As he ran away, I could see the arrow protruding from both sides. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I got down and there is blood at the scene...typical color for a meat hit and a decent trail...WHICH I DID NOT TAKE UP YET.
Its been 6 hours and I'm thinking about heading out to look. Unless I hit the femoral artery, by hopes are slim. There is a foot of snow on the ground which will help a great deal.
Any suggestions, ideas, or others with experience with t his situation?
I followed the trail 10 yards and found my arrow intact. It must have pulled right through. The trail was easy to see in the snow, but not much volume. Several hundred yards into it I found where he had stood still and let it drip for a while. I kept on, and even after an hour of steady walking, I could see where he was still jumping over brush, etc. It had been this morning I think, the small blood drops on the snow were frozen balls. I kept going until I was following nothing more than tiny flecks dusted on top of the snow. Then even the spots ended about 2 hours into it. Without snow, I would have lost him in the first 50 yards.
I think he'll be fine...not so much for me- It's draining to make a bad shot and have it end this way. I'll see him next year I hope, or maybe again this year if he's really unlucky.
if you hit the artery he is done
I will look again after season, though.
I hit one in the ham long ago -- I flinched, no blame on clothing or a moving deer -- and put it through both sides. It went about 180 yards and was down on its own.
We were ready to keep pushing it if needed to keep the wound open.
The back hips/hams on a deer are such huge muscles there is a lot of blood flowing to them. You center-punch one right in the back ham, and you will most likely find that deer very dead after a short distance.
I have accidentally hit a few there over the years due to deflections and screw ups on my part. There are a lot of worse places to hit one than here.
Definitely not a shot to try for, but not the end of the world if this is where you end up hitting
I disagree...i`ve boned out enough deer to know that there are several arteries running around the ham and if you don`t hit one your shot is superficial..no different than shooting through the backstraps..meat hits will not kill a deer unless you get a vessel or artery....or long term infection
I agree with what you said above. Never push one hit here. Give them a few hours to lose enough blood to make them weak, then take up the trail very slowly, and be ready for another shot.
with todays powerful equipment, and large sharp BH's, how likely is it to not get a artery or vessel, these areas are full of em'. I'm not advocating this shot, but it is deadlier than most realize. I've been on probably 20 different bloodtrals that the deer were hit here, and they all have ended under 500 yards with the deer being recovered. A few required another shot, but the deer were too weak to get up or go any further.
No matter what, you hit one here, and you'll be glad you have a big ole' nasty BH on the end of your arrow. You'll have your work cut out for you too. These deer will do everything they can to lose you.
deerman--guess it just matters on each situation on what to do...and I know you weren`t saying this is a good shot..i was just saying if it`s clearly a meat shot only that ya probably won`t find the deer...like what happened to me on one of my post above...
Meat only.....good luck, you'll need it!
I shot a doe with my smokepole this year and shot her in the left rear hind quarter. Not proud of it all and I have no idea what happened. This was the first deer I had ever shot that didn't die with a single shot.
I trailed her for probably 1/2 mile through the woods jumping her 5-6 times. Luckily, I pushed her hard and she was laying down and too weak to get up and I got off another kill shot. I would hate to have to do a stalk with a bow though. It was nerve wracking enough with a gun.
My 2C Dan
I'm reading this thrad with great interest, because I want to know other's experiences with this scenario. My actions turned out OK in this instance- but I want to know how others' experiences have turned out as well, in case, heaven forbid, make a similar hit again someday. Please keep the responses coming.
In Canada Harris trailed one for almost a day-and-a-half that was hit in the front leg.
From an article I wrote several years ao..
A hip-shot deer. A large artery (femoral) runs down the inside of each deer leg. This artery is protected from the side by the leg bones. The femoral artery is most often severed from the rear or at an angle. If this artery is cut, the bleeding will be profuse and the deer will usually be found in less than 100 yards. The ham of a deer is also rich in veins with a lot of blood. A hip-shot deer should be tracked immediately. Track him slowly and quietly to keep him moving (walking). If you jump him and he runs, back off for a few minutes then continue trailing. You want him to walk, not run. A walking deer is easier to trail.
It'll turn a terrible-looking hit into a great day in five or six seconds. You're danged lucky to hit it, though.
It'll turn a terrible-looking hit into a great day in five or six seconds. You're danged lucky to hit it, though."
Just like a ham shot. Not one that I would deliberately shoot for.
"If I have caused a superficial wound and my only hope for killing that deer is to harass it to death, I would rather let it heal."
A hip shot is not "superficial". If I have an arrow in a deer I will trail it until I cant trail it anymore and then I would grid search for it.I don't call that "harrassing", just good sportsmanship.
I've been on over 300 documented blood trailing jobs with my good friend John Trout Jr. who wrote a couple books on the subject and we will always push any animal that is muscle hit only. And it is more times than naught that it "sometimes it produces a dead deer."
