Mathews Inc.
Hit help #2
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 05-Nov-21
craigmcalvey 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
Teeton 05-Nov-21
Copperhead 05-Nov-21
greg simon 05-Nov-21
APauls 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
APauls 05-Nov-21
XMan 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
APauls 05-Nov-21
APauls 05-Nov-21
Ambush 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
APauls 05-Nov-21
smarba 05-Nov-21
brettpsu 05-Nov-21
tkjwonta 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 05-Nov-21
2Wild Bill 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
KSflatlander 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
WV Mountaineer 05-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
greg simon 05-Nov-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
KSflatlander 05-Nov-21
RIT 05-Nov-21
scentman 05-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 05-Nov-21
t-roy 05-Nov-21
Ambush 05-Nov-21
Bou'bound 06-Nov-21
Bou'bound 06-Nov-21
SIP 06-Nov-21
Hunts_with_stick 06-Nov-21
Bou'bound 07-Nov-21
bentstick54 07-Nov-21
badguybuster 07-Nov-21
RIT 08-Nov-21
RIT 08-Nov-21
pdk25 08-Nov-21
From: RIT
05-Nov-21
This may end up being posted in the “worst nightmare thread” I shot a deer this morning at 10:15 AM. 16 yards quartering away. A situation that I often think about. A chip shot right? I thought I had a good spot picked out, I was calm, exited, but prepared. I had shot the day before for a good hour and was smacking 10 rings out to 40 yards. The entire setup was almost perfect until I touched the release.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
As mentioned the shot was 16 yards quartering away. You couldn’t set this up any better. Let’s talk about the shot. A few things I recall seconds after the shot. When I touched the release I was already thinking about post recovery for some reason. I clearly let my mind wander and was probably overconfident. The second thing I recall is the extremely loud “thwack” sound I heard after the shot. The next is the deers reaction. He had almost no reaction. He made a few big leaps, stopped and stared back at my tree. He didn’t move for at least 2 minutes. He then proceeded to walk 10 more yards dropped his head as if he was sniffing the ground while still looking back into my tree. He then walked off like nothing had happened.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Nov-21
I hope there's more to the story.....

Matt

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
I have a lot of rock on some of my ground and for the first 10 minutes after the shot I honestly thought I had missed. In between him standing in the first location and walking to the second location I was trying to get a second arrow ready but it was difficult as he was staring in my direction. By the time I got the 2nd arrow ready to go I had no clear shot. From the tree for about 10 minutes I was able to glass my arrow and the surrounding area and there were no signs of blood. Somewhat reinforcing my missed theory. Stunned that I missed I decided to get down and go check the arrow. It was easier to get down go all the way around back past my house then push through 10 yards of briars, multi-flora rose bushes and a fence. By the time I arrived at my arrow it had been about 30 minutes.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
My arrow was about 4” in the dirt and when I arrived I immediately noticed blood along the shaft and fletching. Blood looked like many others I recovered after shooting deer. Had I hit this deer and it didn’t even know what happened or did I just graze the deer? After pulling my arrow out of the dirt 2 of the 4 blades were bent but the muzzy tip was good as new. This is in a 100 grain 4 blade muzzy. I don’t know where I hit this deer. What a disappointing feeling.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
Feeling sick to my stomach I decide to head back to the house and grab a few things before I peak at the blood trail to see what I am working with.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
No blood at the impact site but here is the first location the buck stood after being shot.
RIT's embedded Photo
No blood at the impact site but here is the first location the buck stood after being shot.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
2nd location buck stood
RIT's embedded Photo
2nd location buck stood

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
Within an hour of the shot I took up the blood trail. The buck took a trail from the shot location that leads out to my big field. He then hugged the woods between the tree line and a sorghum screen. I followed good blood, easy to see blood for another 150 yards until he cut back into the woods. I stopped at the field edge and backed out. Still not knowing where I hit this deer. All I know is this deer has went almost 200 yards and I have not struggled to locate blood. It’s been almost 5 hours since the shot.

05-Nov-21
That blood looks kinda dark….liver???

From: craigmcalvey
05-Nov-21
Just me but blood looks dark. Could be liver. I’d take up the trail and sneak along anticipating needing to finish him.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
Heading back out in a few minutes to take up the trail. I had a few minutes after the shot and I didn’t notice any blood on the animal. He would have been facing me on the exit side of the shot.

From: Teeton
05-Nov-21
If you made a X cut thru the liver i can see him going max 400 yds. 5 hours I'd say he's down. If it was a good liver hit, your arrow would show it.

From: Copperhead
05-Nov-21
With a good amount of dripping blood but no sign of lung damage, I would also guess a liver hit. He will die it's just a matter of time. How much time depends on the amount of damage. Proceed slowly and stay very aware of what is ahead of you on the blood trail.

