Pat's CO bull was just killed !!!!!
"After the Shot" Bull Elk
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6x6 colorado archery bull elk
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Just got a text a minute ago with a photo of my dead elk. He was chasing cows and was killed by one of Wes' rifle hunters. I can't wait to find out what my shot did. Photos will follow.
Wow! Good outcome. Could have been better though.... :)
That is a amazing. They are tough.
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.
thats good, at least this will be off your mind now...can't wait to see the pics...
More pics to follow. We'll see how far off we were on the score estimate.
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!
Great news! Hope they get good pics of the damages done by your broadhead.
Great relief, Pat.
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!
Thats cool you get to have some closure.
Closure is a beautiful thing :) Looking fwd to seeing or hearing where the arrow ended up as will be great educational tool. Glad they got him!
Cant wait to see the forensic pics. Glad the bull didn't expire else where (on someone else's land).
Is that a Savage 99?
Great news and it's a 300 class bull by the looks. Short brows!!!
Well done, Pat. Thanks for the update!
Good stuff, must be a relief Pat. I look forward to seeing the photos. And congrats to the rifle hunter for closing the deal on such a fine bull.
Very cool. Definitely interested in what the autopsy will tell.
That is great news, 1. that the elk lived to chase cows again, and 2. Nothing better than having the elk to look at to see exactly what went wrong. Bob
Very intresting sorry u didnt recover your bull
"...and it's a 300 class bull by the looks."
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.
hey Pat its not your elk but you are more then welcome to share mine .louis
I wouldn't have believed it could have lived this long. Very curious what the innards looked like.
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.
Gonna go out on a limb here & do the "armchair archer" thing.I'm really wondering if you got thru the ribcage Pat. Is it possible the angle was severe enough that your arrow went along the ribs & between the shoulder? You said it was real tight to the crease, & if he was quartering away, it might not have even got the near lung.Just a guess. Glad he was recovered, but shure am sorry it was'nt by you Pat. You really earned that one!
SuperCub - Thats exactly the same question I had!!
I'm shooting for 260, that shows how tough they really are better luck next year pat.
Yeah, too bad you didnt get to keep him but, there is no way he is close to 300".....maybe 265"
I have to agree 260" to 270" bull, unless that is a picture that makes him look smaller then what he really is. I did not read your original post but I was wondering how you know he is the same bull. Did they find the arrow in him? Just wondering.
It's him, we know by that small 7th point and his short brows.. Still waiting to hear from Wes on the forensics.
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:
Pat, I don't think he'll go quite 320, but I do think he'll definitly break 300. Too bad he's not wearing your tag and hanging on your wall, but at least you have closure now. It will be interesting what Wes finds when they field dress the bull.
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.
I can't believe a select few haven't been on here blasting Pat for posting a gun photo!!
Hopefully Wes takes pics of the broadhead path.
Can we quit calling it "Pat's CO bull" now? ;-)
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.
CSI - Bowsite!
"I can't believe a select few haven't been on here blasting Pat for posting a gun photo!! Gobblestopper"
+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.
"I can't believe a select few haven't been on here blasting Pat for posting a gun photo!!"
"+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!!
Yea....I think Pat should have used one of those "Rage" thingy's.....are they not suppose to kill what ever they hit...(provided they dont open in flight) ;0) .....Jeff
Personally I would think Pat may have wished him to survive and face another one of his broadheads next September! Charlie
I was gone when all of this happened and haven't and don' want to read about it until all the facts are in and I have made my guess as to what happened.
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
Nice to have closure. Waiting on the results too!
Yeah, is that a Savage 99? I cut my teeth hunting with one of those.
I saw the bull yesterday at the processor, I was dropping off some antelope we shot in Wy and talked to Wes for a bit. Will let Pat post the forensics, but several of you were spot on with the shot placement - it was definately the bull he shot as they found part of the broadhead still in him. Great looking bull, will look forward to seeing the tale of the tape my guess was about 305-310, but a couple buddies thought he was more of a 280-290 bull. The bull most likely would have made it to next season.
Ok, just talked with Wes. I also have rough measurements, Wes is putting him at 320 with 48" beams, 36" spread, G1-12, G2-12, G3-16, G4-18, G5-11, Mass is 8,7,6,4. You guys can do the math and tell me how that adds up to a 260!!
