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P@Y Ethics Question
As a father how would you handle this. In 2016 we had a large 10 pointer 170 class deer we had seen many times on our trail camera. On an evening hunt my 17 y/o son stuck him while chasing a doe. My son has shot several big game animal prior, but this was his largest. We waited an hour and went to look for blood. We found good blood right away and started to follow. He told me the shot was a little high ,after 100 yards blood started to thin out. Not wanting to push the deer we came back in the AM and followed another 150 yards, until we lost blood in a 2 acre overgrown pasture. Bordering the pasture to the north was an old strip mine ground and overgrown pines [ not our property ] we gain permission and search for 2 day with several other people, with no luck.To the south of the pasture was all open field for 6-7 hundred yards. After 2 days we gave up the search. Fast forward 2 years. On New Years Day my son was cleaning out a section of woods south end of the farm that a storm had went trough several years ago that was very grown up [new stand location for this fall] and under an old fall tree that had ivy and briars he found the skeleton and the rack of the buck he shot fully in tack cover with moss small portion of his broadhead and arrow stuck into the scapula opposite shoulder from where he shot it . We contacted the conservation officer and showed him. We received a salvage tag. My boy recently ask if he could register it with P@Y as a kill . I don't know if it can be done, how many days, weeks, years afterwards. I don't feel right since it has been so long. I feel bad now that we should have looked in that direction, looking back through old trail cam pic, most of the pic was at the southern end of our farm, when trailing him it would have made sense for him to head north in the thickest ,nastiest area not to cross an open field , lesson learned on my part. How would you guys address my son?
Unfortunately, you can't determine what exactly killed that deer-was it the arrow, was it coyotes? P and Y determines these on a case by case basis, but normally, if the search is abandoned, they won't accept it as a fair chase kill. Sorry for the bad news.
I would think you have a chance. Deer had arrow still in it. I would ask P&Y it could be put in as a pick up. Shawn
A pick up in others record keeping
You say it was "170 class". Maybe put it in B&C if it is truly 170 class. Based on the location where the arrow hit the offside scapula and the shot angle, do you think the arrow actually did the buck in?
Franzen, Ya I am sure the arrow did him in, basically the deer made a hook back went about 800 yards from last blood but 6-7 hundred was open field
Can’t be considered for entry once recovery attempt was stopped.
I cant see how or why they would allow it.
I had something similar happen on a significantly smaller buck a few years ago. Shot was about right height but a bit back.....as in liver/kidney area.....so I backed out and came back the next morning. Due to a very large grass field behind the smallish property we had permission to hunt, I got in touch with a longtime friend who was training a blood trailing dog. The dog had recovered a few deer at that point, but didn't get on my buck and took us to the rear of the property, where we searched the tall grass for hours. My friend finally suggested it wasn't a fatal hit and bid me farewell.
I continued to look and reluctantly gave up the buck as lost. Fast forward a couple weeks later when my son-in-law was up from Florida to bowhunt with me. He related a foul odor when the wind gusted from the north, so after a morning hunt I did a walkabout and followed my nose. The buck had indeed died from the shot and gone north rather than west as the dog implied. He had made it about 150 yards into a really dense tangle between the woods I hunted an a standing corn field.
What the coyotes had left, the flies and maggots had taken over......so all I reclaimed is the head....which I promptly tagged with a current tag as it had only been a couple weeks. I ended up having a Euro mount done on the head, but in no way would have considered a P&Y entry at that point. Even though I felt the dog had ended up a distraction to my normal tracking, I had left off the trail and it was a hollow victory to find it beyond salvage except for the skull/antlers. My personal take is that P&Y should not consider this as anything but a found deceased deer with excellent antlers.
I guess each to his own. But I would not want to enter it, given the circumstances. On the other hand, P&Y entries is not my thing. I have a few critters that for sure above the minimums, but have no interest in getting my name in a book.
Are you wondering about the Ethics of it, or just the rules? 'Cuz Rules is Rules... It takes a bigger Man to do the Right Thing whether the Rules allow for it or not.
And I think you're right. Compared to making a clean kill, not losing any meat, etc., this was just an accidental find, as you've described it.
Apart from the fact that there are big antlers involved, there's really nothing for a conscientious hunter to be proud of here, is there? Sometimes a perfect SHOT goes bad, but a Bad HIT is a Bad Hit, and you've gotta own it for what it is.
So is it OK to be proud of having lost a mortally wounded animal just because it's big enough to get your name in a book? Is it OK to Win Dirty as long as you Win? Does that mean that we should all be willing to take Hail Marys if the antlers are just big enough?
I think you're doing a great job as a dad here by asking the question; I think he may need a little "Guided Discovery" teaching to come to the right answer on his own, but ask yourself this: WWWCD?
(What Would Ward Cleaver Do?)
