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Thread: Unrecovered Game: A theory on non-fatal shots.....

  1. #1
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    Unrecovered Game: A theory on non-fatal shots.....

    As many of us have seen on forum-posts every opening of deer season, unrecovered game is an unfortunate reality in the world of bowhunting.....

    There are many obvious reasons why this may occur, such as poor shooting skill, lack of practice, mis-matched and/or inadequately-tuned equipment, shooting too far, getting overly-excited/buck fever, etc....

    What I believe occurs frequently is much more subtle, but I think it
    accounts for far more unrecoverd game than is realized......

    Our hypothetical bowhunter has practiced all spring/summer, has well-tuned equipment, is consistenly shooting 3-4" groups (or better) at 20 yards, and by any measure appears fully capable of "closing the deal" if the opportunity presents itself.....

    What I think happens is that as the deer stands there broadside at 20 yards and our bowhunter get's his pins on the deer, he either:

    1) CENTERS the ring (that protects the pins) on the deer and
    releases....resulting in a gut-shot (or liver at best)....or,

    2) Puts the pin "center-mass" on the deer (center of body) instead
    of "picking a spot"......again resulting in gut/liver hit too far back.....

    I think this can be attributed to several possible reasons:

    1) Practicing on "bullseye" paper targets where "centering" works fine....



    2) Shooting at 3-D deer that have the "kill zones" etched too far back from
    where the lungs/heart are in REAL deer.....many times, these foam
    critters show the back of the lungs where the liver or guts actually
    are.....

    3) Not realizing how REALLY far forward in a deer's chest the lungs/heart
    really are.....if you draw a line staright-up a broadside deer's front leg,
    you are in the center (maybe even a tiny bit BACK of) the center of the
    lungs....

    How many times have you heard the broken-hearted bowhunter exclaim "but I aimed right behind the shoulder and hit him where I aimed!"

    He very well may HAVE hit where he aimed....but he aimed too far back!

    Anyway, what do you fella's think?
    Last edited by TexasGuy; October 10th, 2005 at 01:33 PM.


  2. #2
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    Which foam targets are inaccurate?
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." - Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects

    As it is said in Lindy Wisdom's verse: "There ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."



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  3. #3
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    I've seen a few McKenzie models....

    Quote Originally Posted by ELKARCHER
    Which foam targets are inaccurate?

    .....where the back of the lungs were really liver-shots.....

    Same with a few Delta's.......

    But I don't want this thread to degenerate into a "3-D target bashing" thread.....let's focus on the "sight-picture reason's for wounding, OK?

  4. #4
    Or 3. The archer does not relize in dimming light that the deer is not at 90 degree broadside. Its coming toward or away giving the arrow a different angle into vitals.

    Deer are able to curve there stance. So as not to be perfectly broadside of angled. More of an arced shape. Giving a different look confusing some. It looks broadside but kill zone may actally be angled towards.
    Last edited by madarchery; October 10th, 2005 at 01:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Madarchery.....Yes,

    Quote Originally Posted by madarchery
    Or 3. The archer does not relize in dimming light that the deer is not at 90 degree broadside. Its coming toward or away giving the arrow a different angle into vitals.




    .....that is very commom, also......also, a guy may decide to draw when the deer truly is broadside, but by the time he gets, to full-draw, gets his release all settled in at his anchor, lines-up the peep and pins....that deer has taken a short step or turned slightly and is no longer broadside.....

  6. #6
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    Pope Texas Guy

    Would Pope Texas Guy please bless the rest of the hunters so he can stop worrying about how bad everyone else is. Jeez give it a rest why don't you
    Twisted Archer Strings Staff Shooter

  7. #7
    I don't think he is tring to bash, neither was I . with new archers and others, these maybe overlooked reason for poor shots. Items that people may not be looking for but should. Were tring to help. If you have an educational remark that would help others improve their shot post away. Otherwise read, take note, and move on.

