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Well yesterday I had the best and worst day ever hunting. Over 4 bulls were bugling nonstop for over 3 hours while I dogged them waiting for a shot opportunity. I finally had a bull run and stop broadside, 15 yards from me and I shot. The arrow hit an invisible twig and ricocheted and hit the bull in the rear quarter panel. It buried itself all the way up to the fletching so the arrow should have been sticking out the other side. The bull ran off. I knew it was bad placement and took up tracking within 10-15 minutes. Blood started slow where he was running but then was heavy. Real thick red blood. Some pools of blood showed jelling and there were several long (6") strands of gel ribbon about 1/4" thick x 1/2" wide hanging on some branches he walked by. He side hilled a while and then tried to go up hill for a short distance but then turned and headed down the hill again. The blood trail was really heavy for the first 1/4 mile and then started getting thinner and harder to see. The bull never bedded but stood in some areas of thick short trees for a spell and left what looked like two pools of blood, one on each side. Towards the end of the blood trail, there were two spots where there was a line of blood about 8-10 inches long on a log. It looked like maybe the arrow shaft had poured out a line of blood. Headed back out today to scour the hillside to see if I can find any more blood.
How fatal do you think this shot will be and about how long do you think it will survive if it does die. After walking the blood trail, I think this bull might have been still bugling after the shot. I continued to bugle and cow call after the shot and as I was tracking and heard the other bulls bugling and also a bugle coming from around where this blood trail lead.
The picture shows about where I saw the fletching on the hide of the bull as it ran after the shot. It may have been just a little farther forward but not by much and it definitely was not any farther back.
Man that's tough. If you'd gotten lucky and hit the artery, he'd have been dead quickly. I made a terrible shot on a bull last year and hit just a tad higher and to the left of your red dot, and the bull was dead in 20 seconds and traveled just 40 or 50 yards.
I have other unfortunate experiences with accidentally hitting that artery in deer, and all reacted the same. Dead very very quickly.
Since your bull didn't do that, I can only imagine you didn't sever that artery. If you clipped anything with the bull's plumbing I can't imagine he'll survive, but who knows how long an animal can last before infection or sepsis set in?
I wish I could be more help. Good luck in your further search
I agree with Bake. Hit the femoral artery and you would have never tracked him that far. I think chances are going to be slim as is, but good luck.
Unfortunately the hamblaster is not all it's cracked up to be. Unless you're shooting a large rifle and bit bone, with an arrow it's basically femoral or bust from what I know. A muscle hit is just a muscle hit.
I’ve hit the femoral on a trotting buck when I was 16. ;) He didn’t go 30 yards and his rear legs gave out. As others have said I bet you don’t find him. Give it your best shot though and hopefully we are wrong.
He will make it I bet unless you got an intestine
Yup. Sounds like you got all muscle. If you hit the femoral vein or artery, he'll die. If you'd hit the artery, he would not have gone as far as he did. With a blood trail as long as you had, you'll have occasional drops of blood for much longer than you described since you had so much on the trail, you'll just have to find them. But muscle hits usually dry up eventually.
The "hamblaster" is indeed a thing. The hams are incredibly vascular and typically bleed very well especially when severed with a broadhead. Rifle shots are generally not as good in the hams. Almost every hunter gas killed a deer that was hit in the hind quarters they they assume they hit in the femoral artery. In reality the femoral is less than inch.
If you hit where the dot is, that elk will die if nothing else from having a hole through the guts.
Depending on where he hit, he could slide just under and behind the guts, but if you did get colon, he'll probably be dead about 24 hours after your hit.
APauls, you must a have short memory when it comes to the "hamblaster shot". It's my recollection that's it's a guarantee. The only stipulation may be you have hunt in a certain state for it to work consistently. Gene :')
Canpole, dont forget about the spiders!
He's dead, he's going to a hiding spot. Dark beds, private, probably slightly down hill to die.
Yes Canepole but as GotBowAz says, it only works if you've got the trained tracking spiders. OP never mentioned having any spiders with so I guess I just assumed. He also wasn't shooting any Simmons heads, so he might as well quit now ;)
I can't imagine that the shot didn't hit gut.
Isn't the smart money on running them down when you get a shot like that? Keep the blood pressure up and the blood flowing. He'll either run out or he won't.
Heading down-hill is probably a sign that he was feeling it....
