Summit Treestands
The 'Void'
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Troutman 18-Nov-08
Troutman 18-Nov-08
TD 18-Nov-08
The Reverend 19-Nov-08
Trophy8 19-Nov-08
fuzzy 19-Nov-08
travis@work 19-Nov-08
Trophy8 19-Nov-08
The Reverend 19-Nov-08
guidermd 19-Nov-08
Stik'n String 19-Nov-08
bigtines 19-Nov-08
The Reverend 19-Nov-08
Termin8r 19-Nov-08
jhelton 19-Nov-08
Matt 19-Nov-08
Norseman 19-Nov-08
guidermd 19-Nov-08
Owl 19-Nov-08
guidermd 19-Nov-08
BowSniper 19-Nov-08
Troy/OK 19-Nov-08
Owl 19-Nov-08
rooster 19-Nov-08
XMan 19-Nov-08
BB 19-Nov-08
TD 19-Nov-08
chip 19-Nov-08
Troutman 19-Nov-08
Norseman 19-Nov-08
DRR324 19-Nov-08
racer76j 19-Nov-08
TD 19-Nov-08
lariat 19-Nov-08
HerdManager 19-Nov-08
Shuteye 19-Nov-08
B4LITE 20-Nov-08
Wac'em 20-Nov-08
guidermd 20-Nov-08
Will 20-Nov-08
BirdBoy 20-Nov-08
Troutman 20-Nov-08
sipe 20-Nov-08
squid 21-Nov-08
squid 21-Nov-08
lariat 23-Nov-08
Tombow 24-Nov-08
squid 24-Nov-08
SleepsOnStand 24-Nov-08
Tombow 24-Nov-08
Stekewood 24-Nov-08
Tombow 24-Nov-08
lariat 24-Nov-08
guidermd 24-Nov-08
Bowtech 24-Nov-08
Stekewood 25-Nov-08
Tombow 25-Nov-08
Shuteye 25-Nov-08
Tombow 25-Nov-08
Shuteye 25-Nov-08
kellyharris 26-Nov-08
bb 26-Nov-08
Tombow 26-Nov-08
Stekewood 26-Nov-08
SteelyEyes 26-Nov-08
bb 26-Nov-08
SteelyEyes 26-Nov-08
TXHunter 26-Nov-08
TD 26-Nov-08
Gampaw 27-Nov-08
Bowman 28-Nov-08
From: Troutman
18-Nov-08

Troutman's embedded Photo
Troutman's embedded Photo
My friend passed on these photos from his fathers deer that they buthered last night that he took with a firearm. They found a broadhead and arrow shaft upon removing the back straps. As you can see from the photos, while the shaft is almost 1/3 of the way down from the top of the back, it is still over the top of the spine and ribcage, missing any vitals. While from outside appearances, I'm sure the archer thought he had a high chest hit, it never penetrated the ribcage or any vitals.

Here was my friends description of what he found from his e-mail:

"We came across this broadhead and arrow shaft in the 8 point we butchered last night from Hamlin. It had poked through the backbone plate and stopped at the farside shoulder blade. There was no evidence in the hide of a hole or wound and not until I cut the backstraps out did I find it. It was just above the ribcage and spine but well down from the top of the back "

From: Troutman
18-Nov-08

Troutman's embedded Photo
Troutman's embedded Photo
the other photo as he found it:

From: TD
18-Nov-08
Is it that time of year already? How time flies...

Great pics. There is no void, just nonlethal hits. Fact is the backbone is relatively deep in the animal, especially near the shoulders. And the lungs are farther forward than most think also.

So many "I hit him perfect!" shots and so few recovered.

From: The Reverend
19-Nov-08
The void (hole, hollow spot, etc.) exists. Its not like a new organ or anything, its just a name for a bad spot to hit an animal. Anyone who thinks it doesn't exist hasn't hit that spot..... yet. You are correct though that it is a nonlethal hit.

From: Trophy8
19-Nov-08
Reverend...you need an anatomy lesson. Please show me the "void" you say exists above the lungs.

From: fuzzy
19-Nov-08
actually, there is no "void" internal to the chest cavity. "void" hits are as pictured above

From: travis@work
19-Nov-08
OMG---every year....people just don`t get it...under the spine and it`s dead...

From: Trophy8
19-Nov-08
Rev...I take back my statement as I mis-read your post as to what you were saying was a void.

