Contributors to this thread:
Alright guys I shot a doe at 25 yards. The shot was forward and went into her shoulder. I found my arrow and had blood about 4 inches down the shaft. We found blood trail but it quickly turned to drops then none at all. This is the first deer I have shot and I am looking for any advice. When she ran after is shot she wasn’t using her front leg which was the shoulder I hit. If anyone can give me any advice on weather she’s gonna make it or expire would greatly appreciated. Height wise the shot was about middle body. Thanks for any help.
4” isn’t much - how long is the Broadhead? Also did it stick in and break off or bounce out?
Where on this grid did you hit and at what angle? From a stand? How high?
great chart skipmaster. great idea
What did the hit sound like? Hitting a block of wood or a pumpkin?
Glunker it sound like hitting a block of wood. The arrow came out after she ran about 10 feet from where she stood when i shot.
mechanical broadhead and light arrows ? that won't punch through a shoulder often IMO ..... she'll live
She'll live until something catches up with her. Depending upon how hard the hit was she could have impaired use of that front leg for whatever remains of her life making her susceptible to predators, etc. Your shot will not likely be fatal IMO.
I really hate it. This is the first time I’ve ever done it which I think it’s why I’m taking it so hard. Around here the only predators we have are coyotes. I definitely regret the shot. I do appreciate everyone answereing. It definitely helped out.
Bad shots happen to us all. Put forth your best effort at looking, think what you may do differently next time. Then make sure your equipment is in great shape, you practice a lot and get back out there.
If you can answer, Skipmaster's question, you are a better bowhunter than anyone on this forum. Bottom line-you made a marginal shot, lost the deer, probably she is doing just fine.
Move on. That was yesterday, yesterday's gone. You know what you did wrong...you made a bad shot. Quit over-analyzing and go hunting.
So are you planning to indicate where you hit her?
Would be useful to indicate your bow, poundage, mass of arrow and fps, if you happen to know it.
Most likely no appreciable damage inside the chest cavity; pretty good chance that a fixed-blade head would have had her on the ground in short order...
Truth is, all these "experts" on here, are going to do, is get you fighting your head. Just go back to the woods, forget yesterday and go hunting. Aim-release-go blood trail. That is all there is to it. Some you miss, some you hit, some you hit and loose.
Bowriter just referred to others as experts in quotations....hehehehehe
That's right, "Stick" and I just referred to you in "quotations". Got anything to add? Or has your "Stick" gotten to limber...you old fart. :)
I agree Bowriter. Over the years I’ve had a couple of shoulder shots ruin my day and actually GF they were made with fixed blade heads, so most likely nothing... a bad shot is a bad shot no matter what. John is right forget about yesterday and move forward. Learn from your mistakes
4-inches of arrow penetration doesn't sound like a lot, but that is enough to get into the chest cavity. However, blood 4-inches on an arrow doesn't necessarily mean it penetrated 4-inches. With the arrow falling out that quick it makes me think it didn't enter the chest cavity and she is alive. No one truly knows and look as hard as you can and then when all efforts have been exhausted move on.
If you hit the shoulder blade, which is what it sounds like, it's very possible no vital organs were even touched. Whatever happens to the deer, it's out of your hands. Sometimes you just have to lay it by and resolve to do better next time.
Rich - you’re right. Hard to generalize. And I was thinking about where he said he hit, rather than what he probably DID hit.
So I shoulda known better!
Don't sweat it Brandon. Like most of the replies have stated, it happens! Those whitetails are tough critters and the fact that you recovered the arrow complete tells me you most likely didn't penetrate the chest cavity. Even if you poked a lung she will probably survive. I could tell of more than half a dozen deer I have killed who had previously been shot with arrows and survived. One of which was shot the first time by me. Practice alot and don't settle for mediocre shooting at the target. Not saying you do at all but try for perfect and when the shot presents itself you won't second guess . Pick a hair you want to cut and let er eat! A friend gave me some advice when I first started hunting with a bow . Shoot the first deer that gives you a good shot then shoot the next one. My first one was a doe fawn that weighed about 60 pounds . I was proud as punch ! Get back after em!!
It’s been a while since I’ve wounded a deer. But it bothers me when I do. In fact i sometimes feel like my emotions are at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. One, I want to hang it up, the next I want to go redeem myself immediately. It’s never easy but don’t ever forget it. Mistakes are the best teacher.
