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Had a bad deer hunt yesterday-

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by branden, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. branden

    branden AMERICA **** YA

    Jan 1, 2003
    Hunted from 5:30 til the time this happened. I took my girlfriend out for the expierience, along with my buddy Charles. Well, we were setting by a food block and heard shots up the hill, so I went to the bottom field in hopes the hunter would scare something down. So I am all by myself setting on the ground, I look up and an 8pt buck, medium body is coming out of the timbers about 350 yards away. I was hunting with my favorite rifle my Ruger M77 all weather .260. The closest this buck was coming was 250 yards so I set my gun on a tree and cracked off a shot. Well, I am not used to shooting this far, but figured I would try it. Miss. Deer took off. So Charles and my girl come to see what happened. As I am explaining it, ANOTHER 8pt runs out of the same field. So I set up and take another shot. I hit it right in the intesting/ass region, and it took off like a freight train. No blood trail, no deer. I learned alot of valuable lessons. Do NOT shoot past what you are trained for. And take your time. This all happened so fast, I didnt compensate for alot of things. I feel horrible for this deer getting away hurt, but, its all part of hunting I guess. Any suggestions? No flames, trust me, I feel bad enough.
  2. OMEGA5


    Jun 28, 2001
    Yeh, Practice, practice practice and learn some restraint. You should not have taken either shot, especially the second cause you knew from the first that you couldn't make it. Now some deer is gut shot and dying a slow agonizing death cause you couldn't exercise a little restraint. I shoot dang near everyday but I gave up hunting years ago and guys like you are one of the reasons I did. I still shoot coyotes and varmits that come on my property (that's not hunting) but I won't take a shot that I know I'm not prepared for even on one of them. It was different in Nam where wounding was as good or better sometimes than a kill. Another reason I quit hunting. If it couldn't shoot back, it just wasn't any fun.

  3. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Like you said Hoss, You already feel bad enough, you were man enough to admit you blew it... 'learn from it and move on'. Don't let anybody 'spur' you for it. Your not the first guy, or the last, to make a bad call. Next time use your 'heart,' not just your head.

    Keep practising and know your limits.

    Hang in there man.

  4. hcook


    Apr 20, 2002
    No, it's NOT just "all part of hunting." The lessons that you learned at the expense of a gut-shot deer should have been learned way before you ever left the house with your gun.

    Before you go afield you should know where your point of impact is going to be at a given distance, practice shooting at various distances from various positions, know your limitations, know your guns limitations, and DO NOT take shots that are outside knowledge / skill set.

    Something you don't mention is whether you knew who / what was beyond either deer. Knowing only what you've told us, I'd be more than willing to bet that you didn't check and didn't know. You need to learn this lesson the easy way, not at the expense of a dead / wounded person.

    As to your request for no flames, no dice. What you did was stupid, irresponsible, unethical, and cruel. Aside from the slow and painful death that deer is bound to suffer, you have done a remarkable job of reinforcing all the bad stereotypes about hunters.

    All that being said, I sincerely hope you don't give up hunting. What I hope is that you take the lessons you learned from this, enroll in a hunter safety program, practice shooting until you know your limits, then go back out.

    Edited to add: CanyonMan is totally right about bad calls. Very few, if any, of us have never made a bad call. A bad call is one thing, doing it twice in a row is something totally different.
  5. Guest

    Get a good scope (if you dont already have one) and practice often. Thats all you can really do to prevent this from happening again (if you still want to take long distance shots).

    I had a similar experience when I first started hunting. I was hunting with my father when we spotted the perfect whitetail. I decided to take the shot, and I did. Unfortunatly the shot was too low, and it hit the deers front left leg. Luckly my father was there to finish it off with a good headshot with his .30-06 not even 5 seconds after I first shot it. I was young, stupid, and I should have practiced a lot more before even thinking about hunting.

    Heres a beer for all your trouble, and good luck!

  6. carassius


    Jan 5, 2003
    Yes, one. Go back tomorrow and spend all day learning how to track a wounded deer. You owe it to that animal to try all you can to find it. If that fails, see if you can locate someone with a tracking dog thru the local game warden or something...
  7. MyT-FastDog


    Mar 28, 2002
    Chesaning, MI
    Shooting people is fun but wounding a deer is a capital offense?
  8. Look, you already feel bad about it. So no need to add to that. You will probably remember wounding that deer for the rest of your life.

    As to what to do? Become better. We all learn.

    Hunting is fun. No need to rush a shot. If you don't get one today, it just means you get to go out in the woods again next time.

    Know your comfortable range from practice. Know that you can hit a pie plate consitantly, off hand. At whatever distance you can do that, then that's your range. Whether with bow, handgun, or rifle, you have to hit that size target at the appropriate range.

    Next, wait for the good shot where the deer is broadside and not moving, and clear of branches, and within YOUR range. That's the shot you need to take. I aim just behind and slightly above the point of the elbow. Imagine an 8 inch diameter pie plate there. Previous pracitise at the distance you are shooting will let you know you can put your shot in there.

