Contributors to this thread:
Deer escapes...upon arrow impact....
I just wanted to get experiences from other bowhunters. I realize that this is just a rough rule of thumb.....but it seems to me that the majority of time, when my arrow hits a deer, 70% of the time they go away from the side that the arrow impacted them, 20% of the time they'll go in the direction that they are facing, and the remaining 10% is variable. Feel free to share your experiences/observations.
Thinking of the last nine deer I shot, that is what I can remember. Seven went the way they were facing. One turned around and head back the way he came from. One started going the way he was facing and quickly made a semi circle and died more or less the way he came from. Antelope I killed this year also did that.
Most of the time mine have just gone in the direction that they are facing unless there is some super thick cover close by in a different direction. Interesting post Jake, I am curious to see what others have experienced.
I think most of my deer have turned and ran back towards where they came from. My thinking is, they know they just came from a secure area, and it was safe, so they want to return to where it was safe. Otherwise, they also seem to want to run into the wind so they can smell any danger ahead of them.
Best guess is 60-65% went the way they were facing the rest back the way they came.
I'd say over half of mine have turned and went back the way they came from. As said above they know that is a secure area.
I feel like they always seek refuge, and that's normally where they came from, but there is a great variable. The truth is, the shot placement means a great deal. If you double lung or heart shoot a deer, they have perhaps 10 seconds to get as far away as possible, from the thing that just caused them great harm (broadhead and arrow). Where they usually head, seems to be what sanctuary they are familiar with, and that's often a spot you don't often trek into, or you purposefully leave alone. I've hunted a piece of property long enough to know where they will probably head direction wise, depending on the stand. Hopefully at the shot, it's just a direction, and they tumble to their death, before they get there.
I believe they head where they came from because they know it’s “safe”
I use a single bevel broadhead which exerts rotational force as it penetrates....so my deer usually get spun around to the left before they run.
Don’t you dare call BS on me...... ;-)
I’m in the camp that they turn and run back from where they just came from.
I would say a large majority went the way they were facing. Only a handful went back where they came from and a few away from the hit.
I have seen them veer away from the exiting arrow always going forward in the process.
Most of mine turned tail back where they came from.
Most of mine go the way they were facing.
From what I can remember it seems if they’re the least bit alert they run back and usually pushing and turning away from the shot. If they are and unaware they dash easiest way which is they way they’re headed. One buck I’ll never forget I shot maybe 10yds Below my tree, the arrow was thru him so fast and quiet he had no idea and only retreated about 20yds. He was dead on his feet falling down and getting up 3x. I shot him a second time just for the opportunity to see what a spitfire would do. It 50/50 him in the lungs, he expired on my arrow breaking it.
My experience is 40/40/20 on deer and 60/30/10 on bears
I don’t or can’t remember them all. But, I also don’t remember them turning into the shot. Ever.
This is very interesting to me. Most deer have gone more or less in the direction of travel but a few went back the way they came.
The ones I’ve shot recently in the evening (4) turned 180 degrees and went back to where they came from(bed). The one I’ve shot in the morning went the direction he was facing which was to bed. Whether they run straight, turn, or dead away a believe the are all headed “home”. Now the route home can vary as most aren’t going to run out in the wide open to get there.
I've seen them do just about everything (in terms of exiting the area) after the hit. I think a majority run more or less straight ahead, simply because it's the anticipated direction of travel. The deer that do 'the drop'....I call it the Drop & Swap...are almost always going to turn 90-180 degrees and run off. Deer running straight ahead almost never do the 'drop' first. In the end, I don't think it's very predictable in terms of what a given deer will do when the arrow hits.
I'm not 100%, but I'd say a majority for me have gone the direction they were facing. The next group did a tight or large loop. IE, facing left, ran a stride or two and started hooking towards or away from me and looped - working back generally towards where they came from. Then a group that fell down there (a few spine hits over the years)... And the smallest group is deer that just jumped a time or two, then stood there and fell over.
