eBike Generation
Spine shot, need help
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
APauls 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
Bou'bound 29-Oct-18
grubby 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
Mo/Ark 29-Oct-18
pointingdogs 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
APauls 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
Rock 29-Oct-18
stealthycat 29-Oct-18
Treeline 29-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 29-Oct-18
longbeard 29-Oct-18
Duke 29-Oct-18
Franklin 29-Oct-18
Beav 30-Oct-18
carcus 30-Oct-18
ELKMAN 30-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 30-Oct-18
Feedjake 30-Oct-18
Bou'bound 30-Oct-18
LTG 11 30-Oct-18
Bear Track 30-Oct-18
APauls 30-Oct-18
Marty 30-Oct-18
longbeard 30-Oct-18
longbeard 30-Oct-18
MDcrazyman 30-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 30-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 30-Oct-18
Rick 3 31-Oct-18
Feedjake 31-Oct-18
MichaelArnette 31-Oct-18
MichaelArnette 31-Oct-18
MichaelArnette 31-Oct-18
Lee 31-Oct-18
bdfrd24v 01-Nov-18
BuzAL 02-Nov-18
APauls 02-Nov-18
mountainman 02-Nov-18
APauls 02-Nov-18
SixLomaz 02-Nov-18
From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18

bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
First and second arrow
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
First and second arrow
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
last blood
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
last blood
I need some help. Shot a good buck this morning at 8am. Like always everything seemed to happen so fast. Its wet and windy and he just appeared at 25 yds at a log that I had pre ranged. No time to even think he was a shooter. I pulled the bow back as he started a little walk foward and I was going to have a chip shot at 25ish yards. Of course my peep had to be all crooked, why not. Anyway touch the shot off and bam it spines him, back legs drop and hes pulling himself in a circle and lays down right here.

Knock another arrow quick, this time its a VPA 150g. Should have mentioned for some reason I decided to hunt with some spitfires this morning. I'd shot a couple do with them and was impressed so figured why not. Second guessing that and the shot now. There is literally no window to shoot but I've got a spined buck I need to get one in there and I let it fly. Thought it was a clean miss but now the buck flops down the hill with absolutely no follow up. I'm trying to tie my bow off to climb down and the buck gets up and trots off, not fast but not slow either. I'm sick.

Climb down and inspect arrow(s) Second arrow actually hit the deer, poor hit it looks like probably flesh. Got blood by wiping hand on arrow. Very wet. Find 1st arrow not 5 yds away where the buck had flopped to. Broke off right at the insert. Not good.

Wait about 2 hours to start tracking when a buddy shows up. Going to try to get pics in below. Blood is not great to follow but ok, heavy tracks and tear out really helped. About 150 yds in we get to a spot where it looks like he was blowing good blood out the nose, gets spotty for the next bit but he keeps heading down into the bottom. Crosses a small ditch and then we pick up blood heading up the next ridge, not ideal that hes going up but hes pumping so thats good. Get another 75 yds up the ridge where it starts to head back down a long spine for several hundred yards and we get a decent spot where he stood. Did not bed. Lost blood. Total distance 400 yds Id say.

I'm really disappointed and not sure what the best action is now. I'm assuming wait and head back out in a few hours but conditions are not idea, its wet and light it terrible today. Tracking dogs just became legal in PA so i'm not sure on options there. My gut tells me the deer is alive now and may make it or may not. Thoughts?

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18

bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
Blown out blood about 150-200 yds from shot
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
Blown out blood about 150-200 yds from shot

From: APauls
29-Oct-18
Never been in that situation, but if tracking dogs were legal for me that's an option I would use every time on a tough situation. The big question in my mind is your second arrow. Did it hit something that might kill slow. First arrow very slim chance it's killing him if it didn't catch the artery up there, which it sounds like it didn't. So I'd prob hire dogs and by the time they get there it's prob been long enough it should have expired if you hit something fatal. You didn't smell guts on arrow? Cause that would take longer. The journey on the trail with the dogs should tell you what you need to know. Hopefully there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But that's just one opinion. Obviously based on what you're telling us which we know in most cases is 60/40 cause it's hard to know what really happens at the time of the shot.

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18

bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
Hand from pulling out arrow.
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
Hand from pulling out arrow.
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
I'm convinced the second arrow was muscle hit only. I had a very narrow window and was really trying to just fit it in. I was surprised when I pulled the arrow out of the dirt it had blood on my hand. Touch on the veins, I believe that arrow is not fatal.

No gut smell or material anywhere.

From: Bou'bound
29-Oct-18
If that is the case he is blowing blood out mouth nose from a spine shot. Not likely. That second arrow may have been better than thought

From: grubby
29-Oct-18
I agree with Bou, maybe 1 lung??

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18
Id say one lung is possible given what we found. The weather is terrible for tracking. I'm hoping to try again in a few hours, otherwise its grid search.

I've secured permission from next 2 neighbors. One guy, which I hope we don't get that direction, is always a hard no. Should be an issue though.

