3Rivers Archery Supply
The Void = Urban Legend
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
HerdManager@Work 19-Oct-05
Mr Wapiti 19-Oct-05
HerdManager@Work 19-Oct-05
Hoytboy 19-Oct-05
J.E. Travis 19-Oct-05
Doum 19-Oct-05
J.E. Travis 19-Oct-05
Hoytboy 19-Oct-05
jgbennett6 19-Oct-05
tcaptain 19-Oct-05
MDBUCKSTOPPER 19-Oct-05
Doum 19-Oct-05
Will 19-Oct-05
cbear 19-Oct-05
kota-man 19-Oct-05
HerdManager@Work 19-Oct-05
Matt 19-Oct-05
J.E. Travis 19-Oct-05
LTG 19-Oct-05
Knife2sharp 19-Oct-05
SRBOWHUNTER 19-Oct-05
LTG 19-Oct-05
Matt 19-Oct-05
LTG 19-Oct-05
HerdManager@Work 19-Oct-05
Hoytboy 19-Oct-05
Per48R 19-Oct-05
Matt 19-Oct-05
dmbuttigie 19-Oct-05
Troy/OK 19-Oct-05
deadhorse 19-Oct-05
Travis 19-Oct-05
OHBowhntr 19-Oct-05
BowFire 19-Oct-05
RRC 19-Oct-05
JTV 19-Oct-05
huntindoc@work 19-Oct-05
JTV 19-Oct-05
Buckstopshere 19-Oct-05
Bushbow 19-Oct-05
Trebarker 19-Oct-05
tflight 19-Oct-05
HerdManager@Work 20-Oct-05
Ytailhtr - M 20-Oct-05
LTG 20-Oct-05
got_elk? 20-Oct-05
rabbit 20-Oct-05
LTG 21-Oct-05
JTV 21-Oct-05
trophy8 21-Oct-05
John Scifres 21-Oct-05
Per48R 21-Oct-05
Sirhuntsalot 21-Oct-05
IowaBow 21-Oct-05
IowaBow 21-Oct-05
Stealthycat 21-Oct-05
travis@work 21-Oct-05
WW 21-Oct-05
willhunt4food 21-Oct-05
travis@work 21-Oct-05
Travis 24-Oct-05
Shuteye 25-Oct-05
WVa/MD-hunter 25-Oct-05
HerdManager 18-Dec-05
ARROWONE 18-Dec-05
Fisher 18-Dec-05
Matt@home 18-Dec-05
ARROWONE 18-Dec-05
JLarsson 18-Dec-05
rabbit 18-Dec-05
Termin8r 18-Dec-05
Fred Beer 07-Jan-06
HerdManager 07-Jan-06
Booner 07-Jan-06
Termin8r 07-Jan-06
Abraham52 07-Jan-06
Nattybumppo 07-Jan-06
JLarsson 08-Jan-06
Booner 08-Jan-06
Shuteye 08-Jan-06
Nattybumppo 08-Jan-06
Bionicrooster 09-Jan-06
Knife2sharp 09-Jan-06
Booner 09-Jan-06
sticksender 09-Jan-06
dmbuttigie 09-Jan-06
dmbuttigie 09-Jan-06
dmbuttigie 09-Jan-06
dmbuttigie 09-Jan-06
Will 09-Jan-06
BigRed 16-Feb-06
BigRed 16-Feb-06
BigRed 16-Feb-06
BigRed 16-Feb-06
BigRed 16-Feb-06
redneck 16-Feb-06
JTV 16-Feb-06
HerdManager 16-Feb-06
BigRed 17-Feb-06
trophy8 17-Feb-06
Ground Check 17-Feb-06
HerdManager 17-Feb-06
Fred Beer 18-Feb-06
Bushbow 18-Feb-06
Gray Ghost 18-Feb-06
HerdManager 19-Feb-06
Shug 19-Feb-06
Shug 19-Feb-06
Shug 19-Feb-06
Death from Above 20-Feb-06
jgbennett6 21-Feb-06
trophy8 21-Feb-06
fuzzy 21-Feb-06
Shug 21-Feb-06
Fred Beer 21-Feb-06
jgbennett6 22-Feb-06
The Yode 22-Feb-06
trophy8 22-Feb-06
HerdManager @ Work 29-Sep-06
JTV 29-Sep-06
Trophy8 29-Sep-06
JTV 29-Sep-06
Meathunter13 29-Sep-06
Dan In MI 29-Sep-06
travis@work 29-Sep-06
travis@work 29-Sep-06
travis@work 29-Sep-06
Africanbowhunter 01-Oct-06
baldy 01-Oct-06
Steve Edwards 01-Oct-06
Steve Edwards 01-Oct-06
lariat 01-Oct-06
jawbreaker 01-Oct-06
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jawbreaker 02-Oct-06
HerdManager @ Work 02-Oct-06
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Twang 1 02-Oct-06
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Flex 02-Nov-06
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bb 02-Nov-06
bullelkklr 02-Nov-06
HerdManager @ Work 02-Nov-06
JTV 02-Nov-06
JTV 02-Nov-06
mr_magoo 02-Nov-06
travis@work 14-Nov-06
Norseman 14-Nov-06
GaryB@Home 14-Nov-06
HerdManager 18-Dec-06
guidermd 19-Dec-06
HerdManager @ Work 28-Sep-07
JTV 28-Sep-07
Deflatem 28-Sep-07
Ki-Ke 28-Sep-07
baldy 28-Sep-07
Ki-Ke 28-Sep-07
antler-man 28-Sep-07
sugar 30-Sep-07
DadOfTwins 03-Oct-07
baldy 03-Oct-07
19-Oct-05
For all you "void" believers, try this:

Next time you kill a deer, gut it, hang it, skin it. Take an arrow and stick it in the deer. Pass it underneath the deer's spine, in the supposed "void".

Then look inside the deer's chest cavity, and guess what?

You will see your arrow!!!!!!

This is such a crazy idea that there is a void with nothing in it. What is in this void. Air? A black hole? Elvis? It is ridiculous.

Please send pictures of an arrow under the spine and NOT in the ribcage. I would love to see them

From: Mr Wapiti
19-Oct-05
just because you see the arrow does not mean that you will hit lungs. lungs do not stay the same size they acually expand and contract. there accually is "dead space" in there.

but your the scientist so believe what you want :) BTW good study you should try and get it published

19-Oct-05
If you are inside the ribcage, you will penetrate the lungs. They fill the ribcage.

From: Hoytboy
19-Oct-05
Are you saying that the lungs fill the entire ribcage?

From: J.E. Travis
19-Oct-05
The lungs are vaccuum sucked to the walls of the cavity. They have no muscles to make themselves fill with and release air. They rely on the diaphram and the vaccuum to operate. There is no void.

When you clean a deer you may notice a void...but you've broken the vaccuum.

From: Doum
19-Oct-05
"lungs do not stay the same size they acually expand and contract. there accually is "dead space" in there."

NO! Lungs are "glued" to the chest cavity! The diaphragm is what make you (and deer) breath. Diaphragm and chest cavity muscles expand, creating a low pressure in lungs, allowing air to get in. Lungs must be "glued" to the chest cavity for that.

I have a friend who needed medical treatments (chirurgy) because a part of his lungs separate from his chest cavity.