I guess you just have to find the trail and pick it apart one clue at a time. At least it sounds like he wasn't just running off with the herd, so it shouldn't be impossible to ID his track just because the blood ran out...
Hope you find him but I have made better shots than that and never did find him . I hit one last year high but it dropped him in his tracks....40 yard shot. As I walked up to shoot him again he had gotten up made 3 steps and went down again then he got up and walked up the side of the canyon never to be seen again . I never could shoot him again . I would have bet a million bucks he was going home with me . Good luck
“But muscle hits usually dry up eventually.”
My dad always said that ALL bleeding stops EVENTUALLY.... ;)
GotBows & Apauls, it appears I'm the one with selective memory. I had forgot about the spiders. I do miss his stories. I used to have the feeling that in someways he was a very good outdoorsman. Never understood why so many of the gentlemen on this sight found so much pleasure ganging up on him.
flybyjohn, most everyone here has had a shot(s) that have gone astray at sometime or another. I wish you the best of luck in recovering your elk. Gene
Good Luck man! If you don't find him soon move on and learn from it. We have ALL been there!
He might die eventually but you will never find him.
I have a pic on my other computer of a bull my buddies shot in the ham. I stopped the bull at 55 yds across a canyon, they both shot and the bull moved on the shot taking 2 arrows in the hind quarter.....one hit the femoral and the bull was down in 30 yds.
FYI, The femoral artery is further forward of your shot location.
Went back to the very beginning of the blood trail on Friday. I did find the arrow. As I thought, the arrow sunk up to the fletching and the broadhead side broke off on a small tree he ran by. The arrow was broke right about in the center. The bull stopped just out of site at 30 yards from me for about 15-20 seconds and looks like he pulled the remainder of the arrow out by the fletching as one vane was missing from the arrow. I imagine he grabbed onto the vane with his teeth an ripped it off when he was pulling it out. Probably thought it was a giant bee or something. The picture shows the blood pool where the bull stood for that 15-20 seconds before he ran again down the hill. This was the largest pool of blood and it just got smaller and smaller as the bull moved the distance of a little over half mile from the shot where I lost all blood. As stated before, I lost blood about 100 yards from the bottom of the canyon. I still could not find any blood beyond that point so I went down to the bottom and walked along the edge where the slope met the bottom. I found a small log that was about 8" off the ground and it looked like it had a mud smear on it. I looked it over really close and could see there was a little bit of red coloring. So this would be the last blood I could find on the blood trail. The bottom is about 100 yards wide at this area and flat. I went up and down the creek but did not find any other evidence of the bull. Went back in on Sunday and did not see any birds in the general area. The blood was thick and red with no signs of bile. The arrow was coated with thick red blood also and no bile smell. The bull may die but I don't think I will find it. I am still hunting. Called a cow to within 5 feet of my brother last night. That was exciting.
I lost a bull this year to a RICOCHETED arrow too. Hit top of his shoulder. Found my arrow cover with blood but very little blood on ground . He ran downhill and than climb a very steep moutain side a mile away. I waited about hour and follow him to the top of that mountain and bump him again and he ran down a very steep moutain hill and back up another. Where i bump him there was two drops of blood and that it. The last hill he ran down was private. Called rancher and he meet me and gave me permission to look for him . Never saw him again Im sure he is okay If he had that much muster to climb all thoses hills with no problem. Bummer thing is after i shot the bull and cow call a cow to me that i could have pet her. Great hunt and lots of elk. I had another chance at a cow at 12 yards but my recurve bottom string flip around when i pull my string back and arrow flew 2 yards. I must have string half of the srting in the groove. Lol.
I agree with others, if you got that much penetration in a center ham shot, he's likely dead...
Just now realized how old this thread is, so imagine he's being savaged by coyotes, ravens and magpies by now...
My veterinarian who is also a bowhunter told me years ago that the hind quarters have tons more artery's veins and blood vessels than the front.That being said I also put a arrow through a bull only the feathers stuck out. I let him go for 2 hours it started to rain i jumped him in the first 200 yds.I backed out came back with 3 friends after the rain stopped (another 2 hours) and grid searched jumping him 4 times he would only go less than a hundred yds. After about a half mile was able to put another arrow in him. No way for an animal to die,but I rather the coyotes find there own meal Just glad to find him.But he definitely would have died
Meat hits are iffy except the hams. The thinking is you immediately full them up and push the bull so that the bleeding continues, that way you can follow and he further bleeds out or you get another shot opportunity.