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.
Wow, guess that explains, kind of, how some hit's look perfect but don't work out. Would have been interesting if you had hit the spine and he dropped right there.
Glad you at least have closure now, cool story.
Wow...what are the chances????????????? Just bad luck. At least now you know.
My guess: The arrow hit somewhat sideways (but not enough to stop penetration), either from too close a shot ( arrow hadn't recovered out of the bow), a deflection, or movement by the bull at impact. The BH then steered the arrow in an arc in the soft tissue of the lung.
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.
I think one thing you can for sure take from all this is........you REALLY are cursed! Wow, I'm surprised the gun killed him.
Huh... Man... BB's preaching of cut on contact heads seems to apply here... they travel a straighter path, are less likely to deflect/change direction after the hit....
Pretty cool Pat... look forward to more autopsy details and photos!
Do we even know what head was used?
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.
I have always said that what we see and what really happens when and arrow hit an animal are usually 2 different things. Might be the angle of the shot caused it to deflect off a rib or 2 turning it. Or the shoulder coming back as the arrow is going in causing it to change direction.
How far was it from where the rifle hunter killed him to where you last seen him? Would be cool to get the details - if possible - on his travels the last few weeks.
It never ceases to amaze me how tough these animals really are. We can all learn from this one. Next year, Pat.
Pat I have seen the deflection thing do some really radical things. My son shot a perfect broadside on a spike and hit him right in the heart. The bull died 8 hours later . we never found the arrow but there was this x right over the heart. Later I came back to see if a bear had hit the gutpile and the paunch was open. The arrow had gone through , deflected and was lengthways in the full paunch. I only found it because the blaze orange fletch was showing a bit. We never figured it out, even when we cleaned the elk. No vitals at all ,. He died from gas and peritonitis. Stuff happens. This also was a three blade. Thunderhead out of a very hot bow but with perfect flight and fairly heavy 2117 arrow.
Ok, official score is 303 6/8. Wes' estimates were a little generous on his fronts. He had some 10" fronts.
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.
So it deflected left and up? When he was running off, was the fletching pointed straight down? Weird! Nice to actually be able to actually investigate one of these crazy deals!
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.
Doesn't suprise me, I've seen arrow take a hard turn on a carcass and wind up sticking in a door. Add possible movement of a live animal, no matter how little and things can and do get crazy. There's times even with a high speed camera on it that it still leaves you scratching your head.
Pat, In 2004 I shot a 270" 6x6 that had an incedibly similar sounding wound. When we were field dressing him we started to find carbon arrow splinters and when we started to debone him he had a broadhead lodged sideways on the inside of his shoulder blade. He showed no ill effects and the broadhead was encapsulated as you described with some puss pockets around the arrow fragments. Wish I would have taken pictures to show you.
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!!!
"I've seen arrow take a hard turn on a carcass and wind up sticking in a door."
Woody, I've heard of hunting behind high fences, but you're actually hunting behind doors? lol
Sounds like the only explanation is...
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. ;>)
Nice to finally see what happened. I was just kinda hoping he'd make it through rifle season and a bowhunter got him. Oh well.
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.
"Woody, I've heard of hunting behind high fences, but you're actually hunting behind doors? lol"
Thats just wrong. Mike.
StickFlicker, you would be suprised at some of the things I do but I don't call any of that stuff hunting, its research. The kind that would really tick PETA off.
I'm actually getting a discount on pig's now. :-)
"but you're actually hunting behind doors?"
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...
A friend of mine shot a bull with 2 blade cut on contact head that deflected 90 degrees and skirted down the ribcage towards the hams.
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.
I have a friend who hurt his back just before we were to leave one year and ended up shooting a chicks bow set at just over 40 lbs. He got a pass-through on a huge cow elk!
You know what, sometimes there are things in life that are just not explainable,
Pat- were they able to recover the tip of the broadhead? That may help tell the story. We had a lady shoot a hog here about seven years ago with a very similar situation. Hog was perfectly broadside, shot placement was textbook, should have been a double lung. We tracked that hog for two days and then found it a week later- running to feed with a full length carbon arrow sticking out of it's side. We were able to rifle shoot it and discovered that the very tip of the broadhead had bent over, probably deflected off a rib. Instead of penetrating the bone, the arrow was deflected sharply and ended up buried between the hide and the ribs. We assumed that when the tip bent, the arrow was steered by it and followed the path cut by the bh. We have since seen many of that same bh do the same thing. The manufacturer recommends that the tips be cut down to help strengthen the head. They're good heads, just a little too thin on the front when they come from the factory. We're happy you have some closure to that hunt anyways.
