Summit Treestands
Has This Ever Happen To You?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-17
GF 22-Sep-17
t-roy 22-Sep-17
GF 22-Sep-17
Oneeye 22-Sep-17
DL 22-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-17
Shawn 22-Sep-17
EIStone 22-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-17
SteveF 22-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-17
Woods Walker 22-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 22-Sep-17
deerhunter72 22-Sep-17
Pi 22-Sep-17
Ermine 22-Sep-17
TD 23-Sep-17
Thornton 23-Sep-17
Franzen 23-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 23-Sep-17
Bou'bound 23-Sep-17
Kurt 23-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 23-Sep-17
Ambush 23-Sep-17
Flincher 23-Sep-17
Dooner 23-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 24-Sep-17
dmann 24-Sep-17
patdel 24-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 24-Sep-17
Bowfreak 24-Sep-17
NvaGvUp 24-Sep-17
spike78 24-Sep-17
GF 26-Sep-17
Olink 26-Sep-17
Hunting5555 27-Sep-17
wildwilderness 27-Sep-17
From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-17

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
I killed a bull elk this past Wednesday afternoon,

It was a classic broadside shot @ 26 yards on level ground. The arrow hit right behind the front leg and about 35-40% up from the bull's belly. I got a total pass-thru and did not hear anything that would indicate I hit a rib.

After a short retrieval, however, I was surprised to see that the exit hole was not at all where I expected it to be. It was significantly higher up and farther back by a noticeable amount.

As you can see by looking at the exit hole the photo, it's clearly lung blood and it had a lot of 'bubbles' around it. Even more so if you look at the blood and the air bubbles from his nose.

Given the angle of the shot, however, I would have expected to see the exit hole where you see the red 'dot' I added.

I've never seen this happen. My only thought is that a blade nicked a rib upon entry and the arrow deflected up and to the side.

Have any of you guys ever experienced anything like this?

From: GF
22-Sep-17
I shot a big cow with a .54 roundball; hit was high-ish, where the rib curves over to create a basically horizontal surface. Ball hit there and made a hard right-hand turn back into the paunch.

And one time I shot a doe whitetail (hard quarter-away) at about 10 paces with a 7-08, and the bullet expanded so fast that it ricocheted right back out. 140 grain Ballistic Tip. Last one I ever used.

Just out of curiosity... What was the broadhead?

From: t-roy
22-Sep-17
I shot a bull in Montana back in 2005, at 35 yards from a tree stand, but Only about 12’ up in the tree. I hit him about halfway up the body and around 10”-12” back from the shoulder. Pretty much broadside. Montec G5 (the first year they came out I believe) The exit wound was completely on the bottom (just back of where his umbilical chord would have been attached). I found the arrow about 100 yards down the trail, so I know it didn’t blow clear through him. It fell out as he ran off. The tip of the broadhead was curled back quite a little bit. I was shooting 70lbs. Hit him late in the day and left him till 9-10pm. It was very warm. Found very little blood and only 1 bed. Found him bedded the next morning, still alive. I snuck in and and made a good finishing shot on him.

On the first shot, I hit the near lung and through the bottom of his guts. I couldn’t believe the arrow deflected that much and didn’t blow right through him. I was not impressed with the Montec head either. Fortunately, we found him and salvaged all the meat.

From: GF
22-Sep-17
Just a thought....

The steeper the angle of the blade(s), the more likely it is that the head will deflect sharply off bone - that's why I asked about the head used by the OP. Heads like the Montec, with basically a 45-degree angle, are going to redirect a lot more violently than a more "traditional" head design.

And a heavy head/light shaft combo would probably redirect more abruptly than a heavier-shaft, more neutrally-balanced arrow. Just thinking about where the center of mass is located.

Can't argue with Physics.

From: Oneeye
22-Sep-17
I shot a white tail direct broad side double lung and the thing dropped right in it track. Back legs wouldn't move front did. Went 20 yrds and passed. Some how arrow hit one lung then richocet up and hit spine. Butcher found broadhead in vertibra from a dead center broadside shot. Go figure.

From: DL
22-Sep-17
Shot a cow once that I would have bet anything was a perfect heart shot. When I picked up my arrow that was at a crazy angle and right where she was standing I got confused. They I looked at my arrow that had a tiny bit of blood and meat on it. The deflected almost straight down after hitting a rib. I was in the middle of a large heard. After the shot I just sat down as dozens of elk walked right be me.

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-17
Thanks, fella's!

