Sitka Mountain Gear
Help! Hit a deer
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
DB999 16-Nov-17
Pyrannah 16-Nov-17
Beav 16-Nov-17
greenmountain 16-Nov-17
DAVE EWERT 16-Nov-17
txhunter58 16-Nov-17
buc i 313 16-Nov-17
GF 16-Nov-17
Bear Track 16-Nov-17
DB999 16-Nov-17
DB999 16-Nov-17
txhunter58 16-Nov-17
Glunt@work 16-Nov-17
ohiohunter 16-Nov-17
Bou'bound 16-Nov-17
DB999 16-Nov-17
Glunt@work 16-Nov-17
Scar Finga 16-Nov-17
Jack Harris 16-Nov-17
INDBowhunter2 16-Nov-17
Hawkeye 16-Nov-17
labxtreme1 16-Nov-17
GF 16-Nov-17
Franklin 17-Nov-17
Bowriter 17-Nov-17
SixLomaz 17-Nov-17
txhunter58 17-Nov-17
stick n string 17-Nov-17
Scoot 17-Nov-17
Beav 17-Nov-17
Brotsky 17-Nov-17
Scoot 17-Nov-17
INDBowhunter2 17-Nov-17
midwest 17-Nov-17
txhunter58 17-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 17-Nov-17
Bou'bound 17-Nov-17
DB999 17-Nov-17
Scoot 17-Nov-17
txhunter58 18-Nov-17
Alaska at heart 18-Nov-17
GF 18-Nov-17
Stryker 18-Nov-17
From: DB999
16-Nov-17
My uncle just called and hit a good buck this afternoon. Thought the shot was slightly back. Deer trotted then walked off like he wasn't hit. Lost sight of him at 100 yds. Found arrow covered in blood - no sign of guts. 72 degrees today and 2 hours til dark How long should we wait before picking up trail

From: Pyrannah
16-Nov-17
4hrs

From: Beav
16-Nov-17
I would wait 6 hours

16-Nov-17
In my experience you should return to the area before dark but don't get close enough to spook a live deer. If he is dead it won't hurt to wait a bit and the coyotes will be cautious about your presence. If coyotes are not present I would sleep until nearly daylight and be on the track at first light. Bumping a deer too soon after the shot decreases the chance of recovery a lot. I hope you find him early in your search.

From: DAVE EWERT
16-Nov-17
At least 6

From: txhunter58
16-Nov-17
If your sole concern is recovering the antlers, then wait till morning. Otherwise I would wait 1 & 1/2 hours and follow with a whisper: very quiet with only maybe 2 guys, and no loud talking. If you don't find him tonight, your meat is certainly lost. Yes, you might bump him but if you are serious about saving the meat, I feel like you have to take that risk. If you bump him once, back out til morning.

From: buc i 313
16-Nov-17
Overnight. And hope you don't get him out of a bed in the am.

Good luck with the recovery

From: GF
16-Nov-17
Was there a blood trail? What kind of a broadhead was used?

If he lost sight of him at 100 yards and the deer was still moving, you oughtta be able to (carefully) follow the trail for 50 yards without bumping the deer, if he bedded somewhere nearby. Maybe the first 50 yards will tell you what you need to know?

A lot of guys who shoot 2-blades COCs have had deer walk off as if untouched, only to topple over in their tracks a shot time after. This doesn't sound like that good a placement, but a lot of blood with no gut matter or stink to it would be a really good sign.

And what's the weather forecast? I would rather bump a deer that I can find than go looking for a dead one after 99% of the sign had been washed out.

From: Bear Track
16-Nov-17
Did your uncle say whether he felt his arrow hit the bottom 2/3ds of the animal? A liver hit will cover the arrow in blood and nothing for a liver shot deer to walk 100 yards. Most likely the deer's first bed, will be his last bed if hit under the spine.

From: DB999
16-Nov-17
Forecast is clear and will dip down to freezing overnight so if it lives for 4 or 6 hours a morning recovery may still salvage meat. If it's dead now and we wait til morning no way the meat is saved in my opinion.

From: DB999
16-Nov-17
He said even though he thought it was slightly back he was waiting for him to tip over as it walked away. Blood bright red not dark

From: txhunter58
16-Nov-17
Such are the choices of a bowhunter. You will get a wide range of answers here. And certainly the safest thing to recover the trophy is to wait. But I weigh the meat at least 60% of the hunting equation. The question I think you have to ask yourself is what you would do if this were a doe. Still might be the right thing to wait, but when the meat is everything, it changes the equation.