From: Mo/Ark
29-Oct-18

Mo/Ark's Link
List of trackers in PA. Click on one close to you and see who is available. Best option

From: pointingdogs
29-Oct-18
Maybe a stupid question>>>> How do you know that he was blowing blood out of his nose? As a DVM I look at that photo and can not tell where that blood came from. Good luck on your search for him..... I've been there before.

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18
I'm not certain but it looked completely different than all the other blood. Looked like it was sprayed out, not drops or puddles

From: APauls
29-Oct-18
Ya, if you're lucky enough to get one lung, and come back 4-6 hours later with a dog I'd think you find him. If he truly was blowing blood out of nose, one lung would be the most logical conclusion.

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18
I'm not certain but it looked completely different than all the other blood. Looked like it was sprayed out, not drops or puddles

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18
We've decided not to go back out today. Weather has held and its going to stay high 30s tonight. 45 now.

Still working on securing a dog. Hoping for the best, really hope we didn't bump him out of anything earlier.

From: Rock
29-Oct-18
First off I would bet what you hit on first arrow was one of the spurs sticking up off the top of the spine and not the actual spine which only stunned him for a little bit. Last blood spot I would bet is blood dripping off him where it has soaked or run down the hair on his sides. from picture it does not look like sprayed blood to me. Best guess is he will live. Hope I am wrong.

From: stealthycat
29-Oct-18
Rock has it right IMO however you gotta spend time and look and hope, good luck

From: Treeline
29-Oct-18
You don’t need a trained blood trailing dog. Find a bird dog or even a mutt. A dog will help a lot! Make sure you are ready to shoot as you trail as he may still be alive and jump up when you get close. Good luck!!!

From: bdfrd24v
29-Oct-18
Like every hunter I’m hoping for a recovery for me or a recovery for the deer and he gets to chase some more does.

Heading back at it around first light.

You may be right rock. Wish I could be certain on the hit. Lighted nock helps but in all reality I just know the first shot was high.

From: longbeard
29-Oct-18
Rock nailed it and stop second guessing the use of a Spitfire. Many thousands of critters have been killed with them, but you have to make a fatal shot no matter which bh you use

From: Duke
29-Oct-18
I agree with Rock’s earlier assessment as well. The blood in the photo doesn’t tell me he’s got blood coming from mouth or nose. I’d guess your second shot clipped the very front of his brisket. Good luck getting back on him. As others have said, don’t be afraid to use a good bird dog and read him when he gets excited. Keep us posted.

From: Franklin
29-Oct-18
I found 2 deer with my Bernese Mountain Dog...lol….any dog especially a terrier will probably find the deer. A lot of times you will hear a deer blowing or coughing when bleeding into their esophagus to get it out. The deer I have scene that did this looks a blood bomb exploded....it sprayed everywhere.

From: Beav
30-Oct-18
Had a buddy spine a big buck two years ago and he could not get a back up shot in him. Dragged himself about 30 yards and got to his feet. He looked for 3 days and ended up killing him the next year with a muzzleloader. I hit an antelope in the spine a few years back and killed him 8 hours and almost 9 miles later. Good luck I hope you find him!

From: carcus
30-Oct-18
Got some backstrap and shocked the spine, if he had blood coming from his nose you either got lung too or the second arrow hit him in the neck clipping the esophagus, good luck finding him

From: ELKMAN
30-Oct-18
Why would you shoot if your peep wasn't straight? Seems to me the ethical thing to do would be to let down, correct things and hunt another day...

From: bdfrd24v
30-Oct-18
No luck on finding any more blood this morning. We are off on grid searching now.

I'm not sure on the peep issue. I felt comfortable enough to let the shot fly and thats on me. I shoot a lot of arrows and very confident in my shooting. That said this one was far from perfect.

Its looking a lot like this shot was higher than expected and Rock and others were correct it it was high back bone and just shocked him. I'm very hopeful that if he doesn't turn up in the grid search he will make it through.

Thanks for the assistance so far from everyone. I'll be sure to let you all know how this finishes.

From: Feedjake
30-Oct-18
Where are you at in PA?

From: Bou'bound
30-Oct-18
you did the right thing

I see on TV all the time spine shots where the shooter acts like the deal is closed, just because the deer it down.

They do get up often like yours and getting a second shot in ASAP is critical. I get why the TV may not show the second shot at a down flailing deer, but the message sent is if it's down you have all day to get to the deer and finish it off. You very well may not have that time. some shots sever the cord and you have forever, other times it is a 20 second concussion / shock and they will be gone in a flash.

From: LTG 11
30-Oct-18
How high was your treestand?

How much penetration did the 1st arrow get?

From: Bear Track
30-Oct-18

Bear Track's embedded Photo
Bear Track's embedded Photo
My follow up shot ended up cutting the first broadhead in half. Result was different of course. You are doing the correct thing but I'd agree, you shot in the spine but above the goodies and once you finish your grid search, I think you may be assured that deer is still on it's feet.