-Matt n Cheryl
"I can get my Muzzy MX3 head back too!"
That and toss those bad boys out and go to Strikers...LoL! ;-)
Does this mean two and a half more years of watching the kansas dying deer muzzy ad? I was hoping the elk could repalce that.
Glad you got some closure Pat. They are tough no doubt about it. I am sure 60 lbs is enough for elk. My buddy killed a 330 bull this year with a 50 lb longbow. Got a complete pass through. I don't think it was poundage that caused the problem. How heavy was your arrow and broadhead? Maybe more momentum would have helped the arrow continue in a forward direction. I guess we will never know. Anyway good to know the end of the story. Steve
Pat, I am glad you werent shooting expandables. We would never have heard the end of it!!
Pat, I am glad you werent shooting expandables. We would never have heard the end of it from everyone!!
Pat, I am glad you werent shooting mechanicals. We would never have heard the end of it from everyone!!
The void.... told ya'll!
This outcome truly amazes me. I hit a bull (with what I would consider a much worse shot than Pat made) a few years ago and didn't realize how lucky I was to recover him. I hit him mid-day and found him the following morning after 12+ hours of hard tracking. He was dead when I found him. Considering everything, this could not have turned out better IMO.
"The void.... told ya'll!"
13, ya only got 10 left to make... =D
I watched a guy shoot a broadside black bear in 2005 on the right side. With a big Ole' Snuffer. To me it looked text book broadside passthrough. On video it looked pretty much the same. Doing the wound tract survey, the broadhead went through the right lung, turned a hard left stove piped the esophagus, turned a hard right and came out the front of the left rear leg. Of course it had to be animal movement but you couldn't see it. Add deflections to animal movement and it'll blow your mind sometimes.
I'm with Woody on this. I believe that the fact that the bull was in motion when the arrow struck is the reason for the track that the arrow took. MO
Yeah, my finger studdered!
Its likey mostly deflection but gotta have some motion to it as well, even if its just from a muscle tightening up. Ni hao dude.
The bull was not in motion. He was standing dead still when I shot him.
I've taken 36 elk in my life I'm almost 49 years young. From my exeprience with elk and shot placement, you need to get double lungs and they'll go down quick even with someone shooting a 40lb bow. Rember there just like whitetails but three times as big. I've had hunting partners that have made some bad shot decisions and we never recovered the elk. I've had some less than perfect shots myslef but still got the elk after a long tracking job. Elk are very tough indeed. 60lbs is more than enough to but any elk down.
Pat- You'll get one just don't let you're luck with elk haunt you!
"Ok, official score is 303 6/8. Wes' estimates were a little generous on his fronts. He had some 10" fronts. "
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
"Remember there just like whitetails but three times as big."
Reminds me of a philosophy a college buddy had towards his dates.
Pat couple questions, was official score gross or net? What is gross score?
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
Bow poundage was not the problem. But lots of strange things happen between the time the string is released until the broadhead finds its final resting spot. I could fill up this thread with weird elk shot stories from entry wounds that initially looked great, and from some amazingly quick lethal shots that looked awful at impact. The one constant is that they are extremely tough and strong animals. Stronger than moose, IMO, because of their super-athlete lifestyles.
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.
By some of the threads, emails and PM's I am getting some of you guys must think I need therapy. If I was going to suffer from depression it wouldn't be over a wounded animal. Obama maybe, but not an elk.
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.
Next thing you know Pat, they'll be wanting to give ya a hug and kiss. LOL Mike
OK you guys. The "boss" is really moved by your condolences and words of sympathy. Now it's time to really let him have it and let him know what you really think. I don't think you will be at risk of losing any stars:)
"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. :)
Thanks for posting this Pat, it really is interesting to see what can happen even when a guy thinks he knows for sure about shot placement. It certainly is one of those intangible situations which has been responsible for a lot of interesting theories over the years including the infamous "void". So any plans to break "the curse" next year? I hope so it would be nice to see it happen for you.
