Shot a buck at 20 yards last night, he was broadside and arrow hit just above the brisket right behind the shoulder like it shows in the picture. Dark red blood. Bumped him last night so gave him time but bumped him again this morning after following for almost a mile, finding numerous beds and places where he stopped. I figured I had at least clipped one lung and/or the liver but am skeptical I didn't hit any vitals at this point. We are still able to follow the blood trail, what are chances of recovering this deer?
Not good IMO. Too low for liver. I'm assuming from tree stand. What height ? Really too many unanswered questions. Sometimes we don't hit where we "know" we hit. Hope you find him and the meat is edible.
Depends if you were in the exact position of that photo. If you were that would be a dead deer. Next deer you field dress check the depth of the deer`s chest at that very point...it`s not as thick as you think. The "brisket" is in front of the shoulder...that area is the "sternum". Shot was probably lower than you think....any whiteish grease on the arrow?
Yes from tree stand. 15 ft. Up. Also worth noting, he stopped about 50 yards from where I hit him and stood for 20 mins before heading into cover. Have not come across my arrow but he was bleeding from both sides of his body so the broadhead must have made it through the other side. Is there a "dead zone" down there just like above the vitals? What could I possibly have clipped?
that spot or lower with an angle and he is still alive sounds ominous. probably did not enter chest cavity. does his bed look like he is coughing up blood to the side, or just around the body? still hunt him and get another arrow in him. When he stood at 50 yards, would have been a good time to shoot again if possible.
No dead zone. Sounds like you hit high brisket. Maybe you even nicked the heart by a fraction. I think the advice above is great. Keep on him and slowly move forward until you can sneak close enough for a finishing shot.
With the deer in the photos leg back like it is than he is most likely gut shot. That red dot is actually a bit too far back and low to catch the lungs and nowhere near high enough to get liver. I believe he will die, but it may take up to 24 hrs . If he has been bedding just back out and let him lay he won't get up if you leave him alone long enough. I hit a a nice buck 3 years ago in almost the same spot maybe a bit farther back but not much. A guy down the road from me found him dead 2 days later laying in a small creek. Said he was still pretty fresh and did not seem to be dead for more than several hours. Shawn
shawn ia spot on ive been on several deer hit like that, about 1/2 were dead next day, aome we had to back out and wait.....give him some more time . if you can watch him from a distance great, if not go in one guy on trail one arrow knocked ready quietly....
Blood just around body, not coughing it up. Is a diaphragm hit lethal? I'm planning to go back in the morning to try again. Will try get close enough for a shot if possible. I agree about a follow up shot at 50 yards when he stopped but trees were in the way so that wasn't an option. Thanks for all advice/ideas, I appreciate it!
Yes diaphragm hit is lethal, won't go far. You did not hit that deer where the red dot is, that is in front if the diaphragm, maybe you hit lower and just have a flesh wound, but that red dot is a dead deer. Forrest
I agree with Drahthaar, I hit a deer there a few years ago and he didn't go 50 yards. That is much closer to a heart shot then diaphragm or guts. go straight up the leg just below center body and get a double lung hit. I believe you hit lower then the spot your showing on the pic. But if I were you I would keep looking.
Why go back now? I would think giving him time is the best option at this point? If theres no dead zone down there how could it be just a flesh wound like everyone keeps saying? When the arrow connected it hit him like a ton of bricks and took him a second to get going, not like I just grazed the sternum or anything, I can guarantee that's not the case.
If he is continually bleeding and bedding up numerous times I’d keep him on his feet til he wears out. Has to be weak with continual blood loss. I hit one there a few years ago - single blade slice to the bottom of the heat. Pushed him and he bled out. Barely nicked the heart the shot was mostly in the bottom of the rib cage.