My almost 16-year-old and I are both home sick today... I'll ask him what he thinks.
Sorry, you stated that you stopped looking/abandoned the search for the animal. Does not qualify.
My family follows the if you couldn`t eat it, it`s a pick up. Not that we haven`t over the years found a couple some time later, that we knew were so in so`s. They just don`t get the "so-called" bragging rights to it. Just my thoughts, ethics is different to everyone though.
Well said GF. P & Y does not have a pick up category for good reason. B & C does to honor the animal. Not sure I want my name listed on a pick up certificate. I would be concentrating on increasing my bowhunting skill set than anything else suggested, but that is just me.
If he is a true 170", he's a Booner, and B&C will accept him as a pickup as stated above, but it takes a hell of a buck to net that 170" mark...
"After 2 days we gave up the search."
Once the search is abandoned, it is no longer eligible for P&Y.
Nope, no way. Besides, did he tag it? Not even.
Truthfully....who cares about P&Y entry. If it was clearly his arrow and by all descriptions a good lethal shot....he "killed" the deer. He just didn`t find it.
The fact that the rack was still intact is a miracle....to me it makes a great hunting story. I would bring it to a taxidermist and restore that great buck to it`s glory and display it proudly.
You’ve got today’s school system to thank for that conundrum. There are kids flunking every assignment they do all year, and yet they still pass to the next grade. Participation trophies etc. Now you’ve got a situation that clearly doesn’t make the cut and your son is unsure. That’s because for years he’s been taught that a fail isn’t REALLY a fail. In this case, the unfortunate truth is, he failed. And it’s real life this time.
I’d address it by telling him there are times in life where things don’t go the way we want. For him, that night was one of them. All that means is a guy has to keep trying. Encouraging him to try and get it into P&Y would be doing your son a disservice imho.
"Memories" are what it is truly all about! The Hunt is what is/was important! "A Book" isn't what The Hunt is all about! ...... Move On and Continue having fun exciting hunts and make lots of great memories!
@Adam - nice to see a Young Guy with the same POV as this Old Dude.
BTW - just asked my kid about this, and couldn't get an answer out of him that wasn't dripping with sarcasm (unfortunately, he got his sense of tact from the Ol' Man.... My fault. Workin' on it.)
But I'm glad that he gets it. Easier to see the truth of the situation when it doesn't cost you any disappointment...
Is he proud of the deer to the point he would feel good about entering it
Would he feel the same if was a 125" buck?
"You’ve got today’s school system to thank for that conundrum. There are kids flunking every assignment they do all year, and yet they still pass to the next grade. Participation trophies etc. Now you’ve got a situation that clearly doesn’t make the cut and your son is unsure. That’s because for years he’s been taught that a fail isn’t REALLY a fail. In this case, the unfortunate truth is, he failed. And it’s real life this time."
Yep, exactly. I know a "kid" who suffers from this as well, so much so he entered an animal his mom shot with a rifle under his name and as a bow harvest. You can't fix stupid.
I dunno, Nick... That's a whole new level of Dishonest.
OP's kid DID at least make a lethal shot, personally, with legal weapon, which was (presumably) a legal, vertical bow. He just failed to recover it. Not from lack of reasonable effort, but failed nonetheless.
But as Adam said, Fail is Fail. Everybody fails at something, sooner or later, and many of us fail regularly. Hell - if you're good enough at baseball, you get can get paid millions of dollars a year to fail 2 times outta 3 and people will want to pay you more.
No shame in Failing. Lying or Bragging about it, not so much.
I would like to carify some of the statement made. My boy has already killed several PY animals he was asking if it was ethical to register this animal being that long. He was unsure of the rule and I told him I didn't feel right doing it I just posted the question on bowsite. My question is how long is to long ,I have been on many outfitted hunts where somebody shoot and animal and don't find it till the end of the week or if you shoot and animal and let it sit over night and the coyotes get to it. Was it the coyotes that killed it or the the arrow? what is Ethical ?
When you abandon the search the you forfeit any right to enter the animal..If you quit searching and find it by happenstance two days later it would not qualify either.
Sounds like you got your answer on the P&Y entry question. And it makes sense - if you ran a club that offered awards for achievements you would have to verify that those achievements met certain criteria. To not do so would open the organization up to ridicule. Speaking ethically, no, one shouldn't expect them to take this entry.
But that is from a club/organization perspective.
From a hunters' perspective, things are a little different. From your sons' perspective (or maybe any hunter in his shoes), it is more like, I killed a really nice buck with my bow & we didn't find it until now. Good and not so good. Of course the confidence level of isn't 100% on 'this is my buck', but what is the acceptable confidence level? 90%, 55%? It sound like the confidence level is high enough in this situation that, yes that is his deer and you have the salvage tag & all. The distance from shot to where the deer was found isn't mentioned, but it sure sounds like the arrow was the cause of death. And if may even have been a quick, clean kill.
