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Will deer survive?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
BroFuqua 12-Nov-21
BroFuqua 12-Nov-21
Corax_latrans 12-Nov-21
wildwilderness 12-Nov-21
badguybuster 13-Nov-21
tobywon 13-Nov-21
WV Mountaineer 13-Nov-21
BullBuster 13-Nov-21
Shuteye 13-Nov-21
LINK 13-Nov-21
Bou'bound 13-Nov-21
spike78 13-Nov-21
Bou'bound 13-Nov-21
cath8r 17-Nov-21
KY EyeBow 17-Nov-21
smarba 17-Nov-21
Korey Wolfe 18-Nov-21
Habitat 18-Nov-21
Boone 18-Nov-21
bighorn 18-Nov-21
Ollie 19-Nov-21
Jeff Durnell 19-Nov-21
Corax_latrans 20-Nov-21
XMan 24-Nov-21
Bassman 25-Nov-21
Bassman 25-Nov-21
foxbo 30-Nov-21
LKH 30-Nov-21
PECO 30-Nov-21
From: BroFuqua
12-Nov-21

BroFuqua's embedded Photo
Arrow
BroFuqua's embedded Photo
Arrow
My son shot a deer last Wednesday. It was the biggest buck I have ever seen to date. He shot it with a crossbow at 35 yards. We couldn't tell where he hit it but it ran about 30 yards stopped and headed to head down and then it walked straight up a steep Ridge And over. We waited for over an hour before going to look. We found half of the arrow about five yards from where he shot it and there was a really good blood trail. The blood trail was really strong for over 75 yards but we ended up tracking it for over 500 before losing the blood trail. It even jumped a fence about Neck High. I'm guessing that he hit it in the shoulder and maybe hit that artery is why It bled so much but I can't believe that it traveled that far. So my question is do you think it will survive?

From: BroFuqua
12-Nov-21

BroFuqua's embedded Photo
Blood trail was like this for over 75 yards every couple feet
BroFuqua's embedded Photo
Blood trail was like this for over 75 yards every couple feet

12-Nov-21
If you were finding blood in patches several feet apart, that probably indicates that the animal was expelling blood either on an exhalation (indicating a lung hit) or as a result of compression of the abdominal cavity with each stride. The latter being more of a “running hard“ kind of a thing…

A certain kind of person might even suggest that that is one more good reason to keep bowhunting a short range proposition, simply so that you can see where your arrow HIT so that you have a much better idea how to proceed on the follow up.

Anyway… If you did that kind of damage to the lungs, there’s no way that deer is going to make it. I have to say, though, that I am gobsmacked at the notion that you would not get a pass-through with a crossbow. A lot of guys get complete pass-throughs with #40 Stickbows, so it really seems like a given that something went terribly wrong there.

I am kind of a fan of learning how to read the tracks. Not every deer will bleed externally, but they all leave hoofprints, no matter what.

12-Nov-21
No

From: badguybuster
13-Nov-21
If its legal in your area, hire a tracking dog

From: tobywon
13-Nov-21
From what you describe, looks like a typical muscle hit. Bleeds like hell in the beginning, with bright blood and peters right out. That’s been my experience on muscle hit deer. if you hit critical vitals or an artery he’d be down in that distance. As for surviving, possibly. Did he ever bed down in that 500 yards?

13-Nov-21
He’s going to be just fine is my guess

13-Nov-21
Keep looking. Grid search. And zig zag sniffing

If legal take any dog. Even if it isn’t trained

From: BullBuster
13-Nov-21
I think muscle hit too. Maybe blackstrap but who knows.

From: Shuteye
13-Nov-21
Most hounds could find the deer. I used a beagle with great luck.

From: LINK
13-Nov-21
Backstrap hit. He’ll be just fine. Was this from a stand or blind?

From: Bou'bound
13-Nov-21
No

From: spike78
13-Nov-21
Probably brisket shot and arrow broke from offside leg moving.

From: Bou'bound
13-Nov-21
No

From: cath8r
17-Nov-21
I think it'll likely die but not for a while. It's got life left in it. Looks/sounds like a muscle hit. Likely curled up against a blowdown or bedded in a thick ditch.

From: KY EyeBow
17-Nov-21
I've never seen that much blood, especially if you say it was like that for 75 yards, from a muscle/backstrap hit. Also, from the blood on the arrow, that would indicate enough penetration to get well into the thoracic cavity. To me, that deer is dead until proven otherwise.

From: smarba
17-Nov-21
I have seen FAR less sign on hits that were 100% lethal...

