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can a stomach shot deer survive
I shot a buck in the stomach. The arrow was completely covered in liquid alfalfa and nothing else no blood what so ever. It looked like it was dipped in green pea soup. We waited a full day to look for it and cannot find it. Searched all water, did grids , no crows or eagles, nothing. Is there any chance this deer could still be alive. I always believed all gut shots die but this ones got me wondering and that there was not even a smear of blood makes me wonder. Broadhead was G5 striker
some do, must hurt like hell
Not uncommon to not have much blood......he's dead if your paunched him.
Did you give him 12 hrs before taking up the trail?I've chased them for five more days but they will die.
Sooner or later, infection will get him whether he bleeds or not. Stomach content is full of bacteria that will get in the body and get him. God Bless
Extremely unlikely he will live. It might take a week though for him to die. I suppose it is possible for the stomach to heal and for him to survive the infection, but that would be a long shot. The deer shot a day later chasing does are dead on there hooves, they just don't know it.
As an aside, i knew a guy who shot a small doe that had been heart shot sometime before. Probably a couple days as there was an infection. The deer came by him limping and he double lunged it with a 3 blade. When he got to it, it had a recent would with a 3 blade through a part of the heart that didn't have chambers, just the edge from his description. So anything is possible.
95- how was the meat spoiled if he just died??
That's a real bummer. Sorry to hear that. He will likely die at some pint if not already. Stay at it and hopefully you will find him.
Did the same thing 2 times and arrow looked just like yours. Waited overnight and 12 and 16 hours later the deer were found still alive but unable to get up. Go back out and search again today. I hope you find it.
The one from last year bedded down 7 or 8 times and was not pushed. He was obviously very sick. He fell over 50 yards from the very heavy thicket/bedding grounds I was checking as a last resort. I looked across the field next to it and he was laying on the edge of the woods. I was lucky to find him because we lost the trail the last 200 yards. Luckily I kinda knew where he was going. The previous one bedded down 2 times and then got the blind death staggers but he was easier to find but he also was heading toward the very thick bedding grounds and was not far from it. If you know look but if you don't know find the bedding grounds and check. If he made it there he may have laid down and died there. We have tracked many many deer around my local area that were hit and found them in or very near the bedding grounds about 1.5 miles away from the shot locations.
YES, they CAN survive!
I stomach shot my first deer (almost 30 years ago). He ran off hunched up with my arrow stuck in his gut. Little blood, but found stomach material. Looked for him for a long time... was sick about loosing him.
My brother-in-law killed him a month later with a rifle... he was doing fine! And completely healed up... no ill effects or anything.
So YES, they can survive, but I guess it is totally dependent on the wound.. size, exact location, etc.
Not a Chance. Even if you were able to locate, meat would be bad. CD, that is an incredible story, never heard of anything like it. T
The answer to the topic question is "NO"...
Oh stick around on Bowsite, Active, you'll hear a lot of "never heard of anything like it" kinds of stories.
Gut shot is a dead deer......it will kill them maybe not soon but they will get infected and die.
No- As pointed out by Pat and others above, the deer will die from the toxins from the stomach or from critters catching up with him as he'll smell. -More than likely, it will take some time though (2-5 days) as there really is not much for major arteries there.
the infection is called peritonitis...pretty rare for any animal to live from it if untreated.
95- Yeah I guess that makes sense. Definitely a bad deal when the meat is ruined. I've been fortunate enough to not have had that happen to me yet (fingers crossed)!
There was a good article about this in the last Deer & Deer Hunting magazine. Worth reading.
A gut shot deer will not survive. If you wait at least 12 hours you should recover the animal. They normally do not go far before they bed. The worst thing you can do is to follow to soon.
I agree with they can't live being shot in the guts. If they do live its a rare occurrence.
I have recovered a couple of deer shot in the guts. One I let lay over night and he was dead and stiff by 8 am the next morning. The other I gave 5 hours and it began to rain so I got nervous. I found him in a corn field. He was pretty sick. I was able to slip into 15 yards with out him getting up. I shot him again. This time it was tight to the shoulder. He busted out of there but went down in 50 yards for good.
I've eaten a lot of gut shot deer with high temps and bloated bodies.
Skin really helps keep the bacteria down and the biggest issue is how cool you get the meat once you get the skin off.
I've been on a lot of tracking jobs for buddies and they wanted to toss the meat due to being "ruined".The meat wasn't ruined at all but the smell of bile/gut contents reeked to high heaven.
