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Rather_B_Fishing

Not a Pass Thru

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About 5 PM today, I had 2 bucks walk out of the woods and stopped about 31 yards from my stand. The smaller of the 2 gave me a broadside shot, and I took it.

He was facing toward the south. The wind was blowing good from the south and I was shooting east. My shot was a little further back and higher than I wanted. I think the wind may have blown my arrow back a bit. By the way, I've been practicing shooting arrows frequently and my shots were right on.

Anyway, the arrow stuck in him. I saw it as he and the other buck ran off like a bat out of heck into the woods. I waited for about an hour before even looking for blood at the impact spot, I couldn't find any. Then I waited another hour to see if there was any signs of his trail where he entered the woods. I looked for just a few minutes and didn't see anything so I pulled back. I'll be back there first thing in the AM.

This was the first deer I ever shot. Any late night suggestions on what I should do.

Thanks.

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I would leave the deer along untill tomorrow am. If you hit him high behind the vitals and above the liver, it will more than likely not leave much if any blood trail at all. The deer will need to fill up with blood before it can run out of the deer and with no lower exit hole, probably no blood trail.

I would look in the direction he was traveling and also check in the area that he came from as he may have back tracked there.

As far as the arrow being blown back by the wind, we would need to know what poundage you are shooting to know the speed of the bow. In the woods at 31 yards, the wind should not affect your arrow flight that much. I'm not saying it didn't but not more than maybe an inch or so.

I'm curious what poundage you are shooting and are you shooting a expandable broadhead as the arrow should have cleared the deer that close. Maybe hit a few rib bones up in the dead zone and below the spine.

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Thanks for the advice Harvey. Do you think this deer will live?

I am shooting about 57 lbs pull weight. The wind was blowing about 20-25 mph from the right to the left as I was facing the target (deer). The deer was on the far north edge of an open field so the wind was blowing thru there good. But then again, I was a tad nervous, so maybe I just made a bad shot.

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do not give up on the deer. Here is my advice after tracking alot of deer. 1st if you got kids or a couple of friends with tracking experience--- that would help. Next look for blood again where the deer was standing. Some times the next day the blood will be easier to see for a variety of reasons. Maybe get in your stand and have a helper stand where the deer was at. Things look so much different from the ground.. If no blood sign then look for blood the way the deer ran. If

still no blood then go to where you last seen the deer and look for blood sign there. Next check all of the trails the way the deer ran. If it was not a good shot deer will ussually run on a trail walk down each trail a couple of hundred yards looking for blood and the deer. Next it there is a river or water source near by check the bank. sometimes a wounded deer will go to the water and die. Then go to the thickest stuff in the woods and check any trails going into it. sometimes they will go into the thick stuff and die.

I have found the most wounded deer by just walking the trails looking for blood and the deer. Good luck and let me know if you find the deer

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If you do not find the deer, yes it may live.

Did the deer do anything when it ran away like, hunch its back, drop,front shoulder buckle or anything so one might be able to figure where this buck was hit. Was the flag up or down?

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Dont stop looking. I shot a doe last night at about 40 yards, found the arrow and lots of blood, we looked for awhile it was to dark and we lost blood so we waited till morning. We looked for 3 hours finding little in the field, so we took a shot in the dark and thought it might have gone up the trail, we found more blood then lost it again. Walked around the woods for awhile and found her alive. Walked 10 feet from her and she just looked at me, had to get the bow and put another one in her to finish her off. Just dont stop looking no matter how little blood you find and when you think you have no chance of finder it look someplace else. If i would have given up that doe would have died and turned into dinner for something in the woods.

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One of the best things a new bowhunter can do when blood trailing is take a roll of toilet paper and hang a little on every splotch of blood you find. If you run out of blood, the paper gives you a pretty good idea of direction of travel. Lots of times its pointed me at a direction to search when the blood runs outs.

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I've found my deer without pass throughs. You might have to get on your hands and knees to look but he will bleed. It could have been a gut shot. Asking if the deer might live, you already are telling yourself that you might not find it. Don't think like that, you have to go in with the attitude that the deer is dead and that you will find it.

How long did you wait before you went to find it? If it is hit, even in the guts, it will not go far and lie down. If you can follow where it went, you can hopefully find where it layed down, and with some luck, it will still be there. However, if you can see where you it layed down and it is not there, you will have a tougher track on your hands, and the deer might not be immediately fatally wounded.