This all explains a lot.

I knew I had a pass-thru and a very soon-to-be-dead bull, but when I looked for my arrow (though not hard because I knew I had a dead bull), I did not see my arrow.

Had I gone back to find the arrow after I'd found the bull, I would have veered to the right instead of looking straight along the path of the arrow when it hit the bull.

Lesson learned

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-17
GF,

The broadhead was a 100 gr three bladed Wac'em.

From: Shawn
22-Sep-17
May of the bull was dropping as the arrow hit him and that caused the exit hole to be where it is! Shawn

From: EIStone
22-Sep-17
Hey Kyle funny you should bring this up because I had a similar hit the opening week of muledeer season in Wyoming. Shot a buck at 22 yds. broadside that I thought was a little back but my guide said that he saw blood gushing out as the buck ran away. When we recovered the buck we found that the arrow entered the rib cage on the left side About where the liver is and exited out the very back of the right rear leg cutting the artery. There was no sign of the arrow sliding down the inside of the rib cage when we dressed him either.

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-17
Shawn,

I saw the arrow hit the bull exactly where I was aiming, so a deflection of some sort must have occurred once the arrow hit the bull.

From: SteveF
22-Sep-17
I am in the belief that although defection is a possibility, it is probably an even more likely cause that the angle the arrow entered the animal was not exactly what the hunter thought it was.

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-17
Steve,

It's reasonable to assume that.

Yet I was shooting from a ground blind that was dead-level with the bull and I guarantee you the bull was full broadside to me!

From: Woods Walker
22-Sep-17

Well first off.......YES!!!

Kyle: I know that's what it obviously appeared to you as, but unless you have a protractor on the bow you can't know. Let's face it, at the "moment of truth" we ARE a tad focused on the "spot", are we not?

I shot a whitetail buck a few years ago on the ground while kneeling, and I SWORE that he was dead on broadside to me when I made the shot at 15 yards, but when I found him 75 yards later the arrow had hit the far side front leg which prevented the full pass through which I would have gotten had he been dead on broadside.

After I thought about it, I concluded that while I knew the deer was coming and was ready for a shot (I was stillhunting) the cover was thick enough that I didn't have the shot or see my spot until he stepped into a clearing. A LOT is going on in our heads in a situation like that, and it's darn near impossible to take every detail into account.

BTW.......NICE ELK!!!!

From: NvaGvUp
22-Sep-17
Woodsie,

I hunted that blind for five days straight.

The spot where the bull was was at the exact same elevation as I was. The entire field was dead flat and for five days I'd had cows and lesser bulls in the exact same place at the exact same angle.

He was dead broadside to me!

He was at the exact same elevation as I was.

From: deerhunter72
22-Sep-17
Hard to know how everything goes down once the arrow is released. Maybe the bull was angled slightly, or more likely to me it was deflected by ribs. Lost a really nice WT buck a few years ago due to rib deflection, still stings that I lost him.

From: Pi
22-Sep-17
It is the movement of the animal that is key to this event. As Shawn was getting at and some others too. Deflection could be it in some cases but that animal is in motion just as it hits him. I had a double lung full pass that was flung back towards me by the bucks quick movement . A little too slow but same thing. Our brain logs in the hit and not the action of the animals reflexive jolt ,thereafter . The exit is consistent with its drop and load up response to the noise . IMO.

From: Ermine
22-Sep-17
In fact this year I had an interesting thing. Similar situation. Broadside shot on level ground. Hit right where I wanted to. The exit was significantly higher than the entrance. Like it deflected up

From: TD
23-Sep-17
Deflected... yes. But may not have hit bone and deflected. If the animal was moving or jumped at the shot the movement of the animal may have deflected it. It's not a static picture at impact.

Woody Sanford was doing a lot of broadhead research on the effects of animal movement at impact. He was using actual moose and other animal carcasses to test with and super slow motion cameras. We used to have some conversations about it. It was pretty eye opening.

From: Thornton
23-Sep-17
If you hunt long enough, you will realize any projectile traveling in the air or through tissue is subject to weird things.

From: Franzen
23-Sep-17
I was thinking what TD was thinking. It would be nice to find the arrow to see what it looks like.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Sep-17
The bull was standing dead still when I shot and was still dead still when the arrow hit him.

From: Bou'bound
23-Sep-17
Nope never

From: Kurt
23-Sep-17
Had the same thing happen twice with 23-15's and Zwickey Broadheads. (So much for the the trad heads being so much better). 70# compound. On an elk the arrow was deflected forward into the off side front shoulder on a broadside shot that entered a bit too far back. Dead bull in 80 yds.