    Relax, take your time, one shot. If the deer doesn't drop on the spot, wait 10 minutes before going to the spot of the shot, but take note where the deer went. When you get to the spot of the shot, look for signs such as hair or blood, to give you an indication of the hit. Might not be any sign. Wait another 10 minutes before tracking. Move slow, maybe within 10 or 20 yards you will see blood on the deer's trail. Maybe a lot more blood further along the deer's trail. Go slow. Take 10 more minutes to track 50 yards or so. You don't want to push the deer to the next county. If it was a good shot in the vitals, you will find the deer laying dead within 100 yards.
  9. Cuse93


    Oct 9, 2003
    Northeast US
    Just curious,.... how do you know you missed the first one??? Or hit the 2nd one???

    I shot a big doe with a 240 grain .50 cal sabot (muzzleloader) with 2 pyrodex pellets right at the tail end of the rib cage down in the middle of her body. Took the shot offhand at 30 yards. She ran right into the woods like she wasn't even it.

    I looked for hours well into the night and couldn't even find a drop of blood or hair. Almost convinced myself that I missed her clean. Found her the next morning close to 350 yards from where I shot her. Clean, dime-sized entry/exit wounds with absolutely no blood loss! And ZERO bullet expansion!

    Learned a very valuable lesson about the importance of shot placement and will be much much less likely to launch a 200 yard shot in the future.
  10. bbauman

    bbauman Millennium Member

    Sep 6, 1999
    Branden, I can sympathize. Lost a buck Tuesday morning, have felt like crap about it ever since, must show as my wife won't be in the same room anymore either.

    Mine went like this:
    6:45am - see a deer come out at 150 yards, not legal light.
    6:53am - legal hours begin.
    6:55am - deer is now 275 yards out, can see it is a good bodied, small racked buck. I'm sitting on the ground with my legs under a fallen log, built in bench rest. Deer is standing still, quartering away. Take all the time in the world, rock steady rest, and take the shot. The shot was good, the buck was knocked off his feet. Took 5-10 seconds for him to regain his feet and I watched him slowly gimp 100 yards further away and into the brush. The whole time I kept waiting for him to drop dead.
    7:05am - start looking for the blood trail.

    To cut the story short, he was shot in Indian grass that is yellow, orange and red, knee to chest high. Couldn't find a blood trail. The stuff he walked into is rough stuff, cedars, sumac, briars, brush, etc. Have looked 15+ hours so far for him and am about to give up. I'll hunt out the rest of the season but will look at it as that tag is filled unless I happen to see that same buck again alive and well (not likely).

    I have learned a few things, the big ones are: Don't wait for them to fall down dead, shoot again. Better to lose meat than lose a deer. Mark the spot better of where they go down. Think about followup shots, first shot at 275 where will second one be? My self imposed limit is 300 yards, will it be further than that for the second shot? And look to see where the deer might go if it doesn't drop, will I be able to find it?
  11. usmcmonty

    usmcmonty 100% American

    Jan 13, 2002
  12. 1. Shoot again? If you have a good shot, yes.
    2. 275 yards? That's a long ways. What caliber? That distance may have been the source of all the subsequent problems. Maybe it was too far for the caliber to hit hard. Maybe it was too far to place your shot in the vitals.
    3. Mark the spot where they go down? Yes. And mark where they go.
    4. Time? Take your time. Above I said 10 minutes before going to the spot of the shot. Once there, look for blood trail. If you don't find a strong blood trail, then maybe it is time to sit down for an hour or more. That way you won't push the deer, and stand a better chance to find the body without a blood trail.

    Please note this is all Monday Morning quarterbacking.
  13. bbauman

    bbauman Millennium Member

    Sep 6, 1999
    Model 70 carbine in .30-06, 250 yard zero. If I hadn't had a solid shooting platform the shot would have never been taken.
  14. .30-06 is my favorite deer caliber.

    I feel for ya. Sounds like you new what you were doing and tried.
  15. ILikeFtLbs


    Nov 4, 2002
    I have seen a few injured whitetails before. Usually I'll put them down, tag them and if they're infected, leave them for foxes and such. One young doe I shot with my bow had a bad front limp. Meat was fine though. Another I shot with my muzzleloader had a huge infected coyote bite in her back leg....threw that meat away. I shot a 17 year old Black Bear in BC 6'9, 19 3/16 in. skull who had been shot in the back left leg years ago. Upon skinning it, I found the old bullet in the ankle joint and the whole thing callused over with bone took me a while to realize what I was looking at. I figure someone did exactly what you did......took a pot shot from too far off. Now that you know, wait for that perfect shot next time.
  16. Bowser


    Jul 18, 2000
    If you found out that a cow in a slaughterhouse was quite stunned propely before being processed, (which is a common occurrence), would you then give up meat? ******bag.
  17. OMEGA5


    Jun 28, 2001
    At least a ****** bag serves a purpose in life unlike someone who calls others names because you disagree. Looks like you could learn some restraint as well.
  18. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
  19. jchast

    jchast Draw Yer Gun!

    Sep 23, 2003
    Western PA
    You were you staring at yourself in the mirror when you made that comment.... That explains it!
  20. { If you found out that a cow in a slaughterhouse was quite stunned propely before being processed, (which is a common occurrence), would you then give up meat? ******bag.}

    FYI: if it was done right with a captive bolt or by any Kosher slaughter stds, then the animal would not feel anything.

    It's death would be painless.