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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
The broadhead was a 100 gr three bladed Wac'em.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I was shooting 100 gr. Wac Em's
Bull went nowhere. Stood there for a while and tipped over.
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.
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.
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.
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'....
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.