From: Glunt@work
16-Nov-17
Whenever you go, always be looking ahead and go super slow. So many times a gut shot animal that hasn't expired will be in range and will hold long enough to get a shot before jumping. And, so many times folks don't see them until too late. I would go in the morning.

Its a crap shoot. I have waited overnight on deer that likely died very quickly and I have waited hours only to jump them.

From: ohiohunter
16-Nov-17
What time was the shot? Solid liver should kill'm in 4hrs. I'd take up the trail slowly and cautiously as stated above. If the blood starts to peter out mark the last spot (obviously) and pick it back up 1st light. Good luck, maybe even consider a tracking dog if available.

From: Bou'bound
16-Nov-17
he'd be down with a Rage for sure. Most of the time " a little back" is code for 6 inches from the tail. He need to be honest with how far back. guts and liver are two different scenarios.

From: DB999
16-Nov-17
Doubtful it's guts based on arrow. And in my experience anything behind guts the deer is noticeably hurting. I think either clipped lung or solid liver. He said middle as far as height goes

From: Glunt@work
16-Nov-17
6" in front of the tail means a big miss but usually much better than 14" in front of the tail. One infamous bowsiter could fill in the details but he's not around anymore.

From: Scar Finga
16-Nov-17
I have seen liver hit deer die in 45 minutes and/or live for 5 hours... I am in the get em now category. I usually move very very slowly ready to draw and shoot and I usually do it alone with someone 60-70 yards behind me. Just GO SLOW, VERY SLOW, like you are still hunting. 1-2 steps then glass and then glass some more. looking for blood before you move... SLOOOOW

From: Jack Harris
16-Nov-17
No guts on arrow, bright red blood, sounds like a dead deer to me. The few times I have hit liver, they bed within 50 yards and die within an hour. Not fun to watch, but it is what it is. Or he caught back of both lungs... High lung - a bit tougher but still dead. Good luck.

16-Nov-17
He's dead if hit in the body cavity but not in guts. Liver is usually 15 minutes to 2 hours. Guts can be a lot longer but if no guts on arrow probably not guts. Go get him 2-3 hours after shot. Go slow and take bow just in case. If any thing points towards a gut hit wait until midnight then go find him.

From: Hawkeye
16-Nov-17
No way Id go in before morning. I've seen liver shot deer alive 16 hrs later. Good luck.

From: labxtreme1
16-Nov-17
Seems like far enough forward to catch lungs. Never hurts to track at least a 100 yds and see how much blood is coming out.

From: GF
16-Nov-17
“he'd be down with a Rage for sure. Most of the time ‘a little back’ is code for 6 inches from the tail. He need to be honest with how far back. guts and liver are two different scenarios.”

You’re sure about that? JMO, if you hit stuff that’s not worth hitting, then hitting half again or even twice as much of it isn't going to save your bacon.

“he needs to be honest about how far back...”

There have been plenty of times that guys have posted video of their shots and I couldn’t honestly tell you where they hit, even in slow-mo. So I would pay a lot more attention to what I could examine minutely - the arrow, any clipped hair, tracks, blood... all the stuff that can tell you a whole lot more than what somebody thinks he remembers from something that happened in a split-second while they were in a hopped-up state of mind. Because solid evidence is vastly more reliable than an eye-witness account. Always.

I’d like to hear how this one turns out.

But you know what I just don’t get... You hardly ever hear what somebody saw through their binocs. On a hit like this one, you’d think there would be time enough to get a decent look at the shot placement and how steady/unsteady the animal seemed to be, etc. Maybe make note of landmarks that the animal passed so you have a better chance of picking up the trail... stuff like that.

From: Franklin
17-Nov-17
A lot of "Rage guys" believe ANY shot on a deer will kill them. They shoot....climb out of the tree and head home. Return in the morning to recover the deer. They believe the Rage is the fail safe for a poor shot.....know some personally.

From: Bowriter
17-Nov-17
Once again, the propensity of hunters to complicate things, rears its' head. Personally, I would wait at least six days before even driving by the area. Wait a minoozle...maybe only four days. Oh gosh...probably hit in the upper quadrant of the fracas. Better run him down, right now. If hit in the fracas, might have also hit the yet. Read about a deer shot in fracas and arrows was in him, yet. Should be dead. I'll wait only half a day.

