I have seen a few deer bed up and live for 4 hours or so with a single lung shot. If you push them they will keep going and be very difficult to recover.
I'd say 6-8 hours of waiting should be fine, but take it slow and look ahead.
I have also lost one-lunged deer. I hit a mature buck about 6-7 years ago, steep angle and I hit him high. Under the spine, so I think I only clipped the top of his far lung. I started tracking and had excellent bright pink blood. Found a bed after 100 yards, filled with pink blood. I figured he was a goner. Over the next 500 yards I found 4 more beds. Blood eventually thinned out to nothing. I know he was one-lunged, because if I had hit over the spine and flesh wounded him he would not have kept bedding like that.
Today I would back out after finding the first bed and come back 6 hours later.
Lungs are sponges not balloons. It's not the lung damage that kills the deer -- it's bleeding that kills a deer. If you don't cut blood vessels then a lung hit may not be lethal at all - one or both!
I backed out of the area and gave him another 3 hours. Then I tried still hunting to his position from the opposite side....I got close, around 30 yards before he jumped up and ran. I couldn't believe it. I backed out again and didn't go after him agian till the next morning. He didn't go but anouther 75 yards...we pushed a yote out of the area but luckily he didn't do any damage yet. He was pretty stiff.
Feild dressing revealed only a one lung hit even though it looked text book....low exit hole.
Right on that, but the lungs can "deflate" when the chest wall is cut open. There is virtually no way of NOT drawing blood when you hit the lungs with a broadhead. The lungs are one of the most vascular organs in the body.
I one-lunged a deer with a 30-06 and 180 grain bullets. It put a hole the size of your fist on the bottom of his chest - that is no exageration.
We picked the trail up 6 hours after being hit. A few hours into tracking him we finally caught up to him - he jumped up and ran and fell over dead 150 yards out. It was crazy!
I can't imagine a deer being shot in one lung with a broadhead falling over after 30 yards - unless other lethal arteries had been hit.
In the case of a one lung hit, the good lung can still inflate/deflate providing the animal with oxygen. Depending on where the in the lung the hit occurs, this will determine the rate of blood loss. I think that a deer can lose 10 - 20% of their blood before they'll lose consciousness. I'm not positive about that number though. Deer that drop in sight for instance do so because of such a huge blood pressure loss (hose being severed), not necessarily that amount of blood lost from the body.
Its a fairly complex process, obviously with variables. Hit them right, it seems simple enough. Unfortunately, hit them bad and we're all left wondering how & why when the "instamatic" picture we often get of the hit seemed to be right on......
Once we started after her, she had a good blood trail. We found her bedded 400 yards in, and she moved another 50 yards. We gave her some time, then followed her up. She jumped up again, but not moving fast so stayed with her hoping to get a follow up shot in some crazy cover. 50 more yards and we found her dead. The arrow would have taken out the heart and maybe second lung if I had shot 1 or 2 inches higher. The enterance and exit wounds were maybe 3 or 4 inches apart from a 15 yard shot.
A few years ago, I hit a buck in the same location but from 37 yards, and he only ran 30 yards as the arrow took out the heart and both lungs.
It is hard to predict the deer ducking an arrow, and where to place the arrow. You want the arrow to hit where they will be at impact and not where they are when you release the arrow.
Much be the 'Search Function' at work
Under the spine will get you BOTH. Every single time. You probably shot through the backstraps and topped the off lung. I have done this myself....
I didn’t have permission to hunt that property the next day, so a follow-up shot was in order. The fatal hit was an inch or two away from the first, but passed under the spine and clipped the descending aorta and she fell right on her nose.
Per the earlier posts.... lung is spung. ;)
If you hit the margins and not much air leaks in from the entrance/exit wounds, the lung won’t collapse much (if at all) and if you didn’t clip anything substantial, it could take a long time for the lung to fill up with enough blood to cause breathing issues.
My brother hit a cow Elk high through both lungs and she stood there for quite a while, got wobbly, lost control of her bodily functions.... and then walked off with the herd. Arrow was coated from end to end with good, red blood. Probably a million to one shot that she didn’t drop where she stood....
So yeah.... if I suspected a single-lung hit, I’d give it as much time as the local scavengers would allow.
We all know/suspect things like this can happen, but it’s a lot better when you can make sense of how it went down the way it did
Lmfao! Was wondering the same thing. Hope he found it!