From: J.E. Travis
19-Oct-05
To put it in terms more easily understood. If you have sugery on you heart which doesn't entail the lungs...why do they have to use a breathing maching for you? Because the lungs don't work without the chest cavity closed creating the vaccuum.

No, the lungs don't fill the entire rib cage. They fill everything except the area occupied by the heart, up to the diaphram.

From: Hoytboy
19-Oct-05
Someone take a look at a glendel full rut buck. There is either a void or glendel just made a complete guess on where to place the vitals area on thier targets. I'm not saying there is a huge space, but there has to be a space. Keep in mind when a deer is standing gravity is pulling the lungs closer to the bottom of the cavity, also the lungs are constatly changing sizes with inspiration and expiration.

From: jgbennett6
19-Oct-05
Ok veryone here is both right and wrong, the chest cavity is not totally filled with lungs, there is a cavity called the plueral cavity which part of teh vacumm that is need for inhalation and to exhale. my puncturing this cavity you cause a pneumo-thorax, which si a loss of teh vacuum in teh chest cavity, quick death, especially with damaged lung tissue. .. there is a space roughly 1" at the most between the lung and aorta,muscle,spine. So yes tehre is a cavity, but if you get mroe that say 4-5" of penetration you ahve a good chance of causing a pneumothorax ( puncturing the chest cavity and effecting the vacuum

From: tcaptain
19-Oct-05
Lungs are not "GLUED" to the chest cavity. In fact they do move around, but there is no void. There is a slippery substance between the lungs and the chest cavity that allows the lungs to slide somewhat as the chest wall expands and contract during breathing. I believe its called surfactum. The space between the lungs and the chest wall is called the pleural space and there is nothing in that space except a film of surfactum. I will state here and now that healthy lungs fill the entire chest cavity at all times. Air in the plueral space is a pneumo-thorax. Fluid in the pleural space is a hemo-thorax. Infection in the pleural space is Pleuracy. Anybody want to bet there paycheck that I'm wrong??

19-Oct-05

MDBUCKSTOPPER's Link
What is the black area between lungs and spine ??

Also the vacuume theory, how come my vaccume cleaner will suck if the bag is off or the compartment is open. It works the same way we do. We force air in by breathing. Doesn't just happen by itself. And I do not glue my vacuume bag in .

From: Doum
19-Oct-05
Cool, thank you for the info.

From: Will
19-Oct-05
I agree. If you go under the spine, you hit lung.

I think the thickness of the superficial spinal muscles on deer surprise people and what looks like a sub spine hit is actually a supra spine hit.

The problem is that short of giving a living deer an MRI we can argue all day - unless there is a deer biologist out there on Bowsite who has done thoracic surgery on living deer and could help us out.

This is even more true from a tree with the downward angle making it hard to go under and not take out lung. That said, from a tree the over spine shot looks even more gnarly because it goes through spinal muscle and out along the ribs. Had to hit lung by looks - but missed.

From: cbear
19-Oct-05
How is it that if you hit the deer either center of just low of center in this area they die very quickly and run short distances, and if you hit a little higher they don't bleed and run forever? I've personally had it happen. I'm not saying there is a void, but it does not seem to be as lethal.

From: kota-man
19-Oct-05
I don't think you can use the glendel buck for this biology lesson...probably not real accurate...by the way...NO VOID...

19-Oct-05
mdbuckstopper:

You force air into your lungs by moving your diaphragm. Your vacuum cleaner has a motor. You do not.

From: Matt
19-Oct-05
"Also the vacuume theory, how come my vaccume cleaner will suck if the bag is off or the compartment is open. It works the same way we do. We force air in by breathing. Doesn't just happen by itself. And I do not glue my vacuume bag in ."

As states poor analogy. The casing on your vacuum also does not expand and contract as your rib cage and diaphragm do.

From: J.E. Travis
19-Oct-05
A better analogy is a bellows. Try using that with a hole in it.

From: LTG
19-Oct-05
OK. Enough. I normally am strictly a lurker, but I can't take anymore. I am a Pulmonologist (Lung Dr) and avid archer. As a disclaimer, I am not privy to what others have seen or witnessed. I am only trained in normal mammalian anatomy. As such, I offer the following:

1) The lungs are not "glued" to the chest wall. That said, they are mechanically linked by fluid forces between the chest wall pleural surface and the lung pleural surface. The example I use for my students is to take a zip lock bag, put in a very small amount of fluid to "wet" the surfaces and close the bad squeezing out all the air. Then try to separate one bag surface from the other. Can't be done without ripping the bag or putting air into the system. During normal respiration, the chest wall expands a small amount and the lung expand to remain constantly in contact no matter how fast or sharply you breath in. The diaphragm moves up and down a good deal as well, but again, the lungs are in continual contact with the diaphragm. The lungs never separate from chest wall - pleural space is a "potential space" until disease causes fluid to accumulate (effusion), bleeding (hemothorax), or chest wall puncture or lung rupture (pneumothorax). There is no anatomic pr physiologic void.

2) the lungs of all large mammals have recesses that reach above the horizontal lowermost reach of the spinal column. I will gladly attach computer tomographic images (CT scan) from man, pig, sheep to demonstrate that you can not design a path that goes under the spine that will not puncture at least one lung (assuming we are talking about the chest cavity). Someone needs to tell me how to do this with a Mac - or I can email them to someone to do it for us.

3) Not all pneumothoraces are lethal. Even bilateral lung puncture can be survived if there is not a large "sucking chest wound" and/or the lung slices quickly seal up with blood clot. Most of these animals will die, but a few can travel a long way even with "double lung" hits if only the tops of the lungs are sliced.

So, there is no void except in the beliefs of some; you can hit an animal below the spine and not recover it.

From: Knife2sharp
19-Oct-05
If a hole in the chest cavity causes the lungs to collapse due to there no longer being a vaccum, then why do 1 lung hit deer live so long? What some of you are saying is that the good lung should also collapse since there's no longer a vaccum.

Read my post in the other thread where my buddy sent an arrow through the chest cavity, complete pass through, and the deer lived for several hours. There was no longer a blood trail and I was lucky to find the deer laying in a creek. If it was in the grass I would've never found it.

If 1 lung hit deer can breathe, how are they doing that with one or two holes in the chest cavity?

From: SRBOWHUNTER
19-Oct-05
I think LTG put a big period to the end of this conversation.. good job LTG!!!

From: LTG
19-Oct-05
Knife2sharp

one common misconception is that a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) is an all or nothing phenomena. This is not true. Now certainly with a big open chest wound, most certainly the lung will collapse completely, but this still happens on a breath by breath basis (breath in creates negative pressure drawing air through open wound) and can take many minutes (= many yards if running). Also, if chest wound seals up (narrow slit, fat, clot, etc), lung may only leak a little air during expiration (positive pressure in lung to get breath out) and only partially collapse. Humans and deer have two separate pleural cavities (one for each lung), so dropping one lung leaves the other relatively unscathed. The bison has a single pleural space and was relatively "easy" to kill with even a one lung shot. That said, I have heard that an arrow to the chest of a bison may still take large fractions of any hour to put it down.

From: Matt
19-Oct-05
"If 1 lung hit deer can breathe, how are they doing that with one or two holes in the chest cavity?"

I don't believe bilaterla pneumos are binary (hole in lung, lung necessarily collapses, no hole in lung, lung does not collapse). IMO many factors come into play to determeine whether a lung will collapse.