There is a great youtube video I wish I could link you to that shows a anatomically correct full sized deer target and I mean its a perfect reproduction of an entire deer complete with all vitals and bone structure and it is IMHO mandatory viewing for all bow hunters. It showed me just how incorrect my supposed "Knowledge" of white tail anatomy was. A good example is there is no so called "DEAD ZONE" above the lungs and below the spine. In this video the has a deer with part of it's chest area removed exposing the lungs. He inflates the lungs and clearly shows the lung occupy the entire chest cavity right up to the bottom of the spinal cord.
Judging from what I now know sounds like you hit him in his brisket and likely not any vital organs. The color of the blood can tell you often but not always if you hit a major vital organ or artery or vain. Same for any hair you found. Once you know what each different type of blood looks like looks like, muscle blood is easy to discern from liver or cardiovascular sources of blood. IN my experience once I learned what they looked like blood from muscle, liver or cardio sources were easy to identify, UNLESS my arrow also passed through the gut as well as say the liver as I had happen one time. But I saw 100% for certain a fair amount of liver blood on the ground where my arrow had impacted after pass though. So I left the big 10 alone till fallowing morning and found him dead in his first bed. I recommend you search Youtube for deer anatomy videos the education will be well worth your time. best of luck but if you did as I suspect hit him in the brisket only he should recover baring infection. What type of BH did you use?
Several years ago i shot a good buck with a similar hit. I saw the hit and thought maybe heart shot. Pass through. Deer went 50 yards and locked up, i was waiting for it to fall. It moved 15 yards and bedded. I backed out and because it was so warm came back about 6 hours later and deer was gone. Long story short i shot that deer 3 days later on another stand. The first hit [4 blade] went through the bottom of one lung and below the other. Hole was 1.5" above the bottom of the lung. The lower lung lobes I was told are less lethal. Hope this helps.
That is where the exit hole was on my bull this year. The one thing I had going for me was entrance was right in front of hind leg. He was alive 14 hours later. My hit was guts and through the diaphragm. He wouldn’t run so I finished him off quickly.
There is no dead zone below the heart/lungs (or anywhere else) but there is plenty of muscle below the sternum to get a body hit. Go find a dog and feel how much muscle there is on it's chest. Same with a deer.
I am blown away by the comments on location of internals. I am just flabbergasted. Never seen so many parts put in so many places that dont harbor such parts. No wonder people wound deer so often. If you dont know where something is, how are you going to hit it? Not talking about the OP guy (alone) either. Just horrid!
Good news! I was able to recover this deer this morning 40 hours after the shot, about 9 hours of searching total. The hit ended up being about 2 inches further back than I thought and a tick higher, not lower and just a flesh wound like many expected. Thanks to all for sharing your experiences and advice to help me keep my hopes up! Not an ideal situation by any means but I learned a lot of valuable lessons.
I apologize, I did not take pictures of the entry and exit wound. The best I can do is tell you that the arrow entered about 2 inches further back and about an inch higher than where it is marked on the picture above and exited out the bottom of the animal just behind the sternum. He must have been slightly turned toward me judging by the angle of the entry/exit. No vitals were hit other than guts that I could tell. Hope that helps
AWESOME!!! Congrats MFJ and a GREAT buck as well! Way to stick with it, and you obviously made the right choices. One thing that always stands out is that often the hit isn't exactly where we thought it was. Way to keep after him.
That`s why these "bad hit...now what" threads are nuts. The information is rarely correct....the shot angle and area hit is rarely correct....thus any advice is rarely correct. Makes everyone look like fools.
He won`t post the pics as the actual shot will be far different than described. Which is fine because in the heat of the moment it`s hard to know. If the shot went where we "thought" it did the deer would of died.
There was no mention of "quartering to" and the photo showed a dead broadside deer.
Even where the shot was shown to have hit is borderline guts. The lungs come back quite aways up high but the are farther forward down low and shoulder protects the lower portion and the heart to some degree. That is why I said with the leg back like it was the shot was very likely guts from the get go. Shawn
After all this discussion about the hit, where vitals are at, what to do and you didn’t take any pics of the entrance or exit?? Come on man. Are you sure it’s the same deer or did you just want to wrap this thread up?
