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Thread: High hit on a deer....possilble results?

  1. #1

    High hit on a deer....possilble results?

    I shot an 8 point tonight and hit him alot higher than I wanted. He ran away with my arrow buried to the fletch. I shoot a 70 lb bow and the shot was 26 yds and I was in a tree stand(18 ft). I shot him at 6:55 and sat till 7:20. I got down and checked for blood...it was bright red and was an average amount on the ground(I tracked him for about 10-15 yds). I am fearful that I got all meat....he was broadside and my hit was OK left to right wise. I am at home eating supper now and am going back in a couple of hours to try to track. What do you think?



  2. #2
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    Meaning high where abouts? Towards the front?

    I would give him some time, if the arrow is still in him he might try to bed down and try to remove it. If you have blood that is at least a sign. Give him some more time though, don't rush it. Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    Your doing the right thing in waiting if your unsure. Dont want to push him because he could go into the next county.

    Just give him time and be patient,you will find him if you are. Good luck

  4. #4
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    How high would you guess the shot was? If it entered under the spine it should take out the opposite lung with that shot angle (assuming level ground). Give him an hour or two and you should find your deer.
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  5. #5
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    giving him time is good, hopefully you find him, let us see some pics!
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  6. #6
    RXBowhunter...it all happened so fast but I am almost positive the arrow went under the spine. The bright red blood worries me more than anything.

  7. #7
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    if it went under the spine, you could have nailed that major artery that runs both sides! hopefully you did that!
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  8. #8
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    A real high hit usually has one of two results.

    1) You catch the top of the opposite lung. It will be tough trailing and he may or may not die from it. A deer can live with just one lung.

    2) You went above the spine. It will be tough trailing and then the blood will just quit. The deer will live to be hunted again.

    Good luck and let us know how you make out.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Sounds like from just hearing the shot placement . Your deer is going to live . It's hard to say. I have seen many high shots to bleed like that but never be found.
    Best of luck to you. It's just to hard to call with out knowing more. Here's a article I wrote that I hope will help. You did get down to soon to track and glad you stopped and waited to go back...
    Hunting hats off to you for that , as you know it will better your chance in finding your buck.
    Best of luck to you and hope to read where you did find your buck.

    Help Recover Your Deer By Following These Easy Steps


    As archery season is now in, many hunters will spend a lot of time on their hands and knees following a blood trail. At one time or another this happens to every bow hunter. The key is learning how to read your arrow, what your deerís reaction was, along with how much time should you wait before you start looking to recover your game. Many times we start to soon to recover our game, and this will only push your deer father into the woods. As a hunter, you have an obligation to your quarry to know how to follow a blood trail and successfully recover the animal and complete the hunt. Many shots require the hunter to track the trophy to the end of the blood trail.

    At the shot, it is critical that you carefully note where the deer was hit, how it reacted, and the direction it went. If the deer slumps towards the ground, chances are the shot was a lung shot, or hit somewhere else in the front part of the body. If the deer hunches up, you can bet that the shot was a stomach shot, or hit somewhere else in the gut. If a deer falls immediately, but then gets back to its feet and runs away, chances are that it was a shot somewhere to the back, but did not break the spinal cord. If you hit the deer in the back , the deer may bleed little or, in some instances, bleed profusely. Profuse bleeding from a back wound is misleading if the wound was above the spine, missing the spinal cord or any major artery, the deer will likely holed up in a thicket for a few days, and then be his normal self again. As a bow hunter you can better your chances to recovering your deer by learning to read your arrow shaft. Your shaft can be a very important indicator to show where your deer has been hit. Too many times we try to recover our game before itís time, and this decreases the odds of recovery. Itís a bow hunters worse nightmare, to make a bad hit on a deer. The first thing when climbing down your stand after you have made a shot on your deer is to look for your arrow and then read your arrow shaft. For bow hunters, the arrow and the dept of itís penetration will provide much information about the potential path and longevity of the wounded white tail.

    If you have made a gut shot your arrow shaft will look and feel greasy, may show small blood streaks and may smell sour. If you have made a paunch or forward stomach shot, your arrow shaft might be grainy and show pieces of undigested vegetation and grain. A liver hit a arrow shaft will be heavily covered from end to end with dark red blood. On a brisket shot the shaft will be really greasy, show smears of blood and may be some lighter colored hair.

    If you have or suspect a bad hit on a animal it is always best to give plenty of time for the animal to expire. Wounded animals usually only travel a short distance before laying down. Trailing too soon will cause the animal to move from itís position and further complicate recovery. Bow hunters can often tell where the arrow hit the deer. Deer that are obviously hit will stagger, run hunched over, or hobble off. And many deer may run in a panic without regard to the best path through the woods over small trees and brush in an attempt to flee the area.

    But most critical of all is to observe the direction the deer is going and watch it as far as you can. Most deer will be headed toward a creek or thicket. Being keenly observant at the shot and the immediate aftermath will help in confirming a hit and getting started in the right direction. Rule of thumb for properly hit deer is to wait 30 minutes before attempting to recover. There has always been much debate and discussion over the proper amount of time to wait before taking to the trail on a bad shot. A deer hit in any place other than the chest shoulder area should be given at least 2 hours or more. A gut shot deer should be given several hours. The problem with taking up the trail too soon is jumping a dying deer out of itís bedding place, causing it to run further and complicating your tracking.