From: LTG
19-Oct-05
Matt - exactly.

In addition, remember your fluid dynamics and air flow resistance factors. A deer trachea (windpipe) provides a much bigger cross sectional area than most any broad head wound (area of circle vs intersecting slits). Thus, air will still follow path of least resistance and animal will be able to inspire until pressure in pleural space impedes air entry through normal channels. This scenario also presumes a "sucking" chest wound whereby entrained air through wound on inspiration does not escape on expiration (think ball valve). Very deadly. However, a true open pneumothorax (air in and out wound during respiratory cycle) can be tolerated for a very long time (ask many of our young men getting shrapnel wounds overseas or any trauma center doc)

19-Oct-05
So, based on the scientific information above we can conclude that an arrow can only do one of the following:

1. Hit above the spine.

2. Hit below the spine and hit lung. Does not necessarily = dead deer.

"Void" is not a possibility.

I shot a big half-rack buck 5 or 6 years ago high in the chest. Definitely under the spine and I am pretty sure I only got the top of one lung. Pass-through shot. Bright pink lung blood for 500 yards, then nothing. Looked everywhere for that deer. No deer. Don't know if he lived or died, but he definitely lived for a long time after the shot.

I have also liver-shot deer that I watched fall over in 50 yards.

They are all different.

From: Hoytboy
19-Oct-05
Let me be the first to say that my initial thoughts were wrong. I always believed that there was a void, but after reading what LTG had to say I have changed my thought process. LTG I work in the medical field myself (Nuclear Medicine) and that your explination makes perfect sense. Made me feel like I was back in college. Anyway, this discussion is over in my opinion. By the way LTG maybe someday I'll do a lung VQ scan for you.

From: Per48R
19-Oct-05
Off the head thinking. The back of a healty deer holds a thick layer of fat. If punctured through this layer, is it not more likely to plug at least partially the small hole then a lower hit. Would this plugging not reduce air being sucked into the lungs and entend the time for their eventual collapse. Of course an arrow plugging the whole would do similar. Also because that hole is high (not low), isn't it more likely that air in the chest cavity would exist during an exhale (instead of blood). This would also tend to slow the effect of the hole.

From: Matt
19-Oct-05
"Off the head thinking. The back of a healty deer holds a thick layer of fat. If punctured through this layer, is it not more likely to plug at least partially the small hole then a lower hit."

I was thinking the same sort of thing. The loin (and some of the surrounding tissue) extends out and down the ribs a ways off the side of the spine, whereas below that it is just rib/rib meat and skin. I would think the stuff up higher would seal better after having been shot than lower, which could reduce the amount of air that can enter the chest. That, coupled with fewer vessels higher in the lungs, may have an impact on the survivability of such hits.

From: dmbuttigie
19-Oct-05
Like a sucking chest wound. Gotta have a vacuum.

From: Troy/OK
19-Oct-05
Thank you LTG!! Thank you.

Now everyone needs to bookmark this thread for the next time that the subject comes up.

-Troy

From: deadhorse
19-Oct-05
ltg --dr you need to post more often --thank you

From: Travis
19-Oct-05
LTG---thanks you!!!!!!

Pat---Request that LTG do an article on this with good graphics...This would be much more informative than an article about hanging a penis sheath from a tree...:)

From: OHBowhntr
19-Oct-05
LTG is indeed correct, but in high hits on animals, the Pneumothorax created is not always fatal. Our broadheads by design create "Flaps" that will allow air to enter and escape the chest cavity, and if these flaps can seal off with minimal pneumothorax resulting, the animal may likely live. I took care of a woman who'd had a known pneumothorax collapsing nearly 60% of her Right Lung (The larger of her two lungs) for months before she would consent to a thoracotomy surgery to repair her lung and evacuate the pneumothorax. Deer are tough animals!!! Many of us have seen them run hundread of yards with a hole in their heart, what would make you think a smallish pneumothorax would automatically result in death, esp. if there is only minimal lung damage??? There indeed is no "VOID," but there is an area where under the perfect circumstances, there can be a non-lethal hit that passes through the chest cavity.

Doug

From: BowFire
19-Oct-05
THanks LTG!!!! as a full-time EMT i am faaaar less-educated in A&P than yourself, but the first few posts had me foaming at the mouth till ya set em straight. thanks for your insight!

From: RRC
19-Oct-05
Excellent post LTG.

NO VOID!

From: JTV
19-Oct-05
I may have missed in the above, Yesterday I shot a big doe 118lb fd and dbl lunger her, Slightly back of center in the right lung and dead center lower of the left lung (exit). When I field dressed her the lungs seemed to be full of air even with a 4 blade Slick Trick hole thru them..Is that possible ? I dont ever remember seeing that out of nearly 100 deer I've killed. She only ran about 75yds.. Please answer this some one..Thanks...Jeff

19-Oct-05
Isn't it amazing the people that frequent this site. I have posted questions about form and had them answered within minites by olympic champions....we start posting about lung anatomy and we get a Pulmonologist. What a website!

19-Oct-05
JTV, I've dressed deer that had enough air in the lungs that when I grabbed them in preparation for cutting the trachea and esophogus the air movement made a sound not unlike a grunt. However, in those cases the lungs(although not fully deflated) were only a fraction of the size of fully inflated lungs. Remember when fully inflated the lungs fill the entire chest cavity. For all the reasons stated by LTG above it's perfectly possible to have only partial loss of lung function. Either way your broadhead did it's job, whether by hemorrhage or asphyxia... doesn't matter.

hd

From: JTV
19-Oct-05
Thanks Doc, yea they were partialy filled..Jeff

19-Oct-05

Buckstopshere 's Link
Thanks LTG and OHbowhunter: For years I wondered about this. It appeared to me that there was a "void". How else could it be explained that a double lung shot did not result in the immediate death of the animal. Not being an anatomist, the only practical way I could visualize it was "a void" due to contracted lungs. Maybe a hit on the exhale - whatever. But now, you guys have made it quite clear that a double lung shot may not be in the right place. Who ever said that there isn't an element of luck in deer hunting.!

From: Bushbow
19-Oct-05
Thank you LTG - that is exactly how my best friend explained it to me(he is a surgical vet specialist employed by UPENN, recruited around the world) I just never could repeat it and I do not have yours (or his) credibility. Very good post

From: Trebarker
19-Oct-05
Thanks LTG. Anyone who has done their own field dressing and butchering should have known the answer to this question.

From: tflight
19-Oct-05
Well I dont know for sure one way or the other but, about 4 years ago I was sitting in a treestand and had these two does come running in at first I wasnt going to shoot cuz they looked small. After a minute or two they walked over to my bait pile and started to eat thats when I noticed that 1 of them had an arrow sticking out both sides of the deer. The arrow appeared to be slightly forward and kinda high in the chest. Now this deer ate carrots looked up at me and walked off never presenting me with a shot. Now I dont know if there was a broadhead on the arrow or not, but that deer never limped or acted sick in any way. Wish I could have killed it or had a camera and videoed it.

20-Oct-05
As said above, puncturing the chest cavity and/or lungs does not always kill an animal.

A few years ago I had a doe and fawn pass by me. I was going to pass on them. Then I noticed a tuft of fur on the doe's chest. There was 2" of an aluminum arrow sticking out of her chest. Not high in her chest, I mean exactly where I would have wanted to shoot her. She looked and acted perfectly healthy. Don't know how much arrow was in her, but if it was more than 1" then her chest cavity and lungs were penetrated.

