Carbon Express Arrows
Need Blood Trailing Input
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Bullshooter 12-Oct-17
OkieJ 12-Oct-17
deaver25btb 12-Oct-17
KY EyeBow 12-Oct-17
Bowriter 12-Oct-17
Mad_Angler 12-Oct-17
JDM 12-Oct-17
Scoot 12-Oct-17
HerdManager 12-Oct-17
Ishpeming 12-Oct-17
Buckskin22 12-Oct-17
Scoot 12-Oct-17
Brian M. 12-Oct-17
T Mac 12-Oct-17
Arrowone 12-Oct-17
HerdManager 12-Oct-17
Proline 12-Oct-17
Bowriter 12-Oct-17
Errorhead 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Dirtman 12-Oct-17
HerdManager 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
HerdManager 12-Oct-17
Sage Buffalo 12-Oct-17
Genesis 12-Oct-17
Mad_Angler 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Brotsky 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
spike78 12-Oct-17
Scoot 12-Oct-17
Brotsky 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
BOWNBIRDHNTR 12-Oct-17
IdyllwildArcher 12-Oct-17
XMan 12-Oct-17
Buckskin 12-Oct-17
BIG BEAR 12-Oct-17
MNRazorhead 12-Oct-17
Kodiak 12-Oct-17
Rock 12-Oct-17
Tonybear61 12-Oct-17
GF 13-Oct-17
JohnB 13-Oct-17
wifishkiller 13-Oct-17
Bowriter 13-Oct-17
T Mac 13-Oct-17
12yards 13-Oct-17
Franzen 13-Oct-17
Buckskin22 13-Oct-17
Jtek 13-Oct-17
DMC65 13-Oct-17
From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
Well I shot a doe this morning at 7:45 and am not terribly confident in the shot so I'm waiting to take up the trail. In the meantime I'd like to get you guys' input on what I might have hit and how to find her. The shot was good up and down but it looked like I hit her a little far back. She was quartering away slightly and I watched her run away hard for 75yds before I lost sight of her. The arrow was dangling out the opposite side and was covered in blood (shot her with a very light colored wood arrow). I waited an hour and a half before getting down and checked the point of impact. There was no blood right away so I backed out of there. Any chance it's a gut shot if the arrow is covered in blood?

From: Bullshooter
12-Oct-17
Does your arrow smell bad? Does it have any gut content on it? If not, it could be a liver shot, usually showing dark red blood. Get a dog if you can. Look up handlers in your area on United Blood Trackers website if legal in your state. That could give time to let it die in the meantime.

From: OkieJ
12-Oct-17
Find the blood trail, then find the arrow. See if it looks like or smells like a gut hit. The blood trail will tell you a lot. I bet she is dead.

From: deaver25btb
12-Oct-17
Sounds like she is dead to me. In my experience, gut shot deer don't run far or fast. Just my 2 cents.

From: KY EyeBow
12-Oct-17
If it were me, I'd try to wait 3 hours before picking up the blood trail. Your arrow should tell the story. If you hit her mid body, she will die. You just have to find her.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-17
Count your steps. She is dead within 100-yards and her head will be facing due west.

From: Mad_Angler
12-Oct-17
I assume that it is fairly chilly in Missouri today. And since there is a risk of a gut shot, I would give her about 3-4 hours. Then, I would go in by myself and try to track her very quietly. I would trail for 100-200 yards. You are trying to gauge the blood trail, determine the amount of blood, and check for bloody beds.

You might find her dead. If you jump her or don't find her after 200 yards, I would back out for another 3-4 hours.

As for your question: I think a gut shot would be evident on the arrow. It would have some smell to it. And you might also find some stomach material while blood trailing.

I'm curious to see how others respond...

From: JDM
12-Oct-17
Mad Angler's advice is good. Might even give her 4-5 hours before trailing. Hit far back but quartering away means at least a liver hit, maybe lung depending on the angle.

From: Scoot
12-Oct-17
So far, you've done the right thing! If the arrow doesn't smell like stomach/gut matter, you should find the deer pretty quickly. If it does stink, I'd wait even longer, then trail really slowly and constantly be scanning and looking for the deer. Good luck and report back to us. I predict some fresh backstrap in your future...