Good luck and please report back on your findings.

From: greg simon
05-Nov-21
Be quiet on the trail and scan/glass ahead. Move slow and take your bow.

From: APauls
05-Nov-21
Honestly my first reaction was liver. I had a liver hit deer two years ago act exactly the same. Livers can die quick, or take a while. My guess is you’ll find him.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
Back in the trail and I still have good blood.
RIT's embedded Photo
Back in the trail and I still have good blood.

From: APauls
05-Nov-21
Nice, good blood is key. I’m feeling good on this one

From: XMan
05-Nov-21
Sounds alot like a shot I made, I was high over the spine and the deer went over a mile without slowing down or bedding, the first 250 yards blood was easy to follow and then it went to nothing real quick. My deer also stopped and looked back to see what the heck happened, traversed hills and steep terrain without issue. Also not one bed to be found. Not saying thats where you hit your deer but very similar reaction leads me to believe you didn't get in his vitals. If it were me, I would give the deer the night and get in there early tomorrow to track more with my bow and binocs.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
In the neighborhood of 600 yards from the shot. Blood is still easy to follow I have not had to stop and put my hands on my knees I have about 400 yards until the end of my property.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
Even slow going with binos in one hand bow in the other this blood is not hard to follow. Getting dangerously close to the border. While stopping for an update I sent out a few text to get permission to track him further. One small parcel I have no chance of permission but the other two shouldn’t be an issue. One piece belongs to a 91 year old lady and she would help me drag the deer.

From: APauls
05-Nov-21
Make sure you do autopsy when you find him. Source of the crack sound will be interesting. Something in the offside shoulder maybe?

From: APauls
05-Nov-21
They just can’t bleed like that forever. Especially if you’ve gone through mid body

From: Ambush
05-Nov-21
In that case, I would consider hooking wide out to the fence line and check for blood crossing. If not, then give him two more hours and follow the trail again.

Unless you have permission to trespass. Then just stay on the trail.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
This find stings he made it off my property and went on to the property I don’t have permission to enter.
RIT's embedded Photo
This find stings he made it off my property and went on to the property I don’t have permission to enter.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
The property he went on to is not very deep. It backs up to a 400 acre cornfield and a 80 acre woodlot. I have permission to search that conditionally with no weapon. That’s not great news but better than not being able to look at all. The property I cannot enter is about 175 yards deep. Let’s hope I can find blood on the other side.

From: APauls
05-Nov-21
Dang it! Any beds along the way yet? That's a dead deer walking. Amazing sometimes what they'll do.

From: smarba
05-Nov-21
Yeah, hope he comes out on the other side, but I agree that's a lot of sign and should be fatal.

From: brettpsu
05-Nov-21

brettpsu's embedded Photo
brettpsu's embedded Photo
Not to scare you but liver hits are so unpredictable. This was a completely broadside shot. Buck was still living 24 hours later. Recovered him 48 hours after shot.

From: tkjwonta
05-Nov-21
Good luck, hopefully some good sign on the other side of the inaccessible property. That deer is done for, just depends on where he ends up.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
No beds yet. This buck did a lot of winding and twisting on his way out of my place. Not sure if it’s just the path he took or would normally take but went through multiple scrapes that seemed out of the way. He could have gotten to the area he went with a more direct route it seems. (Says the guy with no arrow wound)

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
I marked the last blood on the road so I could see it from the other side of the property that I cannot access. I covered 100 yards in each direction. We are only talking about a 3’ width between the inaccessible property and the corn field. I should have been able to find at least a drop the way he was bleeding. At this point we are close to 1000 yards from the shot. I have run out of blood but……….

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
RIT's embedded Photo
I did find a large fresh track. Running between the cornfield and woods. Light is fading fast and I have very little to go on. Going to follow this and see where it heads. The tracks are perfectly online with my last mark at the road and heading in the right direction.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Nov-21
The bull elk I liver hit last year reacted very similarly. A 20 yard burst, then slowed to a walk, then laid down for an hour, before getting up and walking off. He went over a mile, but I did bump him twice before I backed out for about 6 hrs. I finally found him 2 days later.

I'm hoping your outcome is better than mine was.

Matt

From: 2Wild Bill
05-Nov-21
I'm thinking your quartering away shot slid along the ribcage, possibly under the hide for some distance. The thwack was the arrow hitting the ground, probably. I'm doubtful that a pass through arrow could bury itself 4". What poundage are you shooting?

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
70 lbs Bill but on a 16 year old bow. Mathews Outback. We have had a lot of rain so the ground is soft but you might be on to something. Update incoming.