I agree with your statement of waiting on "mortally wounded" deer except in the instances of a muscle hit.Then I'll push slowly and quietly.
YMMV - is Your Mileage May Vary. IOW - to each his own. It is your deer, trail it any which way that you want.
Me? I'll push a hip/ham shot deer immediately. All other hits deserves a wait. Depending on where the animal is hit determines the length of the wait.
TRACKING WOUNDED DEER
Less than a minute has elapsed since you've shot one of the biggest bucks you have ever seen. It happened so fast it's hard to believe. What you do now may determine whether or not you'll recover your buck.
Your first impulse is to bail out of your treestand and take off after him. Depending upon your arrow placement, this could be a big mistake. If a deer is not hit well you could spook him and make recovery next to impossible.
Knowing where the animal is hit makes a difference in how you track him. For this reason, a bowhunter should use brightly colored fletching, such as orange, white, yellow or red.
The chest of the deer contains the lungs and the heart which, when hit, produce the quickest kill. The lungs are easily reached by an arrow, protected only by vulnerable rib bones. The heart is low in the body and somewhat protected by the deer's leg bone.
The following describes types of hits and how you should track for each.
* A lung-shot deer will run hard 50 to 65 yards. After that he will usually walk until he falls. The blood will sometimes have tiny bubbles in it. This blood trail usually gets better as you track the deer. However, if the deer is hit high in the lungs, the blood trail may sometimes become light and even disappear completely. The deer could be "filling up" inside with blood, showing very little external bleeding. The hair from the lung area is coarse and brown with black tips. The deer will usually go down in less than 125 yards. Give the deer 30 minutes before tracking.
* A heart-shot deer will sometimes jump wildly when hit. The blood trail may be sparse for the first 20 yards or so. A heart shot deer may track as much as a quarter of a mile, depending on what part of the heart is damaged. The usual is less than 125 yards. The hair from this shot will be long brown or grayish guard hairs. Again, a 30 minute wait is advised. But, if while trailing you find where he has bedded back off and wait an hour before taking up the trail again.
* A liver-shot deer. The liver lies against the diaphragm in the approximate center of the deer. It is a definite killing shot. The blood trail will be decent to follow and the deer should bed down and die within 200 yards, if not pushed. A one-hour wait is best. The hair from the liver area is brownish gray and much shorter than the hair from the lung area. If you push the deer out of his bed, back off and wait another hour.
* A gut-shot deer is probably the most difficult to recover because of the poor blood trail and the hunter's impatience to wait him out. A lot of bowhunters want to hurry up and find the deer. Since the liver and stomach are close together, it is possible that the deer will go down and die quickly if the shot also penetrates the liver. If the deer is dead in an hour, he will still be dead in 4 hours. Have patience, he will not go anywhere. Wait him out for at least 4 hours. Wait overnight if the deer is shot in the evening.
When a deer is shot in the stomach area, he will usually take several short jumps and commence walking or running. His back will usually hunch up and his legs will be spread wide. The hair from this wound is brownish gray and short. The lower the shot is on the animal, the lighter colored the hair will be. The blood trail is usually poor with small pieces of ingested material (stomach contents). If the intestines are punctured there will be green slimy material or feces Take your bow with you because a second shot might be required.
* A spine-shot deer will usually drop in his tracks or hobble off. Either way, a second shot will probably be required to finish off the deer. If a spine-shot deer hobbles off, wait a half-hour and track slowly and quietly. Look for the deer bedded down.
* A neck-shot deer will either die in 100 yards or he will recover from the wound. The lower portion of the neck contains the windpipe, neck bone (spine), and carotid (jugular) arteries. If the arteries are hit, the deer will run hard and drop in less than 100 yards. The blood trail will be easy to follow. A shot above the neck bone will give you a good blood trail for about 150 to 200 yards before quitting. The deer will more than likely recover to be hunted again.
* A hip-shot deer. A large artery (femoral) runs down the inside of each deer leg. This artery is protected from the side by the leg bones. The femoral artery is most often severed from the rear or at an angle. If this artery is cut, the bleeding will be profuse and the deer will usually be found in less than 100 yards. The ham of a deer is also rich in veins with a lot of blood. A hip-shot deer should be tracked immediately. Track him slowly and quietly to keep him moving (walking). If you jump him and he runs, back off for a few minutes then continue trailing. You want him to walk, not run. A walking deer is easier to trail.
* An artery-shot deer will almost always go down in less than 100 yards. The aortic artery runs just under the backbone from heart to hips, where it branches to become the femoral arteries. The heart also pumps blood to the brain through the carotid (jugular) arteries.
Sever any of these arteries and you've got yourself a deer. There is one catch, these arteries are tough. It takes a sharp broadhead to cut through them. A dull broadhead will just push them aside. Keep your broadheads sharp! Give the deer half an hour before tracking. GENERAL TRACKING TIPS
* After shooting the deer, stay in your stand and be quiet for the recommended time. A noise might push your deer away. He could be bedded down less than 100 yards away.