From: HerdManager
12-Oct-17
Wait as long as you can. If she's dead now, she'll be dead at 5:00 this afternoon.

If she's not dead now and you go in and jump her, you may never find her.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

From: Ishpeming
12-Oct-17
You have made good decisions so far. Agree she will be found and agree to wait until pm to track

From: Buckskin22
12-Oct-17
I found the arrow and it's covered in blood. I've been able to track decent blood about 100yds so far. The arrow doesn't have guts on it but i cant smell so don't know for sure if it missed the guts. I'll go a little further and then back out if i dont find her

From: Scoot
12-Oct-17
Sounds very promising. Personally given the lack of stomach/gut matter I'd track now. I'm pretty conservative with this kind of thing usually but you've already given it about 4 hours I think. Good luck!!!

From: Brian M.
12-Oct-17
Arrow covered in blood ~ probably hit liver and off side lung. She's stiff and waiting for you.

From: T Mac
12-Oct-17
Liver hit can take 4-6 hours to die at the least. Big dark drops is liver. Trail slowly and listen for her if you bump then she will be tough to find.

From: Arrowone
12-Oct-17
Back out and give her another 3-4 hours. You'll get her.

From: HerdManager
12-Oct-17
Been a while since he found the arrow. I hope he is dragging, and didn't push her.....

From: Proline
12-Oct-17
Hmmm. Be interested to see some pics on how the blood looks on the trail. I have hit several deer in the liver and my experience is that they bed very quickley after hit. I have never had a liver take more than 2 hours to die though. Usually liver hit keeps most of the blood in the cavity. Did you find any beds in that 100 yard trail?

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-17
Color of blood is only somewhat indicative of where hit. Yes, a liver hit can take a while to die. Usually, they go a short distance, lie down and then get up and move. Usually, when they do that, there is little or no blood. When that happens, they can be really hard to find. I know I'll raise some hackles but I almost never back out and wait. Usually, only when it is dark and quite cold. Otherwise, I would rather keep them moving and bleeding or I can start field dressing. Of course, I only hunt private land and don't have to worry about that.

From: Errorhead
12-Oct-17
What the coyote population like in your area? If you got to wait, well you got to wait. If you wait too long the coyotes will enjoy a meal without you.

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
still haven't found her. I tracked her 300yds according to Onx maps and the trail slowly reduced to pin head sized drops before it disappeared all together. I'm confused because the blood has been bright pink which tells me it's not a liver hit but I don't know what else you hit back there that would give you that color blood. The trail seems like a high muscle hit but if that were the case i wouldn't think my arrow would pass through her like it did...here's the arrow and some blood toward the end of the blood trail

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17

Buckskin's embedded Photo
arrow
Buckskin's embedded Photo
arrow

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17

Buckskin's embedded Photo
some blood
Buckskin's embedded Photo
some blood

From: Dirtman
12-Oct-17
I’ve had liver hits that bleed well for the first 100-200 yards with some beds, then it was hands and knees pin drops 10-30 yards apart for another 150-200 yards. Crawled around a bush and was on top of the deer

From: HerdManager
12-Oct-17
Is there whitish fat/grease on the arrow?

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
it does feel a little waxy. I can't smell but I had my wife smell it and there's no guts on it

From: HerdManager
12-Oct-17
"slowly reduced to pin head sized drops before it disappeared all together"

Sounds like muscle hit. I'm thinking over the spine.

Not to be negative, but I've probably been on 200+ bloodtrails. Only recovered one deer that went over 200 yards, and that one was in a cut corn field.

From: Sage Buffalo
12-Oct-17
That's an awful lot of blood (it looks covered on the pic but may just be the arrow color)on the arrow for a muscle hit. You likely hit a lung/liver. She's most likely crawled up under something and died or was pushed while waiting to die.

I had a deer once not go more than 100 yards but she double backed and died under a cut bank on a recently dried river bed. No way was I going to find her without a dog or luck - blood stopped.

It happens.

From: Genesis
12-Oct-17
I've seen every color blood from almost everywhere.,I've seen bubbles in a lot of unrecovered shoulder shots.