    When the deer is on the move, the blood drops will take on an elongated shape, which can tell the tracker the direction and approximate speed of the animal. Keep in mind that the deer in most cases is running as it is bleeding, depending on your shot placement you made on your game. Blood drops that are far apart indicate either a fast moving animal or one that is bleeding sparsely. When trailing your deer look for blood drops on the ground and leaves, look for smears on grasses and brush a few feet above ground. Blood that is smeared in the hair will often be rubbed against brush as the deer moves along.

    When you are finding blood pools you know the dying deer has laid down or stopped for a while. Deer that are close to death will often lie down. Along with a deer with a bad shot will lie down as well. When hunters are tracking a wounded deer you will also find the deer leaves a pool of blood where it was laying. Which means you are pushing your deer , give your animal time to bed down and die. If you give it plenty of time to die with out pushing it. It will be easy to recover and your meat is still good, for you will see that your deer has not been dead long once you have recovered it.

    Shooting a bright colored vane or feather is always best, this allows you to see where you have hit your animal. I always shoot a bright yellow or green vane so I can get a look at my shot placement. The main things to remember when you are tracking a wounded deer is Donít start trailing to soon, if you lose your last blood, you need to start back to the last blood trace and retrace your steps. If your arrow stayed in your game and your not seeing blood on the ground, look even with the deerís body on the trail to see if its up higher on the leaves and limbs. Stay on your trail and donít give up. If you lose your blood trail , walk in expanding circles around the last spot of blood until you find more blood, hair, signs of trampling, or the deer itself. Hopefully, your shot will be an immediately fatal shot. If not, look until you are ready to give up, and then look for another hour. When you least expect it, your trophy buck will turn up.

  11. #11
    I went out last night 2 1/2 hours after the shot and tracked the deer for 3 hours. I went about 200 yards on small amounts to blood. It was slow tracking. The blood was bright red and never had bubbles. The deer never showed signs of struggling( scuffed up leaves ). The blood petered out at about 200 yards. I went back this afternoon and did some circles and grid searching for about 2 hours...nothing. Looking back and with the evidence from the blood trail I believe I hit to high and got all muscle. I hope the deer will live. Thanks for the input.

  12. #12
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    Just for reference and no bashing intended what is the weight of your arrow and what broadhead were you shooting? Just wondering why at 26yds and with 70lb bow you did'nt just blow right through the deer? Is it possible you hit bone somehow? You never found the deer but did you find the arrow?
    Last edited by Aaro; October 4th, 2007 at 08:31 PM.

  13. #13
    Aaro....I am shooting a 125g slick trick...CE maxima arrow...460grains at 70 lbs. Plenty of KE....just a bad shot on my part. That area of a deer is dense with muscle and possible bone from the veterbra. Never found the arrow.

  14. #14
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    I did the same thing 20 years ago. The arrow went below the spine and above the lungs from a tree stand. A friend of mine shot him during gun season. The wound had healed but he found a piece of an arrow with Beman on it inside the deer and knew it was the buck I had shot because I was one of the first to shoot the skinny little graphite arrows. Sorry to hear but there is a good chance he will survive. JMO

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  15. #15
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    Wow, yeah I would say you had enough KE and good fixed blade b-heads, must really suck not to find the deer or the arrow. Hopefully picture of a deer walking around with an arrow stickin out or it won't show up around here soon! J/K

  16. #16

    Talk about luck

    I am not proud of it but I did exactly the same thing my first day out this year. I had a perfect opportunity at a good size doe broadside at 26 yds away. She was weary and sensed something was different but kept feeding anyway. She stepped beyond the tree between us and I let fly from my tree stand. She flinched just enough where my arrow passed completely through with windage perfect but too high. I could see exactly where it hit and had my heart in my throat. She took off like a bat out of hell,ran 85 yds strait away from me before running at full tilt another 150 yds down the hill when I lost sight of her. I waited a good while and walked to where I saw her last and finally found 4 thumb nail size drops of blood within a 60 yd stretch. Now it was too dark so I let off until the following AM. About 300 yds from the last blood drop, I finally found 2 more drops and that was it. I spent the day traversing the hillside in a 20 yd grid and never found her. Sick to my stomach now, I dug up a deer anatomy picture on-line to try and figure how she could go so far and to figure out if she could've survived . She has got to be one of the luckiest deer on the planet because the arrow hit just below the spine, w/o slicing the main artery and hit the lung tissue w/o puncturing them. Believe it or not , I have seen her twice since and she still has the dried blood stain on her since the 15th of September.I've had plenty of opportunities since that day but I'm passing them all up until she gets within range again.

  17. #17
    I found the buck today with the help of an adjacent land owner who smelled a stinch from the creek on his land, I had informed him of the deer I shot and the direction it went. He found it while he was gun hunting this weekend. The deer was caught on a sand bar/log jam and was half way in the water. He was ripe when I got there today. I found half my arrow in the carcus and the entrance hole was still in tack because it was submerged in the water. I hit him on the last rib and just under the spine, slightly quatering away..........really not sure what I hit to cause his demise. He was about 600 yds from where I shot him and about 200 yards from where I stopped looking for him. I hate to recover deer like this but it happens. I recovered his rack and he is an 8 point that will score around 100"...which I knew because of the trail cam pics I had with him.

  18. #18
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    At least you have finality on him.

    Sounds like you might have caught the liver..

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