Contributors to this thread:
Shot placement report
Last weekend I shot a doe and the results of the shot from where it was placed surprised me. My whitetail anatomy map has been updated so I thought I would share this with everybody. The doe was coming past me at 18 yards broadside on a mowed trail. She caught me drawing and apparently twisted toward me slightly as she looked me direction. The arrow hit almost exactly where I was aiming and she immediately disappeared into the thick pines and brush. I was sure of the hit but left it for an hour then came back with my dad and my 4-year old daughter to track. This was her first blood trail and I figured it would be a fun one to start on. We found good blood right away and tracked the first 75 yards at a walk until we came to a puddle of blood where it was obvious she had stood. I didn't like the look of that but we kept on tracking as we had good blood. She came out of the woods and crossed the neighbors driveway. About 30 yards into the goldenrod field we found an empty, bloody bed. We decided that somehow I had seen wrong and I'd hit her in liver so we backed out for the night. I came back to track the next day with my brother. We slowly tracked her from the first bed on through the goldenrods to 4 more beds in the next 100 yards. At this point the tracking was really slow going in the goldenrods as you basically had to check the sides of the stalks to find blood. While I kept tracking, my brother walked the edge of the treeline where the trail was headed to and saw her laying dead in the woods another 100 yards ahead of me. She was laying 320 yards straight-line distance from where I'd shot her. I don't think I bumped her the night before because all the beds were within 30 yards of each other. I caught the diaphragm and went solidly through the liver. 125 gr. VPA broadhead. I was just surprised to see that I hit pretty much where I thought I did and how poor of a result I had. Hope someone else can learn from this.
I'm guessing one lung and liver. Did you get stomach at all. The stomach comes way up under the liver and lungs down low.
No I didn't touch the stomach. No gut material on the arrow or in the body cavity.
Super interesting. Thanks for sharing! Just another reminder to rely on what you're seeing on the bloodtrail as opposed to sometimes what we thought we saw at the shot. Also another reason I like a big mech like the Vortex. I was in tag fill mode and killed a buck last day of the season last year and hit him in the liver as well and he went 50 yards and I watched him die in about 8 minutes. I do think with a smaller head he could have gone longer and further.
Don’t know how you missed the near side lung. I would’ve thought lung on near side and liver on exit side. They can still go quite a ways with that combo though.
Man, if you don't aim there, where the heck do you aim?
Definitely can be very deceiving sometimes. Glad you found her. Congrats!
Based on shot placement, I too would have expected a pretty short track job. May I ask what you were using for broadheads? How sharp were they? Not trying to start something, just curious about other potential variables.
I believe it was the old siberian shark on here years ago that was always harping on shooting them straight up the leg mid body and you eliminate what happened to you on this doe. I have shot a ton of critters straight up the leg with great results. Your shot 2 inches forward and you probably would have watched her die. Not try to criticize your shot just the first thing I thought when I saw your entry hole.
I obsess over shot placement and made a similar shot 10 years ago on a doe - identical in fact. Thought it would be dead in 50 yards, but based on findings left it overnight. It went 150 and was devoured by bears. The problem with the shot was - the way lungs taper forward the lower you go, that shot and angle makes it impossible to hit both lungs. Had it been 3-4" higher, a sure double-lung. Had it it been 3-4" forward - same, double lung and even heart. I always say "intersect this green dot" and you watch them drop. Love this diagram, which I got from Bowsite many many years ago and still share with new bowhunters today. I just added the green dot.
BB also strongly advocated for strait up the legs shots especially on Elk.
Interesting! Thanks for posting and good job tracking, glad it worked out.
I shot my buck last year in the same spot advocated by Jack Harris. The deer traveled straight down a 210 foot near-cliff after the shot and was dead in the trout stream at the base of the cliff. My aiming point on broadside deer will coincide with the picture he provided.
Thanks for the post. Some interesting things happen out there in the field. I do like the "straight up the leg" shot but I do think it brings in the upper shoulder blade more when shooting down from a treestand as most of us do when whitetail hunting......
My assumption is that the shot was quartering to and down.
it depends on teh anatomy of the individual and also the mood or adrenaline when they are hit as well as after the shot. The buck I shot in 2016 went 10-12 yards double lung pass through. A similar placed shot by my hunting buddy about 20 years ago was over 800 paces. That one was also double lung, pass through (same as my buck) , broadhead was still sharp when we found it. Main difference was the buck was alone, he never knew what hit him. In the case to the doe, she was with 16-18 other deer. I was able to watch her get hit and run from a distance of about 250 yds away (my buddy was in a ground blind edge a swamp, field, while I was in a tree). After the shot she ran quite a ways then bedded down. Several other deer moved over to her and nudged, kicked, prodded her to get up. This happened repeatedly until they all disappeared in to the swamp. Found her the next morning partially eaten by coyotes. Paced off the blood trail and numerous beds. Tracks all over the place so guess is the other deer accompanied her and kept her going even with a serious mortal wound. On another note the last two deer I shot in the liver went about 25 yards and about 70 yards before bedding and expiring.
IMO a animal can survive a liver hit, I've had liver hits go down right in front of me and others I never found, I would've found them if they died, eventually
Carcus - I’ve had the same experience. I think it has to do with hitting the main artery in the liver - if you do, they die real quick. If you miss that, it’s going to be a long blood trail. I’ve shot a doe in the liver and watched her run 50 yards and freeze up like she’d been hit by a lightning bolt and tip over dead.
Tonybear - I’ve seen the same thing with a doe my son shot a few December’s ago. Trailed in it a light snow for over 2 hours. The herd of does kept getting her up and she’d go another 200 yards or so. Never seen anything like it.
In my opinion, an animal cannot survive a liver shot. What they can do, is go along ways, especially if bumped, and leave no sign to follow. Secondly, a few coyotes can consume an entire deer overnight, and leave very little for even bluejays and crows to feed on, which leaves very little evidence in the course of two days time.
One went 50 yards, the other almost 400 yds.
One went 50 yards, the other almost 400 yds.
I just said that of the 100+ deer I've tracked in my life, I've learned something from almost all of them. Last week I killed 2 deer in one sit. Mature doe broadside at17yds, double lung and heart tipped over in sight. The other a 3 yr 8pt quartering away at 18 yds Perfect placement hitting liver, lung and heart and into the opposite shoulder, going close to 400 yds. These amazing animals are so tough!
Animals do strange things when the adrenaline starts pumping. Two years ago my buddy and I were hunting hogs. He was warming up for deer season with his crossbow. Sitting on the ground he suddenly had hogs all around him. He pick his Xbow off his lap and shot a 150 lb. boar through both lungs and the broad head hung up in the off shoulder. A few minutes later a hog came out in front of me where I was sitting with an AR in 6.8 SPC. I shot this boar through the back of the lungs and he ran. We got my JRT and tracked him 75/80 yd. in some think stuff. When we turned him over my buddy’s bolt was still lodged in his off shoulder. It was 600 yards in a straight line according to Hunt Stand app from where he had been shot.
This thread is timely . I tend to shoot a little further back than I should. If you have enough bow you will probably penetrate shoulder blade if you have a broadside shot and hit a bit high. I will remind myself first opportunity.
I’ve shot deer that have done things defy belief. Glad you recovered her.