Are you sure of where your arrow hit?/How did the deer leave the scene? Analyze if you need to even go look at your arrow.Many times I NEVER go to my arrow until 2 or 6 or 12+ hours . Develop protocols on those three time periods unless you watched it fall. Jumped deer are the worst

From: Mad_Angler
12-Oct-17
Did you find any bloody beds?

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
I watched her run hard for 75yds and then lost sight of her. I thought the shot was good up and down and a little bit back but things aren't always as they seem. I never found any beds and from the time i shot her to the time I found last blood 5 hours had passed. If I was just going off the arrow and the blood trail I would say it's a muscle hit but it just sure looked like I hit her in the midsection.

From: Brotsky
12-Oct-17
Things happen fast and our eyes play tricks on us in these situations. I've learned that lesson a couple of times over the years. I think Herd Manager nailed it, possibly a hit over the spine, although those typically don't leave much blood on the ground. How much blood were you finding?

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
I watched her run hard for 75yds and then lost sight of her. I thought the shot was good up and down and a little bit back but things aren't always as they seem. I never found any beds and from the time i shot her to the time I found last blood 5 hours had passed. If I was just going off the arrow and the blood trail I would say it's a muscle hit but it just sure looked like I hit her in the midsection.

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
I watched her run hard for 75yds and then lost sight of her. I thought the shot was good up and down and a little bit back but things aren't always as they seem. I never found any beds and from the time i shot her to the time I found last blood 5 hours had passed. If I was just going off the arrow and the blood trail I would say it's a muscle hit but it just sure looked like I hit her in the midsection.

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
Brotsky, I followed blood pretty easily for 100yds and then it tapered off becoming very hard to find at the end. Not a ton of blood but enough that I wasn't spending more than a few seconds at a time looking for next blood

From: spike78
12-Oct-17
I had the exact same situation with a deer I shot. I hit him very low. Did you see white fur on arrow or ground?

From: Scoot
12-Oct-17
Based on what you said I would agree with Brotsky. However I will mention that my son hit a decent buck over the spine a couple years ago and it bled a lot for the first hundred yards or so and then tapered off quickly just like you are describing. I would definitely keep looking and grid search the area to the best of my ability.

From: Brotsky
12-Oct-17
I'm just so proud of us as a community that we've grown to the point that no one has said that you hit him "in the void" yet. Pat's little baby is growing up before our very eyes. :)

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
I didn't find any hair on the arrow or the ground

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
12-Oct-17
In my own experience liver or gut hit deer tend to bed fairly quickly and often. I have often found several beds with blood in them. Muscle hits are a different story. They often go a long ways before bedding and often the blood trail comes to an end first. My first thought was definitely a liver hit but looking more and more like a muscle hit. It sure sounds like you've done everything by the book so far and I hope you find her....If she's hit in the vitals I sure think you will. Good luck to you either way.

12-Oct-17
Your pic with the 3 drops of blood on leaves looks like gut chunks in the blood. An elk in camp this year was gut shot and bled pretty good with a trail that tapered to nothing over 100 yards and had a non-smelly blood covered arrow, but was gut shot in the end. Put on a headlight and grid search. 200 yards from where you last saw her.

From: XMan
12-Oct-17
important question, was there any white hair on the arrow or ground?

From: Buckskin
12-Oct-17
there wasn't any white hair anywhere

From: BIG BEAR
12-Oct-17
If there's any creeks near.... walk the creek.... I've found gut shot deer in the water....

From: MNRazorhead
12-Oct-17
Blood trail petering out after about 100 yards is a strong sign of a muscle hit above the spine. Been there and done that more than once... The ones I have seen have bled quite well at first but taper off. Liver hits tend to be constant or increasing in amount also, from the ones I've seen. She may have crouched down at your shot and what looked like a mid-body hit actually ends up higher, but happens so fast you don't see it. Was she occupied/relaxed/head down/looking away when you shot or was she alert? Head up or down? Looking at you? But, there are no guarantees in bow hunting. Sounds like you will find her if she is to be found. Good luck. If not, consider this a learning experience and jump back in the saddle.

Big bear has some good advice. My buddy killed one on Monday night and it's last act was to veer off of it's path and down into a very steep-sided 8 foot deep ditch with a creek in the bottom. Found him floating in the water. Wasn't a gut hit but a chest, but they do gravitate toward water when they are losing strength and consciousness.