From: The Reverend
19-Nov-08
The "Void" is just poor naming or wording that is accepted vernacular. Sort of like inflammable and flammable meaning the same thing.

From: guidermd
19-Nov-08
you mean the void is flammable........? huh..........

avoid the void!!

19-Nov-08
I really missed this subject during the offseason. Frankly, the "Does Big Foot Exist?," "Wolves are the Spawn of Satan" and "I Hate Matthews" posts were just getting old.

Smell that? It is a new blend of buttery popcorn I have developed specifically for this thread!

Carry on...

From: bigtines
19-Nov-08
Interesting-Thanks for the pics>

From: The Reverend
19-Nov-08
Thanks, stiknstring. Very helpful. Because of the pics, this is a very interesting example of this debate. The "spot" whatever you call it, exists, and I think that almost everyone has had an experience with it at one time or another in their hunting life, i.e. "I thought I hit him great but I can't find him, etc." It's not an excuse, its not a crutch, its a fact that there is a small area between the vitals and the spine that is seemingly "invincible" that is survivable by animals when all other factors point to a quality hit.

From: Termin8r
19-Nov-08
Reverend,

There is no debate based on this example and description. Taken from the first post,

"...it is still over the top of the spine and ribcage, missing any vitals."

The arrow is above the spine, NOT below it! Are you now referring to a "void" below the spine? If that is the case, you do need an anatomy lesson. There is no void!

There is no "small area between the vitals and the spine that is seemingly "invincible" that is survived by animals...."

From: jhelton
19-Nov-08
yeah, i call it a meat hit. what some say is the void though is that there is a space between the lungs and the backbone where an arrow can pass without hitting anything vital. Totally bogus, but meat hits are very real.

j

From: Matt
19-Nov-08
The definition of the void is space above the lungs but below the spine - it doesn't exist. The explanation of the void is that a) many bowhunters trust in what they thought they saw more than they should, and b) not every hit through the top 1/2 of an animals forward 1/2 is lethal.

19-Nov-08

Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
Mike the Cheesehead's embedded Photo
I think the confusion here is in the use of the term "void".

In the past and on many other threads concerning the "void" it was argued that there was a space between the top of the lungs and the bottom of the spine that was "void" of any organs and hitting that space would be non-fatal.

Now the term "void" is being used by some to describe a hit anywhere on the deer that does not hit organs or cause death.

I agree, if the Reverend believes there is a "void" between the vitals and spine, he needs an anatomy lesson.

From: Norseman
19-Nov-08
I think the main theme troutman tried to state was that some think there is a void due to how low you can actually hit a deer from the top down (above the spine) and not hit vitals. There is no void beneath the spine.

From: guidermd
19-Nov-08
what time is intermission so i can have the popcorn ready? i lost my keys in the void one time while looking for my arrow.

From: Owl
19-Nov-08
The only void here is of understanding. Well, that and the one between my ears...

From: guidermd
19-Nov-08
does that mean if an arrow passed between your ears you would live? i have the same void, so it must be real.

From: BowSniper
19-Nov-08
There is no 'void" between the spine and the lungs. I opened up a deer I shot once to find the arrow literally chipped the bottom of a spinal bone and still put a full three blade cut through the lungs.

But was the original claim that there is a non-lethal body area (void) above the spine? How much room could that be?? Roughly how many inches are there above the top of the spine in a deer?

From: Troy/OK
19-Nov-08
Troutman, I made that EXACT shot on Oct 23, 2008 on a very nice Oklahoma buck. I'm still sick over it.....

~Troy

From: Owl
19-Nov-08
"does that mean if an arrow passed between your ears you would live?"

-Yes, and, contrary to popular belief, no one would even be able to claim a "muscle hit."

From: rooster
19-Nov-08
The intial thread stated that the arrow had hit the backbone. Aren't the backbone and the spine one and the same? What the arrow didn't do was break the spine (backbone) or more importantly sever the spinal cord. Hit a little higher flesh wound, a little lower the deer drops form a broken spine/severed spinal cord, Lower yet vitals or guts. There is no void!MO

From: XMan
19-Nov-08
I had the oppty to see firsthand how some folks think there is a void. A bowhunter shot a deer slightly quartering away at 15 yards out of a 12 foot stand. He hit this deer perfect, upper lower third of chest 3 inches behind the front shoulder and the arrow went out through the opposite front shoulder. He didn't recover this deer until the next day out of pure luck and the deer went a full mile from where it was shot. If he didn't do an autopsy and show me both punctured lungs and a small cut in the heart, I wouldn't have believed it. Sometimes there is the anomaly where logic is defied. I really can't explain how this deer lived 24hrs and went as far as it did, but it happens even on the best of shots. How, who knows....