On a whitetail buck from a tree stand the arrow deflected down never entering the rib cage. I followed the buck on fresh snow for a measured 5 miles and he was fine, chasing does later that day per some hunters that saw him.

Recently had another combo....Easton Injexion 330s with a 3-blade (1-1/8" replaceable) Rocky Mt Iron head deflect down on shot into a Brown Bear. Instead of a perfect shot, one blade clipped the bottom of the heart. Bear went 220 yds and was dead when we followed up the 12:40 AM shot at 7:00 AM. 65# compound.

Given those first observations I built a "rack of ribs" out of 1/4" hardwood dowels set in a 2x4. I placed the ribs directly in front of my foam target. Shooting results showed arrows in the foam at up to 25* to 30* off of perpendicular to the target. Same 23-15 4-fletched with 5" feathers and Zwickey broad heads as mentioned above. Arrows can and do deflect on ribs.....bear, deer and elk in my experience. Not an every shot occurance but it happens.

Good luck and NVagiveup congratulations on a nice bull!

From: NvaGvUp
23-Sep-17
The good thing is that when I saw the arrow hit, I instantly knew I had a dead bull, and quickly so.

Even though he ran off after the shot, I knew he wouldn't go far. I was hoping he'd fall before he jumped the barb wire fence to the south, because if he crossed the fence, he'd get into some seriously bad stuff, including nasty tangles of blackberry bushes.

As luck would have I, he did jump the fence, but made it only twenty more yards before going down and he did so on a trail.

If you look closely at the exit hole in the photo, right at the top of his back there's a light-colored 'bump.' That's actually air bubbles from lung blood following the arrow path.

From: Ambush
23-Sep-17
If you see how much a small branch can change an arrows direction, not surprising a rib can. And once it changes direction the inards will help keep it on that path.

From: Flincher
23-Sep-17
Several years ago I shot a bull with a Muzzy Phantom 4 blade. Entry hole was in the pocket behind the right shoulder with the exit hole out the left rear quarter. Shot was at 25 yards. Level ground. No obstructions except clean air. The bull stood still for about a minute then walked 40 yards, laid down and died. The carbon arrow was still intact when I found it about 10 yards beyond where the bull was standing when I shot him. The broadhead had nicked a rib upon entry, and caught part of the right lung.

From: Dooner
23-Sep-17
Yes. About 16 years ago I shot a Caribou, at 10 yds, that was slightly quartering away. I hit him right over the heart as he was quartering away and the arrow exited in the offside hip. In that case I was using a front deploying mechanical BH. The arrow deflected off a rib, and turned at least 90 degrees.

From: NvaGvUp
24-Sep-17
GF,

I was shooting 100 gr. Wac Em's

From: dmann
24-Sep-17
Shot a whitetail doe this morning, and had a similar thing happen. Entrance was a little further back and higher than I wanted, but still a lung hit, and the arrow exited low just inside the opposite rear leg, actually cutting the leg in the process. Broadside shot about 25 yards 430 grain arrow with a qad exodus. Not much of a blood trail but did find her inside of 100 yards.

From: patdel
24-Sep-17
Shot one once right behind the front leg lower third. Arrow exited through the backstrap right next to the spine on the opposite side. Don't ask me how.

Bull went nowhere. Stood there for a while and tipped over.

From: NvaGvUp
24-Sep-17
Interesting stories, guys.

Thanks!

I shot my first archery deer in MT while I was 'still hunting.' He was standing still behind a tree but it looked as though I had a clear shot.

I guessed the range @ 32 yards, which was exactly correct. When I dropped the string,I soon heard a 'tick' then a 'whap.'

The deer ran off and I sat down and waited for :30.

Then I walked to where he'd been standing and saw that the tree he'd been behind had several small twigs hanging down that I had not seen. I'd hit one of those twigs, hence the 'tick' sound.

I found the deer 55 yards away. The arrow had deflected into his neck and severed his jugular. At that point, I realized just how much damage a broadhead could do.

From: Bowfreak
24-Sep-17
I have had a couple of situations where animal movement has led to my arrow exiting in a crazy spot. The most notable was a doe I shot about 15 years ago. She was close and I hit her high right in line with the back of the leg. While she was close I still felt immediately I had probably backstrapped her and it was a lost deer.

