QuietKat all-terrain e-bikes
Tracking Help
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Wader 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
patdel 30-Nov-18
Franklin 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
Hawkeye 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
Franklin 30-Nov-18
Russell 30-Nov-18
INbowdude 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
GF 30-Nov-18
Wader 30-Nov-18
wyelkhunter 30-Nov-18
Stoneman 30-Nov-18
Bou'bound 01-Dec-18
Steve Leffler 01-Dec-18
woodguy65 01-Dec-18
Hunt98 01-Dec-18
WildernessBuck 01-Dec-18
Dave B 01-Dec-18
Rock 01-Dec-18
Wader 01-Dec-18
LBshooter 01-Dec-18
Robear 01-Dec-18
Ucsdryder 01-Dec-18
Wader 01-Dec-18
Ucsdryder 01-Dec-18
spike78 01-Dec-18
Ucsdryder 01-Dec-18
Kodiak 01-Dec-18
Charlie Rehor 01-Dec-18
Cazador 01-Dec-18
Beav 01-Dec-18
Wader 01-Dec-18
WildernessBuck 01-Dec-18
KSflatlander 01-Dec-18
Wader 01-Dec-18
t-roy 01-Dec-18
INDBowhunter2 01-Dec-18
WhitetailHtr 01-Dec-18
KSflatlander 01-Dec-18
Wader 01-Dec-18
LBshooter 02-Dec-18
GF 02-Dec-18
carcus 02-Dec-18
KSflatlander 02-Dec-18
Wader 02-Dec-18
Wader 02-Dec-18
GF 04-Dec-18
Genesis 05-Dec-18
APauls 06-Dec-18
carcus 06-Dec-18
Genesis 07-Dec-18
From: Wader
30-Nov-18

Wader's embedded Photo
Arrow
Wader's embedded Photo
Arrow
I shot a big buck this morning at 945 am. He was 30 yards out I was 20 ft up with a bow. I shot him in what I believe was the shoulder area couldn’t really tell as it happent so fast. He turned and ran about 60 yards and slowly walked off. I Found blood and then found my arrow and it had about 10-16” of penetration and blood on it. The blood trail was pretty sparing and ended in a field 300 yards from where I shot him I backed out and came back at 4 to pursue him more as we had no blood due to snow melt we went in direction he was heading and split up. We went about another 100 yards and bumped him up. He took off and we found blood in his bed. We then backed out again. I noted where he ran but I don’t know what to do. Can I get some input please. I know a lot of people probably won’t like this post and will frown upon it but when bow hunting it can happen and I am extremely desperate and in need of help I do have pictures i posted can anyone help on blood color and if it will die or not. Thanks

From: Wader
30-Nov-18

Wader's embedded Photo
Wader's embedded Photo

From: Wader
30-Nov-18

Wader's embedded Photo
Finger is where blood stops
Wader's embedded Photo
Finger is where blood stops

From: patdel
30-Nov-18
Wait over night and go look in the morning. All you can do.

The fact that he was bedded down within 400 yards after 7 hrs?? Is a good sign.

The fact that he was able to get up and run off, not so good. But I still think he was hurting pretty bad.

Go after him when it gets light and be prepared to shoot him again.

Best of luck.

From: Franklin
30-Nov-18
Hard to see that arrow....are you saying the arrow penetrated the distance to your "finger/thumb" and fell out or is the arrow busted off? Is the pic of the blood the amount of blood you are seeing because that is not a lot of blood.

From: Wader
30-Nov-18
Thank you a ton on the input and the luck it’s much needed.

From: Hawkeye
30-Nov-18
That's decent penetration and very well could have captured one lung--perhaps angling anterior to the off-side lung. If so best you can do is keep tracking until you get another shot, he succumbs to the wound, or lives to see another season. Exhaust all options and good luck!

From: Wader
30-Nov-18
Yes the thumb is the amount it penetrated and it didn’t bust must have fell out. And yes that is the blood some spots even less than that I had until I lost blood 100 yards from where he was jumped up.

From: Wader
30-Nov-18
Bad thing is he was a 160”+ whitetail. Would’ve been my biggest to date. I hate to have him laying dead somewhere I pray I can either find him or he lives on.

From: Franklin
30-Nov-18
I would let him lay as long as you possibly can....I know that`s not easy to do. But if you wait and bust him again and he doesn`t look any weaker or sicker there is a good chance he will survive. If you don`t bump him chances are he is dead somewhere close. Be patient and next time going in do it stealthily and be prepared for a follow up shot.

From: Russell
30-Nov-18
Any chance in getting a tracking dog for assistance if legal?

Either way, we all hope you find your buck.