Pat Did you get pictures from the guide yet?
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
Pat, So what's your final take on all of this? Are you looking at changing anything (broadheads, poundage, etc.) or just chaulk it up to the curse and move on? I will say the new Muzzy Phantom MX's fly great for me and have been great on game so far.
Let it out Pat! Don't hold back. Its ok. We are here for you. LOL
Pat, have you considered making two trips west next year for elk? We have got to get this curse broken. Next year has to be the year!! This one was awesome from start to finish, with all the elk you guys were getting into, but enough is enough. We the readers are needing you to get an elk. All the high drama every day waiting for updates is killing us!! LOL
Glad they got your bull and look forward to the pics.
Change in setup? Yes, I will be shooting 70lbs next year with heavier arrows (these were 400). Interestingly, my deer rig is 70lbs, 500grs and I'm using the Muzzy Phantom MX with that rig. It took me a while to get the kinks worked out. Ultimately it meant going to aluminums with feathers and a loop. But it's shooting sweet now.
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.
Was there a video of the shot? That would be instructive to compare the shot with the results.
Shoulda been shootin them 800 grain ramin wood moose killin arra's
That is really interesting info.
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?
Shot a whitetail slightly angling towards me in the 70s with a recurve. Hit it in close lung. Deer took off across field. Arrow backed and was dangling as it ran. Nock struck ground as it landed and drove head into spine. Luck or deflection?
I think I'll add this to my trophy photos. What do ya think?
LOOks good Pat! Go for it!
In the "score this guy" debate, one thing certainly rings clear here. Despite the shooter being within 3 yards and the experienced guide a bit further, all of whom got a really good look at the bull, great video to watch and review, even the guys who were there could not accurately score the bull on the hoof. It just goes to show how difficult the job really is. Congrats, Pat, on a good season and that in fact the animal went on to provide another hunter an opportunity at an excellent trophy. BTW, I wouldn't have passed that bull either.
Man Pat! That looks like it shoulda worked to perfection.I really want to see those coroner photos! Now, quit playing that "catch & release" thing & I bet ya could have gotten closer with some good camo...
that does look a little high, especially if he was above you at all. At least it looks that way to me in that photo.
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!
You look to light in the pic, I think it was photoshopped, lol
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.
Deflections will make a man scratch his head and go “hmmmmm…”
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.
The Predator Green camo blends perfectly in the snow! Congrats!
ElkNut1's Supporting Link
Pat, I sent you an email but offered no condolences, I did share with you my thoughts & I hope you take them to heart. Bottom line is you blame everything but yourself, there are times we must take responsibility, it's not your equipment plenty of elk have been killed with like setups. Your arrow is a bit light for my liking but it will kill no doubt about it! You must hit them where they live for the very reasons many have stated, elk are tough, hitting them anywhere in the body just isn't good enough!
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 towards you probably not the greatest hit in the world but I've seen worse. Toss in a slight upwards angle and there's not much for vitals there.
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.
There are some great heads that weight 175-300 grains...you can shoot a stiffer, heavier carbon shaft and easily get total arrow weights up to 500-600 grains and more...
good stuff Pat... Flowers on the way...
Now that it's over, and we have the advantage of hindsight, I'll give my take on what happened.
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.
The elk was quartering away.
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?
Rib Cage photo with hole.
If that last photo is taken upright, then that entry hole is too high...even if you were above, shooting from a treestand.
I kinda knew even without these last two photo's that the BH hit the edge of a rib bone like that. Unlucky for sure. A COC Bh likely would have done much better. What happened here is ...well immagine hooking one ski of your snowmobile around a fence post while traveling 70mph. The sled doesn't usually maintain a straight line.
Pat, its just as you said from the beginning...deflection. The rib cage photo looks like you can even see where the broadhead hit the rib, therefore causing the arrow to deflect. It is the only explaination for the arrow embedding where it did...same side as the entrance hole. I have a buddy who is an elk guide and he has found more than one elk with a broken arrow buried in a mass of calcified lung tissue. Kind of funny how you have so many guys trying to tell you what happened when you were the ONE who was there.
Is that arrow in the top channel of the backstrap? Trying to orient myself with the picture...