I would say most meat lockers will raise a brow if you talked about how bloated the deer was when you recovered him!Especially with a crowd around....
All I'm saying is some meat is bad and other meat is conveniently "presumed" due to not having to deal with a funky situation
You can usually find them near water if you don't press them too soon, but they'll be dead when you do. A gut shot deer is a dead deer, just takes a while.
Generally speaking the only way it would be possible for the deer to survive is if the broadhead only just nicks the gut lumen and spillage of contents is minimal, allowing the damaged gut to scar thus sealing itself.
Also, the bacterial content differs depending on the section of gut that is hit. Stomach content is acidic and enzymatic with fewer organisms, small intestine is much more enzymatic with a limited bacterial content. Whereas, content in the large intestine especially the colon (or lower 3rd), is nearly 99% bacteria by weight.
A hit to the large intestine will spill massive amounts of Colonic bacteria and Peritonitis can result. With so many organisms in the peritoneal cavity, bacteria will distribute and trans-locate through vessel walls into the blood stream and the animal now becomes septicemic or has septicemia.
The associated Endotoxins of gram negative bacteria are especially harmful. Gram negatives are more prevalent in large bowel. These toxins trigger a cascade of rapid deterioration (Sepsis) with eventual progressive multiple organ failure and death. All this can play out in a matter of a few days.
A slight hit to the stomach will release undigested content and depending on amount, may or may not lead to sepsis.
So, it really depends on where and how the broadhead damages gut, the amount and type of spillage and the overall condition of the animal. The young, robust and more healthy will generally stand a better chance of surviving such an injury.
I always told my sons,if you're gonna hit a deer back hit'em way back....
In my expereience large intestine/colon hits equal quicker death like AZ-Rich said....
Usually the deer is further anchored by having hind quarter trauma in those hits as well.....so shorter recoveries.
Most of my toughest trail jobs were paunch and small intestine hits.
If the animal actually died from the infection, toxins are in the blood stream would they not be in the meat as well? Or mostly an effect on the organs like liver, kidneys, etc.? Guessing it would tame some time for the infection to grow and spread like that?
Curious. Only time I have eaten gut shot animals we found them within 12-24 hours or less and meat was fine as far as spoilage. Seemed no different eating than if it were dbl lunged. Guessing it was death more from organ damage or bled out, not death from infection. Bloat doesn't really mean anything, found heart shot animals that had some bloat but meat was ok.
Actually finding a deer that took days to die from infection and finding the meat still good would be pretty rare. But if the toxins were in the meat the meat would smell bad as if it were souring?
I don't think if I would eat an animal that died from infection. I guess the smell of the actual meat would tell the story? I know the smell of the actual infection is pretty apparent.
Occasionally, rarely, they may. Usually, it is not the shot that kills them but the infection. Usually, peritonitis sets in caused by the bacteria in the stomach or gut. Death is slow and I would assume, quite painful. Now I shall piss some people off.
For over 30-years, I have refused to buy into the wait an hour, four hours, a day (pick your time period)school of thought. I have also lost very few animals.
I begin blood trailing as soon as possible unless I can see the animal bedded down. Then, if I see him get up, I start pushing him. Often, if he is still down after 15-20 minutes, I try and slip up for another shot. Here is why.
When a human or any animal is injured. The last thing the doctor wants is the injured party moving around. Why do you think that is? Could it be because the chance of recovery is less? I want that shot animal moving and bleeding. I don't want him to have a chance to clot and stop the bleeding. In so many cases where animals are left for some period of time, I found where they had bedded down, then gotten up and I never saw them again.
Obviously, by pushing an animal, you have to know how to do it so you don't run them clean out of the country. You also have to have permission to follow them wherever they go. I know many will disagree with that philosophy and that is just fine. I now hunt alone and do whatever the heck I want so that doesn't bother me in the least.
I think back to the only elk I ever failed to recover. It was a single lung shot that I waited for two hours before getting on. I am sure, had I pushed that bull from the get-go. I would have gotten him. He was found two days later, almost three miles away, still alive-but barely. The rancher finished him off and I was able to do a necropsy. That is how I know it was a single lung hit. Had I pushed him, he would have gone down within a half-mile.
John, I fully agree with you on the single lung shot. Same with hip shot. I live in Alabama where there are a lot of deer and where there has been a very liberal limit. I'm sure I have for myself and friends have recovered at least 20 gut shot deer. I can never remember loosing an animal that was left for at least 12 hrs. The only two that the meat was lost on were to coyotes. "When in doubt back out". Most gut shot deer have been found within 100 yards.