From: BB
19-Nov-08

BB's embedded Photo
BB's embedded Photo
Here's a photo of a moose, and although moose have a big hump, you can notice how far down the backbone goes when your in the area of the front shoulder. I have marked the backbone in green.

Have a great bowhunt. BB

From: TD
19-Nov-08
May have hit the bones that come up off the top of the spine, I forget what they're called. Hit em there a few times. WHACK! Makes a heck of a sound and even knocked a couple down, but they're right back up again and gone.

Direct spine hits are usually just down.

But under the spine there is no "void". In fact close to it and you can catch a pretty major artery that makes short work. The void claim comes from the idea the spine is at the top of the back when in fact the bottom of the spine (the shot placement needed to actually get under it) comes near halfway down in the chest at points and a third of the way down at best.

I'm a ground hunter so I'm speaking from my perspective, I would guess a treestand hunter used to higher angles would see it differently.

From: chip
19-Nov-08
YES their is a void and it will be made into a movie next year. Rumors have it that the Shark is up for the lead roll but they are having a difficult time convincing a certain Hollywood starlet into playing his love interest. Seems she has seen some of the Sharks pics, as have all of us, and is having serious trepidations.

From: Troutman
19-Nov-08
When my buddy e-mailed these photos i knew I had to stir the pot again this year ;)

What I was trying to illustrate (I think the photos do a great job) is that alot of guys think the spinal chord and ribcage extend up to the top of a deers back which simply isn't the case. As these photos show, a hit to almost the entire top 1/3 of the deer is non-lethal with nothing more than just meat and back bone plates/fins. The spinal chord and ribcage are below this. If anything error on the side of aiming a bit low rather than high....

From: Norseman
19-Nov-08
Doesn't the spine lead to the brain? lol

From: DRR324
19-Nov-08
BB- for sake of clearing confusion, can you "skin" the moose to the head, and show how the spine attaches to the skull? Thanks Dave

19-Nov-08
Troutman,

I get your point, and it's a good point.

Most of us were just responding to some of the other comments on this thread.

From: racer76j
19-Nov-08
Does hitting the void leave a good blood trail?Since there isnt any vitals there.

From: TD
19-Nov-08
Nope, not much blood trail, but greases the arrow up real well.

From: lariat
19-Nov-08
Next time you clean a deer, put your hand inside the body cavity between the front legs. I think you will be in disbelief at how shallow it is right there.

From: HerdManager
19-Nov-08
The only void is the one all around the deer. And it is non-lethal, believe me /:^(.

From: Shuteye
19-Nov-08
A few years ago I was using my grunt tube to call in a buck I saw 100 yards away. He came right to me and When I drew my bow I noticed he only had one antler. I was letting down when I noticed the buck was intently looking at something behind me. A second buck came right by me at 15 yards. I put a double lung shot on the second buck, it was a pass through. They both took off and it looked like the buck I had just shot was chasing the other. Then he went down and was dead in a few seconds.

When I got to him I was surprised to see he had two holes on the entry side. I was thinking how in the world could that buck have survived the other shot? I rolled him over and there were two exit holes way down, certainly under the spine. When I opened the deer up the only hole through the rib cage was made by the arrow I had just put through him. The other arrow was just above the spine and since he was shot real close to a tree stand the arrow had gone through the chops and stayed between the ribs and hide to where it exited. My neighbor had shot this buck a week earlier and spent the night with friends looking for it. Yet he responded to a grunt call a week later. I just couldn't believe the spine was that far down.

From: B4LITE
20-Nov-08
If it don't down it's void. You kill the deer or you harvest the deer. He was a monster or it was a monster. Void is just a term we use to make us feel better:~) What is an expert- A drip under pressure.

From: Wac'em
20-Nov-08
I personally avoid the VOID!

From: guidermd
20-Nov-08
is the voidbone connected to the tailbone in any way? if so, should i avoid tail bone shots?

From: Will
20-Nov-08
This is kind of cool. a few years ago a "void" thread started and it was probably 50-50% yea and nea regarding the void. As time has gone on clearly its close to 100% nea. Cool!

Anatomy wins!