Two years ago I shot a buck, he was quartering away and I hit him in front of the hind leg. I knew at that angle he was dead deer. I never found the arrow and thought for sure that it would still be in the deer once we found it. Anyway, we looked and looked, and looked some more. we went everywhere we thought he would go. Finally, we went back to where we lost the blood, got on hands and knees, finally found where he had crossed a ditch that we walked by about 100 times, followed him back up the hill he ran down, and found him less than 100 yards from where I shot him. Harvey is right, they will double back, he did, er, at least he tried. We never did find the arrow.

Good luck. Find the most stubborn, positive person you know, and take them with you to help. An extra set of eyes and a positive outlook on a situation can go a long ways. I was ready to quit a few times, but he never did, we both were confident that the deer was dead somewhere. Can you tell us where you thought you hit the deer? just in front of the rear leg? How far behind the front leg? High or low? More info might be helpful.

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as others have said, keep at it.. Go to the place you saw the deer last and start walking circles. Bring stuff with you so that if you find blood, you can leave something there. Follow deer trails at times, as a hit deer will take the path of least resistance. HOw far in did the arrow penatrate? IF I had to guess, this deer is dead.

A paunch hit deer will often go to water, if you know of water on the land or near, thats another place I would look.

I'm not one to preach, but we do need to learn from our mistakes, a 31 yard shot with that kind of cross wind is not a high percentage shot. The arrow will drift, your tree moves all that much more making the shot all that much more difficult.

best of luck finding your animal. Please keep us updated.

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Guys,

Thanks for all the advice. Unfortuneately, after searching for him, I did not find him.

My father in law and brother in law looked for him for 2 hours (7:30 - 9:30 AM) and I looked for him for 4 hours (7:30 - 11:30 AM) Sunday. We searched along the path he ran down after being shot as well as the area he came out of the woods from prior to being shot. We also checked through the thick cover, the 3 swamps, and all the trails on the property. We marked our search paths with a yellow tape, which we tied to trees. We found absolutely no blood or hair, even at the spot he was hit and where he entered the woods after being shot.

I keep replaying the shot over and over in my head. After I let the arrow fly, I remember the buck froze then hunched down before running at a full sprint into the woods.

I only asked if I thought he would live is because I have seen pictures of deer walking around with an arrow sticking out of them.

I only stopped looking after 4 hours because (1) I had no sign of a trail and (2) it was getting very warm out and I figured the meat would go bad very fast.

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One other thing to look/listen for is crows. I found my buddy's buck last year by seeing some crows in the distance. You're right...meat may be bad now but at least you'd know. That's the tough part about bow hunting...nothings a sure thing. Good luck...thanks for sharing.

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Yeah, I feel for ya. I had the same thing happen on the first buck I shot. You will learn a lot from the experience though. After it happened to me, I did a lot more practicing, and a lot of research on shot placement and on equipment. I also ended up upgrading my equipment to the best quality I could afford, but that was a personal choice.

Even with all those changes though, there are a lot of other factors that can effect the outcome. Unfortunately this is part of bowhunting. Not saying that you made any mistakes, but think through the whole experience and try to learn from what happened.

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Hey I feel your pain! I shot a doe tonight and I remember reading this earlier. Anyway, I got a buddy to help look, we tracked it through the woods with a lot of blood. Then it headed out into the prairie grass (not fun tracking in that). We tracked it a couple hundred yards and didn't find it yet.

Headed back tomorrow, but go figure there is rain moving in!! We gave it our best effort tonight before the rain, but it never once laid down. Its my first deer shot with a bow, I hope so bad I can find it...

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The sad ending to this story is that I found the buck dead on Friday, 10/31; I shot him on 10/18. I was hunting on private land and came across him while walking. He was all bloated as he bled internally. He fell over on sloped ground and his back was on the high side. Blood was still trickling out of his entry wound. Oh well.

I plan on dropping the next one in short order. Tonight I had 2 deer at 25 yds quartering toward me. I passed on both opportunities.

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I found him about 1/3 of a mile from where I shot him. The shot was high (probably 4" below his top) and back (much closer to his back leg than his front).

I've been shooting many practice shots recently. My shot groups are getting tighter and tighter on the bullseye. I will not have this happen again.

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RBF- glad you are hitting the target more, and glad to hear you seem to have learned from your experience. Keep in mind, not recovering an animal is a part of hunting, but it is up to us to keep that number as low as possible!

Good luck on the rest of your season.

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