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My biggest deer still not recovered..
Not Archery! This was a gun shot deer, so if you are not interested, sorry.
I was out coyote hunting on New Years eve and the largest buck I've ever seen here in Central Texas stepped out about 30 yards away from me. He had no idea I was there, I had no idea he was on our property. He will go at least 150; I was shocked and have no idea where he came from, because I've never seen him before. He went along a row before I could get a shot off and came out at 60 yards. My problem; I was coyote hunting with my AR-15, so only 5.56. Now, before you guys burn me for too small a gun, realize that these Texas Hill Country Whitetails are very small bodied deer, most under 125-140 lbs, this was probably in that range. I was very close, the shot should have been perfect... Lots of people hunt deer here with a .5.56, because they are such small bodied deer. I don't know how, but I had what I believe to be a liver hit. I just can't believe that I didn't get him in the heart at that range. He ran off hard, but slowed after about 100 yards (now way too far for another shot) and started walking slowly with his head down. Guessing what I'd done, I backed off the property and went to look for him yesterday. I got a great grid search in, spent 8 hours looking. His blood trail started very strong, lots of large patches every other step, then it just dried up. Clotting factor kicking in quickly. No sign of him all day. I've hit his bed, all the water on the property and along the creek on the north side of the property. It's been under 30 degrees here since that night, but will warm up to 50 tomorrow (Wednesday). That will be about 72 hours out. Will it be too late to try him with a tracking dog since we have a great trail to start on? I'm sick on not recovering any animal, but this one really hurts, and I'm not usually that hung up on trophies, but for this guy to be there and my never knowing it means he was smart, that's something that should be respected. There is some very thick brush that he may have gone in and maybe I'm missing him somehow. I hate to lose this guy. I know this isn't an Archery deer, but I wasn't deer hunting when this monster crossed my path. Any other hints on how to try to recover him?
The vultures will show you where he is. Have shot jackrabbits at 200 yds. plus with open sights, so don't be afraid to take a long range shot.
Get any dog you cn get your hands on now. Darn near any dog can follow a good scent if the blood is like you said to start with.
Call Matt McWilliams 325 456 0773. He's a pro and is located in Central Tx Cost is worth every penny to do what's right (and find a 150 buck)
Yeah look for vultures, crows, eagles etc.
No it is not to late to get a GOOD blood trailing dog. Problem is when you went in there looking for the deer you screwed up the track for the dog, by getting blood on your feet and tracking all over the woods. Hope you recover the deer. Forrest
Thanks Stayfit, just left a message for Matt!
Yes get a dog! A good dog can find a dead deer just by windchecking
good luck to you,,,, let us know.....................
That is a tough one, John. Good luck in finding that buck!
Even though legal in Texas and .22 caliber, there have been a ton of deer lost to small calibers down there.
Lots of deer killed with a .224 bullet. Just make sure they are a hunting bullet and not a FMJ. Good luck and God Bless
60 grain nosler partitions. Have killed several mule deer and maybe 6-7 whitetails, including 3 bucks 4 or more years old. With the .223 I don't get exits, but the 22-250 exits unless I get heavy shoulder bone.
Get some buddies.
I don’t know any guys who varmint Hunt with 60gr partitions. Most use light fragmenting bullets not designed to exit small game much less a deer, combine that with poor placement and you have a thread like this. If I had to pull the trigger it would’ve been the base of the head and would’ve done everything I could to get 2nd or 3rd hole in him.
Hope the hound can find him for ya. I’d like to see the damage done, what bullet??
To me there is no distance to far for a follow up shot with a gun if I can’t get closer. I have shot deer over a hundred yards with my bow a few times on follow up shots ! Hunt
I've known multiple deer to be lost to the 5.56. My military co-workers described it as a "defensive round" and they wished they had a .308. I've never used mine on deer and probably won't either. My nephew shot a buck once with the bigger 7.62x39 round in a 122 grain hollow point. Buck dropped, jumped straight back up, and disappeared. I found it 3 days later hopping around on 3 legs barely able to walk with a fist sized chunk of muscle blown out of his shoulder.
Not sure if it's legal, but get a drone if possible??
How big is your property? A liver hit should have killed him in about 6 hours. If he got pushed then he could be on a neighboring property, but the birds usually show you where he is.
any luck? fingers crossed. I also "ditto" Charlie Rehor. How'd you do bowhunting?
The bullet is everything shooting deer with a small caliber. Like Ohio said a lot of guys shooting yotes are shooting ballistic tips others are shooting fmj’s. I don’t own a “deer” rifle, just a 22-250. If I go rifle hunting I shoot deer in the neck. I’ve killed a handful and never had one take a step. That said I shoot sierra gamekings that are fairly hard. I get two pinholes on yotes and that’s what I prefer as I don’t like sewing a 4” hole. I’ve also seen more than one deer hunter I was guiding shoot bullets that fragment pretty easy, that’s stupid. I’ve seen their bullets hit unseen weeds and basically create a shrapnel explosion before hitting deer, a patch of hide 10” across on entry is missing and small fragments exiting all over the body. I killed a buck like that as well a few years ago, his hide was missing on a rear quarter and he was literally rotting to death. Shoot a bullet that’s designed for its purpose or one that can be a catch all bullet and place it where it needs to be. X2 on Hunt, no follow up shot is too far.
Thanks Stayfit, just left a message for Matt!
Link made good points on the ballistic tips - a .223 with those don't penetrate well at all as they are designed to fragment. I have personally killed a lot of deer with a .22-.250. Most would not consider this a good deer round. I shoot a 62 grain soft point that expands rather than fragment. It is incredibly deadly. I have never lost a deer with it and have shot 50+ deer with it.
That being said I hope you find him. By the way the softpoints are deadly on coyotes as well.
Called Matt, no luck. He says that it's too late to track. Our temp's have been in the 20's since the shot and down to 19 last night. I'll start walking again this afternoon; the property is 80 acre's on my side, and the neighbors to the north (which is where the deer could have made it if he crossed a pretty deep creek @4 feet), won't let us on their property. They are nice people, just don't like hunting. I always try to hunt at the far south end of our property so as not to disturb them. My archery season was pretty good, I didn't get a local tag at our area and couldn't travel due to work, but I still got 3 does which is all hamburger in the freezer. Sucks I didn't have my bow and wasn't in a tree stand. I wish I had seen him before. Game camera's next year! I'll let you know when I find him; buzzards should be in this afternoon when the temps hit 50.
That's a bummer. You need to get on your neighbors property in my opinion. Is there any way they would let you go look for him? Not carry a weapon or hunt but just try to find him?
.224 62 gr Barnes TTSX is bad medicine for deer. My kids have all taken their first deer with this round and have had great luck with it.
Hope you find your buck jkirkus!
Kind of irrelevant here because what's done is done, but my boys have shot several deer with both .223 and 7.62x39 with none of them going more than 30yds. All shots have been well placed in the rib cage though so we have no experience with shoulder or liver shots and what these rounds will do in that case.
Maybe your neighbors will let you on their place to look for a lost "toy plane, to look for sheds, mushrooms, etc.". I wouldn't rule out your place, lots of deer circle back if their hurting or find the first "best" cover they can. Sometimes they are in more open spots than you would think.
Good luck to you. I hope you end up finding it.
I'd express concern for a deer rotting away on their property, they wouldn't want that to happen now would they.
Brotsky, are you shooting those 62grainers out of a 1:9 twist ??
Unless you live in the only coyote free zone in America, I don't think your deer will be rotting away.
Considering these neighbors don't sound so neighborly the "concern" of a dead animal on their property may strike a nerve.