Wow! Good outcome. Could have been better though.... :)
I shot my first rifle bull this year, when I walked up (hit spine) blood was pouring out with each heartbeat in a stream. It had been about 2 minutes and the elk could not get up but was VERY aware of me and wanted to get away. I put a finisher in the heart but the amount of blood and elk still "fine" amazed me and right away made me think of your elk and the blood.
I really never would have believed and elk bleeding like mine would be very alive 2 minutes later.
I'm trying to get with Wes to get forensic photos taken. I want to see that left lung. Oh, and now I can get my Muzzy MX3 head back too!
Next year, next year....
AND--PROPS to a guy who pushes 'recovery' to his personal limits and drops $ on a helicopter to recover an elk. That is true ethical sportsmanship!
Huh? hard to tell but if i were to guess based on the above pic, it appears to be shy of 300 by a lot.
anyway, i hope that is the one that was wounded. interested in hearing what wes found internally.
Obviously, you would have been happier if you were eating him right now, but it has to be a GREAT feeling to know he isn't Coyote food!
Besides that, maybe we can get the rifle hunter on here to view your thread! He would get a kick out of that.
You guys can score him as low as you want - it won't bother me since he's not my bull. Wes will tape him out, no doubt. I'll let you know what he goes. He's better than that cell phone photo. I should know, I was 3 yards from him. Here's a photo of him from when I shot him:
On a side note. I've got a friend that works part time for a wild game processor. They butchered an elk with an old bullet wound. The elk had a 7mm bullet go through both scapula and stop just under the skin on the far side. The holes in the scapula had cartilage grown over them and the wound channel had totally healed. Elvin couldn't believe what he was seeing so he boiled the scapula and reconstructed them on a board with the recovered bullet. It was clearly a 7mm bullet with about 70% weight retention. The elk was field dressed and quartered when it arrived at the butcher shop so there was no way of knowing whether or not that shot had hit the lungs or was foward and above them. Who knows? All I can say is that they are tough, tough, animals when the shot isn't perfect.
Hopefully Wes takes pics of the broadhead path.
I'm guessing the bull has about 298" of horn. Short brows and short overall main beams It's a good bull for the area Pat was hunting, though.
+1 Can you say friady-cat!!! I guess they don't want to lose their STARS! LOL.
Seiously, I would be very interested in the autopsy. I have skinned numerous whitetails that looked like they had been in a war and they can really take some damage and still live.
So Pat, you gonna change your set-up now??? Start shootin a ______________ broadhead? Or maybe a ________ broadhead? Thats what everybody else does. Awe come on, try one of the hot new ___________ broadheads, every animal thats shot with em only goes 40yards after the shot. hehehe! Mike.
"+1 Can you say friady-cat!!! I guess they don't want to lose their STARS! LOL."
That's exactly what I was thinking! Where are all the professional bowhunters that are usually giving their opinion of what the shooter did wrong and what he could have done better and ultimately accusing him of being a slob hunter? C'mon fellas...Man up and give Pat a little schoolin' !!! LOL!!
From Pat's second to last post above this, I guess one of two things happened. First he was low and hit a leg, but most likely I think he probably hit very low in the brisket and possibly hit the bottom of the lungs, but not enough to kill the bull. It would bleed pretty well, but heal and the bull would have been okay. That would be my number one guess as to what happened.
If the shot was taken shortly after his last post, it would not be possible for the arrow to slide under the shoulder as mentioned above in another post.
I am glad he lived and that Pat got to find out what happened as something like that drives guy nuts.
Have a great bowhunt BB
Yeah, is that a Savage 99? I cut my teeth hunting with one of those.
He did take pictures and we know exactly what happened, we just don't know why.
First of all, my shot was too far forward and the bull was higher than me so the shot should have been lower. We know that now. But the shot should have reached the far side and it did not.
The arrow hit perfect height for a shot on level ground, the arrow also appeared to hit good left to right based on a broadside shot. But it also appears to have taken a radical left turn inside of the body cavity and hit the left lung at the front lobe and sliced it lengthwise. Now here is the amazing part, the broadhead was buried on the same side as the entrance wound. It was embedded where the neck and the shoulder meet, high, just left of the spine. The entrance channel is still there, Wes can put his finger through it. And the lung shows trauma but it was not deflated and getting air and healed over with a yellow, discolored puss-like appearance. The broadhead was entirely calcified and had become a part of the elk. They had a tough time cutting it out.
It appears that one of those weird things may have happened (which happened to me once before) where the arrow changed forward direction upon impact. Probably due to an uphill and severe quartering angle. But even with that, there is no way I could have hit to the left of his spine (when he was facing left) on anything over than a straight away ass shot. I know it sounds far-fetched but there is no way to explain the position that bull was in, our absolute confidence in the shot placement, and the fact this bull went unrecovered and lived.
