3Rivers Archery Supply
Need to resolve a Question, Heart shot
Contributors to this thread:
Opah 16-Jun-16
Nick Muche 16-Jun-16
SteveB 16-Jun-16
Ungie01201 16-Jun-16
Brotsky 16-Jun-16
MichaelArnette 16-Jun-16
Bigpizzaman 16-Jun-16
Glunt@work 16-Jun-16
buff 16-Jun-16
Buffalo1 16-Jun-16
Sage Buffalo 16-Jun-16
Bou'bound 16-Jun-16
Buffalo1 16-Jun-16
BOHUNTER09 16-Jun-16
APauls 16-Jun-16
ScottTigert 16-Jun-16
Ibow 16-Jun-16
Opah 17-Jun-16
Ungie01201 17-Jun-16
GF 17-Jun-16
TD 17-Jun-16
Opah 23-Jun-16
Linecutter 23-Jun-16
wild1 23-Jun-16
loesshillsarcher 23-Jun-16
From: Opah
I remember reading somewhere that a Black Bear has enough blood in its system to be able to live 5 minutes + - after you put an arrow thru its heart. Two sides to this query: 1 believe that until the Brain Losses function over the mussels the bear can still attach you, especially with adrenaline in its system and 5 minutes is not a far fetched amount if time.

2 Death is within seconds of a heart shot and it is impossible that a bear could survive 5 minutes let alone attack you.

Anyone out that can shed some light on this it would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the lack of a intro Opah here, been archery hunting Deer and Bear for 3 yrs, just getting good enough to actually get in range to take a shoot. Been hunting rifle for many years and have taken a bear and several deer. Hunting A31 this year and have some very good areas that should make this the year I get my first deer and hopefully bear with a bow. Thank you in advance for any comments this has been debated around our camp fire for a couple years and I am tiered of the hem and hawing about the 5 minutes.

From: Nick Muche
I shot one right through the middle of the heart this past May. It didn't survive but 20 seconds but if it had ran at me instead of away I can assure you he had energy to mess me up.

From: SteveB
I personally saw a mature buck deer live (standing) more than 5 minutes after an arrow through the heart. Of course I had no fear of an attack, but that had me shocked and leaves me no doubt that an adrenalin pumped up bear could do some damage for a short while after a heart shot.

From: Ungie01201
I've never had one make it much longer than 30 seconds... but I wouldn't doubt it, like SteveB said above. Anything is possible. They are tough animals...

From: Brotsky
I don't think there's a hard and fast rule here. I've seen animals shot in the heart die within seconds and I've seen the rare few that have lived for a couple minutes. Best advice I have is just don't get yourself in a position where the bear can cause you trouble. I see that you said black bear, I really would not think that you would need to have any concern.

I think it really depends what exact heart anatomy was severed. This bear was taken through the heart, you can hear it go down in the film if you turn the sound up. Blood pressure changes are what we are looking for in a quick collapse

From: Bigpizzaman
They die fast, but as others said, if they decide to take you with them you wil be in a bind!

From: Glunt@work
I watched a young pronghorn buck live a long time after a 4 blade through the heart. Some heart shots are different than others. We were amazed because the shot looked perfect. Upon inspection his heart had a perfect X in and out. The head was sharp but obviously its path didn't do what we usually associate with a heart shot. Only time I have seen something like that in 30+ years of hunting.

Every bear I have shot through the vitals with archery gear has lived long enough to get to someone in bow range on the ground if that was their intention.

From: buff
As said above, a heart shot could be immense and emmidiate blood loss, however, the blades could go through the heart muscle, which would cause death, but much slower than say a severed aorta, or chamber, where blood is actually being pumped out. Yes it's one in a million but I could see it happening, at least with my luck.

From: Buffalo1
I've kill 3 bears with a bow. Have heard 2 death moans. Never put a shot bear "on the clock", but I would say the moan occurred 30 secs. or less after the shot.

