Tracking wounded deer - Page 2

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  1. #26
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    Sep 2015
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    Great information. you guys are giving me more and more confidence

  2. #27
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    Mar 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles58 View Post
    I'll be away for the weekend, but when I get back I'll post up pictures of what I carry with me, and explain why I use that item.
    Here's pictures as promised of the kit I carry while hunting.

    Left to right across the top:

    Tinks, has never worked for me but it's something to do. Coast HP14 Flashlight (720 lumens foceses), Internal gold plated contacts to avoid the thump and glow syndrome. Shave cream Menthol, and TP. Face mask/bug protection. Vinyl gloves for gutting.

    Bottom row: Coast PX1 light (340 lumens focuses), Zhen paring knife (VG-10 steel), Zip ties, 20 feet of mule tape, pick to shut of nocks, tiny dim light, license

    Second picture is the bag I carry all but the PX1 in. The Px1 being small is either clipped on or pocketed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #28
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    Mar 2016
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    Minnesota
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    I would like to see what others carry. I learned that shave cream works well and doesn't need cleanup afterwards this year. I look forward to seeing other useful additions.

  4. #29
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    Jan 2007
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    Iowa
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    My cousin gave me the kind of light that straps around your head for hands free light. Man that came in handy this season when I shot a doe at dusk Did the gutting work and hauling her out with brightlight from my head. Hands free! Worked great. Otherwise I just take a drag rope. Tie rope around deer neck and two other ends to a stout branch about 2 ft long or 3 for pulling. Two knives for gutting. Pair of latex gloves and leather gloves for pulling. about it. For looking? Good light. Lantern light is great. Propane lantern. Light on head. Shave cream good idea. Best though if you can hit one in the morning! Also a deer cart with 2 solid rubber tires. So good a pull!

  5. #30
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    Mar 2016
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    Minnesota
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    The things in my pack that will always be there are that knife, the shave cream,the PX1 light, the mule tape, the pick, gloves and of course the license.

    The knife I have only had for a few years, but out of curiosity I used it until I could notice it was no longer razor sharp. 9 deer, gutted, skinned, quartered and some work during butchering. At that point it was still plenty sharp and could have done a decent job on another 9. Anyone who's used a VG-10 blade much knows they are incredible for holding an edge.

    The little PX1 light is plenty for tracking in the dark. On low it will last 41 hours on 3 AAAs. On high and defocused it will light up a 6 foot circle at your feet bright as daylight I no longer need the bigger HP14. Probably no longer need the dim one either.

    The Mule Tape weighs nothing and is so strong I've used it to pull an extended cab full size F250 out of a ditch.

    The gloves because virtually all deer here will be carrying Lyme disease bacteria.

    I do have a cheap head lamp with 5 of the old style bluish LEDs. They make blood on red oak leaves look blackish and stand out better. I do wear it when I am tracking. The PX! s a white light and replicates color well, but the head lamp surprised me by showing me tiny spots of blood on very red leaves and on buck thorn (which for some reason turns blood black) that I had missed with the white light.

    lone, I had cameras out from mid August through the end of the year. I saw deer on them where I hunt from noonish until 3 AM, but never between 3 AM and noon. Doesn't make sense, but that's the way it's been for three years at that stand. These are neighborhood deer that have little fear of people acting like they have grown accustomed to.

    I may find a small travel size shave cream. Sticking a gob of shave cream onto the side of a tree or on leaves or on a little branch makes it easy to keep a line head high for good visibility and it stands out in a flashlight beam like a light bulb.

    I put the S clip onto the sheath because it's pretty often cold enough here that I wear bibs and I like it clipped onto the suspenders in the front. Safer and handier than on a belt inside the bibs

  6. #31
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    Jan 2007
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    Iowa
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    Miles,,,Well deer are different in all areas. I see most movement in bucks in the mornings. Deer are somewhat used to my neighbors,,especially the does. Shot my doe this year during evening while my neighbor was out running around on his Mule. Motorized Mule. Five does with fawns walked beneath me at ease even with this idiot riding around. Bucks, however,,seem to like the quiet of Mornings. Least in my area..

  7. #32
    Very good info in this thread!

  8. #33
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    Mar 2016
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    It will remain good and useful so long as others will contribute.