Pics will follow as soon as Wes gets a breather. They killed another big elk this morning so they have been super busy.
Glad you at least have closure now, cool story.
I've killed 12 different big game species including caribou, muskox and moose. Without a doubt the toughest North American animal to kill is the elk. If you don't penetrate BOTH lungs or major blood vessels, you risk loosing them. Other animals seem to just find a place to die with almost any hit. Elk will travel a great distance before bedding, and then they seem to recover from hits that are eventually fatal to other animals.
Pretty cool Pat... look forward to more autopsy details and photos!
It wouldn't surprise me that being a 320 bull we were actually arguing over that driving away from the processor. The pic with him on the ground doesn't do him justice as mentioned earlier, really great lookin bull. At least there's some resolution to the story, though maybe not the expected outcome.
Head was a Muzzy MX-3. I was having some issues with my shot accuracy at longer distances with my 70lb rig so ended up chosing my 60lb Bowtech General. The lower poundage may have played a role in this. I shoot whitetails with my 70lb bow so it was a real stretch for me to go with a 60 on elk. But I shot that bow incredibly well and I was concerned about having to shoot longer distances.
Photos to follow.
60 lb should be fine on elk. I shot my moose @ 65lb and all but the fletching passed through. On my AZ bull last year, I hit the left front shoulder blade and still got both lungs. That was also @ 65lb. I think Tom Hoffman shoots 58lb.
Anyway, glad to hear that someone shot him. I know that had to make you feel at least a little better. Next year is your year!!!
Woody, I've heard of hunting behind high fences, but you're actually hunting behind doors? lol
the ELK curse on Pat is REAL!
Glad to read that bull was harvested.
Pat, Perhaps a Native American Medicine ceremony is in order to ward of the curse?!
Video request is in. ;>)
If it's not in the guts they nearly always survive if you see them a day or two later. One lung doesn't always kill em. Seems they either go down relatively fast or they go on forever. On a toughness scale of 1 to 10 elk are a 12.
We nearly lost one this year that the hunter said "hit him perfect" mid-height in the body maybe 4"-6" behind the crease. Exit was lower and farther back, he was downhill and quartering on more than he thought. We killed him a mile and a half away 24 hours later.
I have two 99's, a 250-3000 from the 1920's not even drilled and tapped for a scope and a .243 from the 60's. Good rifles, way ahead of their time. Shot my first deer with the 250-3000.
Thats just wrong. Mike.
Bet it's a green door...
I'll even bet he calls that research too...
Either way, I'd certainly knock before I came waltzing on in...
I shot an Antelope at about 50 yards with a 25-06 one time and the bullet hit the rib, followed the rib down, across the brisket, up the other side, and was laying under the skin behind the off side shoulder when I skinned him out. (After the 1st shot I put another round in him).
Weird things do happen out there.
Glad there was some closure on your hunt.
You know what, sometimes there are things in life that are just not explainable,
-Matt n Cheryl
That and toss those bad boys out and go to Strikers...LoL! ;-)
13, ya only got 10 left to make... =D
Pat- You'll get one just don't let you're luck with elk haunt you!
NOW DO I GET some appologies for calling it a "300 class" bull, with weak fronts!!!!!
There was once a Jimmy the greek....now there's only a danny the serb...lol
Reminds me of a philosophy a college buddy had towards his dates.
My guess was 320 but I am not good. Just want to learn.
Also did your BH hit any bone on the way in?
Trying to learn, I figure hit bone, dull blade, not cut lung enough to kill.
Rare for a BH in the lungs to kill, I have heard of well documented cases though - but none with info from first shooter, only info from guy who harvested - without initial details. This is some great learning info, PLEASE SHARE ALL INFO.
One of my firs bowkills was at a quartering away angle and my arrow did some serious funny stuff, ended up cutting throat but you would swear it course defied physics.
I know bone can deflect and I often wonder in animal starts to jump the string, and is moving at impact, twisting muscle could do some weird things......
You said it was not moving when you shot, could it have started moving, right as the arrow hit (as late as when the arrow was only inches from penetrating)? Hard to tell I know.
Your shot may not have been perfect but most times wold have put that bull in your freezer. Bad luck.
Thanks, DonV Ohio
Hang in there and keep trying, Pat, as we know you will. There was a time in my life when I truly believed I was destined to never kill an elk with a bow. Then once the ice broke, it broke for good.
Seriously, I am not agonizing over this. I just found it interesting and an extremely informational situation to share with all of you. Some of you guys have sent me condolences, which is sweet, but kind of odd if you ask me.
Uh oh, I better call the florist now and cancel that delivery. :)
Dont know what to say except 'thanks' you're in an awesome position to teach and share.