From: APauls
30-Oct-18
I spined a milieu a few years back and the second that arrow hit I vaulted the barbed wire fence and sprinted at the thing and laid another one into him at 20. Then settled down and walked up and shot him point blank lol. I like to be sure ;)

From: Marty
30-Oct-18
My oldest son's 1st buck, he hit high and dropped him and before he could get another arrow in him, he was off to the races. Found him the next day after a very difficult and long blood trail barely alive and put another in him. I was very surprised, so don't give up! Good luck!

From: longbeard
30-Oct-18

longbeard's embedded Photo
longbeard's embedded Photo
I spines my #1 targeted buck last year on November 10. He went down like a ton of bricks and started having convulsions so bad he flopped over a log and broke the arrow off. He then dragged his back end about 20 yards straight away, finally stood up, shook off and walked away. I could get another arrow out of the quiver fast enough. If I could have jumped out of my stand with a knife I would have. What a roller coaster of emotions!

This is a trail cam photo of him a couple weeks later. Notice the swollen hump high shoulder/spine area

From: longbeard
30-Oct-18
Damn when I look at this picture I wanna just puke. It’s a year later

From: MDcrazyman
30-Oct-18
I lost a 190 inch deer the same way, he dropped like a ton of bricks then got up and walked off, I was using a NAP spitfire as well, now I use a magnus black hornet serrazor and i know it will open and do more damage.

From: bdfrd24v
30-Oct-18
Well as many predicted the grid search turned up empty handed. 5 guys spent most of the day looking. We never turned up more blood or obvious bed.

I believe previous posters were correct on the high spine shot. Very hopeful the buck survived the hit and thrives. Maybe we will cross paths again.

I’ve been encouraged by other posters experience. I shot a few arrows when I got home tonight and feel very confident in my shot. Busted 2 nocks off in 6 shots. Hopefully yesterday was a fluke and perhaps just a duck of the string. Maybe some nerves. My first lost deer with a bow after a dozen years or so. Definitely humbling.

30-Oct-18
It happens and he will be fine. Get back in the saddle and carry on. Its the only way to get things back in line.

From: Rick 3
31-Oct-18
My uncle shot the biggest Muley Buck of his life last year with a rifle. The deer dropped at the shot. 30 seconds later he looked up to see the deer running like hell. Tried another shot but no luck. He looked for that buck for 2 days and is still sick about it. The high spine shots are always deceiving, but that is why I have learned to watch and be ready for a quick follow up shot if the critter gets up!

Good Luck!

From: Feedjake
31-Oct-18
Just a note about tracking dogs. Earlier in the thread some guys were saying that it doesn’t matter what dog it is, any dog will do. It’s true that any untrained dog can sometimes find a deer that’s bleeding, but there is a world of difference between a dog that has intrest and can follow its nose and a trained, experienced, tracking dog. Any dog is better than none but a well trained dog can keep following that individual deer long after there is no blood hitting the ground. And if you are tracking the next day, that means the dog needs to follow a specific, cold track even if it crosses fresh, hot deer tracks. An untrained dog is going to be far less likely to be of help in that situation. He could be helpful for airscenting a dead deer though, but in PA the dog has to be leashed at all times so the odds of that go down too.

31-Oct-18

MichaelArnette's embedded Photo
MichaelArnette's embedded Photo
I had exactly the same thing happen in 2016. Was shooting a 62# recurve and a 600 grain arrow with a grizzly broadhead. He dropped and started thrashing, right as I’m nocking another arrow gets up and runs off!

I trailed him for about 200 yards with sparse blood.

31-Oct-18

MichaelArnette's embedded Photo
MichaelArnette's embedded Photo
...You can see were my Brodhead pierced through the shoulder blade. Wouldn’t you know it but I ended up shooting the very same buck a couple weeks later!

31-Oct-18
...Medically speaking what is happening is that the spinal culumn not been damaged but because of the shock from the arrow impact on the spine the spinal cord is “stunned” causing the momentary paralysis and further from bruising.

From: Lee
31-Oct-18
I had that happen once. Buck dropped and I shot him again. When I cleaned him I found that the arrow went through the shoulder and stunned the spine - it never entered the spinal column. I have no doubt if I hadn’t been able to get another arrow in him he would have run off.

Sorry you lost him,

Lee

From: bdfrd24v
01-Nov-18
Thanks all. Hopefully I can follow up with him like Michael did.

I wish I could say I had pics of this deer but I don’t. He would be by far my best buck. Lots of season left so we shall see what happens. Certainly been a learning experience

From: BuzAL
02-Nov-18
Top of spine is not fatal. Bottom of spine is, and leaves a short trail. One inch, maybe two, too high.

From: APauls
02-Nov-18
Rick I think your uncle fed you a line - never heard of a deer that can "out-drop" a rifle! Bullet hits em before the sound does. Every now and then a guy just misses the mark though.

From: mountainman
02-Nov-18
APauls, I think Rick meant the deer dropped at the shot, meaning shot caused him to drop immediately when the bullet hit him.

From: APauls
02-Nov-18
Ya, you're right! ^^^^ I'm a 'tard!!!!

From: SixLomaz
02-Nov-18
Yes, you do need help. May GOD help you find the will to get over this loss and continue hunting.

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