From: KSflatlander
05-Nov-21
Been there RIT. You’re doing good. That’s a lot of blood. Tough animals. Hope you find him.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
RIT's embedded Photo
All I can say is NFW. I followed those tracks for a guess of 800-1000 yards and also about 1000 yards from last blood. They went North then East back North and then East between the massive corn field and the woods. A few big rocks off in the woods had me thinking those were deer. Every time I would cut a trail leaving the woods I followed it to the fence to check for blood. I got to the very last trail which was right at a point that jutted out in to the field. The first thing I noticed was a 5 1/2 ft tall and stout fence. The kind of fence that would spill blood if an injured deer jumped it. I walked up to the fence and searched the ground on the other side. I muttered to myself “that’s a drop of blood on that rock”.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
We are back on blood that is incredible. I don’t know if it’s the deers blood I shot, blood from something else, or if those were even his tracks but I have blood again. The fence is intertwined in a mulberry tree and at first I thought it was mulberry stain but mulberries drop in the summer no way it was mulberry.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
Blood is slowing down but I still have pretty good blood. Incredible this deer is still moving. This is a thick and gnarly point the perfect spot for a mature buck bed. 1000 yards from anything. It smells of rutting buck. It’s so strong…

05-Nov-21

Livin’thedream 's embedded Photo
Livin’thedream 's embedded Photo
I had a liver shot last week at 35 yds broadside. I knew immediately it was back a little too far but was hoping/wishing for a lung cut. I left him go after seeing him run into the swamp and knowing the hit. The arrow came out after 50 yds or so and confirmed my shot placement with dark red blood. I came back 5 hours later and followed good blood but it quickly diminished and the only thing to follow was where he rubbed against the cattails. He went into some brush and I lost all blood. I resumed the next morning and taking some well used trails I know they travel and looking for blood anywhere down any of them with nothing. I had one idea of walking through some corn I have standing yet and picked a row and walked towards the other end to cross the rows checking each one, on my way I happened to notice something on a cornstalk and backed up to confirm it was blood then on the ground I could see fresh prints embedded in the dirt. 30 minutes later I got across about 45 rows to the edge of the field and nothing after it couldn’t rub on anything hard like cattails or cornstalks. I had 6 hours and covered a lot of ground and swamp water before I hung my head and moved on. The next morning I left my tree and decided to walk around a pond and take a walk through some thicker trees and brush to the truck. As I was going around the pond I noticed something on the shoreline but knew there was never any rocks since it’s all sand. I looked through my rangefinder and could see half the rack and the body of a deer. I was sick! I ran over there (don’t know why but I did) and confirmed it was the buck I was tracking. Sorry if it got long winded.

I hope you find yours! That’s a lot more blood than I had and it looks good

05-Nov-21
I personally don’t see a lot of blood in those pics. Not being a Debbie downer. Just being honest. I don’t think he’s liver hit either. I hope I’m wrong. Never heard or known of a liver hit deer to travel pushing two miles. Eitherway, I hope you get him. Good luck.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Nov-21
I hope the delay in the update means RIT is busy gutting and dragging some venison.

I hate stories with no ending.....

Matt

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
I had wished for the same GG but unfortunately things took a turn that I was not expecting. I did find the buck though.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21

RIT's embedded Photo
RIT's embedded Photo
I walked another 35-40 yards into the wooded point quietly and very slow. I was glassing up ahead trying to locate something. I did find a bed. Hard to tell from the photo but there is blood and hair. Turns out this would be the last blood I would find. I was crouched down on my hands and knees when I saw movement about 15 yards away.

From: greg simon
05-Nov-21
Do tell, please.

05-Nov-21
Continue on :) haha

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
I was crouched in that bed for about 5 minutes contemplating my next move. Soon after catching movement he stood up. There was the buck I shot trying to see me. It is thick in here. Very high stem count, multi-flora rose, bush honey suckle clusters, grape vines, and all types of green vegetation. I can see him but not all of him. Visual confirmation of his rack tells me it’s the same deer. I am frantically scanning his torso for blood. He was facing me on the opposite side I shot him on. I can’t find any blood. This deer is to my left with a NW wind at my back. He sees me but he can’t smell me…we have a staring contest which felt like hours but in reality was probably only 90 seconds. He was hitting me with that bend down pretend to feed snap his head right back up. Remember I have no bow for a follow up shot. Even if I did I would find it very difficult at best place another arrow.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
I knew it was a matter of time before he moved down wind. I figured I had maybe 20 yards or so before he would hit my scent stream. After our stare down he slowly starts to walk to my right. Slow methodically steps with the stomp added in for good measure. That walk took what seems like days. Once he caught my wind that buck turned inside out.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
That buck wheeled 180 degrees. I don’t know what an elk sounds like running through heavy brush but I’d imagine it sounded similar to that buck. He was snapping branches and trees at every step. He ran what sounded like 100 yards and proceeded to blow 3 times before everything went quite. Once I calmed down a bit I couldn’t believe that happened. I still don’t know where I hit that deer.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
A few minutes later I went and looked in the general area of where the buck was bedded when I walked up and the approximate trail he took to wind me and take off. I was losing light fast but couldn’t find anymore blood. An incredible sadness filled me on my walk back. Not because I didn’t finish the job but because I had wounded and lost a deer. I was 25 years old the last time I lost a deer. I turn 45 next week.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
The property I was on is pushing close to 500 acres in total. The owner had told me no weapons and one time access. I thought that was fair and better than a no. Turns out I happen to know his son. After talking to him tonight he agreed that I needed to go after that deer and have a weapon in hand. I am going to put together a plan for tomorrow.