To my surprise she ran 80 yards and tipped over dead. When I recovered her I was curious where the arrow exited. I rolled her over and found the arrow came out right in the opposite armpit.

Later that evening I was skinning her and resized what actually happened. As I suspected the shot was high and it only exited just a couple inches below the entry. After removing the skin I could see the arrow exited high like I originally had thought but was somehow misdirected and travelled between the skin and the ribs straight down Md out the armpit. I am still surprised the shot was lethal and had not recovered that deer I would have never witnessed that odd arrow path.

From: NvaGvUp
24-Sep-17
In seeing others experiences, I'm reminded of one I had and then forgot.

Back in 2000 or so, I was Whitetail hunting near Devil's Tower in WY.

One morning I shot a buck out of a tree stand at a fairly sharp downhill angle.

I saw the arrow hit and it looked like a perfect shot.

The buck did a 180 and raced back up the draw from which he'd come and went out of sight.

Less than a minute later he came screaming back down the draw in front of me.

There was snow on the ground and I followed a speckled blood trail for a few hundred yards before it ran out.

I can only think that my arrow deflected sharply downward when it hit the buck and therefore did no significant damage.

From: spike78
24-Sep-17
My buddy shot a buck with a mech head and it turned and went straight up to the spine.

From: GF
26-Sep-17
Thanks, Kyle - had to look those up!

But (assuming I'm looking at the right ones), yeah... Fairly steep ramp angle... Soebody complained about Zwickeys... Nothing is perfect, but it stands to reason that the longer taper would be redirected less abruptly.

The only arrow-redirected-on-an-Elk shot that I have, though.... Fork bull, still in velvet, 5 or 6 yards - I'd been looking (UP) at him and he at me for a few moments when he decided to walk away - rather briskly - so I picked my spot, swung on him, and.... just barely dragged the tip of one blade across a dead, 3-inch lodgepole; arrow clanged up-up-and-away, right over his back.

And the deflection was sharp enough to go from heart-level to over-the-top in about a yard or two. Not entirely sure that he didn't also drop out of the way - my eyes were tracking the arrow, so all I saw was that shaft sailing 6' over his back-line and off into the distance.

Also just thinking about this.... if you hit a rib on the way in, there is nothing but air resistance and inertia keeping the shaft on its original line, while the head gets diverted. And carbon shafts are so light that there's not a lot of the latter to work with. Might even be something at work there with higher FOC and a shorter lever arm.

A portly old Port Orford or Alumalog, though... I wonder if having more substantial mass back there and some leverage still on the back-side of the fulcrum might give an old-school arrow a bit of an edge in a deflection scenario?

And don't anybody preach Ashby Studies at me unless you're shooting >650 grains.

But as usual, there are factors which enhance penetration and factors which compromise it, and Science Says that lighter arrows are at a disadvantage; so coupling low mass with a high-resistance blade design just kinda sounds like begging for trouble.... Just sayin'....

From: Olink
26-Sep-17
It would be real interesting to see the broadhead. Wac Em's have real flimsy blades, and I'm wondering if a blade broke/bent badly going thru the entry ribcage. If so, the damaged blade could have acted like a hook, catching on the internals, and thus changing the course of the arrow.

From: Hunting5555
27-Sep-17
Kyle, your experience just backs up what has been said over the years on here regarding broadheads. You can test till you are blue in the face and your arm wants to fall off, but there is no good way to recreate what happens to an arrow when it enters a live animals body!!! Nice bull!!!

27-Sep-17
I have killed many animals including a few elk with Wac'ems. Congrats on the bull.

I just had a similar experience with what appears to be an arrow deflection. My friend just shot a bull elk with what he describes as a little back and high. He was slightly higher than the bull and it was s quartering away, so he thought the hit should still be vital. He found his broken arrow, with about 2/3 in the animal with a large mech broad head in the bull. Worse case he was thinking liver shot.

Needless to say he lost blood, then luckily saw the bull a few hours later hurt bad about 400 yds from the first shot, but still moving. He searched again at the last sight but never could pick up the trail.

I went back into the area 2 days later with the friend and found the bull off the stink. The bull had circled back almost to the place it was first shot. We performed an autopsy to figure out what had happened. Apparently the arrow had deflected and went straight down. The broadhead was touching the bottom of the belly almost directly under the entrance hole, as if it was shot from the sky. With the deflection it unfortunately turned into a gut shot explaining the bull living longer and moving further, lack of blood trail and ultimately its death.

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