The best thing you can do is LEARN from it. There's things from this incident that cannot be learned from a book or a website. Use the experience to gather knowledge so that the chance of it happening again are greatly reduced. That's why it's called HUNTING.
Thanks guys for all the replies and support. It means a lot I will definitely be getting back after it.
I'm not sure I agree with the comments that you didn't enter the chest cavity. If by 4" of arrow you are counting the broadhead, that's approximately 1/3 of the width of many does. If you are talking about 4" of shaft plus the broadhead you are talking more like half. The deer might still have survived if you only got one lung but it could just as easily been a killing shot.
Likely a very difficult trail but I wish you luck. We've all been there.
"I`ll take D-8 for $1000 Alex".....
I must be a better bowhunter than anyone here I guess. In fact, most people I know must be better, according to you. Just in case I am not understanding the written language (which you provided) would you like to educate me, to the following question?
Are you suggesting that nobody on this site can accurately identify the location of the arrows impact or are you suggesting that nobody here knows where the point of aim was (or the deer for that matter) at the time of release? Do you shoot with eyes closed and assume that everyone else does as well? Perhaps you also keep them closed until the deer is hit and well on it's departing way?
I am just having a hard time imagining what you are suggesting. Please take a moment here and give me an education and a look into you're world.
"If you can answer, Skipmaster's question, you are a better bowhunter than anyone on this forum. Bottom line-you made a marginal shot, lost the deer, probably she is doing just fine. Move on. That was yesterday, yesterday's gone. You know what you did wrong...you made a bad shot. Quit over-analyzing and go hunting. "
It would also seem as though the thought of self education via critical analysis is a waste of time as well, considering the ending of the quoted above.
It would be fair to assume that you pretty much congregate with others who let it fly and hope they die types, who share many such stories of losses that cant be explained.
I can only hope that the low level of concern you exhibit in the field does not extend or rub off on those around you.
Franklin, I like D/E 6.5 for the win!!!
4 inches it will likely live like some said if it don’t nothing goes to waste in the woods. We all have lost some critters.
Probably, I should not respond to Lever Actions post. But given his name and his apparent expertise, I thought I would. Besides, it is a slow day here, raining...again.
Now. No one knows where the deer was hit. Okay, let's take the facts in evidence. The only person there was the shooter. So, obviously, no one else has any say. How many times has a shooter been incorrect in his version of where an animal is hit? I stand by that statement. Number two: I don't shoot a lever action although I do own an old Savage Model 99. But in 64-years of hunting and studying deer, I have wounded and failed to recover quite a few. Anyone who hunts much, especially with a bow, will either say the same or lie. Either that, or they have not shot at many. When that happens, you can do two things: 1- learn from your mistakes, try not to let it happen again, or; 2- Agonize over it for days and let it ruin your hunts. I tend to move on. And I firmly stand by my statement, not one person on this site knows for sure, (1) where the deer was hit; (2) How much penetration, (arrows provide only an approximation.) Or, (3) if the deer lived or died.
We were not there, we did not see and the information given is at best, inconclusive. You made a bad shot, try not to do it again and move on. It happens and if you shoot at enough animals, it will happen again. OR...you can sit there and worry and pass up shots because you are afraid you might make another bad one. And guess what...there is not one person this forum who can make that decision for you.
But...sooner or later, it is probably going to get cold. Maybe I'll get out my lever action.
I guess I'm on Lever Actions side here. The entire purpose of this thread is asking for advice. I keep checking back and just can't understand why skipmasters question wasn't answered. I hope to see that chart used on every discussion like this moving forward. There's a ton of experience with various hit locations from people on here. That chart will allow people to speak from personal experience. Even if the deer isn't found, it allows for discussions regarding hits in various places. I've lost a couple that were hit near C7/C8 due to the arrow plugging both holes resulting in no blood trail. Also made a quick kill with a terrible shot on E13 that died within sight. We're just trying to help and always trying to learn.
Hey skip, 8C, 20 yard shot, 18 feet up. Dead deer or too high? My neighbor said he shot one there this afternoon... struggling to find it
That’s what I said. Gets back to the point that a lot of the time we don’t know exactly where we hit the deer..
I woul also like to add that we even took my walker hounds out to track her and he found the spot of blood for us. He found more spots of blood after that but it got to where their was none at all and he took us if I had to guess probably over 200 yards from where I hit her. Which also makes me think she never died.
My hound has found two deer for my dad one a six and the other a doe. So I definitely trust him.
Oneida = Lever Bowhunting = Action
There you go Boriter.