From: Kodiak
12-Oct-17
Musta hit her in the void.

From: Rock
12-Oct-17
Could have stayed outside the ribs and when under the shoulder. I have seen that happen before on a buck with snow on the ground tracked him out of the woods that night then picked his track in the morning he went into a corn field chasing does and then all over in the woods again. We never did get him.

From: Tonybear61
12-Oct-17
Comn , no such as a void. Lungs fill the chest cavity. If its above the spine be prepared for a long tracking job , but still can be done. Especially if you go slow and get a follow-up shot. (Got one 30 years ago that was at least 2 miles by the map we were using). That said, have tracked a double lung shot doe for over 800 paces. My hunting buddy hit it middle of the lungs complete penetration, the blood trail great til the deer started bedding repeatedly. Recovered broadhead, (still sharp) and the doe next day. Sometimes they are just that tough. Your arrow looks like its a good shot.

Lost one this season (its been tens years since that has happened), thought it was a good shot, couldn't tell by the video. Low and back, but through the body completely. Some smell but not intense guts or liver. Darker blood for about 150 yds, no beds and it just stopped. Farmers son says he is pretty sure he saw it two days ago with the smallish buck he was with when I shot him over 2 weeks ago. Looking to find out this weekend.

Good Luck to You

From: GF
13-Oct-17
Pretty sure Kodiak is yankin' the chain! LOL

I don't see anything "chunky" in the blood drops, though it's odd that one drop appears to be quite a bit darker; that one looks like Liver and the other one ore like arterial, but light plays tricks. Especially on "film"...

I wonder...

(Assuming that the arrow drops out) Does a deer that bolts for 75 yards typically pull up and try to figure out WTH just happened? I would think they would... Not as if they have a reason to keep running when there's nothing on their back and nothing chasing them, and Nature abhors a waste of energy - especially by an animal that's not feeling quite right...

I'd think that a hard-hit deer that travels about 100 yards would be desperate to find a spot to bed down - preferably down-wind of their own trail so they can tell who's following.

But if you give an animal several UNDISTURBED hours after the shot and find that it had covered a few hundred yards... Unless it's hauling across a harvested field with zero cover... They've gotta be calmed down and traveling more normally; if they felt awful, you'd think they'd bed down, so if you can look at the tracks and other clues and if you determine that your animal is back to a normal travel pace, it's probably a good bet that they've shaken it off. Of course I suppose that a really good tracker would know by the prints when the animal was getting wobbly and ready to bed.

So... I dunno. I guess I'd grid-search the area down-wind of the last blood....

From: JohnB
13-Oct-17
Not saying Buckskin is right or wrong about shot placement, but with a recurve or longbow that it looks like he shoots he has a better chance than some of us at seeing his arrow flight. My money says dead deer!

From: wifishkiller
13-Oct-17
Tonybear61, man you must have some tough deer!

From: Bowriter
13-Oct-17

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
This deer had an arrow breaking a back leg and through one lung. Great blood for 150-yards, single drops for another 400. Had we not immediately pushed this buck, would never have found him. 7-hours.
Bowriter's embedded Photo
This deer had an arrow breaking a back leg and through one lung. Great blood for 150-yards, single drops for another 400. Had we not immediately pushed this buck, would never have found him. 7-hours.
Years of working as a guide at a major lodge that had as many 400 hunters a year, my own guide business and my own hunting has put me blood trailing somewhere close to 700-1,000 deer, I reckon. Be kinda stupid if I haven't learned something from all that experience. I guess one of the most valuable things I learned is not to jump to conclusions. Probably the worst conclusion you can jump to is where the animal is hit. In reality, it really doesn't matter. You shot, arrow says you hit, you go trail. You trail until there is no trail, then, you grid search. That is what you do. I could and have, write along article on deer recovery. I won't bother with that. What I will do is tell you what I found to be the single most important thing you can do in terms of deer recovery. KNOW YOUR LAND. That is it. Know the land where you hunt, know the tendencies of deer travel on that land and then, when you have no "trail" to follow, plug those two things in. Second is probably, know and disregard, all the many myths of wounded deer. If legal where you hunt and if you really want to learn about what a wounded deer does, go along when a GOOD trailing dog is used. That dog will teach you a lot. My dog is getting a tad too old now, but at one time, she was pretty fair. A big lodge in MS had the best one I ever saw. But here is something I always keep in mind. Only two results of hitting a deer with bow or gun. It is either dead or it isn't and there is no way to tell which it is by looking at blood. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say the deer in question on this post is dead. But it could also be alive. I'll bet it is one of those, two. This deer was shot perfectly through both lungs with a 300 grain bullet out of a muzzleloader. Good, fresh snow, complete pass through. He ran 65-yards and not a single drop of blood. You just never know. Second picture was a seven-hour trailing job. Aroow was complete pass through, broke hind leg and got one lung, dead center. Hands and knees through a clearcut for over 200-yards, then another 250 in the swamp. Had we not pushed this deer, probably would never have found him. In one year, working at a major lodge. I was on 88-blood trailing jobs. Being the kind of guy I am, I kept complete notes on each one. Those notes are like gold to me today, in terms of reminding me just how "individual" each blood trailing job can be.