I did not get down out of the tree to see if I could aggravate a charge.

From: Sage Buffalo
I don't think that stat is accurate. Maybe if it's a grizzly or brown but not black.

Bears aren't like an antelope that have enormous hearts that produce/pump blood at insane rates.

A grizzly on the other hand is so mean it might stay alive that long to just spite you.

From: Bou'bound
Only bowhunters would waste time arguing about effectiveness of a heart shot.

From: Buffalo1
Medicineman once asked the question about what side of the chest was the heart on should he encounter a frontal shot. It was either a griz or brown bear hunt he was prepping for.

From that time on, his question has prompted me to have an even greater awareness of heart location of an animal. Little details can make big differences.

I shot a nice buck last fall. It walked slowly through some thick brush for 75 yards and I heard it crash. Thought it was down. Then it walked back towards me and crashed 2 more times . Muzzy 4 blade right through the heart- at least 4 minutes after the shot until it stopped for good. Unbelievable.

From: APauls
Just shoot em in the head like that Relentless Pursuits video! ;)

(Please don't)

From: ScottTigert
I've killed three black bear with a bow All lung shots. Dead within two minutes. Shoot them in the lungs. Let the air out. They won't go far. Bigger target too.

From: Ibow
What Scott Tigert said above. Take out both lungs & it's over really quick.

From: Opah
I believe the reasoning was that a hibernating bear slows it heart rate down to like 8 beats a minute and the brain is designed to hold more blood. so since Black bears don't really hibernate and are more docile than other bears. But either / or death is not immediate with a heart shot. But I agree lungs is the shot to take. Thank you guys Been very interesting and very much appreciated.

From: Ungie01201
I've killed half a dozen w/ bow and several prior with the rifle... all but one was down in seconds... the other shot was back a bit... death moans an most within 50 yards or less

From: GF
The animal loses consciousness when either the blood pressure to the brain drops below operating minimum (aka fainting) OR oxygen in the brain becomes depleted because blood flow to the brain has essentially stopped. How long it takes for that to happen depends on what gets cut, though I suppose maybe a very fat bear might not have the quick lung collapse if fat prevented air from flowing through the wound channel....

Apart from that, I can't think of any reason why a bear would remain conscious for any longer than a deer.... though I can see how 30 seconds or a minute could seem like an awful long time if the bear in question were to be gnawing on your leg all the while...

Should probably put this question to Larry Hatfield, since I'd expect he has killed more bears with a bow and arrow than anyone else alive, and quite probably more than anyone, period.


From: TD
I've always been of the theory it depends on how the heart was damaged. If hit one way it is like an arterial hit and the blood is physically pumped and removed from the system quickly. No oxygen as there is no blood, unconscious in seconds.

If hit so as to fail to function, several chambers compromised... blood FLOW stops, pressure drops to nothing... but blood stays in the system, along with whatever oxygen it has available to the organ. Either way a dead animal, but the blood staying in the system allows the animal to live longer, to some degree. That's my theory.... without a theory it's just an opinion. =D

Five minutes... well, technically alive maybe, I think I've read in drowning cases 4 or 5 min without oxygen on humans until permanent brain damage or death.... but conscious and functioning? Not long. Seconds maybe.

Worst thing about heart shots that disable the pump, you can get poor blood trails. Little to no blood pressure so essentially gravity and a hole or two is all you have going for you bloodtrail wise. Arterial hits under pressure and it's bloodtrails you have to walk to the side so as not to get any on ya....

From: Opah
Very Good, Thank you Guys really much appreciated. I can put this to bed now as a learning experience.

From: Linecutter
The only way they would live 5 minutes after a "Heart Shot" is if the broadhead cut the muscle of one of the ventricles, but not deep enough to where the slice went into the ventricular chamber. DANNY

From: wild1
30 seconds, tops, for a heart-shot bear.

I shot one a couple weeks ago and it was done in 4 seconds. wowza. got it on video.

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