Will be eagerly waiting for an update Saturday.

From: INbowdude
30-Nov-18
Where in Indiana are you? I'm in Hendricks County and we've got rain coming in the early am so any blood is going to be gone. At first light get on the last spot you saw him, take the most logical trail a wounded deer would take, check out any water source. Buzzards are mostly gone so blue jays and crows might give you a hint. Are you on private or public? If you find it, I hope the coyotes don't get it first. Best of luck and be safe.

From: Wader
30-Nov-18
hendricks county. And thunderstorms tomorrow have to be Sunday probably.

From: GF
30-Nov-18
So which is it? 10 inches? Or 16?

Broad daylight, and the hit was in what you “believe [was] the shoulder area”?

What was the shot angle? Broadside? Quartering to? Quartering away?

16” should produce two holes; if you got that much depth of penetration without producing a quick kill, you didn’t hit through the ribs ahead of the diaphragm, so the question is whether you hit above the spine (reasonably survivable) or behind the diaphragm (pretty much guaranteed fatal... eventually.

And I realize that I am just being a grumpy old fart, but I can never read one of these threads and not get the sense that people wouldn’t care nearly so much about a bad hit if it didn’t involve a whole lot of bone above the ears.

And that’s crap.

If you think a massive 8-point (or whatever) is a bigger loss than a spike, Hunting is better off without you.

From: Wader
30-Nov-18
Probably around 12” obviously it wasn’t a passtrough I had to have hit some sort of bone. I was shooting a 100 g rage hypodermic broadhead. It was a broadside shot may have been quartering away a touch but not very much at all. And I understand I would be upset on no matter how big it was no matter what gender it was a bad hit is a bad hit no hunter wants that. It makes you sick. I am just trying to find my deer. My deer just happens to be the biggest deer I’ve ever shot. First time this has ever happens to me. I’m just looking for help. What kind of blood does it look like on arrow to you? I figured lung as I had some micro size bubbles in it and it was pretty light but the blood trail had no bubbles and was kind of faint compared to any other deer I’ve shot.

From: wyelkhunter
30-Nov-18
Wader. Hopefully all the input you have will help you find your deer. One thindpg I try to lea4n is what can I do different. One comment you made I have heard many times, could not tell where I hit because it happened so fast. If you do not shoot with lighted nocks, I absolutely will not hunt without them. Your eyes will play tricks on you. Use this as “ what can I do to get better”. Good luck

From: Stoneman
30-Nov-18
My guess is you hit one lung and the deer will die, he just needs time. If you had not bumped him he might have died there. If you have a good idea where he went, look there first thing tomorrow morning. If you bump him again and he runs off, well then it probably was not a lung hit. Just my guess based on what you have shared.

Looking back at the blood, it is pretty dark (liver) and how he ran then walked (again, more paunch / liver). I was going more on what you said about the blood (bubbles). Either way, I think the deer will die or is dead already.

From: Bou'bound
01-Dec-18
a high one lunger but more likely mid body and a dead and unrecovered deer is the most likely outcome.

when blood peters out and distance gets beyond a couple hundred yards your odds go way down. the equivalent of a missing person and the first 48 hours. there are realities and statistics and they crash when certain milestones are passed

01-Dec-18
I bet one lung. He could be alive this morning. Sneak in as quiet as possible as I wouldn’t be surprised if he needs another arrow. Good luck and please let us know.

From: woodguy65
01-Dec-18
Tough to say based on the info - but I think you just hit muscle - no lung. However, I would pursue it as though you got one lung. At this point all you can do is go back and start a grid search with your buddy in the likely area, since the rain would have washed any sign away.

You could also try and walk in the general direction of where you last saw him - and try and figure out where he would go based on the terrain in that area, water, very thick area with briars and honeysuckle basically where you would not want to walk.

Finally, I would check back in the original area that you shot him its likely he circled back to that area if its thick. I would grid search the hell out of that area as well. Good luck hope you find him.

From: Hunt98
01-Dec-18
If it was a lung shot, wouldn’t there be blood coming out of his mouth/nose? Wouldn’t that show up where he bedded... blood on one of the long end side of the bed?

Good luck on your search!

01-Dec-18
That looks like liver blood. Probably a dead deer. Hope you find him.

From: Dave B
01-Dec-18
My first guess seeing that arrow was a center punch liver shot. Same with the blood pool on the ground. Explains the reaction after the shot with the running then slowly walking away and bedded nearby too. The penetration does not fit that shot though as you typically get a clean pass through with a liver shot. Even muscle shots won't have a thoroughly bloody arrow like that. I hope you find him so you can do an autopsy.