Just out of curiosity, what was the weight of your hunting arrow?
Thanks again -Joe
Glad they got your bull and look forward to the pics.
I am already booked again with Wes. Same week. My curse spread to him and his bow clients too this year.
I don't have the time to do two trips. I am seriously considering an elephant bowhunt in march along with my water buffalo hunt in Australia in July. So I only have time for 1 elk hunt.
No pics yet, but I'll post them when I get them.
I hunted with 420 grain arrows this year.
I think I will bump that up next year.
Out of curiosity, why did you have to go to aluminum arrows and feathers to get to 500 grains?
Very cool that you actually got to see what actually happened after the fact. I'd really be interested in the photos that show what took place. those things are tough!
Getting the weight up on carbons is a little bit of a pain, not much choices, for me anyway. I love my Beman MFX shafts, a little smaller diameter and I get 450 grs. with a 125 head, great penetration.
I've played with brass weight systems and they can get pricey but work great, if you want to get up to 5-600 grains. I just looked for the knock adapters for screw in weights but can't find them anymore, not sure who sells those now.
Hit a doe in the head the other day when all I could see through the shooting hole was the broadside shoulder and vitals. Still can’t figure how the broadhead connected near the ear hole when I couldn't even see her head, had to have deflected off something.
Here's an example of where a hunter is absolutely certain that he hit an elk in a certain spot. The bull was called in by us to 17yds broadside to the shooter! There were a few bushes blocking part of the animal but the vitals were completely open as the shooter swears by this! I don't disagree because I didn't see the actual hit but as soon as the shot was on its way the bull went screaming by me yards away & I see the arrow hit the ground tumbling & good blood, it appeared to be lung blood. As the bull goes screaming down the mountain side I hear crashing & thrashing, awesome I think the bull is going down from the sound of things.
We gather together & go over the shot & yep the shooter says it was a perfect hit. We wait 45min & it starts raining as it is a cloudy day. We head down with pack-frames to retrieve the elk & find no bull but a decent blood trail in the very thick alders & underbrush. We follow it 200yds & jump up the bull & a cow out of a bed, one of the beds is full of blood, I now doubt the perfect lung shot! (grin)
Long story longer, I mean shorter, (grin) we catch up to this bull 3 1/2 hours later & nearly 2 miles farther as he is still alive, fortunately he bled enough to keep us on his trail & now it's really raining hard. We finish off the bull & check out the original shot, it was right in the crease alright, the rear hindquarter crease!!!!! Can you believe it!!!! 17yd shot & he thought he for sure hit the center of the front crease, only a few feet off I'd say! Moral of the story, sometimes we really don't know for sure where the animal is hit even though we think we do!
The shooter was my son, he knows a thing or two about putting elk down & where to hit them, don't think your eyes can't play tricks on you! (grin)
This is the bull.
If quartering away..... yeah I got no explanation. Possible it turned into the shot and exited behind the entry hole? Interesting to say the least.
Pat, I think you and I are neck and neck for elk trips without a bull - lol.
good stuff Pat... Flowers on the way...
First of all, Elk that close don't stand still at the shot. He was moving when the arrow hit him, trust me. Second, if you saw the arrow hit him, you were peeking and torqued the bow. Sorry but it's true. In the picture of you at full draw, you clearly are "white-knuckling" the bows grip.
So now we add these things together and we have an arrow not traveling in a straight path, hitting an animal that is moving(maybe not walking, but moving none the less), with a broadhead that has a bit of a field point ahead of the blades, and we have a recipe for deflection. Especially if that field point tip catches the wrong edge of a rib bone.
It was standing still.
It was at most 5' higher than I was.
You can see the entrance wound on the photo. The photos sent me were not the best. But this photo shows the arrow embedded to the left of the spine. The second photo shows the hole in the rib cage.
Explain to me how this happened without a deflection?
Now lets stir things up a bit... :-) Contrary to what they think, nobody can explain or understand what happens with all of these shots all the time. And as long as the experts are "Monday morning quarterbacking" - what if you hit that elk with the EXACT same shot with a RAGE? and what if the blades on that RAGE were straight up and down? That arrow penetrates STRAIGHT, cuts a massive hole, maybe get's the top of the off-side lung - and you have a dead elk! Lot's of "ifs" I know... but no more "ifs" than "if you would have used a COC"...
Before you blast me - I shoot fixed blade, COC, G5s... but if I ever saw a shot where I'd want to have a Rage on the end of my arrow, this could be it. Just thinking out loud... :-)
The only way I could get into that section of the spine with that angle was if the bull was suspended on straps above me and I shot through his brisket. Go figure.
Judging by where the lung was hit, and the angle of the bull which we're sure of now - I should have caught the very front of the right lung had there not been a deflection.
Still, shot should have been lower, and further back. Dead elk if that happened.
