Each buck was shot in the chest, with full pass-throughs and each ran less than 100 yards (30, 50, 70, and 80 yards approx.). Only one left a great blood trail – and that one made it the farthest after the hit. I saw 3 of the bucks fall and they were alive for fewer than 20 seconds (probably less) after the hit.
One deer was shot with the G5 Montec and the others with a 3-blade Muzzy. Is anyone else experiencing pretty quick kills (less than 20 seconds) but with fairly sparse blood trails?
If I have a low exit hole that is not in the armpit, I have awesome blood trails.
Honestly, that's the big reason I went away from Montecs. I guess I could not sharpen them enough to get good blood trails. It was not the head, it was my lack of ability with a file. I typically get really nice trails with Theads.
My personal opinion if you want consistently better on average blood trails selecting a fairly large expandable and aim lower.
And when you hole the heart, there’s not much blood pressure to force it through; not like when you clip a high pressure line and there’s a lot of air moving in and out of the entry/exit and aerosolyzing along the track...
Ribs don’t have thick, overlapping layers of meat on them.
But gravity is definitely your friend.
That said.... Two holes bleed more than one, so I’m a penetration fan. You can put a 2” wide hole in the top side of a deer from up in a tree, and if the head doesn’t clear the hide on the bottom, you’re hosed. You’d be better off with the legal minimum. Funny thing, too.... When a deer drops at the sound of the shot, it seems they can kind of do a “soft catch” of the head so that it doesn’t poke through as reliably...
That’s what keeps us busy off-season, though - plenty to think and theorize about...
Helps to shoot good.
I think shooting more forward is the key to consistently better blood trails. Putting an arrow through the major plumbing coming from the top of the heart is what puts blood on the ground IMHO.
On the other hand. The times I’ve had actual “blood trails”. It seems like something was wrong with the shot placement. Not always the case obviously but has been my experience.
When both lungs collapse, the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain is halted, the animal becomes unconscious within seconds, and it dies before it can bleed to death.
Just not with the theatrical spectacle of a blood trail.
But I will say this about mechs - they just seem to bleed more onto the ground. Even the trusty rocket steelhead at 1 1-8” cut seemed to consistently drop more blood than I’d get from the same size fixed head. I don’t k ow if the blade angle being “worse” makes a bigger hole because of stretch or what, but they seem to bleed more. That being said, the 2” cuts seem to bleed the most.
Reason I say I disagree is because I truly believe that the good 2” mechs will drop more blood on the ground and the whole 2 hole theory. It’s all nice to sit at home and say 2 holes are better than one, but we are never ever guaranteed two holes. Seems to be my luck but seem to regularly hit the offside shoulder one a quartering away or slightly quartering away which results in very dead critters, but often one hole. You are only guaranteed one hole. If you hit the animal you know you are going in, but you don’t know if you’re coming out. If you hit the animal even marginally well with a 2” like a Vortex or Rage Hypo or Trypan, those animals WILL leave you a good blood trail in my experience. If you get two, well that’s a bonus. Besides that, if you hit them right, most drop in sight.
Am I saying a 2” mech is right for everything? Not at all. But where usable, I now choose them, simply because a lot of weird stuff happens, and I’d rather have an easy trail to follow. My Montana mulie this past year was a prime example. Hit him money, he would have died regardless of head used, but he somehow managed to go like 150 yards down a ravine and up the other side magically evading my sightlines. Where he died was the last place I expected him to be. But in really short grass, I was happy he left me one of those graphic trails, because every instinct I have would have led me to search elsewhere. Instead, I had a quick recovery, and with sun and temps in the 90’s I’m glad I was able to clean him up quick.
Cutting more does not always equal bleeds more. It's arteries and pressure that pumps blood, lots of blood. A big ol huge meat/gut hit will bleed little in comparison to a 1/4" nick in an artery. It's what gets hit. A firm believer in what x-man said. Many heart shots instantly take out the pump. Blood pressure drops to zero. But for some gravity, blood stays in organs (the brain being the most critical) the organs still have some use of the oxygen in that blood for a bit of time. More time than an artery hit the the heart pumps out and drains the organs of blood quickly. I'll take a heart shot every day of the week and twice on Sunday, no doubt. But often blood trails are challenging. IMO anyway, an' I'm stickin' wid it.....
Poor blood trail does not mean it's not bleeding, obviously. They die because of blood loss (or rather oxygen, blood just carries it). Just means it's not coming out somewhere for whatever reasons.
Shot angle plays a part. Folks used to shooting from trees and low exits get stressed when a shot from the ground (especially if a bit high) doesn't immediately start dumping blood even with a pass through. Many times the chest cavity is filling and not spilling out. Many poor trails with dead animals at the end laying in a swimming pool of blood where they tipped over and drained out. Also many decent trails peter out to nothing, followed by mild to moderate panic..... with many times a dead animal a short distance away. My guess is when they run out of blood they stop bleeding as well.....
Pass through is never.... ok, rarely.... a bad thing.
Blades should always be sharp, that's cannon. Blade design is variable/optional. And IMO (as long as they are sharp and relatively intact) not as critical as some think. KInda like pickup trucks and women.....
And I'm also firmly convinced some animals simply do not have any blood in them at all...... =D
But they are never, ever “worse”, are they? (Gonna disagree with TD on that).
But I think he’s right about blood trails petering out: “Wise Physician says: All bleeding stops. Eventually. “
Old joke from my Dad...
Makes sense to me that if they run out of blood while on the move, they should be down close by. I’ve noticed, though, that a heavy trail leading to an empty bed/stopping place is usually the end of the blood trail.... How far they go from there can vary.
“I believe that the arrow sawing back and forth as they run causes a lot of damage.“
I believe that’s only true if you’re talking about an arrow that only went about half as deep as it should have. I understand a head that stops in the off shoulder or even wedged into the ribcage on that far side, but short of that???
Something went wrong there.