  8. #8
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    I think a lot of bow hunters center up on the torso either on purpose or sub consciously. Plus a lot of bow hunters are taught to fear the shoulder blade and somewhat rightfully so that they like to give it wide birth. When ideally tight behind it is what you want

  9. #9
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    I had that happen to me this weekend. I had several deer come in and there was one shooter out of the bunch. He was about 5-6 years old,had a mainframe 10 with kickers on both G2's and was standing perfectly broadside when I released the arrow. I waited for 5 minutes or so to get the perfect broadside shot. I drew back,found the shoulder,moved back towards the rear of the deer by 2 inches and released. I had a friend with me in a home made ground blind and the deer had no idea I was even there. Once hit,low on the brisket(behind the shoulder) the deer ran 30 yards and stopped in the brush. He shood there like nothing happened. Next he started flickering his tail and walked off very slow staggering. We waited one hour and found the arrow 5-6 yards behind where he was shot. Upon inspection, there was no blood on the arrow but a small piece of meat. We left the area and came back in 2 hours to pick up the blood trail. We found the first spot 30 or so yards from the hit site. We then found more "drops" every 3-5 feet. After 75-100 yards the blood trail went over the side of a canyon and we lost it. We pulled out and picked the trail back up the next morning. Instead of going down the canyon-he went down at an angle. We tracked it down that side and up another side. The blood trail then stopped at the top of the 2nd ridge. Never did find him

    I have been bowhunting for over 15 years and have only lost 2 deer including this one. I think the problem I had is I did not concentrate on the "exact" spot I wanted the arrow to hit. I guess during the "fever" I got into a little tunnel vision and put the pin behind the shoulder and squeezed the release not paying attention to the exact center line of the bucks body. I will never forget that part again.
    Here is a pic of the buck I got later during the summer

  10. #10
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    Southern Hunter, not sure why you have a problem here....

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Hunter
    Would Pope Texas Guy please bless the rest of the hunters so he can stop worrying about how bad everyone else is. Jeez give it a rest why don't you


    ......but you should read Madarcher's post right after your's....he is right on the money regarding this thread!

    It should have been obvious this was NOT intended as any kind of "bashing" post.....just observations to help fellow bowhunters analyze their shot-placement......
    Last edited by TexasGuy; October 10th, 2005 at 03:27 PM.

  11. #11
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    A few wounding reasons.

    1) shooting at the WHOLE deer instead of picking a spot. See hair and let it fly

    2) Hurrying up the shot because the deer might turn or get away.

    3) Some people just go nuts when shooting at a live animals.. A total mental block..the bigger the deer the bigger the mental block..

    4) Thinking about entrance hole instead of exit hole..

    5) Ill advised shots becasue that looks to be the only one they will get..

    6) Not practicing from an elevated position and forgetting to bend at the waist to make the shot..

    7) Not knowing the anatomy of the animal being hunted.
    Last edited by willie; October 10th, 2005 at 03:50 PM.

  12. #12
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    This is good info, but how many want to know?

    To often a good thread like this starts and becomes a dirt throwing match. So, I will add my theory to the one originally stated and do not give a rat butt about those who have a problem with it, if it helps a new hunter be successfull.

    Some, to include myself when hunting try to push the window of opportunity. Not only do some just center and fire on an animal that will move (see it is not a foam or paper target) and usually does move prior to release. An animal alerted to the presence of a hunter will contort itself so much during the shot that nothing one can do will prevent a marginal or bad shot.

    Sadly, I am quilty of the failure to evaluate my quarry and its physical signs. In the past I learned hard lessons on shooting alert game...it is bad business. Some may believe they have the most silent equipment and best scent control known to man. After 30 yrs behind a bow, hunting wild game, I know you can never under estimate the built in defenses of wild game, that we know as sight, sound, and smell.

    Learn the signs of an alert or calm animal, try to pick the spot you want to hit, and be patient before loosing that arrow on a wild animal. Maybe, just maybe you will post a picture and story here of a great moment in the woods. Good hunting and much success to you all.
    Last edited by SilentHntr.; October 10th, 2005 at 03:50 PM.

  13. #13
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    I remember a very informative thread awhile back on shot trajectory through the animal.
    One suggestion was to aim at the opposite fwd leg as this would help hit the lungs on a quartering away shot.
    Any one remember this?
    I believe it also had various views with aimpoints super imposed
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." - Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects

    As it is said in Lindy Wisdom's verse: "There ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."