To me gut shot means intestines, not stomach.
I also think of gut(s) as intestinal or "entrails" from old english, but it can also refer to the Alimentary canal (i.e., Digestive Tract) which includes the stomach.
Never say never. Although unlikely it is possible for animals to take more beating than we would believe. I was in on butchering a buck one year. He was about 3.5 years old and he had suffered a lot in his life. We found a .22 bullet on the inside of his rib cage. It had to do some lung damage. We found a .5o cal round ball under his shoulder. The bone looked as if it had been broken and healed. There was an expandable broadhead lodged in his neck vertebrae. What weapon finally killed this unfortunate beast you ask. It was a Ford F150 at about 50mph. I have also seen deer fold up and die from wounds that looked superficial to me.
My definition of a gut shot is pretty much anything on the wrong side of the diaphragm, not the literal "gut" or any one specific organ.
Hit a hollow organ like the stomach or intestines and very unlikely a deer will survive. There was a very good article in Deer and Deer Hunting written by a Doctor on this very subject.
Have been hoping for a chance at a big hoss of a buck I’ve seen 3 times this season, twice during archery, once out of range, once after legal hours. Had him walk right under my stand once during firearms before legal hours. Finally had a chance during muzzleloader opening day. Saw nothing that morning, at 10 am decided to move to another location. Scanned my area for motion, nothing around me 360 degrees. Stood up, hung up the gun, scanned again, nothing. Took off my mittens, too hot for walking and was going to slip on my gloves, looked up and that bad boy had come up over a ridge and was only 25 yds, unaware of me, but I knew he’d hear the hammer cock. Was able to shoulder the weapon and cock the hammer, he looked, I had crosshairs on the double lung shot, when I squeezed the trigger it felt spongy, for those of you familiar with Thompson Centers, I had unknowingly in my haste put my finger on the breech release trigger guard not the trigger. I backed my head off too look and realized my costly mistake, lined up again and just as I was ready to shoot he bolted. All happed so fast, I should not have fired but thought I had him, 15 yd shot. Tracked for about 150 yds and backed out after seeing corn and stomach contents in the blood trail. Next day I sat in my stand for an hour, and when light enough tracked about 5 hours till trail dried up. But during that first hour I saw a wounded buck chasing 3 does through the woods, I could not shoot obviously as had not searched yet, but I am sure it was him, looked like he was tender on the belly area, but still chasing does. If he’s still alive Thursday I hope for another chance and won’t make the same mistakes. In 30 years of hunting that’s the biggest deer I’ve ever shot at, guessing it would dress out at over 220, big massive body and rack, feeling sick and heartbroken, hoping for redemption.
Start searching for crows.
Very very dead, especially since it was shot in Sept 2014.
First deer was shot in 14 second in 19 both likely dead tho
not only is he dead I would be very surprised if it was him chasing does. You got enough gut to blow corn out. that is massively tramatic paunch center shot and the chance he was up on his feed anytime after the first couple / few hours after the hit is highly remote. Death comes a lot of ways when the stomach is compromised..................but make no mistake...............it comes
I am curious how does a deer chasing other deer "look tender on the belly area". what are the signs of deer that has belly tenderness?
Highly unlikly, never say never with whitetail, they can absorb a lot of punishment.
possibly.... extremely unlikely
Buddy shot this a week or so ago. At that time he had both horns didn’t bother him to still brawl. Tough critters was he about 3 inches away from death?
Death sentence... call a tracking dog. Easy to find online
Elite 1, I don't believe your buddy's shot entered the body cavity. Thats above the spine.
Yes, that shot is above the chest cavity.
He said 6 inches of his arrow was broke off that he couldn’t find. Thought it may still be in him. He should be around next year I would think.
John trout has a great book about Tracking Wounded Deer. I wait at least 12 hours on a gut shot deer and since we have followed his advice we haven't lost a single one.
On hogs, we push them since the florida heat will spoil the meat for sure and hogs like to stay together rather than separate when they are hit.
I am not proud of this but simply posting for example. This year I hit a bull broadside at 40 yds in the guts. He took a step at the arrow release. The shot was very close to dark in the evening. He ran 100 yds and stopped. I could see a small piece of intestine hanging out on the entrance side. He stood for a few minutes then calmly walked into the timber. I marked the last spot I saw him and two locations in the timber where I heard him breaking branches. Never saw a drop of blood that night. Left him that night then came back next morning. Found the back half of the arrow at the location of the hit and two drops of blood at the spot he stood. Nothing after that. After 3 hours of gridding the small canyon he was in, I spotted a crow fly up from the bottom. Checked it out and found him.
