn't other animals need to eat also ;)
  5. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Just to throw this in for ya my friend. Hits in the lungs 'usually' produce more pinkish, or lighter colered red, than do a liver/heart shots, which are much darker. Somtimes even froathy and lighter colored. (lungs).... From all 'your description', (and it is hard for anyone to do this over the internet), but you may have glanced off a rib, and got into the diaphram/gut department, thus explaning (perhaps), lack of penetration.

    The sparatic walking trail of the deer, (you mentioned), is one 'tip off' of that. I have seen it before the way you are describing it, guiding hunts, and found the deer the next day on horse back, while making large circles, then gradually making smaller ones until found.

    Did that once for a bow hunter, and his deer was still alive the next morning, with the arrow sticking out of the location 'you are describing'. It got just a tad of the liver, but mostly diaphram/guts, after hiting a 'back rib hard', and "there was at least 3/4 of the arrow still sticking out". The trail was very twisty, and sparatic. Blood was red, to light red.

    Why don't you go make the "circle" locator trick, and see what happens.. I hate to hear it, I "know" you hate it as well, things do happen, so don't beat yourself up... Just give it one more hard look.

    If you don't find her, the coyotes will deal with it, or buzzards. I Know that is not what you want to hear, but at least it will be eaten.

    Sorry Hoss!
    But perhaps you'll still find her, and see what happened.

    Good luck, and let us know! ;)

  6. suckersrus


    May 13, 2000
    Kenai, Alaska
    Taste it. Bitter = bile = gut shot.
  7. Rustydude


    Mar 7, 2006
    Daytona Fl.
    Thats why I stopped hunting with a bow. I hate to lose Deer. Some go 30' some go forever. .22 mag and head shots are more effective. During gun season of course;)
  8. except a 22mag or any rimfire as far as that goes , would be illegal in Florida for taking deer ;)
  9. StockGlock23

    StockGlock23 Hilarious!

    Aug 10, 2004
    Bremen, IN
    Same in Indiana. No rimfire for whitetail. No centerfire rifle either aside from shotguns.