From: KSflatlander
05-Nov-21
Well you both lived to fight another day.

From: RIT
05-Nov-21
That deer went almost 2 miles. Jumped 3 fences, crossed a road, visited two scrapes, bulldozed his way through thick nasty brush, and had no signs of slowing down. I am not sure there is a plan to put together. I think there is a good possibility that he will recover. But that’s a crappy feeling.

From: scentman
05-Nov-21
I have felt your pain rit... you are doing your best to recover that deer and I wish you the best. I am stumped on this one... I have had liver shots I recovered after many hours but not miles, this is a tough one.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Nov-21
Dude, you've shown exceptional tracking skills and hunting intuition, so far. I'd put them on par with any "Blood Challenge" we've seen here. You should be proud of your effort, regardless of the outcome. It's all part of bow hunting, and that's what makes it rewarding when all the stars align.

I'm still betting you find that deer. If not, be thankful for the experience, regardless of the outcome.

Matt

From: t-roy
05-Nov-21
A couple of thoughts about what transpired when you encountered the deer shortly before and after he blew out of there. I wouldn’t think that a hard hit deer would be playing “gotcha” with you. Same thing with him circling, the foot stomping and blowing repeatedly at you. I’m thinking that he’s not mortally wounded, and may very well survive. Nothing is for certain, but that’s my gut reaction to what you described.

From: Ambush
05-Nov-21
^^^^ or it was a different buck . . ?

From: Bou'bound
06-Nov-21

From: Bou'bound
06-Nov-21
Wherever you hit him the arrow did not get inside the body cavity would be my take As long as you are describing the same buck at the end that you started with.

Keep going at this point you may find him dead naturally of old age

From: SIP
06-Nov-21
Fantastic effort. Most all of us know the feeling….you jumped thru every hoop possible to make the recovery. Bummer, but keep at it, hes gonna wander by again

06-Nov-21
Keep us updated! Good luck!

From: Bou'bound
07-Nov-21
Did not act like a deer that got penetrated with an arrow more likely cut with a broad head. Sliced his side laterally

07-Nov-21
T-Roy x2

From: badguybuster
07-Nov-21
I had an almost identical encounter last week. I shot the biggest buck I have had on my farm. My arrow nicked a small branch that I didnt even see or factor into my shot. I saw the arrow enter him and he jumped then ran about 15 yards and stopped. He looked like he was gonna drop, he was breathing hard, head almost on the ground. I nocked another arrow and stood up, he saw me and walked off into some denser woods. I gave him about 1.5 hours and then the rain started. I had a lot of dark blood for close to 500 yards, based on the blood he was staggering and kind of wandered all over the place. By this time it was absolutely pouring rain. I tracked him for another 100 yards and then jumped him up. I backed out and called a fella with tracking dogs. We went out about 12 hours later and his dog beelined the trail, even after 14 hours of rain. We actually located him grazing in a county park with 4 doe. I could see the penetration points. He saw us and scooted. I have no idea what happened as I was forbidden to pursue him into the parks woods.

From: RIT
08-Nov-21
The day before yesterday I crept back into the woodlot where I had last seen the buck. I got in at gray light. I sat tight for a good hour before I began to work my way through the woods. This is an 80 acre section of some good thick cover surrounded by some 400 acres of corn. I did find one more drop of blood about 40 yards from the last blood in the direction the buck bolted. I spent 5 hours combing the area and did not turn up anything else.

Yesterday I returned to the fields and I walked the entire perimeter looking down every row I could. This did not turn up any new evidence. After spending an additional 10 hours on top of the day 1 tracking I feel like I gave this a reasonable and responsible effort to locate this deer. Hopefully all ends well and he is still sewing his oats.

From: RIT
08-Nov-21
Thanks all for the input and encouragement. It helps out when doubt creeps in. This particular buck has a unique G2 just like a blade. Of course I think it’s possible it could have been a different buck but my eyes tell me it wasn’t.

From: pdk25
08-Nov-21
Nice job tracking and getting up on him. Personally, I wouldn't have started tracking him after seeing the initial blood for at least 7 hours, and longer if possible to give him an opportunity to bed down closer. Better luck the rest of the season.

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