He had traveled 350 yds from the location of the hit and 250 yards from where I last saw him. Essentially no rigor mortise but I did loose some meat around one hip socket due to spoilage. I think it is entirely possible that he died while I was looking for him that morning. I assumed he would die from the shot but I thought it would take days for that to happen.
Stomach-shot deer can survive.....the likelihood is on par with surviving an unopened parachute. On average, every deer hit that way is going to die. The chance of survival and recovery is statistically nil....though remotely possible.
If you puncture the actual stomach of a deer it will die 100% of the time. The stories of people who say they shot a deer in a certain spot and that deer survived are total crap. People rarely hit EXACTLY where they thought they hit so this cause the stories about how a guy double lunged it and it survived or in this case I shot one in the stomach and it survived
mulecreek, is that NOT the bull you shot, because it looks like a cow to me. Just wondering.
Elite1 .....that is waaay high, backstrap area, above the spine, a very survivable hit .....
My dog Kayak and I were pheasant hunting on the flats near the confluence of the Bighorn and Yellowstone Rivers once back in the 80s. He bolted after something and caught it, kinda. It was a gut shot doe, with guts hanging out. Didn't stink, so it was recent. The poor freaking deer stepped on its own guts and pulled more of them out, and Kayak caught up to it and latched onto part of it's guts, and even more came out. This all happened so fast I hardly had time to whistle. When I did he let go and stopped. The deer then jumped into the YS river, tried to swim but sank like a stone, never to resurface. So no, gut shot deer rarely survive. :/
Does this help?
Does this help?
I see how you might think that but look closer at the head. Same animal as this pic.
Regarding the original post: Dead
My buddy's son took a nice buck this year and turned out was the same one his mom had shot high the year before. You can see the 4 blade broadhead in the shoulder blade.
Tough critters up front but they can't survive posterior trauma.
Until this past season I was 100% sure a gut shot deer would die but I saw with my own eyes (2 times) a buck shot last November alive and rutting does. Dark wound lump on stomach clearly visible on both sides.
Unlikely, but definately possible. Many years ago a friend gut shot a buck with a .30-30 and jumped it out of the same bed ~1 month later.
Statistically Charlie it’s still 100% I think. I had a tile setter that worked for us that survived an appendix blowup where his body had encased the toxins in a weird sort of bag that they had to remove. That never happens either but I’m guessing a similar thing could maybe happen with whitetails.
There have also been double lunged deer survive but statistically and physically if I double lung an animal I am packing up my things and pulling out my camera.
gut shot and stomach shot are not the same. There are lots of guts. one stomach. they do different things and are susceptible to different things. I think if you are seeing corn kernels you got the true stomach organ and nothing is coming back from that.
Yes, do not confuse hitting the rumen with the large or small bowel. Never say 100%, but 99.9% is accurate.
I guess anything is possible
"Yes, do not confuse hitting the rumen with the large or small bowel. Never say 100%, but 99.9% is accurate."
What if you hit them in the reticulum, omasum, or abomasum? More importantly, how do you tell the difference?
several years ago a friend had me come to his house to see a nice buck he took in the late season after the 2 Shotgun seasons. This Bucks had a muzzle ball in his broken shoulder (healed over) a slice across his back (no hair) from a slug & his stomach had a hard formation the size of a hardball (part of a slug we think -real puzzeler). He arrowed him & was a liver shot & recovery was nearly 200 yds. Sad way to go but we figure all wounds had been 1st Gun season (mid Nov) & this was after Christmas. He was a tough ol warrior. Rare but chit happens.
Years ago when I was working in a bear camp. The outfitter had me save the gall bladder (back before they passed laws against bear parts for sale). Anyway, when I started peeling off the liver from the gall I discovered a strange looking fleshy capsule right next to the liver. Cut it open and much to my surprise was a Bowlo broadhead, fully intact! That bear had survived a stomach area hit and lived to run again. Anybody’s guess as to how long it had been carrying it.
Matt. It does not matter if you can tell the difference or not. The arrow and deer and outcome is not impacted by your knowledge of biology or ability to discern what was actually hit. No different that if you’ve think you hit one in the heart and it was really in the hoof.
It ain’t livin' or dying based on what you THINK happened.
Believe what ever you chose! I saw this buck chasing does twice this year. He was hit in 2018.