  9. #34
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    Jan 2014
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    Mooresville, NC
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    I used the advice on this thread to recover a deer. Everyone told me to sit tight and wait. I thought, no, I am going to push this deer and keep him bleeding. It worked. He was shot from behind on the run. I saw his legs buckle a bit, but he kept running. We pushed it with the help of a dog, and after a 1 mile chase, we caught up with him and finally dispatched him. One of his knees was broke, but it was amazing how he ran.
    Proud American of Mexican Heritage
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLT Bluesman View Post
    I used the advice on this thread to recover a deer. Everyone told me to sit tight and wait. I thought, no, I am going to push this deer and keep him bleeding. It worked. He was shot from behind on the run. I saw his legs buckle a bit, but he kept running. We pushed it with the help of a dog, and after a 1 mile chase, we caught up with him and finally dispatched him. One of his knees was broke, but it was amazing how he ran.
    The femoral artery will bleed well and it will also clot up and quit bleeding. Trying to make the decision about whether to push or not push is hard. Push them and they usually keep bleeding or start bleeding if they have clotted. A deer can often survive the lower leg being shot off if they get to lay up long enough. The front leg is very similar but that's fed by the brachial. If you know for sure the lower leg no longer works, pushing it up against a fence or better yet into a corner of a fence is worth a try, they may not be able to jump well enough to clear the fence.

  11. #36
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    Jan 2014
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    Mooresville, NC
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    We finally cornered him in a gully. He got the dog pinned down with his antlers. My Grandson clambered up side of gully and killed the deer. But yeah the choice to push or not push is hard. Especially when voices in your head and ears are telling you to wait
    Proud American of Mexican Heritage
    1988 Burky Browning Fury Crossbow, Mfg. by Horton of GB. Restored by Burky
    2015 Horton Storm, TP Rangemaster
    2015 Wicked Ridge Invader G3, TP Rangemaster
    2016 Excalibur Micro, TP Rangemaster

  12. #37
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    Jan 2017
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    New Jersey
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    7
    Very informative... Great thread.
    Matrix Grizzly
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    VPA 3 blade vented 100 gr Broadheads

  13. #38
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    Mar 2016
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    Let's bring in some information that we should have started off with.

    With an arrow, we kill deer by one of three basic ways, all of which basically deprive the brain of oxygen. You can cause massive hemorrhage, you can cause the lungs to no longer function to oxygenate the blood or you can disable the CNS which can stop breathing and heart function.

    Obviously, cutting major arteries/veins can bleed a deer out. Major arteries tend to lie close to bone and thus are poor choices for archery targets if they are not close to the heart. Arrows and heavy bone are a bad combination and do not produce consistent, predictable results even with heavy arrows and the power of a cross bow. Sever a femoral artery or brachial artery, and chances are good that Bambi will bleed out. The question is how long will it take. Sever a carotid and/or jugular and it probably will be quicker. In the abdomen the renal arteries/veins. hepatic arteries/veins and the descending aorta are also pretty likely to kill. The problem is that the margins for error for any of these targets are not wide and the veins/arteries are well protected by large bone, not that they aren't effective if you hit them.

    The heart in a deer lies down on the sternum between the front legs. From a dead broadside angle, this is a poor choice because the leg bones are fully capable of stopping or deflecting an arrow.

    Lung shots work because the chest is a sealed system with the two paths to the outside world being the esophagus and trachea. It's virtually impossible to hit the esophagus without hitting something else critical so we'll ignore that for now. Simply poking a hole in the chest can cause death because it pulls air in through the hole. That air displaces lung. That displacement (collapse) is a downward spiral if not checked. Every cycle of the diaphragm can introduce more air and collapse more lung. Unless blood clotting and/or tissue closure over the wound stops the downward spiral, death will occur because the lungs won't fill enough to oxygenate the blood This is called a pneumo-thorax and it is not a fast process. It does not require damage to the lungs, even a field tip just barely intruding into the chest and damaging nothing else can kill, hence it need not produce a blood trail at all while still being quite fatal. It is important to remember that there is no empty space, clear space or unoccupied space in the chest. Make even a small hole in the chest that remains open and the spiral starts.

    Fortunately, what isn't heart and major blood vessels in the chest is pretty much all lung. Lung is also very well supplied with blood so damaging lung tissue tends to produce substantial bleeding. The bleeding is a pressurized leak into the chest accompanied by the pneumo-thorax. That pressurized leak also causes decreased lung capacity, of and by itself if it is a large enough leak is can collapse lung. Obviously it's better to have both effects going for you and to hit major blood supply vessels and both lungs and to make as large and reliable hole to the outside world as possible.