There are only two possibilities: he is either dead or he isn't. Not one single thing, other than those two, to consider and act accordingly. Not one person on this or any site, can tell you one thing about that or any deer shot, unless they were there and saw it.

From: SixLomaz
17-Nov-17
Where is the deer? I mean State, city, and GPS coordinates please.

From: txhunter58
17-Nov-17
So what happened??

17-Nov-17
Bou was bou. Anti rage guys chimed in. And Bowriter was Bowriter. Thats what happened...;^)

From: Scoot
17-Nov-17
Besides Bou's first sarcastic sentence, I think he's really spot on. At least his main point is-- people are often dishonest with themselves and others when they report where they hit. "A little far back" usually means the start of the guts or worse. Two inches back usually means five. Plus, things are not always as we see them when they are small and moving at about 330 fps. Plus, the target is moving much of the time (even if it was stationary when the string began moving forward).

...and Bowriter is wrong-- guys who have tons of experience with how deer react after a shot can offer educated guesses. Educated guesses based on experience are more helpful then uneducated ones. Bowriter is also wrong about the deer either being dead or alive-- obviously it could be "only mostly dead". Anyone know what movie that references???

Good luck on the deer recovery. I hope it was a short bloodtrail to a (completely) dead deer.

From: Beav
17-Nov-17
Well said Scoot!

From: Brotsky
17-Nov-17
I propose a new Bowsite rule: If someone posts a thread like this and doesn't come back to tell us how it ended up they are required to spend a romantic evening in the company of Nancy Pelosi.

I hope you found your buck DB!

Scoot, do we have to read the kissing parts?

From: Scoot
17-Nov-17
Brotsky, quit it now, I mean it!

17-Nov-17
Hoping for an update at some point?

From: midwest
17-Nov-17
I'm with Hawkeye and that meat would be fine if you waited until morning.

From: txhunter58
17-Nov-17
Not if he died in 1 hour. At a 72 degree when he dies, I don't care how cold it got last night, most of that meat would be inedible. Or if you did eat, it cook it WELL done.

I will even go you one further. If you were hunting on my ranch and you left it out overnight without even attempting to see if it died quickly, and you lost the meat, you would not be invited back. Everyone has an opinion on this , and that is mine.

From: Fulldraw1972
17-Nov-17
In for pics!

From: Bou'bound
17-Nov-17
The only thing more irritating than an “I hit it and need your help” thread is an “I hit it and n ed your help thread” that does not get closed out by the seeker of said help

From: DB999
17-Nov-17
Here's the update and it's a grim one. They decided to go in 45 minutes before dark (I'm out of town) and pick up the trail. This was about 2 hrs after the shot. As a group we were in a consensus that we weren't willing to just try to recover the antlers and as someone recommended treat it like a doe. took the trail about 150 yards slowly until dark without a bed and no sign of jumping him. Decent blood and dark color indicated liver so about an hour after dark when they lost blood and decided to wait til morning they were still confident dead deer close to where they quit last night.

Took blood a little farther this morning and still without finding a bed they lost it entirely. 6 hours of grid search followed and they found one dead deer but not the one he shot ( seemed to be maybe a month old or so). At this point meat was certainly lost (another 70 degree day) and late this afternoon they called it quits. We have hopes he was above the spine but from his shot recollection and his after shot look at it, we all think it's a dead deer. Probably will find it on the property some time this winter duck hunting or spring and may run out over next few days to try and smell around. Thanks for the experienced advice.

From: Scoot
17-Nov-17
Bummer.

From: txhunter58
18-Nov-17
Thanks for the update. Sorry no recovery. You definitely did all you could

18-Nov-17
"obviously it could be "only mostly dead". Anyone know what movie that references???" Princess Bride.....I believe. Wife had never seen it and it was on cable this past summer.

From: GF
18-Nov-17
“Only mostly dead” - Miracle Max/Billy Crystal, Princess Bride

“Most sincerely dead” - Mayor of Munchkinland, I believe...,

From: Stryker
18-Nov-17
Hit a deer many years ago and lost the blood trail in the dark. That night I went and talked to a friend to see if he would help me in the morning trying to pick up trail. What we see and what actually happens in a shot is rarely the same when looking for a wounded animal. We did find the deer dead in his bed the next morning and the thing that sticks in my mind is when my friend asked me where I hit the deer I said right behind the front shoulder and his reply was right behind the front shoulder goes all the way to his ass now lets go find a deer. Happy ending and good lesson

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