They are amazingly tough animals.

From: Ytailhtr - M
20-Oct-05
LTG, you are da man!!....having both my lungs collaspe (at different time!) in my youth (17-18 years old, 4 times on the left side and once on the right)...I have a pretty keen knowledge of the lungs and how they work....while reading down the thread, I was shakin' my head on some of the comments about this mysterious "void" and was just about to fly to the bottom and type what you typed in a much simpler form (DUH)....everything from the plural "space" not being one until one occurs thru (in my case) a rupture of a blem in the lung... to the vacuum sweeper analogy (that was funny though!!)....

I am telling ya, LTG has laid down the law on this topic...there should be no doubt in anyones mind that you cannot go between the spine and the lung cavity....and like some have said, there are things that just happen that prevent us from finding an animal...and we are takin' about a very tough one at that...

Thanks again LTG!!!!!!!!!!!!

20-Oct-05
I'm not trying to turn this into a broadhead debate, but I would like to add something to think about. Some mechanicals are slow to open and also may not penetrate as well as some fixed blade heads. On a steep downward angle, with a high hit, it is possible that the blades would not fully open until they have passed through the hide, the broadhead may not pass through and create a low exit due to less penetration. At that angle the arrow may only hit one lung and the deer could run off with the arrow protruding out of a very small hole high in the deer and since the blades had not opened yet the arrow could plug the hole. The result is little or no loss of vacuum, no exit hole to bleed and a very high/small hole that is plugged by the arrow.

I lost a buck due to this scenario.

From: LTG
20-Oct-05
I am amazed how many folks have shown an interest in this topic. Nice to see people genuinely interested in the physiology of archery hunting. The bottom line on one lung hits is that they are very survivable if no major pulmonary artery is cut. Think of the lung arteries as roots of a tree. They start out pretty big as the main artery comes out of the heart, then branch repeatedly until down to the size of capillaries ((10 microns diameter). If you center punch the root (hilum) of the lung, you have cut an artery only a bit smaller than the aorta. Although at considerably lower pressure than the aorta, the pulmonary artery to each lung receives 50% of the cardiac output. No other organ can boast this fraction of total blood flow. This is the major reason a double lung hit is so deadly. Combine the blood loss with large volume pneumothorax and the animal may just fall over after a couple of steps. However,most times I suspect they bleed to death before they asphyxiate. Now if you do not cut a big artery, the bleeding may stop, the lung may only partially collapse, and the animal will be able to travel a long way (or may survive). Much more similar to a gut shot, yet in my experience these guys do not lay down. I suspect many are lost at great distance. Those that live must not get infected and must endure the pain and athlectic disadvantage of a pneumothorax. For those of you who have had a spontaneous pneumo, you know about the pain and shortness of breath. This would be fascinating, albeit ethically difficult research. I shoot Thunderheads - I like big holes and close shots

From: got_elk?
20-Oct-05
Amazing and enlightening info Dr Gross. Thank you. And all I thought I had to worry about was whether I would hit that limb between me and that deer.

Your physiology lesson was exactly what I needed to explain why the elk I shot this year only went 30 yards and it was what I thought a very questionable high hit in the "void" area. I did an autopsy on it right there just to see why it died and now I wish you were with me. I asked a doctor on my hockey team as we were playing a game and we had a similar lengthy discussion while on the bench. The other guys thought we were nuts and couldn't figure out how we got on that subject right in the middle of a game! LTG.. keep up those posts and keep us enlightened.

From: rabbit
20-Oct-05
This is very easily the most informative thread I've read to date on this site.....thank you.

From: LTG
21-Oct-05

LTG's Link
Here are some CT scans that shed some light:

1) Man - lying on your back, right is left and left is right. This is at the level of your heart (blobby white thing in middle) and contrast set so lungs are black. As you can see, a line drawn horizontal to the ground (or any angle for that matter), that passes under the spine (on top here because you are on your back), must hit at least one and likely both lungs. In addition, at this location, the line will likely pass through the large circle to the right of the spine which is the aorta - quick kill

2) Pig - eerily similar to man. Here you can see "arrow" traveling just under spine and hitting both lungs. Again at this level (see the two black circle above spine, right and left main bronchial tubes) you will sever the aorta for quick kill. You also get the esophagus (food tube, little back circle right against spine)

3) Sheep - more deer-shaped. In this scan, the contrast is adjusted to show lung details so lungs are gray with airways and some blood vessels visible. We are also more forward, right behind shoulder (see only one circle which is windpipe and right arm off to the side. Here arrow under spine still gets both lungs, but misses aorta which has not reached the back of chest yet. You still likely get esophagus. Thus, while this hit may result in an unrecoverable deer, it still may prove ultimately lethal.

From: JTV
21-Oct-05
LTG.. link is not working..Jeff

From: trophy8
21-Oct-05
Great thread....LTG well spoken. I believe more often then not we are mistaken where we think an arrow enters a deer...thus we often believe we got both lungs. Funny how our eyes play tricks on us.

From: John Scifres
21-Oct-05
"I hit the void" = "I missed high" or "I can't track".

From: Per48R
21-Oct-05
Two somewhat related questions. 1. Does shooting for the off side shoulder (no exit hole) increase the time it takes for the lungs to collapse? 2. Would pentetrating the diaphram ensure rapid suffocation? IE is it better to get both lungs and no diaphram (broadside)or one lung and the diaphram (quartering away)?

From: Sirhuntsalot
21-Oct-05
I shot a buck once that was about eye level with me. I hit it high in the back but was in the right spot as far as left to right. The hit was right under the spine. I didn't recover him that night but 7 days later I shot the same buck and killed him. When I dressed the buck my broadhead and about 3 inches of arrow were lodged under the spine. The meat was a little green around the wound but he seemed to be doing fine otherwise. No damage was done to the lungs at all.

From: IowaBow
21-Oct-05
Per Tcaptain

" I will state here and now that healthy lungs fill the entire chest cavity at all times."

"Anybody want to bet there paycheck that I'm wrong??"

ABSOLUTELY.... LOL..

Trachea, blood vessels, heart all are in the chest cavity....

Per websters..

"1 : the part of the mammalian body between the neck and the abdomen; also : its cavity in which the heart and lungs lie"

Tcaptain email me and I'll let you know where to send my check.. thanks..

Jason ;-)

From: IowaBow
21-Oct-05
Awesome website for deer anatomy...

http://home.mn.rr.com/deerfever/Anatomy.html

I think some people however don't always realize how high exactly the chest cavity goes..

You can stick a deer 3, 4" below the topline of the deer and sometimes not be in the chest at all..should be hitting the spinal column i would think but may sometimes get through there without hitting it..

Jason

From: Stealthycat
21-Oct-05
you'd think then, with at least a 1" cutting diameter that a good "cut" even if right under the backbone would slice the lungs enough to get a fairly short bloodtrail or no ?

good thread

From: travis@work
21-Oct-05

travis@work's Link
Stealthy---check out both of these photos, especially the bottom one...you can see how big the artery is..keep them blades sharp gents...

From: WW
21-Oct-05

WW's Link
There is no such thing as a "void" or “no man’s land” in a deer even when exhaling or inhaling..

I'm also not convinced that one can put an arrow between the top of the lungs and the spine. Especially from an elevated position.. A deer close in and/or from a good height , such 20 feet are better, there is no way anyone could thread the needle if there even was such a thing as a "no man's land".