    It is important to keep in mind that blood doesn't come out simply by gravity. Like the playing card over a glass of water trick, very little can and will prevent blood from getting out. Last year I shot two deer putting the arrow in just above the brisket, down through the heart and then out below the sternum. One was a two inch Rage, one was a three blade Muzzy Trocar. They bled well into the chest. Very, very well. There was a smaller amount of lung damage than the typical broadside shot. The only blood that produced the blood trail was from that lung damage and it made it out through the mouth and nose. Intestine and omentum plugged the holes in the abdomen completely. Even though both cut some liver and there was substantial blood in the abdomen, none made it out. Speculation is not data, but it is easy to understand that something like a smaller 2/3 blade head with the same shot could produce no blood trail at all or a much delayed blood trail. This with a heart penetrated top to bottom.

    That is why it's important to put as many things on your side as possible. If a heart shot deer can produce zero blood trail so easily, even a simple thing like a lighted nock showing you the hit was indeed perfect can be as critically important to recovery as anything.

    The safe shot is always the double lung shot. A typical crossbow has plenty of power to punch all the way through. Two holes mean the pneumo thorax is much less likely to be mitigated by tissue plugging a single hole. Holes in the lung make the pneumo thorax much more efficient. Leaving the heart untouched means it will keep pumping. A dee hit hard enough in the chest to punch an arrow all the way through can be expected to have a very high heart rate with enough adrenaline added to make stroke volume high. That will pressurize the chest collapsing lung and forcing blood out of the holes. It make seem counter intuitive that a heart shot is less likely to put venison on the table, but having made a lot of them with rifles and bows, I have found that the heart usually does not pump after and the blood trail is often poor to non-existent. Bambi is almost always dead within 80 yards with a heart shot, and the furthest I have seen one go is just over 100. But... depending on the cover finding Bambi might be very difficult. A lot of places I hunt could step on a deer and not see it. Willow swamps with chest high grass are preferred bedding areas for deer, and they are difficult to find dead deer in.

    For myself, one of the worst situations is when I have even a tiny bit of doubt about the hit. I habitually follow through all of my shots. Even when I do not see the arrow/bullet go in, it helps me see what did happen. With the crossbow, if I see the lighted nock still in the crosshairs that's an awfully good predictor that the shot went exactly where I wanted it. The down side of that is since I am not watching Bambi leave I lose that information. In 2015 that cost me 2 1/2 hours of searching in the direction I saw Bambi turn in the scope when she actually turned again and went in the opposite direction. Knowing that the shot went EXACTLY where I wanted it I was absolutely dead certain she was laying dead nearby, I wasn't in the least concerned, but still 2 1/2 hours meticulously searching the wrong direction while it goes from near dark to fully so is not an advantage to recovery. Follow through makes for better accuracy without question. It does bring with it that downside though.

  14. #39
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    Good detailed info and well thought through! Buck I hit this year was from quartering away. right thru liver and down out opposite lung out low. Good spray of blood for about 50 yrds ,,then just a little. Couple drops here and there. In tall thick Golden Rod, made for slow tracking with a lot of looking for blood,,but it was there. Deer had one good lung. That always means it will get farther than youd like. Buck made it 100 yrds. Usual double lung shot much less than 100. I found him though, but mostly by eye ball looking ahead in the general direction and not by a defined blood-trail.

  15. #40
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    Always a sigh of relief, a BIG sigh,,when you finally see that brown body out ahead, on the ground!!

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone View Post
    Good detailed info and well thought through! Buck I hit this year was from quartering away. right thru liver and down out opposite lung out low. Good spray of blood for about 50 yrds ,,then just a little. Couple drops here and there. In tall thick Golden Rod, made for slow tracking with a lot of looking for blood,,but it was there. Deer had one good lung. That always means it will get farther than youd like. Buck made it 100 yrds. Usual double lung shot much less than 100. I found him though, but mostly by eye ball looking ahead in the general direction and not by a defined blood-trail.

    You make a very good point! Sometimes there is no blood trail and all you have is looking for everything that might help. The last deer I shot with a CF rifle I found by stumbling around in the area I figured it to be with a flashlight.

  17. #42
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    Yep! Sometimes, even with good shots not a lot of blood. Especially if the deer is high-tailing it with Speed! Sometimes just have to use your eye, and know the general direction deer in your area usually take. Is also why I love morning hunts and hits. Lots of daylight and good amount of time to search. I hunt evenings too, but the fear of hittin one and stumbling around in darkness, is always lurking in my mind!

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