From: BirdBoy
20-Nov-08
Not trying to be an a$$, but the first picture shows a broadhead and arrow that have not yet entered anything but muscle. The second picture shows that the arrow has gone through the other side. Why?

From: Troutman
20-Nov-08
"Not trying to be an a$$, but the first picture shows a broadhead and arrow that have not yet entered anything but muscle. The second picture shows that the arrow has gone through the other side. Why? "

Sorry the 2 photos are out of sequence. The second photo is exactly how he found it after removing the backstraps. In the first photo he has pulled it out a bit but left the broadhead where it passed through the backbone plate. My friend also said the right shoulder blade appeared to stop the broadhead.

20-Nov-08
I bet the guy that hit the buck told his buddies that it was perfect hit. I'm sure it looked that way to him.

From: sipe
20-Nov-08
Lost a sika deer (wild) in MD this year to a hit similar to the one pictured here.

From: squid
21-Nov-08

squid's Link
Take a look at the thread going on over on AT. Live picture of one that was hit in the same area.

Great example of "perfect shot" that really isn't perfect

From: squid
21-Nov-08

squid's embedded Photo
squid's embedded Photo
Better yet, here is the picture

From: lariat
23-Nov-08
Dang it that speaks loudly. I lost the two biggest bucks I have ever shot at to that same exact shot placement. It was in the same year too. A friend got one of them the next year.

From: Tombow
24-Nov-08
That is an exit wound not an entry wound. It was a treestand shot from the opposite side as you can tell. Put one there from this side and you will kill the deer.

From: squid
24-Nov-08
Tombow, you are correct in that it is the exit hole, but if you read the thread on AT, it was a shot from a ground blind so entry and exit are around the same height.

But agree that if this was entry from a treestand, would most likely be a dead deer, but all depends on the shot angle.

However, just goes to show what many would think is a good shot, is above the spine.

24-Nov-08
The use of the word "void" is what I have a problem with. Its a word used by many to describe bad hits (jmo). While the evidence is there (see pics above) that bad hits don't always result in dead deer, I would bet the higher percentage do die.

The pics above are proof of just how the will to survive plays a big part...no matter the pain. My belief is no void.

From: Tombow
24-Nov-08
It's not a level shot and the entry and exits are not the same height, I don't care who said what. Ground blind or not he must have been uphill when he shot as that would have hit spine on the level. The exit hole also shows that the shot came from an evelevated point as the hair loss is much lower than the amount that would be cut from a level shot.

From: Stekewood
24-Nov-08
The hole shows nothing but a hole. Unless you were the one who shot, or have seen video of the shot, there's no way to tell whether it's an entrance or exit, or from a tree, or the ground.

It is absolutely possible to have that be the entrance from a treestand, and the deer survive.

Shot angle, and treestand height have way more to do with it, than the location of that hole.

From: Tombow
24-Nov-08
"It is absolutely possible to have that be the entrance from a treestand, and the deer survive" Not if it was broadside or anywhere near so it isn't. Sure if it was really hard quartering away you might go between the ribs and shoulder or some such but other than that it isn't possible.

Observation tells you its an exit hole. The shot was from an elevated position slightly quartering, ground blind or treestand doesn't matter, but he was above the deer.

From: lariat
24-Nov-08
Tombow, I want you to put your hand inside the cavity of the next deer you have the opp. to do so. Do it right between the front legs. I really think you will be surprised how shallow the cavity is at that part of the animal.

From: guidermd
24-Nov-08
is the void bone coneencted to the tail bone?

From: Bowtech
24-Nov-08
Who is talking about the cavity? You may actually be above it on a level shot as supposedly it was but you certainly aren't above the spine as I said earlier. Therefore the shot is either impossible or it wasn't on the level as I stated earlier as well. It is an exit hole of a shot that was made from above, either from a treestand which it wasn't supposed to be or a ground blind situated above the deer. 100:1 says the shot entry hole is above the exit.

From: Stekewood
25-Nov-08
It's amazing how someone can know so much from one photograph.

There are countless scenarios that could cause the result seen in that photo. For someone to claim they know what happened, based on that picture, is laughable.

From: Tombow
25-Nov-08
The only thing laughable is your ignorance of the obvious.

From: Shuteye
25-Nov-08
That picture shows almost exactly where the buck I killed had two exit holes. One by me and one by my neighbor. He shot it a week earlier and when I gutted the deer there was only one hole through the rib cage. I looked and looked and couldn't believe that he had hit above the spine on entry and the arrow never penetrated the rib cage. The spine is a lot lower in that area than most realize.