I agree that it is possible but it would be rare. I spoke to several doctors today and 2 of them hunt. A true stomach shot deer they all agreed would die but deer hit in the intestines and other stomach organs may very well live. Charlie's photo is most likely not a shot through the actual stomach. Shawn
Not a stomach shot Charlie
I've skinned a few deer and elk that had bullet wounds on the wrong side of the diaphragm. I can't say exactly which organs were hit, but they were definitely what I consider gut shots.
So, yes, it's possible for them to survive a gut shot, but not statistically likely.
That buck was hit too low, it is a game of inches.
Ok, thx for clearing that up! My bad. Deer always die from stomach shots.
“I may not be right but I’m never wrong”
Variables in trajectory and deflection on impact.
Charlie just kill him next year and let us know. He will be a dandy for sure! Shawn
"Believe what ever you chose! I saw this buck chasing does twice this year. He was hit in 2018."
Charlie, based on what I learned on this thread, I believe that buck was actually dead when you took its picture.
They survive for awhile. They don’t survive until spring. There are one-in-a-hundred contradicting exampleS but it’s not the norm. I hunt the deer areas into February March and April as I take guys coyote hunting. The gut shot deer recovery is basically 100% by the end of April. The good thing is the hunters get their horns but the deer die a kinda bad death. Imagine getting a broadhead through YOUR gut...could you survive if you didn’t get medical help and couldn’t even wash with soap and water? No.
Charlie - You got an updated pic of that buck?
Yep, Here is early September this year shedding velvet. 10 months after the shot in November 2018. As I stated I saw him twice rutting does this past November and could still see the scars on both sides. Hope he makes it thru gun season and lives until next year. C
I suppose part of the survives-or-dies equation is whether peritonitis ensues after the hit. If you take the time to read up penetrating abdominal stab wounds in humans, there are many cases of survival without surgery or even treatment. Think about gunshot and other wounds to the abdomen suffered in wars prior to modern medicine. Because a knife blade or arrow appears to have penetrated the stomach (organ) doesn't mean it did. In most cases we can only see the external wound and evidence on the ground. Actual stomach matter on the ground is enough proof the organ was penetrated. Lacking that (or later being able to necropsy the animal) there's little to prove the stomach organ was penetrated.
If the wound isn't quickly fatal...If severe peritonitis doesn't occur...and if a few other things go right for right for the deer, t's not impossible to survive a stomach wound. The odds are far and away against it.
For the record, I question the description of the original poster when he stated the arrow (quote) "looked like it was dipped in green pea soup". I've seen a few stomach hits in my lifetime and cut open more than a few stomachs to check contents. I've never seen anything I could describe as green pea soup in the actual stomach. Small intestine...absolutely yes. I'm wondering about the placement of the shot and track of the arrow. Lacking a dead deer...no way to know. Interesting discussion.
Wow Charlie, that's amazing, thanks for sharing...
Never would have dreamed he'd look that good the following year... Amazing animals...
BTW, did you or somebody you know hit him? Bummer...
Infection will get into his bloodstream, he will become septic, and die but it may take days.
Thornton........or weeks, months, or possibly years. The buck Charlie posted the pic of, was first shot in 2018. The latest pic was from the fall of 2019.
I think gut shots are almost always fatal....but there are very few areas where you can speak in absolutes.
Shot a buck several years ago, and when gutting him found about 20 inches of aluminum arrow in his guts and directly into the main stomach. It had obviously been there a long time and was all encapsulated. Someone had tried a Texas heart shot with less than desirable results. You could see where it had entered by the anus and gone straight into the stomach. You wouldn't have known there was anything wrong in looking at.
And it's HotLZ with the winning story!!
Wow, That's incredible. I would have never thought a deer could survive that much damage to the intestines and stomach. Just think what a broadhead would do to all that digestive tissue. And no sepsis or at least enough anatomical damage to render the gut non-functional!?!
Almost makes me wonder if the arrow had a field point. Then I could understand. Man, that's incredible.
It had a broadhead on it. An old savora if I remember right.
I have read threads here and on other sites where people who have processed deer professionally recounted stories of the most amazing "survived" shots they found in deer carcasses.
Those accounts of bullets, slugs and broadheads were all in the carcass ( meat, bones, skulls, joints etc.) I always thought that a stomach or intestinal shot was 100% percent fatal even though it might take a week or two. I just can't believe the toughness of these animal sometimes.
bowhunter1, Any updates on locating the deer you hit?