From: Korey Wolfe
18-Nov-21
deer will survive.

typical muscle blood

From: Habitat
18-Nov-21
Muscle blood is usually light and watery,That deer stopped and stood their for a bit and if there were multiple places like that he was stopping frequently

From: Boone
18-Nov-21
He is probably ok. If he jumped a fence that high he isnt hurt to bad. Number 1 problem with a crossbow the bolt goes so fast you have no idea where you hit it. A guy in our group last year did the same thing trailed it for what seemed like forever and ask where he hit it and said no idea because the bolt is going to fast to see.

From: bighorn
18-Nov-21
Brisket

From: Ollie
19-Nov-21
If you don’t know where the bolt hit and the specific damage it caused you are only guessing.

From: Jeff Durnell
19-Nov-21
Impossible to say. I know for a fact that they can die a slow and painful death after being shot with an arrow, or bullet and what many would consider recoverable 'flesh wounds', shoulder blade shots etc. Just because he was seen chasing does a few days or weeks later don't mean squat. Infection from such hits can take weeks or months to kill them, sometimes later in the winter. Folks just like to brush it off to make themselves feel better about what they did... that's irresponsible, unaccountable and doesn't help those sufferin the effects when they die slow and sick. Seen it first hand. Same goes for poor rifle hits. Seen that carnage too in late archery/flintlock season. Finished em off myself. Rotten, stinkin like death head to toe with infection from as little as a shallow shoulder blade hit or fleshy slit across the brisket. Don't mean to make ya feel bad, but ain't here to blow smoke up yer butt either. Unfortunately it's something that happens. We should just try to do what we can to avoid it.

20-Nov-21
I’m going to disagree with the muscle hit because of the observation of dumps of blood “every few feet”.

A muscle hit will bleed, but it won’t gush intermittently. Intermittent means it’s being pumped out, either by the heart or the diaphragm, and if there was no blood in between, then again that points to internal bleeding and forceful expulsion.

Add to that the depth of penetration seen on the arrow + whatever length was broken off.

So…. No. Just One Man’s Opinion, but my opinion is that that deer is dead.

From: XMan
24-Nov-21
If the buck was traveling up steep terrain and jumping fences and never bedded, I would bet money the deer is still alive now. Mortality wounded deer usually bed at some point and usually within 500 yards. I hit a buck high in the back this year, very similar result and I saw the deer on Thursday chasing a doe. We tracked it 400 yards the night I hit it and got a dog the following day, deer went over a mile and I finally called off the search after we found not one bed.

From: Bassman
25-Nov-21
As Jeff says infection can cause a hell of a horrible outcome but obviously he is having a bad day or just an a... When we I say we cause there is no one that shits ice cream make a bad shot or plain ole hit a branch we didn't see and a deer get lost or tracked for days to never be seen agin , there is many that do live and ofcorse some die but just do the best you can to recover it and that's all anybody asks it's called hunting not killing it's not easy to just say well it's 20 yds and I think that twig might b in my way c'mon man hope the deer makes it 50/50 I have shot deer with buck shot ,. 30cal rifle bullets and broad heads embedded under the skin flesh they are a tough resilient animal good luk in the future.yes brush it off and keep hunting we all hope the deer lives , we hunt deer cause we love deer not to just kill an animal that's not even half of the sport just the beginning

From: Bassman
25-Nov-21
As Jeff says infection can cause a hell of a horrible outcome but obviously he is having a bad day or just an a... When we I say we cause there is no one that shits ice cream make a bad shot or plain ole hit a branch we didn't see and a deer get lost or tracked for days to never be seen agin , there is many that do live and ofcorse some die but just do the best you can to recover it and that's all anybody asks it's called hunting not killing it's not easy to just say well it's 20 yds and I think that twig might b in my way c'mon man hope the deer makes it 50/50 I have shot deer with buck shot ,. 30cal rifle bullets and broad heads embedded under the skin flesh they are a tough resilient animal good luk in the future.yes brush it off and keep hunting we all hope the deer lives , we hunt deer cause we love deer not to just kill an animal that's not even half of the sport just the beginning

From: foxbo
30-Nov-21
Was it a broadside shot?

From: LKH
30-Nov-21
He said it walked after 30 yards which makes the blood drops possible for a flesh wound that opened up a longer slit which would hold and then drop blood as the deer walked. The broken off bolt may indicate a brisket hit that went through to the leg bone which stopped the bolt and enabled the subsequent break.

Normally a bolt would break a deer's leg but if it went through the brisket first it would have lost a lot of energy.

I think it's unlikely it will die from blood loss and nothing he said makes me think it penetrated the chest or gut. If infection doesn't get it I think it could recover.

From: PECO
30-Nov-21
Lighted knocks are a must with a crossbow. I don't know, tough call on that deer.

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