In the evening, they go where they came from. In the morning they go where they were headed. Mid day it's a guessing game, and I think I could apply your percentages.
Most of mine have run the direction they were facing. This includes misses to. I can only remember a few turning and running back the way they came. One that turned and ran was quartered away.
If I am in close quarters to private land I always try and set up for the deer to run away and forward of the impact. In my experience, that is what they do most times.
most of mine run towards my truck
Another thing to consider, was the deer escaping danger? I’d imagine if they were they’d be far less likely to turn back towards the threat.
Lucky, I had that happen once. It ran toward and died right on the road, LOL.
"most of mine run towards my truck" Explains the "lucky" part. Most of mine run away from the truck.
I've noticed most seem to approach coming into the wind, and exit with their face in the wind (on the best escape trail).
My thought on this is that it really depends on the shooter and the setup and how the sound of the shot plays into the equation.
Are you someone who sets up and/or let’s deer come through and then shoots them? Or do you shoot early as they come in? Your preference and how you set up your stands and shooting lanes has a lot to do with this.
I’ve noticed that when I set up to let them come through, they continue on away from the noise of the shot. But when I shoot them as they’re coming in to the area, if the angle of the shot is in a 90 degree corner from my stand where they came through and exited, then they’ll turn around and run the way they came.
Quartering to and broadside shots I feel they run back a lot more than quartering away shots.
If you use a straight fletch, they run straight. Otherwise they go in the direction of the helical/offset.. ;-)
Seriously, seems like if I shoot one dead broadside they often turn, but not always. If quartering away they most often go straight or arcing away in the direction they were headed.
But thinking about it (I do still think now and then..) if I hammer a rib on the entry side it definitely turns them, hard. If it slips between ribs, they most often go the direction they were headed. Same with elk.
Almost all of mine (mule deer) have gone the way they were facing. The three whitetail, one went the way they were facing, the other two went back the way they came.
My experience has been that the direction is dependent on whether I have scared the hell out of them or if it is a more subtle shot. I generally do not think deer are aware of their anatomy. They get poked, kicked, scraped and that is the course of their life. So it has to be the noise of the bow coupled and the impact of the arrow. But here goes my perspective: 1) I hit the deer in a traumatic spot and hit bone, or heart or the impact is something that scares the hell out of them. They run straight away (maybe 30 degrees on either side of the direction they are facing) as fast as they can the vast majority of the time. 2) I hit muscle/vitals other than the heart, with a cut on contact head and feathers - they seem unpredictable - forward, turn, whatever - anybody's guess. The often die within sight and sometimes resume walking shortly after being shot. I could somewhat argue that the closer they are to me (ie the noise of the bow) the more likely they are to go away from me (rather than back past me if that is the direction from which they came), but I think I am leaning myself in that direction more from logic than clear recollection. Chisel heads and vanes seldom led to this same reaction and was usually more like the get-the-hell-outta here deer and run generally the way they are facing.
I think there is a combo of things that dictate what a deer will do. Alert/calm, in the bush or open, what the other deer do, the noise of the shot. In one spot where I shot a couple of deer.......they both pretty much ran the same J-hook track and died within 10' of each other. I filmed both of those tracking jobs. Another spot that I filmed both shots.....one deer did a J-hook back to where it come from and the other ran straight ahead. I rifle shot a buck on Monday and it turned and ran 90 degrees from the direction it was standing, then turned 90 degrees to it's right and ran into some brush and died. I never had a shot deer run at me. Over the decades I've had other deer in the group that weren't shot run up to my treestand trying to figure out what just happened.
As best as I can recall, they ran the way they were facing. In one case, my arrow struck a deer quartering towards me and he ran directly at me, passing within 10 yards of me.
Directly away, or straight forward, maybe a few spin back direction they came,,, but never had one come towards me...
100% of the time they run in opposite direction of my truck.
My experience is 40/40/20 on deer and 60/30/10 on bears
....and then of course, there is the exception to the rule......had a buck quartering away the other day.... upon impact, the buck turned and ran back quartering to me....