Aside from not knowing the policies if P&Y, I really don't see where you son failed at anything. Oh I guess the most pessimistic of us could say he failed because he lacked many years of experience with blood trailing and didn't find the deer because of that. But really what hunter in is teens is going to be the guy leading the blood trailing activities?
No that usually falls to good old Dad. Simply put, part of raising a young hunter is trailing the deer he/she shoots. Many times, the blood trail is short. But when it isn't, Heaven help you (literally). With all the honesty I can muster, I say good luck to all of you dad's on blood trailing your kids' deer. There is more pressure on you trying to find your kids' deer than if it were you own.
bchunter, I for one applaud your efforts in finding that buck. You can't be blamed for lack of effort. As we all know, failure is a big part of hunting & that certainly includes blood trails. When the blood trail ends and the guessing begins, sometimes deer zig when we think they zaged. Finding the buck 2 years later is a much bigger victory than never knowing.
Not find a wounded animal and having it rot in the woods is a failure. We have all failed.
not indicting him or any of us who have done this but to say it is not a failure means one would deem what happened a success and that is not the case in the minds of any ethical outdoorsman.
I wouldn’t want to enter it even if I could. See above.
Its not baseball,,, you do not need a score, to have a memorable hunt,,,, its just tough luck,,,, if you hunt long enough, another one will come along....
Yes, failure. We agree. My point was if a hunter makes a good killing shot & the deer doesn't go that far, the head tracker failed. What should the hunter have done differently? Again, a lot of pressure being the head tracker - especially when it is your kids' deer.
I’ve got three kids. I love them. It’s difficult for me to watch them struggle when something goes wrong, they make a mistake, someone else makes a mistake that negatively impacts them or bad luck gives them a turn.
I’m a guy. A dad. My first inclination is to want to fix something. To do something.
I completely understand that you want to reach out to find out if others feel differently than your first reaction... to maybe find an excuse to overlook your own ethics.
“ I don't feel right since it has been so long. ”
I think instilling your ethics is what will matter for your son for the future and even if you are forced to watch him struggle for a while, you will be doing him a better service. And a better service to the world.
Of course, I post this as though I have real answers. When, in reality, I’m just trying really hard not to screw up my kids too badly.
KX500 he didn’t make a “good killing shot”. With good killing shots the deer is recovered in short order. This one went a long ways.
Not judging as we’ve all been there, but IMO as hunters we need to own what we do - both the good and the not so good.
All I can tell you is what I did. The biggest whitetail I have ever killed was with a gun. But I did not recover it for several days and the coyotes had left only the bones. That rack was cut off and hangs weathering out in my barn. I would never have considered mounting this buck or entering in any registry. Every time I looked at it would have been a reminder that I FAILED on that hunt. Why would I have been reminded of that?
Orion’s Brother for the win! I hear you 100%...
I dunno Matt. The last line of your post boils it down pretty succinctly.
I can’t imagine how anyone can want to claim bragging rights for someone else’s animal like the kid in Nick’s post, Rowdy Dowdy or someone who steals a mount.
How is it that the voice in their head doesn’t take them to task every time they look at that entry, picture and mount?
Congrats on finding him. Who cares about the p/y or b/c. If he likes that buck find a good cape and mount it. Im sure most on this website have had this or something similar go wrong while shooting an animal. Lesson is practice, and practice more.
A lot of people on this forum have previously stated P&Y entries are to honor the animal, not the hunter. Does that alter the dynamics? What is the point of an entry?
Then leave the hunters name out as an option for those who are honoring the animal.
If one is truly honoring the animal, why does it matter how it died?
The old honor or respect the animal story. I'm quite certain a deer doesn't care if it is shot by a self made crossbow or a rifle. 5 yards or 1000. Middle of the day or in a spotlight at midnight. Dead is dead and we are fooling ourselves.
You guys gave up the search after two days and you want to enter a buck you stumbled across 2 years later? Really????
Interesting topic and good clarity of the subject. I would have loved to PY this Nebraska buck last season but lost him and two weeks later and after the coyotes had a great meal, I found him.
What would eligibility be if you and your buddies looked and then agreed it was a lost cause. You thank them for their help and offer to do the same for them.
You have resigned to the fact it’s not going to be found or looked for any more and the group is walking back to the truck not looking for the deer
lol and behold someone trips over on the hike out. Is it Eligible given you had quit looking and all agreed to abandon the search
Bou.. that’s actually an asinine scenario. Nobody is going to track a deer back in whatever distance they are and abandon the search 2 miles in the woods and not look for the deer on their way back to the vehicles, plus, now you know what killed the deer, which is the more important aspect...