* I have found it very helpful to tie a piece of pink surveyor ribbon around my stand tree at eye level from where I shot. After noting several terrain features near where the deer was standing and where it ran too, I tie on the ribbon before coming down. From the ground looking back up to the ribbon, I can get a better visual for locating exactly where the deer was and went.
* Before beginning the tracking, mark where you shot the deer with a piece of white toilet paper hung on a branch.
* Mark the trail periodically with more toilet paper as you track. This will give you a line on the deer's travel.
* When you find the arrow, check for hair, tallow, blood, etc. This will give you a good clue on how to track. Example: Tallow and slime means you should wait 4 hours.
* Check for blood carefully, walking off to the side of the run.
* Look for blood on trees, saplings, and leaves that are about the same height as the wound. Blood will sometimes rub off the body.
* If tracking as a group, spread out a little. Keep noise to a minimum. In tracking, sometimes "too many cooks can spoil the stew." It would be better if only 2 or 3 people tracked the deer. If the blood trail runs out, you can always get more help to search for the deer
* While tracking a deer that you have shot and you jump a deer and it flags its tail, it's probably not your deer. A wounded deer will very seldom "flag." BUT - check it out anyway.
* Gut-shot deer have a habit of going to water. If you lose a gut-shot deer's trail, check out the water holes in the area. He could be down by one.
* Tracking at night presents special problems with visibility. The blood and the deer will both be hard to see. A Coleman gas lantern will help a lot in both cases. If the deer is not hit well, and no rain is forecast, wait until morning. If he is dead in 10 minutes or 4 hours, he will still be dead in the morning.
* Take a compass bearing to where you last saw the deer, and another one to where you last heard any noise from it's flight. It might prove very helpful.
* It helps to have someone who did not shoot the deer to help with the blood trial. Many an experienced hunter in his excitement misses things.
* Stay off of the blood trail, and use a small piece of tolled paper to mark each spot
* Get down on your hands and knees when a blood trail is hard to see it helps. From this angle while night tracking you can shine the light in the direction of travel and often see blood that does not show when standing over it.
* Look at the bottom of leaves on branches at deer body height. Sometimes as the branch slides along the body of a deer it is the under side of the leaf that picks up the blood.
* You will often find a gut shot deer or liver shot deer dead in the water not just beside it. so look for an ear or the side of the deer in deeper water too.
* Some shots that look good may be one lung or a poor liver hit because of the angle. These deer can take several hours to die. Be careful about pushing them to soon, since they will rarely leave much blood sign if they are jumped when bedded.
* Look ahead as you blood trail for deer parts and movement. Your deer may still be alive and you might be able to get a second shot or back off with out spooking it.
* Look for disturbed leaves and broken twigs as well as for the blood sign on hard to follow blood trails.
* It is often hard to follow a blood trail in grass. It seems that the blood can fall all the way to the ground without hitting a single blade of grass.
* Look for clusters of ants, flies and daddy longlegs. You can find small drops of blood because these bugs are feeding on it.
* Often times when the blood trail seems to end you will find the animal off to one side and not in the same direction of travel.
* Listen for birds like magpies, jays, and crows. Sometimes they make a ruckus where the animal lies dead.
* Be persistent!
* A dog can often prove very useful if legal. Even your house pet. They can see with their nose what we can not see with our eyes.
* Use your nose. sometimes you can smell a deer you can't see. A gut shot is even more likely to have a smell.
* When trailing at night use a couple of the Chem Lights that you can get at WalMart for less than a buck. You don't use these as lights to see blood, but they are hung on limbs at the last blood found. That way nobody has to stand on the last blood and everyone can easily see where the last blood found is at
Did I say be persistent!
The problem,I have with pushing a hind quarter shot is often times the gut is taken with it.So that deer is "dead man walking" and just needs time.
For that reason alone quarter away hind quarter hits I give 12 hours.On broadside anterior placement on hind quarter I give 12 hours and only push a posterior hind quarter.
That said,if in doubt treat it like a gutshot and give 12 hours
One has to take in consideration all vitals that are impacted or could have been impacted when making their choice to trail or wait.
In the case of a broadside hit (like this one)chances are it is just the hip/ham impacted. I push them.
First, let me thank everyone bc if this forum I. Keep looking and found my quartering away rear end hit deer tonight . After some of the responses I decided not to wait and push the deer . No need to . Deer was dead within 200 yards on a dead trial that he came in on . Thank you so much for the help and tips on here helps more than people think !
Ham shot aside it sounds like you are suggesting all shots should be immediately trailed vs. letting die and lay overnight (which may risk meat or carcass). In many cases that will simply push a deer into an unrecoverable place where it may still die but not be found. Some shots simply take time and if they are pushed the risk is greater than the benefit. Liver, single lung, gut, etc. are all fatal and findable if you don't push the thing into the next state by chasing it prematurely.