Congrats. When you said the blood was dark, I knew your description with the red dot had to be wrong. Flesh wound blood is not dark. And my opinion on trailing dark blood...don't "stay on him" as some suggested. Dark blood is most likely liver or guts. Either one...if you push that deer you could lose it. Dark blood...back out for 6 hours or more and come back with field dressing gear.
Congrats on a nice buck, but it would have been of great benefit for us all to have seen the shot placement photos, and know what organs were hit. Doesn't matter if you hit him somewhere else than what you thought, can happen to all of us in the heat of the moment. Most of these threads end up with no deer found. If I went to all the trouble of finding the deer and taking suggestions from guys here, I would have taken some additional photos to educate us all on things that can happen, it only takes seconds with the phones most of us carry these days. Was the meat in good condition? How long was the deer dead, few hours? How far did it travel from last place you kicked it up? Congrats once again.
This thread is starting to get funny. I was looking around for a GIF to lighten the moment. I came across a similar type "follow along" thread at Texas Bowhunter titled "Just Shot A Good One!!". It's a long one but some good anatomy pics on there.
Sorry guys, left for a week long vacation to Sweden, haven't had time to answer your questions. I will address each and every one on my return. I appreciate everyone's input and will do what I can to return the favor. Cheers!
Here we go, first of all I am not hiding anything, I have posted the truth and admitted my shot placement on the original post was slightly off, not far off like many seem to have wanted it to be. The people who gave advice based on the original post and picture provided much more valuable feedback and advice than those who just assumed I was lying or didn't know what I was talking about. The real world experiences they provided on this thread and in private messages was very similar to what I experienced throughout my recovery of the animal. For those who think there is a possibility that I am not telling the truth about the recovery and if it is the same deer or not, go ahead and think that if it makes you feel better. If you can't take me at my word just because I didn't take pics of the entry/exit after an emotional recovery process then that's your problem, not mine. The quality of the buck had nothing to do with my chances of recovery so that is why I didn't mention it in the original post. Every deer gets the same effort from me whether its a nice buck, fawn, doe, small buck, etc.
With that said here is the last part of the story... After bumping the buck out of a shelter belt the morning after I shot him, we backed out until the next day. We picked up blood where we last saw him enter the woods (about 1/2 mile from where he was bumped). From there it was a fairly slow trailing process as blood was sporadic. We followed blood (without any beds but a few stopping points) for about another 3/8 of a mile through the woods until it led us to a potential river crossing. From there we were not able find anymore blood so we couldn't confirm if he had actually crossed the river or followed it, or potentially turned back. We decided to just start looking and ended up finding him in a thick patch of isolated cover about 300 yards from where we had last blood at the river crossing. It turned out that he did cross the river. I am so thankful we were able to stick with it and recover him! If I missed any important details, please let me know. Thanks
Thanks for the support guys. The meat was still good! Temps were cool enough and the coyotes stayed away. He did not require a finishing arrow but not sure how long before we found him he would have expired. We recovered him approximately 25 hours after we bumped him the last time. It appeared that he ran out of gas rather than bedding because his rear legs were doing the splits and you could see a path where he drug himself with his front legs.
Curious what you found as to the hit. Was it right where your red dot in the OP photo showed? What did you hit that was the source of the blood loss? Couldn't have been much for it to keep going for approximately a day and a half. Props to you for your persistence and successful recovery!
Really surprised he lasted that long with guts involved. Peritonitis is what seems to kill them. As I've posted about 3 gut shot elk being alive 15+ hours later shows how tough they are. Those however had a lot more guts severed but even then 2 required a finishing arrow even though they were pretty much immobile.
Two things I get from this is we seldom, without video, know exactly where we hit and trailing a gut shot animal in 4 hours as some prefer is likely to lead to a lost animal.