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  14. #14
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    Shots at deer are often made over complicated in discussions like this. A good shot is a simple thing.

    It must....

    1. Hit at least 2 of the following.
    -Right lung
    -Left lung
    -Heart
    -Liver

    2. Exit in front of the diaphram and in the lower half of a deers body, even better if it exits in the lower third.

    That is all you really need to do. Other shots kill deer, but they can be tougher to find and may take longer. Just keep it simple.

  15. #15
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    These are some good pointers. Not to steal the thread but after a marginal shot are there any thing special you do to recover the deer. I have heard of people using these blue lights to find blood-does it work? When tracking my deer we were using pieces if toilet paper to mark the blood trail and give us an idea on which direction the deer is heading. At 2 different spots the buck wents through green briars and downed trees instead of staying on the trail. Why would he have done this? It seems he would take the path of least resistance. I wish I would have seen this thread prior to last Saturday. Maybe I would have been patient in "finding the exact spot" to shoot at.

  16. #16
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    Willie, great observations.....

    Quote Originally Posted by willie
    A few wounding reasons.

    1) shooting at the WHOLE deer instead of picking a spot. See hair and let it fly

    2) Hurrying up the shot because the deer might turn or get away.

    3) Some people just go nuts when shooting at a live animals.. A total mental block..the bigger the deer the bigger the mental block..

    4) Thinking about entrance hole instead of exit hole..

    5) Ill advised shots becasue that looks to be the only one they will get..

    6) Not practicing from an elevated position and forgetting to bend at the waist to make the shot..

    7) Not knowing the anatomy of the animal being hunted.


    That should help alot of guys!

  17. #17
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    Ringy, I agree with you...simple is often best.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ringy
    Shots at deer are often made over complicated in discussions like this. A good shot is a simple thing.

    It must....

    1. Hit at least 2 of the following.
    -Right lung
    -Left lung
    -Heart
    -Liver

    2. Exit in front of the diaphram and in the lower half of a deers body, even better if it exits in the lower third.

    That is all you really need to do. Other shots kill deer, but they can be tougher to find and may take longer. Just keep it simple.

    In order to hit at least two of the vital area's you mentioned, however, a guy MUST know where those organs are precisely located in the deer FROM ALL ANGLES.....not just the classic broadside.....this is where the ball often gets dropped.....
    Last edited by TexasGuy; October 10th, 2005 at 04:21 PM.

  18. #18
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    More people need to learn exactly where the organs lay then where they think they are. Foam targets are great for practice but are not always right.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up

    I'll add to this thread happily. I personally feel that this is a Very Important and valid information. I have a few more photos and links to look up and add.

    Dick
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  20. #20
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    Not quite what I was searching for, but it's interesting

    http://furandfeathersrus.com/groupee.../m/47710235721
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." - Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects

    As it is said in Lindy Wisdom's verse: "There ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."



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  21. #21
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    Willie and Ringy summed things up well.

    #2 and #5 on willie's list are HUGE.

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  23. #23
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    Thumbs up

    Here's a link to a very helpful site on deer anatomy:
    http://www.whitetails.com/anatomy.html

    Dick
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  24. #24
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    Thumbs up

    Here's a really good interactive website link for the anatomy of a deer:

    http://home.mn.rr.com/deerfever/Anatomy.html

    Dick
    2 Canon, 7D Cameras, Canon 5D Mark II Camera, Canon 17-40 F/4 L lens, 2 Canon 24-105 L lens, Canon 70-200 f/4 L lens, Canon 300 f/4 IS L lens, Canon 400 f/4 L lens, Canon 1.4X L extender, Canon 2X L extender, Canon 430 EX Flash, Canon 530 EX Flash

  25. #25
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    Exclamation

    Doh!!!!!!! Willie beat me to it!

    Dick
    2 Canon, 7D Cameras, Canon 5D Mark II Camera, Canon 17-40 F/4 L lens, 2 Canon 24-105 L lens, Canon 70-200 f/4 L lens, Canon 300 f/4 IS L lens, Canon 400 f/4 L lens, Canon 1.4X L extender, Canon 2X L extender, Canon 430 EX Flash, Canon 530 EX Flash

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