The exit hole would have to be 4 -5 inches lower than the entrance hole.

My firm belief is that these so called "no man's land" shots are actually shots above the spinal cord. A loin shot if you will. They will bleed pretty good for a hundred yards or so and then peter out. Meat hits are like that unless the deer is pushed.

Here are some more examples..

Here is my idea of what soem folks reference as a "no man's land" shot.. ....above the spine...

http://home.mn.rr.com/deerfever/Deer_Anatomy.html

Other interesting pictures and drawings..

http://home.mn.rr.com/deerfever/Anatomy.html

http://www.whitetails.com/deer-organs0.jpg

http://www.tnoutdoorsmen.com/anatomy.gif

http://www.tnoutdoorsmen.com/killzone.htm

21-Oct-05
Got the pictures from LTG but it would not let me post them either. Sorry.

From: travis@work
21-Oct-05
willhunt---send them to me and I`ll build a page on my website then list the link...

ltravis2@cox.net

From: Travis
24-Oct-05

Travis's Link
Here are LTG`s picts..click on the link

From: Shuteye
25-Oct-05
Great explanation by LTG but the bottom line is that it is a poor shot, not some super deer. If you missed the center of the lungs, you missed your shot. It happens to everyone.

25-Oct-05
The only void I am aware of is one that is around a guy in my hunting club. Known as the deer void, he hunts as hard as the rest of us but never sees any bucks and in fact is lucky to see a deer. But as far as no mans land goes on a deer shot under the spine and above the lung's is crazy. Apperently the people who claim this THEORY have never gutted a deer! Most of the void claims are high one lung shots that run alot farther than expected and die.

From: HerdManager
18-Dec-05
ttt

Can't believe there are still believers out there..............................................................

From: ARROWONE
18-Dec-05
Alright can you guy's answer this a few years ago my dad shot a good buck high in the chest 2in below the spine! We let him lay over night then when we were walking out to start looking for him he ran by us chasing a doe he acted like he was even hurt! He bled for 50yards then just afew drops then nothing! Then this deer was taken two weeks later he was taken by a gun hunter! Whats your thought on this? Can they survive one hit (high)? thanks

From: Fisher
18-Dec-05
It is very clear by this thread and the MANY others on the same topic that anatomy varies greatly from deer to deer. Apparently, deer have their vital organs located in many various locations around their bodies. Some may even have their lungs and heart located in their legs, hind-quarters, or brisket. That must be true because of some shots taken by hunters. Thanks for clarifying this for me. I have been wondering about this. he he.

From: Matt@home
18-Dec-05
"Can they survive one hit (high)?"

The fact that the deer your dad shot was killed two weeks later should be proof enough, is it not?

From: ARROWONE
18-Dec-05
So does that me there is a void(dead zone)! I think there is !

From: JLarsson
18-Dec-05
Why does there have to be a void in order for a hit to be non-fatal? The fact that you are changing terminology (dead zone, ironically enough), indicates that you are not using the word "void" for it's literal meaning - a place where nothing is, or a place where there is nothing compared to what is around it.

No "void", but obviously there can and will be hits through areas that are less damaging and therefore offer a higher chance of surviving the hit than others. If I hit a buck in the hoof, and it doesn't kill him (as it almost surely won't - "almost" 'cause weird stuff happens, dude) that doesn't indicate there is a void in that part of the animal. It only indicates that insufficient injury was caused in order to result in death.

From: rabbit
18-Dec-05
"So does that me there is a void(dead zone)! I think there is !"

No, what it means is that is possible to hit the high side of the lung(s) and have the deer survive. Some deer hit just like your dad's will also die in a relatively short time. There is still no "void".

From: Termin8r
18-Dec-05

Termin8r's Link
Arrowone,

"Alright can you guy's answer this a few years ago my dad shot a good buck high in the chest 2in below the spine!"

IF you are referring to 2 inches below the top of the back in the chest area, you are still ABOVE the spine. If the hit is toward the shoulder, a 2 inch hit below the spine places the bullet slightly above mid-body height wise. Check out the link. The spine signficantly drops heading into the neck area! Most hunters refer to the top of the back as "the spine" which it clearly isn't!

From: Fred Beer
07-Jan-06
I realize this is opening an old thread but just a quick note.I have been at this bowstuff for 28 years now and was taught by my dad who stareted in the 50's! I remember way back then folks talking of a void but they refered to not what this site talks about, but taking a straight down shot,just to the side of the spine, in between the lungs and out. It would take near surgical precision to go through here but looking at the ct scans from LTG it could happen. But we still have to deal with the negative pressure issue. On a brouadside shot however, When a deer has its leg stretched out like we all like them, the hole can be covered by meat and hide as the leg goes back closing the suction. Bottom line is if a deer is shot at any angle that may have entered the thoracic cavity, give the deer 4 or 5 hours if possible unless you see the pink stuff spraying as it runs as in "Drilled" Then carefully and methodically follow up. Search for the deer "Knowing" that it is dead until exhausting all possibilities and feel a little reassured that the hit probably went above the spine in the loin and the animal should make a quick recovery and be fine! Good luck and short trails!

From: HerdManager
07-Jan-06
It is impossible to hit a deer straight down (or relatively straight down) and NOT hit the lungs. In order to go "in-between" the lungs you would have to go directly through the spine = instantly dead deer.

The Void = STILL Urban Legend

From: Booner
07-Jan-06
herdmanager- you are right but the people that still believe there is a void nead an excuse for the shot that they made!" i know i hit him perfect but i musta hit the void"!the part they leave out was that the shot was 46 yards on a walking deer through the brush.

From: Termin8r
07-Jan-06

Termin8r's Link
Fred Beer,

Actually the leg should not be stretched out on a broadside shot, as that lowers the scapula covering more of the lung area, not giving you more area. Check the website for the deer anatomy. A very common misconception. Especially from elevated positions, you would want the front leg back so as to give you more of the lung area to hit (and less of the scapula), this assumes a broadside and/or quartering away shot from an elevated position.

From: Abraham52
07-Jan-06
I shot an 8pt last thursday morning and hit him high. When I cleaned the deer, I saw my broadhead had cut the bottom of the spine as it passed thru. The tops of both lungs were shredded as well. I am sure I also hit the vertebral arteries. The deer left a great bloodtral and only went 60 yds. My point(I think) is that I hit high enough to hit the bottom of the spine and hit both lungs as well.

From: Nattybumppo
07-Jan-06
The "void" was made up to make people feel better when they only get one lung and don't find their deer. It's a bunch of nonsense.

From: JLarsson
08-Jan-06
The Special Winter Issue of Hunting Illustrated has an article in it by Ted Nugent in which he details two deer shot cleanly through the chest from broadside that didn't die immediately. One stood in sight of the hunters for 12 hours before he laid down and died. Ted claims both lungs were deflated so that - essentially - the deer was not breathing during that time. More logically, in my opinion, the deer stood in such a way that the wound was covered by undamaged hide to provide sufficient seal to allow the buck to breathe, if badly. To me, the mystery would be why a 100-gr Thunderhead didn't cause adequate internal bleeding to cause the brain to run out of oxygen LONG before 12 hours had passed.