Possible deflection it sounds like but more importantly the shot was too high to begin with it looks like. Thats my armchair archery csi investigation conclusion.
The entrance hole (on the "Pat's face" photo-shop photo) appears to be above mid line. If that's the case, and you're shooting steep up-hill, not killing the bull makes at least some sense. Arrow entered too high to begin with. Where the broad head came to rest is a little tougher to explain, but maybe not impossible to see if the arrow deflected off that rib at all. If there was delection, it appears it was the blade that hit the rib, not the tip.
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... :-)
I am not an elk anatomy expert by any means but doesn't it look like the shot was just a tad high and the uphill angle of the shot gave the arrow the momentum it needed to deflect and proceed up and next to the spine? Very tough one for sure Pat, you got hosed by a tough animal. I would have guess with that entry it would have killed that elk but I guess the uphill angle doomed the arrows path.
The shot was a bit high. But the angle was not that steep. If you watch the video I walk uphill a few yards before shooting. At most, the bull was 5' higher than I was at 18yards. The bull's head was facing left and my arrow is embedded in the body cavity almost straight up to the "left" of his spine which is the same side as the entrance wound.
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.
With the placement of that shot, I have to think that's one lucky elk that moved his shoulder at the moment of impact just enough to 'push' the back end of the arrow down as it was entering. That, or you had some serious tail waggin in flight.
"Pat, I sent you an email but offered no condolences, I did share with you my thoughts & I hope you take them to heart. Bottom line is you blame everything but yourself, there are times we must take responsibility..."
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!!
ElkNut1's Supporting Link
Oh, I'm sure I have much dumber ones than that! Thanks ElkHuntr, I'm sure I deserved it!! (grin)
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!
No forensic bioligist here but perhaps after initial penetration the bull moved and the back half of the arrow is deflected upward due to striking the Curvature of the rib cage. Hey its as good a guess as any.
I think the thoughts and debates have exhausted themselves here. The only thing i would say...is aim above the leg..period. Shoot them there, and the bull dies. He jumps the string....double lunger and the bull is still down.
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 am human so I do get rattled, and I know what it is. But I was quite focused and calm on this elk, just like I was with my Cape Buffalo. If I was rattled I would have sunk the arrow in his chest at 4 yards (which is probably what I should have done in hindsight).
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.
We have had the rare opportunity to actually see what has happened to a wounded animal. Of course we wish Pat killed the elk but this post mortum may give all of us some help in the future and give us some answers to questions we have had. On the other hand it seems that it is causing us to have even more questions. All is all this had been a great learning experience.
I bet that picture shows up somewhere in the future. Lifesize maybe???
Thanks for the thread Pat, this has all been very educational. I know how tough it can be to be so close like that and have it turn out badly, I've been there. You have to break that curse eventually, next year will be your year.
This is a good learning experince for me, so thanks for the thread.
so im confused, did you take a lung out or not? i cant believe he would go on that long with one lung.....
Oh great. I hope I can get a refund on the sympathy floral arrangement we ordered for you. Next time I'll take my husband's advice and just send a card.
Yes, I did get the left lung. But he recovered. The lung was covered in some nasty yellow mucus but it never deflated.
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?
Man...hard to believe that elk didn't die...I've tracked elk blood trails that were sooooo scant with high hopes... sure makes me rethink that!
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....
Actually it was all pretty informative how this went down. Wound channels, b/h recovery, entrance wound. In the end, the only conclusion I can draw was that the shot was indeed just a tad too high. Too bad, he was a good elk.
All the "void" discussions/debates over the years here, thanx to Bowsiter LTG, a "Pulmonologist" (Lung Dr), I happened to save the following that might help understand why the bull didn't die from Pat's arrow.
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.
ElkNut1's Supporting Link
Rattled does not mean fear! It means the excitement level can be so great one pulls his shot for various reasons or shoots when he really didn't want too. Or he doesn't even remember shooting & the list goes on & on. This happens when bulls come in ScreamN. Few maintain composure it doesn't matter what type of other animals you've killed.