From: Tombow
25-Nov-08

Tombow's embedded Photo
Tombow's embedded Photo

From: Shuteye
25-Nov-08
If you hit the lungs the deer is yours. If you don't hit the lungs, you made a bad shot. It happens to all of us. Some just won't admit they made a bad shot and blame it on the broadhead or the void.

From: kellyharris
26-Nov-08
well said shuteye if its doubled lung a deer cannot go fay with thir lungs full of blood

From: bb
26-Nov-08
"The only thing laughable is your ignorance of the obvious."

Sheesh. How can you even tell what that is a picture of, for all you can tell that deer may have beem hit by a car, been in a fight or any number of different possibilities. You can't even tell by the photograph that it was even shot by an arrow let alone which side, angle etc. Stop spewing nonsense.

From: Tombow
26-Nov-08
Whatever bb...

From: Stekewood
26-Nov-08
My point exactly bb.

I couldn't agree more with Woody. As the owner of a tracking dog, I get dozens, and dozens, of calls that sound the same. When asked where they hit it, the response is almost always "perfect, I know the deer is dead, I just can't find him". Usally there is a sight-trackable blood trail for about 100 or 200 yards, then things dry up. As the trail gets longer, I usually hear things like, "he has to be dead".

With the help of the dog, specks of blood, or maybe a bed or two, will be found over the next several hundred yards. At this point, the dog's job changes from finding a dead deer, to showing the hunter that the deer is not dead.

Most hunters will then realize that they were wrong in what they think they saw, and accept the fact that the deer is not going to be recovered, and will most likely recover. It's a hard thing to give up on a deer that hours earlier, or the night before, they were sure was going to be dead within a hundred yards.

The absolute worst type of hunter to track for is a know-it-all (like one of the guys posting on this thread). These guys are so stubborn that they won't even entertain the possibility that anything other than what they "know for a fact" happened might be a possibility. These are the guys that will hard-headedly search for days for a deer that can't be found.

I've had guys tell me that the dog is going the wrong way, and go look blindly on their own in the direction they "know" the deer went. It's funny when it's harder to find the hunter after finding his deer, than it was finding the deer itself!

From: SteelyEyes
26-Nov-08
The initial pics in the thread just prove that aluminum arrows aren't nearly as deadly as carbon arrows, especially on frontal shots taken from a moving ATV.

From: bb
26-Nov-08
Unless of course the ATV was going 60mph but it's obvious from the photo that it was only doing 20mph and traveling downhill.

From: SteelyEyes
26-Nov-08
It needed a new right front shock too. We can all see that.

From: TXHunter
26-Nov-08
I can tell all of you that the "void" absolutely exists --- it is about one to twelve inches above the deer (usually as they duck) and my arrows pass through it cleanly. The deer show absolutely no ill effects from the shot.

;)

From: TD
26-Nov-08
LOL! that's funny right there...

I would also disagree somewhat that all lung hits, even some dbl lung hits are always fatal. The high and far back lung edges are thin and have relatively small vessels. The vessels get larger and more numerous the closer to the heart you get. I've seen post mortems on animals killed days after the hit and the animal obviously was going to recover. The damage to the lungs was minimal and at the edges, clotted up and healing.

So it is possible. But again, no void, just a marginal shot combined with bad luck at not hitting anything that pumps very much.

Just being in the diaphragm area is no guarantee. I've seen em go down with amazingly little hemorrhage and blood in the chest, I believe the cause of death was more the lungs collapsed from the chest wounds than from any hemorrhage from the lungs. Just an observation as I didn't measure it or anything, it sure seemed there just wasn't nearly enough blood there.

One advantage on the ATV, those pneumothorax (I think that's what they're called) wounds don't go as far when I'm chasing them. They run out of breath pretty quick.

From: Gampaw
27-Nov-08
There is a "void"; I found it yesterday afternoon when I dressed out the little buck I shot with my 45/70 using the 325gr Hornady Evolution bullet that entered the left shoulder and exited in front of the right hip. When I opened the chest except for a lot of blood it was "void".

From: Bowman
28-Nov-08
A friend of mine shot a buck during gun in KY and when he field dressed the deer, he found a broadhead and arrow shaft in both lungs. The broadhead was in the right lung and the broken shaft ran through the left lung. He said there was a lot of slimy, green stuff at the points of penetration in the lungs. But, that deer was still out and about.

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