In the second instance, Ted tells of a deer he shot himself. He describes the hit this way: "It all came together as if guided by the hand of a happy God, and my arrow couldn't have hit him any better had the Surgeon General pounded the arrow into his chest by hand." Okay - whatever. Anyway, he describes the blood-coated arrow, but says not a drop on the ground. Then, three months later - you guessed it - he shoots the same deer again. Arrow entered right next to the previous wound. He says the buck was in terrible shape, and that trying to dress the deer out showed "his flesh and innards were black and oozy and reeked to high heaven." He cut the antlers out and left the carcass, believing it was inedible.

Once again, what this REALLY demonstrates is that an arrow through the lungs does NOT guarantee speedy death, and - in some cases - does not guarantee death at all.

From: Booner
08-Jan-06
just because ted said it happened doesn't make it true! i'm gonna call bullsheet on that one!

From: Shuteye
08-Jan-06
I'm with you on this one Booner.

From: Nattybumppo
08-Jan-06
My personal opinion is that the only way to catch up to some of thes marginal one lung and high hits is with a good tracking dog. I've been training my dog and volunteer tracking for a couple of years now, and we have caught up with two lung hit deer that were still up and moving after 6-8 hours. This never happened to me in 20 years of bowhunting. A good dog can continue to follow these deer when there is no visible blood.

Yes, some of these deer will survive these marginal lung hits, but a lot that manage to evade recovery become dinner for the songdogs.

09-Jan-06
"I shot a deer through the chest once, and the arrow didn't touch ANYTHING. I mean, the arrow had no blood on it, no hair, the deer appeared to not have been phased by m lethal shot placement. To this day it astounds me that such a huge void would engulf my arrow/broadhead in such a way as to appear I missed - but I didn't miss, no way, couldn't have. "

Stealthy, that isn't so rare, I have hit that particular void many times!

From: Knife2sharp
09-Jan-06
I know what's going on. I just figured it out. Maybe, just maybe, the modern compound bow is too fast, and shooting carbon arrows creates surface friction that causes the nerve endings seal shut upon passing through the animial.

From: Booner
09-Jan-06
i don't know of too many deer that have bled to death from having nerve endings cut. i think it's cutting the veins, arteries and capilaries that cause massive blood loss.

From: sticksender
09-Jan-06
I, for one, CAN testify that my arrow MOST DEFINITELY hit the "VOID" on a mature buck several years ago. That arrow ABSOLUTELY passed thru the VOID area and I know it to be a certain fact that this buck survived. By the way, the buck stood stock-still giving a perfect, standing, broadside shot too. We know for sure that my arrow made a full and clean pass-thru on the VOID. Yep, we even got the whole sequence on video. You can clearly see the arrow zinging right thru, in dart-like fashion, center-punching the VOID. The deer barely even flinched. Naturally we were completely stunned! He trotted off before I could nock another arrow. As if to add insult to "injury" (of my pride), we actually spotted this buck on another farm the next day, near a busy highway in an area off-limits to hunting, and chasing a doe!

By the way, for those of you not totally familiar with the VOID, I'll mention that its a surprisingly BIG area too. Once you've read this post carefully, I hope you'll become better educated about a deer's anatomy. That way in the future you'll almost always be able to discern, immediately upon the shot, as to whether you've struck the feared VOID area. Yes I'm a great believer in education, and never hesitate to help out my fellow hunters.

Let me describe the VOID in more detail so you can better visualize it. The VOID area is about 37 inches wide and roughly 23 inches high. The VOID is bounded on the left by the rear legs, on the right by the front legs, on it's top edge by the brisket, and on the bottom by the earth's surface. Its a large area and surprisingly easy to hit, especially if you forget to pick a spot, concentrate, follow thru, and avoid dropping the bow hand. If you can picture this VOID region in your mind's eye, you are now fully up-to-speed on the ONLY true "VOID" in a buck's anatomy ;-)

In case that's not enough detail to allow the believer's to totally visualize....just ask, and in a future post, I'd be glad to provide a good clear photo of the VOID.

Oh hey, I wanted to mention also....I believe it's a RURAL legend, not an urban one ;-)

From: dmbuttigie
09-Jan-06

From: dmbuttigie
09-Jan-06
The "void", eh? right. . . . . . . ..

From: dmbuttigie
09-Jan-06

dmbuttigie's embedded Photo
dmbuttigie's embedded Photo
The "void", eh? right. . . . . . . ..

From: dmbuttigie
09-Jan-06
The above picture is not mine, but one I got off of this site the last time someone tried to pull this ****.

From: Will
09-Jan-06
You guys are so dang funny! I am avoiding work for a few minutes only to hop on here and see a void thread... Fun reading.

The coolest thing about this was LTG's CT scan slice and although I am astonished it all stayed in place the half a deer picture someone reposted above (dmbtiggie i think). Drawings are cool, but the CT in particular really gets the idea accross about the anatomy of animals.

To me, the thing that comes out in this whole conversation is this: - Sometimes, in any type of hunting, you dont find an animal you think you should. - Sometimes you do find, very quikcly, animals you think you hit poorly. - Sometimes we just plain dont hit where we think we did. - All the time, aim for the best possible shot and dont "risk it" because it is a big deer or the only one you have seen all season.

So that is my learning from all this void talk... Good stuff.

From: BigRed
16-Feb-06

BigRed's embedded Photo
BigRed's embedded Photo
I'm not sure of the origin of these pictures. They were emailed to me just today.

I think the real lesses to be learned from these pictures is who ever the shooter was, they need to be shooting more poundage!

From: BigRed
16-Feb-06

BigRed's embedded Photo
BigRed's embedded Photo

From: BigRed
16-Feb-06

BigRed's embedded Photo
BigRed's embedded Photo

From: BigRed
16-Feb-06

BigRed's embedded Photo
BigRed's embedded Photo

From: BigRed
16-Feb-06

BigRed's embedded Photo
BigRed's embedded Photo

From: redneck
16-Feb-06
that sucks

From: JTV
16-Feb-06
Thats what happens when you use field points...LOL.. He dosnt look any worse for wear....Jeff

From: HerdManager
16-Feb-06
Poundage doesn't matter. Placement does. That deer is hit over the spine and will be fine.

From: BigRed
17-Feb-06
Herd,

You really think that shot is over the spine? It looks lower than that to me.

From: trophy8
17-Feb-06
Arrow's sitting right above the spine.

BigRed...look at the picutre dmbuttigie posted....that white dot you see in the upper 1/3 of the pitcure is the spine.

From: Ground Check
17-Feb-06
Last year I shot a doe and Hit her high. I guess you could call it the void since I did not get the spine and I did not get low enough to get lungs. However, the kinetic energy my arrow carried was sufficient enough knock her down (the worst feeling in the world). I quickly knocked another arrow and put one through her lungs. She died almost on impack of the second arrow. I say that to say this. I am not sure about the existence of this "void". If you hit high and very close to the spine you are likely to disrupt the functioning of things so that the animal can't move, and If you hit below that you are likely to atleast clip the lungs and take the animal. If there is a void I would like to think It is high and back, where the lungs round off, Maybe you would lose one if you hit it there. The only voids I really have problems with Are the ones direcly above, below, to the left and to the right of the animal. I have not recovered one yet that was shot through those voids.

From: HerdManager
17-Feb-06
Again, over the spine.

He wouldn't be standing there eating corn if he was lung shot.