01-Dec-18
Jordan, I feel your pain. Your best bet if recovering that deer us with an experienced cold tracking dog. Go to deersearch.org and locate a tracker in your area and tell them that it was shot yesterday. Even if the dog can't find the remnants of a trail (which may be at a molecular level, and not visible to the human eye), it may find the carcass. If the dog can't find it then I'd start beating the bush in every swamp and brush pile while watching for buzzards. Good luck, and let us know the outcome! Cheryl Napper

From: Rock
01-Dec-18
I totally agree with what Dave B and WildernessBuck have said Liver hit, which also matches with the reaction you decribed. Tracking dog is your best bet at this time as others have said I believe. does your arrow smell bad lick liver/guts? Blood is too dark for lung hit.

From: Wader
01-Dec-18
No smell on the arrow no hair no particles just blood and had some tiny micro bubbles in it a few different places.

From: LBshooter
01-Dec-18
If you compound guys would put more weight into your arrow and use fixed heads instead of these mechanicals you would have less tracking jobs. These 300 grain arrows fly fast, but they penetrate like S@&T. Shoot a 500 grain arrow with a woodsman or even a muzzy and you will go through bone. Hope you find your deer, keep t it and I'm sure he'll be laying waiting,in you. I agree with gf, these tracking posts are almost always about bucks.

From: Robear
01-Dec-18
Wader, I completely understand your desperation to find this deer. To right the wrong , so to speak. A deer of that caliber is a special animal, and quite rare in the area that the average bowhunter hunts. I know of several guys, after having exhausted all other options, to have had found someone to take them up in a plane. All three found the dead animal from the air. Now, having said that, these deer were killed fairly close to a large metro area comprised of a lot of brushy fields as well as crop fields. They may not have been as lucky looking in large wood lots.

From: Ucsdryder
01-Dec-18
Wader any luck this morning?

What bow and arrow combination were you shooting?

From: Wader
01-Dec-18
I have a bear motive 6 70lb draw with carbon express mayhem hunter 350 arrows and 100g rage hypodermic broadheads. I am headed back out here in a minute it’s nasty out today but nothing this mornin we will see what happens this afternoon and tomorrow I plan on lookin. Basically just checking water and grid searching.

From: Ucsdryder
01-Dec-18
Best of luck! Look at Paul’s thread, his buck was within 100 yards of last blood. Keep positive!

From: spike78
01-Dec-18
You couldn’t have used a Rage and not found it ELKMAN swears by them!

From: Ucsdryder
01-Dec-18
Rage (almost) in the cage!

From: Kodiak
01-Dec-18
Good luck to you. I've been in your position and it ain't fun.

Pay no mind to the negative types, just do the best you can. Good luck to you, I hope you find him.

01-Dec-18
Kodiak+1 Good luck!

From: Cazador
01-Dec-18
Kodiak, let me edit your post.

"Pay no mind to the negative types "that never kill anything", just do the best you can. Good luck to you, I hope you find him.

From: Beav
01-Dec-18
Wishing you the best of luck!

From: Wader
01-Dec-18
Well no luck tonight. Going to go back out tomorrow and check got permission from the neighboring property owner may have to ask for a couple more tomorrow.

01-Dec-18
Best of luck. Thats all you can do is try at this point. Don't get too discouraged, you are doing all that you can.

From: KSflatlander
01-Dec-18
I one lunged my best deer this year. Jumped him 45 minutes after the shot so I backed out. Looked the next morning where I last seen him and found nothing with my dad and son helping search. Turned around to grid out the timber and my dad found him not far from where I last seen him. I must have walked no more than 20yds from him the first time and never seen him. It was pretty clean timber too. He must have died not long after I backed out cause he was pretty cold when I gutted him. There was no blood stains on his mouth which was surprising. Fletching plugged up the hike on the opposite side. He was quartering must more than I realized. Hit one upper lung.

I feel your pain cause I felt it until the last second dad found him. Keep searching. A dog would be good if possible.

From: Wader
01-Dec-18
Ksflatlander how was your blood trail? And where did you single lung him?

From: t-roy
01-Dec-18
Best of luck with your search, wader. Hope you find him!