Amazing that we are able to piece all of this together after the fact. This almost never happens.
Paul with all due respect that has to be your dumbest post. Pat hit the bull good at close range and was unable to control the arrow after entering. He rented a freak'in helicopter!!
My comment wasn't just about this thread, it's all the mishaps that have happened over the years! We've all gone through them at one time or another, there's no "elk curse" it's simply pilot error. As I mentioned I've been through it & I know the feeling. I have nothing against Pat but my take on it is he gets "rattled" on the presence of elk just like I & so many others have. The cure is putting one, two & three on the ground, not the equipment!
We first have to admit it to ourselves & then move forward & conqueror! I meant no disrespect to Pat but sometimes tough love is what we have to hear, we may not like it when it's directed to us but the truth hurts at times!
Pats last post was excellent & a step in the right direction! Man I feel like a therapist here & I certainly am not qualified for that! Pat I wish you the best on your next elk hunt, it's what goes on between the ears during crunch time not what's at the end of your hands! Good Luck!
Keep at it Pat....your time will come.
lol...First time i ever saw Paul give anyone a little bit of crap. Up go your sponsor rates you bastage...he he
x-man HAS it right on on what i agree happened. Lighten up on that grip a bit there Pat. I see sawdust coming off the riser ;^)
thanks for the un-biased, honest opinion. I'm sure pat is a great hunter and was well prepared for the hunt. Your comment about getting rattled is right on the money IMO. I know lots of guys that had this problem every year untill they made their first kill. Once that first kill was made it was like a light switch went off and the nerves settled in years to come.
The actions of an arrow after it enters the animal is the only part we can't control and I feel for you. from the pics the shot definatly looks high but I agree that without deflection, this animal would be yours.
Hope next year is your year buddy!
I'm done with this thread. You guys can continue to draw conclusions on my state of mind and my inability to own up to my failings.
thanks for the un-biased, honest opinion. I'm sure pat is a great hunter and was well prepared for the hunt. Your comment about getting rattled is right on the money IMO. I know lots of guys that had this problem every year untill they made their first kill. Once that first kill was made it was like a light switch went off and the nerves settled in years to come"
Didn't I just read that elknut's hunting party fanned on 11 shots this year?
Keep after'm Pat...
Oh...I am also of the firm belief that your equipment was easily!!!!!!!!!! adequate... but...you are the one that will settle on that decision....
From: LTG Date: 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).
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: LTG Date: 19-Oct-05
No, the "void" is a mythical location. The term is a poor choice of words for it implies a lack of vital tissue. Not all double lung hits at the top of the lungs will be lethal. Most still will be, but will give poor blood trails just due to geometry. Used to see this a lot more when I hunted more from the ground. I think it is relatively rare because most arrows are going to deflect off bone creating more damage. In addition, many of our animals who go down fast do so from large vessel violation (aorta, pulmonary artery, vena cava) with bleeding causing collapse long before asphyxiation.
From: LTG Date: 19-Oct-05 Private Reply
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: LTG Date: 19-Oct-05 Private Reply
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)
From: LTG Date: 20-Oct-05 Private Reply
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
Tom Gross from Iowa Goes by the handle "LTG"
whether or not elknut's party missed or not, I was pointing out that his opinion about the situation was a quality opinion. everyone's gonna miss, that doesn't mean their advice is any less relevant.
For the record I discussed this with Pat & he assures me he wasn't rattled to the point it affected his shot, that's good enough for me!
Anyone that has had Bulls come in ScreamN to their setups under 20yds will know exactly what I'm talking about, if you never have you will not understand until it does happen, even the presence of bulls under that range will rattle many hunters! But this can be over-come! Have a good day!
I was pointing out that experience does not prevent crazy stuff from happening in this sport.
You stated: "Your comment about getting rattled is right on the money IMO. I know lots of guys that had this problem every year untill they made their first kill. Once that first kill was made it was like a light switch went off and the nerves settled in years to come."
No disrespect to you, or Pat, or Elknut but I don't care how long you have hunted or how many animals you have taken, things can and will go wrong.
by the way, nice pic but could you get rid of the orange? lol
You seriously need to quit PM'ing me Re: a shoulder to cry on! lol
Some of you guys crack me up. There are a couple guys here who could put Dr Phil to shame!
I shot a whitetail with and ultra fast compound years ago that had a perfectly broadside shot at 15 yards enter tight behind the front right shoulder and exit through the rear left ham. Broadhead entered tight to a rib and the blade sliced into the bone and deflected the arrow left and up.
Just confirms what I already knew about elk.....they are about as tough a critter as they come!
Best Wishes, Jeff
Elk are tough and it appears that Pat took a very ethical shot with capable equipment. It was bad a bad luck deal. There are no slam dunk shots in this game.