From: Fred Beer
18-Feb-06
Must have been a Mechanical Head!!It FOR SURE couldn't have been an S**** T**** or it would have blasted through and made that buck look like dmbuttigies cross section deer!LOL

Notice the deers left leg posture. It must be lodged in the upper shoulder blade/spinous processes.

From: Bushbow
18-Feb-06
I must concur with Fred Bear, looking at the photos I believe the arrow is on a strong angle from back to front and never penetrated the ribs. No photo shows him putting any weight on the LFL indicating there is pain in that shoulder for sure. I also believe that there is no void and many shoot above the spine then use "Void" as an excuse for not recovering their animal. That is not the case here IMO.

The Cross Section Photo is awesome!!

Bob Urban

From: Gray Ghost
18-Feb-06
LTG,

For future reference regarding posting pictures with a Mac. I'm assuming you're using Safari. If so, the embed image feature doesn't exist. Apparently, the Bowsite's web designers didn't feel like making the site compatible for us Mac guys.

The work around is to download the free version of Internet Explorer for Mac. It's not as fast as Safari and doesn't have some of the nicer bells and whistles, but the image upload feature on this site will work.

You'll have to re-register in Internet Explorer so the Bowsite can attach its cookie, in order to remember your login info, but once that's done you'll be good to go.

Hope this helps, GG (who apologies for the off-topic post)

From: HerdManager
19-Feb-06
What's a Mac? Did dat ole tennis player Johnny Mac start makin a nufangled cumpuder?

From: Shug
19-Feb-06
Ive never met anyone dumb enough to say there was a space between the lungs and spine.... Ive heard pleanty of people refer to the Whithers... The space between the top of a deers hairline and the actual spine itself Inline with the front legs.

Theres a pretty big area there of dead space...that in the heat of the moment can appear to be a high lung hit.. but turn out to be nothing more than a muscle hit.

From: Shug
19-Feb-06

Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Heres your void

From: Shug
19-Feb-06
I stand corrected... I just found someone dumb enough. Lets just say the president of a well known bow company wrote about a bull moose he shot and managed to slip the arrow above the lungs yet below the spine.

Next time you dress out a deer.. and get it cleaned out.. slice your knife across the spine.The major artery aortic I believe ryn right under the spine so even if you could shoot above the lungs your gonna cut that..

20-Feb-06
Good picture

From: jgbennett6
21-Feb-06
shug........those are obviously photos in which the pressure created by the diaphragm has been released..........let it go.

From: trophy8
21-Feb-06
"shug........those are obviously photos in which the pressure created by the diaphragm has been released..........let it go."

jgbennett6...so your saying there's no void?

From: fuzzy
21-Feb-06
sheesh, some of us are getting confused as to which side of the argument we are on! :-) shug's photo shows a clear arrow-path OVER the spine, with an entrance 2-3" below backline and exit over 1/3 of the way down the deer's body.... it also shows lungs, collapsed due to the chest cavity having been opened..... there's no void, never was one, never will be (and yes, I've had hits I "knew" were good, that were conspicuously non-fatal)

From: Shug
21-Feb-06
JGB.. Let what go?? look at the picture all im showing is a hunk of meat that can appear to be a lung hit... but isn't

From: Fred Beer
21-Feb-06
The photo I would assume is a cross section of whole, ungutted deer carcass which is how they got the organs to stay in place while cutting. I think some folks are misinterpreting what the see. The material at the bottom I believe is the apex of the heart not deflated lungs.The black open area is actually the chambers of the heart with the aorta, vena cava/pulmonary artery and vein showing up as the round structures above the black. The frozen lungs appearing brownish, are above and to the left and right archering around and touching the solid white spot which is the spinal chord.

From: jgbennett6
22-Feb-06
I apologize...in a tired state i miss-read the phot and thought shug was supportingthe theory that there is a void....i apologize.. i was wrong, sorry shug.... I get tired fo people defending the void when science proves tehm wrong.....sorry.

From: The Yode
22-Feb-06
Don't worry jgbennett6 - those same people still believe the world is flat and the sun revolves around the earth!

From: trophy8
22-Feb-06
Had me worried there jgbennett6.

29-Sep-06
Came up in another thread, so for all you void believers, please read this.

From: JTV
29-Sep-06
I was wondering when we'd get around to this.... :0) .....Jeff

From: Trophy8
29-Sep-06
The seasons are just begining, already this? We need the pic back for those who believe.

From: JTV
29-Sep-06
or for those who dont....Jeff

From: Meathunter13
29-Sep-06
Yeah pretty shabby without any pics.

From: Dan In MI
29-Sep-06
The pics are there.

WW- 10-21-05

Travis 10-15-05

Termin8tr - 1-7-06

The top two are the best.

From: travis@work
29-Sep-06

travis@work's Link
I`ll repost the links to the photos. I`ve kept them active on my website just for this reason...THERE is NO VOID

From: travis@work
29-Sep-06

travis@work's Link
here is LTG`s photo`s...he just so happens to be a vetenarian I beleive...his comments are above...

From: travis@work
29-Sep-06
Sorry LTG about the insult above. he he he..LTG is a Pulmonologist (Lung Dr)...

01-Oct-06
Ted Nugent shoot single blade broadheads i have seen game survive some hits with dull single blade head like Ted Speaks off

Also dull head cuts less tissue than do sharp head who case cut up to 50% more tissue

This was from work I did at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Wash DC When I was a consultant on arrow wounds.

Tink Nathan

From: baldy
01-Oct-06
tink- just because you can put a dull broadhead below the spine does not mean there is a void! the facts are if you shoot a deer just below the spine you will hit lung if it is right next to the spine you will also hit a very big artery.

01-Oct-06
LTG made the statement that each lung requires 50% of cardiac output.Due to lung assymetry (left larger)that surprises me.I've had a definite pattern of left lung one lungers being more lethal to substantiate that.Hope he replies.....

01-Oct-06
I meant right lung larger and right one lungers more lethal

From: lariat
01-Oct-06
Next time you clean a deer, put your hand into the cavity at the crease of the shoulders. Then compare that depth on the outside of the cavity. I would bet that most people will be amazed at how far the spine dips down at that location.

From: jawbreaker
01-Oct-06
just a question guys, yrs. ago I shot a deer high lets say the void. and never got the deer. 2 weeks later I killed the deer. now how did it live for the 2 weeks if the lung are there?

From: Sharpshooter
01-Oct-06
Was the deer quartering toward you when you shot?

From: jawbreaker
02-Oct-06
no it was broadside and head down eating acorns.

02-Oct-06
You went over the spine because...........drumroll.................................................................................................THERE IS NO VOID.

From: EJG
02-Oct-06
copied from above - "OK. Enough. I normally am strictly a lurker, but I can't take anymore. I am a Pulmonologist (Lung Dr) and avid archer. As a disclaimer, I am not privy to what others have seen or witnessed. I am only trained in normal mammalian anatomy. As such, I offer the following:

1) The lungs are not "glued" to the chest wall. That said, they are mechanically linked by fluid forces between the chest wall pleural surface and the lung pleural surface. The example I use for my students is to take a zip lock bag, put in a very small amount of fluid to "wet" the surfaces and close the bad squeezing out all the air. Then try to separate one bag surface from the other. Can't be done without ripping the bag or putting air into the system. During normal respiration, the chest wall expands a small amount and the lung expand to remain constantly in contact no matter how fast or sharply you breath in. The diaphragm moves up and down a good deal as well, but again, the lungs are in continual contact with the diaphragm. The lungs never separate from chest wall - pleural space is a "potential space" until disease causes fluid to accumulate (effusion), bleeding (hemothorax), or chest wall puncture or lung rupture (pneumothorax). There is no anatomic pr physiologic void.