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!
shot a mtn. goat with my bow at 11 yards, above timber line, broadside, nothing int he way. Entry was perfect, arrow exited at the opposite hip. He was recovered, but he lived for a couple hours. The arrow basically turned 50-60 degrees inside the body. Lung blood, stomach tissue, fecal matter and all kinds of artery blood from the hip. no reason for the arrow to do that except for a rib.
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.
Great educational thread!! If I've learned anything it's first of all light arrows and non COC heads out of 60# or less bows aren't the best for elk. I've seen deflections like this with similar setups before.
That is an interesting pic with the entry hole. I'd have thought it would be uglier, or infected looking. How long was it between your hit and the rigle hunter tagging it?
by the way, nice pic but could you get rid of the orange? lol
Amazing...... Pat I'm sorry this happened to you. Crazy sometimes..not a perfect entrance hole considering the uphill, but a dead bull if that thing went where it was intended. Damn nice bull too.
Strange stuff indeed, but after just processing my 16 yr. old sons button buck from this weekend, I have another. Arrow shot from 50lb bow at 20 yards from 20' treestand enters 2" below spine and 12" behind shoulder on left side (remember he's quartering away and my son is aiming for off shoulder and the shot looks perfect),anyway, arrow goes in, penetrates to about mid cavity, turns about 160 degrees, and exits low just behind shoulder ON SAME SIDE! GO FIGURE! Deer runs 100 yards and falls over dead. I will try to get a pic of the carcass for you guys to mull over. I can't figure it out. Arrowsmith
Here is the pic of the carcass. I'm pointing at the entrance (top) and exit (bottom). Arrowsmith
I've made some "good shots"(by appearance anyway)that I didn't collect the animal-both elk and deer-this thread shows why the "void" is a strongly held conviction by many. Some critters either get aweful lucky or are damned tough-depending on how you look at it.
Dang - These majic arrows are freaking me out...8^)
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 have enjoyed all of the info on both threads. Thanks. No doubt, Striaght as an arrow goes out the window when you poke a living animal with one. An animals reaction time is fast and as the arrow enters it is slowing. I really dont see that as being all that far fetched of a wound channel. Keep at it as others have said. No hugs here LOL and I have looked at a carcass similar to the one above. it was a light weight arrow and a long shot. enterance was good behind the shoulder and exit was on the same side of the spine ip thru the loin. one lung a a hell of a track job late we were scratching our heads 320 out
Pat, Love that photo with you in it. LMAO
I'll go with a deflection off rib by the blade.
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.
neat story maybe next year you can take a bull home with you.
elkmtngear's Supporting Link
Awesome story, Pat! I hope putting the puzzle together has given you some peace of mind.
Just confirms what I already knew about elk.....they are about as tough a critter as they come!
Best Wishes, Jeff
i know about funny deflections costing a guy an elk. some years back i had a quartering away shot. hoyt provantage compound and was using magnus 2 blade (nugent) heads. anyway, was 100% certain id drilled him. waited 3 hours to trail (maily because it took me 3 hours to round everybody up), and followed blood for 150 yards than nothing. i was certain id killed that bull, i looked for 6 days and nothing. fast forward to the next fall, same basin. my cousin shoots the same bull. he was a 6x5 both years, but regressing when my cousin got him he was smaller. anyway, there was a nasty scar on one side of him, and when dressing him out they found my broadhead. the magnus never penetrated, i guess the angle of the broadhead and angle of the elk didnt work out, but the arrow slid up the outside of the ribcage and lodged behind the shoulder, never entering the body cavity. on a couple instances since ive seen 2 blade heads on quartering shots to the same thing, so i stick with 3 blade heads now.
And you think a 3 blade head will solve the issue of a bad shot angle? I think the outcome would be the same.
pig doc, in some instances, yes it will. my bull wasnt quartering very hard. sometimes a thin 2 blade will deflect where a head with a big tip will dig. just the way it works sometimes....
thats the reason i have been afraid to try shuttle Ts. something about the geometry of the blade just looks like a deflection waiting to happen to me. everybody loves em but i will likely never shoot them just because i want to trust my equiptment and i dont trust them. anybody else thought of that?
"Magic Arrow Theory".....It makes perfect sense what the arrow did watch Kevin Costner explain "The Magic Bullet Theory" in the film JFK and this will all be put to rest.
When an arrow hits something and flexes/bends and then snaps that can make the front part of it redirect in funny directions as well.
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.