Heartbreaking - Shot the biggest Deer of my life

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by bnt55, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    Well this morning I shot the biggest buck of my life (which isnt huge) it was a nice 10 point, the only problem was that I shot just about 3 inches further back then I wanted too with a complete passthru. My arrow was completely cover in blood and there was a decent blood trail to follow. Since I was pretty sure of a 1 lung liver hit (no gut shot), I waited a few minutes and started tracking the deer, I immediately noticed that the blood was pretty decent drops here and there with a few small drops together and I found after about 300 yards a place where the deer has stood and there was a good bit of blood on the ground, not soaking puddles but the grass and leaves were covered. I eventually tracked the deer about 400 yards and it took about 45 minutes because the blood trail was getting weaker and weaker and a few times completely ended to be picked up again further on...needless to say it was very frustrating. By this point I was getting really worried that I was going to lose this deer because the blood trail just ended after I had followed it in a big arc through the fields and woods. The place that the blood ended was in a long narrow (400 yards wide) patch of regrown clear cut, I pretty much had to start making a grid pattern search until I came to a pretty decent thicket. I know this sounds weird but once I walked into the thicket I could smell him and sure enough about 10 steps in I look over and he's bedded down in patch of brambles...and he's looking right at me! I nocked another arrow and prepared to draw back and he spooked, jumped up and took off thru the thick nasty trees and bushes. At this point I backed up and marked the spot where I last saw him and got the heck outta there. I gave him about 3 hours and came back in the afternoon, since it was 70 degrees today in the shade I was wooried that if he was dead he would last long in this weather so needless to say I was working against the clock. I picked up the the faint blood trail that he had left while bedding however while I was away the blood had dried and it was the same darn color as the leaves on the ground...jeez just my luck, here I am on my hands and knees looking for pinpoints of blood and only have minimal success. By this time I am just walking in circles gradually getting bigger and bigger only finding a drop of blood here and there with no real sense of direction as too where this deer is headed. This lasted another hour or two and I had to head back to the house for some water and my dog...maybe she could help. Well here I go again with dog by my side thru endless briar patches and really thick hackberry bushes until I get into a nasty draw where I am hunkered down trying to keep my bow from getting stuck in the web of branches and sure enough about 15 yards ahead of me my dog busts the buck out again and off it goes to only God knows where. I checked in his bed and there was a small amount of blood on the ground maybe 4" by 4". At this point I just headed home after another 30 minutes of trying to find the nonexistent blood trail.
    So I guess to sum this hunt up in one word I would have to say heartbreaking, I hope that he lives but my gut tells me he will die in the next day or two. I hear some people talking about deer who are shot through the torso that make it and I for one hope that theory is true.:sad2:

    Bill
     
  2. RRRKKK

    RRRKKK New Member

    Messages:
    68
    State:
    Quincy IL
    We never pursue a shot deer right away, wait at least an hour. If he's not dead he will run from pure adrenilyn, and you wil never know if he lived or died.
     

  3. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,112
    State:
    evansville
    after 20yrs of deer hunting and seeing this very thing many times.. i wont even start tracking a deer or 3 hours after a bow shot unless i see it go down or staggering hard as its running off... sorr y to hear you lost him...:sad2:
     
  4. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    Sorry to hear! Hope the deer lives.:sad2:
     
  5. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    State:
    West Newton, PA
    if you hunt long enough Bill this stuff happens. don't give up yet you may still find him. keep your head up brother. if you know where the thickest nastiest patch is from where you last saw him check around there as thats what they seem to look for. also may head towards the closest water source from the last place he was seen. they seem to head towards water whether that be a creek, stream, or pond and bed in the thickest stuff close to it.
     
  6. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    I am going out again today, if I find him would the meat still be good? It was in the upper 40's last night.
     
  7. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    That's a shame, but it happens. Here is SC, we can run dogs on deer. In the event that this happens when we still hunt, we wait an hour or so, and then put a dog on the deer's trail. More often than not, we find the deer that way.
    Bill in SC
     
  8. bnorth

    bnorth New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Indiana
    Start looking near water....they always go to water.
     
  9. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh New Member

    Messages:
    458
    State:
    Ohio
    I feel for ya brother. I think all bowhunters that have more than a few years in have lost at least one in their career:sad2:. Keep your head up.
     
  10. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    State:
    West Newton, PA
    Bill it all depends on when the deer expired. if the belly is all sweeled up and the deer is stiffer than a board i would not attempt to eat it. if body is still pliable and belly not to swelled up then it should be alright. if not at least you can get the rack. good luck brother.
     
  11. catman from owensboro

    catman from owensboro New Member

    Messages:
    569
    State:
    ky
    i've had it happen to me last year. so i now how you feel.and i was on a island when it happen.we wait till the next day to look for now deer to be found.last week i seen a deer found in henderson county,kyit was a 22 pointer someone shot and lost with a bow.
     
  12. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    After much searching and hair pulling I finally found the deer I arrowed! That's the good news, the bad news is that the meat was unrecoverable, the body was bloated and hard as a rock, he must have died last night and sat in the sun today until I found him this evening. I examined the arrow path in the body and found that I did hit a lung but the angle was further back on the other side...one lung shot = lots of tracking. In retrospect I should have waited and tracked him after about 8 hours, that would have given him time to die, however the blood would have been dried and VERY hard to see in the brown leaves, plus he was so far back in the thickets on the top of a hillside nowhere near water.:confused2: I guess it's a catch 22 either way you go. However I will be very picky with my shot selection from now on.

    Thanks for the support guys
    Bill
     

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  13. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Anyone who's ever hunted much has probably lost one. Sorry your meat wasn't good but i'm glad ya found your rack.
     
  14. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    I'm glad you found that deer Bill. Great job! I'm supprised at how many guys give a deer more than a hour, before going after it! Bowhunting deer and making a lethal shot in both lungs or the heart, the tracking can take place 20-30 mins after the shot! If you feel the shot is marginal, then by all means give the deer longer to expire before going after it. The best advice I can give someone is to find the arrow!


    Lung shot- light colored blood with some bubbles present
    Heart shot- light to bright red blood
    Liver shot- dark colored blood, give 6 to 8 hours before tracking
    Gut or paunch shot- usually no blood present. arrow has bad smell from fecal matter. give the deer 10 hours or longer to expire.

    shot selection is critical in making a lethat shot! broadside or slightly quartering away is the best position to make a deadly shot on a deer. I don't go for the spine shot, although deadly, but the margin of error is there and the deer can be injured. Not good!!!!!
     
  15. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    one thing is a portable black light, does help blood to stand out at nigh even if its dried. you can pick up one at any bait house any more thats battery powered fairly cheep too.it was a trick I was shown a few years ago because I got to were I wouldnt bow hunt in the evenings just because of night time tracking. any I am one that had to learn the hard way of giving enough time after a shot too, so I do know how frustrating it is to know you made a good shot but end up loosing a good deer.
     
  16. Txbluecatman

    Txbluecatman Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Texas
    :0a27:
     
  17. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    Ive lost a couple in my time, one to bow (found Next Day Coyotes already started eatin him) one to muzzleloader Never found him. One with a crossbow, he lived but is hanging on my wall now. Killed him the next year ! :wink: I no longer hunt unless its standing in my yard, cant walk the hills anymore. took the fun out of it. Congrats to finding your buck.
     
  18. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    State:
    West Newton, PA
    glad you found it but sorry about the meat. how far did it go from where you last saw it the day before? how far did it go from where you first shot it? just curious.
     
  19. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    Congrats on finding him! Nice rack on him! Sorry you had to lose the meat!
     
  20. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    Great story and sorry that u lost it