From: T Mac
13-Oct-17
Bowriter says "in terms of reminding me just how "individual" each blood trailing job can be."

I have found that last statement to be so true!

From: 12yards
13-Oct-17

12yards's embedded Photo
12yards's embedded Photo
I always post this when the discussion is hits. If you are forward and high it's not good. If you are back and high there is less room above the spine. High hits generally don't show a ton of blood as a lot stays in the body cavity. Liver hits can be tough. They can live a long time but as one poster said, they usually bed asap. Here's hoping it is a muscle hit that will heal up and the deer's fine.

FWIW, Bill Winke thinks there is a "void". But not in the true sense of the word. He thinks a high hit under the spine hits the top of the lungs but sometimes doesn't kill the deer.

From: Franzen
13-Oct-17
It might very well be above the spinal column, but I wouldn't lean that way because you said your hit was further back, and the spine is not near as low as you go back on a deer. In my eyes it is more difficult to judge vertical placement vs. horizontal on a hit, of course anything can and does happen in the heat of the moment. How much was the deer quartering? I am thinking you might have a low paunch hit, or possibly even an armpit if the deer was more quartered than you thought. From your post it seems like you were definitely in a treestand. It is hard when you don't get to inspect the clues yourself.

Hope you find her. I don't like to lose meat, but I suppose nothing ever truly goes to waste.

From: Buckskin22
13-Oct-17
To add closure to the thread I did not find the deer. As some of you recommended I trailed until i lost the blood trail and then grid searched until i was satisfied that we covered everything. What I know is that the deer never bedded in the first 300yds and was walking when i ultimately lost blood. I'm thinking that she moved at the sound of the shot and I didn't hit where I thought I had. Losing a deer is the worst part about hunting and I feel terrible but if you do this for long enough it's bound to happen.

Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it

From: Jtek
13-Oct-17
Lots of people around in most areas that have tracking dogs. Many are just happy to get there dog working a trail and may not charge you all that much. I hear of guys finding tracking dogs via Facebook.

From: DMC65
13-Oct-17
We all hate to draw blood and not make the recovery.shoot at enough critters and it's bound to happen though. One thing I know is that our whitetail deer have a will and ability to survive . More so than most species from my experience. My son and I have killed numerous deer who had survived being shot or hit by vehicles. Two seasons ago I shot a buck in the second week of gun season and upon recovering him I noticed a wound that was not caused by me . I actually was concerned that his meat may not be fit to eat as the broadleaf hole high in his ribcage was puss covered. I rolled him over and found the exit hole in his chest about four inches behind his elbow. Also puss covered. I dressed him out and found that his left lung had been nearly cut in half from top to bottom. It was like two separate lobes connected by no more than a half innch of tissue from top to bottom. All healed up and appeared to have been functional. The entry and exit holes were all healed up inside the chest cavity . The puss was only in the hide . That deer was fat covered and looked quite healthy. Actually was dogging a doe when I shot him! Im bettin your deer is lickin an arrow hole and thinking about what she's gonna do next. incredibly tough and resilient animals!

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