2) the lungs of all large mammals have recesses that reach above the horizontal lowermost reach of the spinal column. I will gladly attach computer tomographic images (CT scan) from man, pig, sheep to demonstrate that you can not design a path that goes under the spine that will not puncture at least one lung (assuming we are talking about the chest cavity). Someone needs to tell me how to do this with a Mac - or I can email them to someone to do it for us.

3) Not all pneumothoraces are lethal. Even bilateral lung puncture can be survived if there is not a large "sucking chest wound" and/or the lung slices quickly seal up with blood clot. Most of these animals will die, but a few can travel a long way even with "double lung" hits if only the tops of the lungs are sliced. "

notice #3, so after you killed the deer, if you did in fact verify it was below the spine but near the top of the lungs, it is possible for it to be non-lethal. so did you verify the location of the 1st hit?

Eric

From: Twang 1
02-Oct-06
Eric,

Outstanding description, Doc!! Thanks! I'll add your ZipLock bag demo to my Bowhunter Education course to illustrate your points. Great stuff!

From: EJG
02-Oct-06
i'm not the doctor. Look for the username "LTG" up above in this discussion, he is the one who posted that info. I was just trying to help answer the question from 'jawbreaker'

By they way, i think it's an excellent idea to add that demo to your course, please pass the idea to other instructors. A few posts up , 'travis@work' has posted links to the pictures that 'LTG' originally provided that are also very helpful.

Eric

From: woodshaver
01-Nov-06
Plain and simple the area above the ribs and below thespine is meat only that is whare the tender loin area is .

From: Flex
02-Nov-06
This thread proves the need for two very important things: 1) Scarry razor sharp broadheads 2) Practice practice pracice

From: Trophy8
02-Nov-06
"Plain and simple the area above the ribs and below thespine is meat only that is whare the tender loin area is"

woodshaver...better check your anatomy...ribs attach to the spine.

From: bb
02-Nov-06
"Plain and simple the area above the ribs and below thespine is meat only that is whare the tender loin area is ."

You might want to double check that.

From: bullelkklr
02-Nov-06
I thunkd them tendorloins was above the gut - more towards the hind side of a buck or bull...texas heart shot might get you a loin hit though!

02-Nov-06
"Plain and simple the area above the ribs and below thespine is meat only that is whare the tender loin area is"

WOW. I don't even know how to respond to that.

Loins are above the spine.

From: JTV
02-Nov-06
Backstraps are above the spine...loins are below/along the spine towards the rear near the kidney area... they are the small strips that are the best tasting part of the deer....Jeff

From: JTV
02-Nov-06
Hence the name tenderloin...Remember "Smokey and the Bandit" where Gleason is telling his screwy son he couldnt have came from his "loins"...thats what we'er talking about here...Jeff

From: mr_magoo
02-Nov-06
Well, I had an experience this season that might lend itself well to this thread.

On the evening of Oct. 10th, about a half hour before dark, I had an eight point step out at 18yds. I drew and released, only to see my arrow hit unusually high. In the heat of the moment, I wasn't sure how high. The buck ran about fifty yards and stopped, looking around for whatever had just inflicted the wound. I waited anxiously to see if the buck would drop....it never did. I watched it until dark as it licked it's wounds on both sides and went back to feeding, as if nothing had ever happened. I even observed the bleeding exit wound which looked surprisingly low.

Shortly after dark I climbed down and retrieved my arrow. It had very little blood and thin strips of meat stuck to the shaft.

After returning home that night, I contacted some other hunters on the net and asked for advice. I was told that more than likely I slipped the arrow through the backstrap above the spine. I was also told that if the arrow slipped under the spine it was inevitable that it would damage the lungs and cause a fatal shot.

I searched the next morning anyway but found nothing, not even a bloodtrail.

On Oct. 20th, I had a chance to sit on stand again near the same plot. And to my surprise, the same buck came out a half hour before dark. And again the next evening. But neither time did it come within bow range. The following week was rifle season so I decided that if I had the opportunity to close the deal on this buck with my rifle, I would. I felt obligated since I had already wounded him. On Tuesday evening I took the buck.

Upon inspecting the deer I located the entrance wound of my arrow, almost healed over. The exit was still open a bit, but no sign of infection. After skinning it was obvious that the arrow had travelled over the spine, just barely missing it. It slipped down the ribcage and exited about midway down. Comparing the location of the entrance to the spine and shot angle, it seems that if I had only hit an inch and a half lower, I would have had an archery kill instead of a rifle kill.

I really don't feel a lot of pride in taking this buck with a rifle. As I said before, I felt obligated. And learned some valuable lessons in Whitetail anatomy and shot placement in the process.

From: travis@work
14-Nov-06
to the top....again

From: Norseman
14-Nov-06

Norseman's embedded Photo
Norseman's embedded Photo
High lung hits will not always kill your animal. here is a autopsy pic of my buddies cow elk he shot this fall. (vitals w/ribs removed) showing lungs, diaphram, stomach, liver.

He killed it with a lung hit to the center back portion of the lung. During the autopsy we noticed something strange on the lungs. It was a scar from a past arrows entrance. there was a clear tringle x in the middle of the scar tissue. the pic shows the lungs deflated. When alive the lungs are inflated to cover most of the rib cage in this area as Herd mentioned earlier, but Sometimes the upper portion of the lungs do not have enough vascular tissue to create enough bleeding or bleed enough to "drown" the animal in its own blood.

From: GaryB@Home
14-Nov-06
Not too sure what kind of critter has a meaty area above the ribs and below the spine. Hear in AZ all the ribs are attached to the spine. The only void that I have seen is the one my Broadhead makes :)

From: HerdManager
18-Dec-06
ttt

Still some believers out there...............

From: guidermd
19-Dec-06
there is indeed a void, and its so easy to find , even a caveman can find it.

28-Sep-07
ttt

With deer season coming there will be those who will lose deer and claim "void" when in fact they have hit over the spine.

From: JTV
28-Sep-07
I figured it's that time of year again :0) ....Jeff

From: Deflatem
28-Sep-07
Hi guys, I work in medical imaging. I can tell you for a fact that if a broad head penetrates the rib cage under the spine you will hit lung and probably Vena Cava or aorta. there is no blank space. I have done CT scans & arteriography for years. Lets put this to rest.

From: Ki-Ke
28-Sep-07
Didn't we beat this dead horse to death 2 years ago??

From: baldy
28-Sep-07
we thought we were beating it to death but we were really beating it in the void!

From: Ki-Ke
28-Sep-07
That's pretty funny!

From: antler-man
28-Sep-07

From: sugar
30-Sep-07
I think what most people refer to or think of as a void is actualy above the spine.. theres a large nothing but meat area above the spine in line with the legs... The spine dips low at this point giving the impression that your below it...

From: DadOfTwins
03-Oct-07
The void does exist.

It is the empty area in your freezer after you hit a deer above the spine and through the backstraps

From: baldy
03-Oct-07
"the void" is the area between the ears of anybody who thinks there is an area below the spine and above the lungs where you can shoot a deer and not cause a vital hit!

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