01-Dec-18
I was in the same boat as you earlier this year. Looked everywhere he could be. Kept looking, neighboring property owner had a buddy with a deer dog, had him come over and start where my buck crossed the property line. Found him in 15 minutes. This was after a torrential downpour, which it was doing when I shot him as well. He was probably in the only 20 yard by 20 yard area that we didn't walk thru earlier in the day due to the neighbors trailcam being there and didn't want to get that close to it. You could see my buck laying there in pictures when the buzzards found him about 18 hours after the shot. Not really helpful information, other than to just keep looking. Watch for buzzards/crows/eagles even coyotes could give up the location. Know anyone with a dog that can trail deer? Trail could still be good for a dog with all the moisture on the ground this time of year. Good luck

From: WhitetailHtr
01-Dec-18
From my two experiences hiring a champion deer tracking dog - do not assume the dog is the end all. Because I later went back over ground we had been through with the dog, I found BOTH deer MYSELF and the dog had been within 100 yards of one, and less than 50 yards of another. Sure you can hire one, too, but always follow your instincts. JMO

From: KSflatlander
01-Dec-18
There wasn’t really a blood trail because the fletching plugged up the hole. It went through and stopped on the opposite side. The entire shaft was sticking out and only the last 4-6 inches with the fletching was still in the body cavity. Hardly any blood at all.

I hit the back half of one lung.

From: Wader
01-Dec-18
Good to know thank you all got some buddies coming down tomorrow to help I’ll keep you posted

From: LBshooter
02-Dec-18
How big is this buck? 450 gr arrow is so so for a 70 lb bow in my opinion, I'd like to see 550 plus. At the very least get rid of the rage, go to a fixed head.

Now, do you have any trail cams up and working, check them to see if the deer is up and walking his haunts. Also, I'd go find the thickest cover you can find and search it, nice to see that your giving it every effort to find the deer, most don't so kudos to you for that, hope you find it.

From: GF
02-Dec-18
Wader -

My bad - I used “you” in the general sense, but it came off as 100% personal, and that was not the intention. My apologies.

So... Any luck? Good call to get access to the neighboring property, but I hope you won’t need it.

Just a thought.... How much effort do you suppose was required to extract that arrow?

Kinda looks like it got packed with hair or something - hard to tell from the pic, but sometimes the hair can tell you something about where you hit. Or if it’s not hair, what was it? Gut contents?

I’ve shot over the spine and topped the off-side lung once, but that takes a far steeper angle than you had. So your only chance (on a slight quarter-away) at a single lung is angling forward from the liver, in which case you must’ve put a BIG hole in the diaphragm.

Liver has a distinct aroma to it, so you should be able to tell if that’s what you got. Does look like it, though.

Any damage to the blades as if they hit anything hard? Did you hear a crack? Just a whump?

Possible you got the rear margin of both lungs... I just can’t think why your arrow could have been stopped if it hadn’t hit anything solid, though, and I didn’t get the impression that you had.

One more question- what was the distance between where the arrow dropped out and where he stopped running? OK, two - what was the path like once he started walking? Following trails? Bee-line? Arc? Wandering?

From: carcus
02-Dec-18
The blood looks like liver, but you should have gotten a pass through with your specs, I hit my buck in the liver this year, recovered him the next morning after a mile long blood trail and 30 beds! Good luck on your recovery

From: KSflatlander
02-Dec-18
Any luck wader?

From: Wader
02-Dec-18
No luck. Trying to get ahold of another surrounding property owner and when he started walking he was Basically on a bee line and about 75 yards from where he stopped running to where arrow was. I didn’t hear a loins crack or anything like I hit a bone either

From: Wader
02-Dec-18
*loud*

From: GF
04-Dec-18
So the deer stopped running with the arrow still in him?

And walked off 75 yards ‘til the arrow fell out. And kept walking?

Did you find him!

From: Genesis
05-Dec-18
What a whitetail does the first minute post shot usually serves as the oddsmaker for recovery.

The fact the buck stopped running after 60 yards on a shoulder hit does not bode well for recovery.

This is the very reason I do not advocate aiming for the V aka tight shoulder hit that is the epicenter of the pulmonary system,instead preaching straight up from elbow on broadside making posterior lungs your bullseye.

Shoulder shot deer are the devil to recover if they don’t die quickly

From: APauls
06-Dec-18
I'm guessing at this point you haven't found the buck yet which really sucks. Hope I'm wrong. A final recap wouldn't hurt, find out if you found anything or not.

As far as the buck vs doe thing, that comment is BS. It's 100% natural to want a once in a lifetime even to work out more than something that can be repeated every year. I'm not saying a person should put in any less effort to try and find a doe, but it is human nature to WANT it more when it is that big buck. Losing a big buck is more of a loss than a doe or a spike, because it is an event that may be once in a lifetime or, once in 10 years or whatever. They're both a loss, but one is a loss of an event or memory that is not as easily repeated as another.

From: carcus
06-Dec-18
You hit the nail on the head Adam!

From: Genesis
07-Dec-18
Arrow flight being equal,a 450gr arrow from a 70 pound bow will kill anything in North America as effectively as any arrow 100 grains heavier.Your setup is A OK.

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