Archery Talk Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my first year seriously bowhunting. I have been hunting for 20 years and i am fortunate to tag out in Maine almost every year during rifle season.

Tuesday night i went out around 4:30pm and ended up seeing a smaller 6 pt come in. I missed the buck and 5 mins later he came back and at 25 yards i shot. Still not sure where i hit the buck but he hunched up and was moving slowly. Blood and hair were not a problem to find but NO arrow. I also believe i nicked a fur branch with the rage and it opened before impact probably the reason for no pass through. The buck was only bleeding from the right side.

Tuesday night i followed the trail for only about 80 yards, marked my trail and backed out. Without having the BOWHUNTING experience when it comes time to tracking i figured this was my best bet. I forgot to mention i have lived in Massachusetts for the past 3 years and i hunt alone. No hunting buddies and ZERO for me down here unfortunately and it sure is nice to have a extra set of eyes when you need them.

I was out in the woods yesterday (wednesday) at day break which was around 7am. Picked up the trail and back to tracking. I followed the trail about 170 yards and about 10 yards before a swamp i lost it. This was not the NORMAL swamp i am use to. Its probably 200 yards long, 40-50 yards wide and plenty of standing water. I tried to get close and it was like quick sand. I sunk to my knees in seconds and it took me 10 mins to get out, kinda scary actually. I guess my question is......has the SWAMP thing happened to anyone??? I am 99.9% sure that i could smell the deer dead not far in the swamp. I believe i hit the deer a little back, still a fatal shot, but i really think what i smelled was a dead (semi-ponched) buck.......and i physically could not get him out of the swamp. Im devastated, i have read stories with other examples and wished that this would not happen to myself, but now it has. :mad:
 

·
No Hype, Just Hunt
Joined
·
12,419 Posts
Well in my opinion you have done everything you can. You know you have killed the deer, but at some point, it has to be let go. There is no point in endangering your life to get the deer. I personally, have lost one as well, and it does suck but your life is a little more important IMHO than a dead deer.

You have done everything you could, now I would personally punch the tag and not try for another buck. That is just me however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,933 Posts
Yes the swamp happened to me once on a buck I shot during rifle season. That deer didn't go 150 yards from where I shot him and it took us 4 hours to find him. We were trying to track him in water over our boots, at night, by trying to catch splatter of blood on trees and reeds. It was miserable. After finguring out that we were never going to find the deer by tracking blood on reeds we started just looking around and I found him laid up in a dry patch of ground that was only about 20'x20' and thick thick with briars. I had looked in there twice already with my flashlight from the outside and not seen him. Crawled up in there and ended up nearly on top of him.
 

·
Recovering hunting addict
Joined
·
7,734 Posts
I think maybe that 'smell' is the the swamp itself rather then the deer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
I've tracked deer through swamps before in South Carolina. Not much fun with snakes and gators, but recovered my deer. I am familiar with the quicksand like properties of swamps and believe you did the right thing by getting out of there. With no one to help you, you could have ended up getting hurt.

This s&*t happens to even the most experienced of us, so learn whatever you can from the situation and get past it. Bowhunting is a VERY mental sport. If you doubt your ability or your equipment, stay home. Get over it, but learn from it.

I used rage for about an entire morning hunt once, I wasn't impressed with much of anything about them. They are not likely the reason for your misfortune, but you will doubt them forever now. My suggestion would be Grim Reaper if you want to stay with mechanical or fixed. I use their fixed blade Hades and they have worked very well for me.

Keep at it!!! Get your confidence back - Stay safe - Hunting alone can be quite peaceful, but also quite dangerous if things go wrong.

Peace, Brother Hunter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
$$it happens, it will happen to everyone eventually
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,631 Posts
you did everything you could... no sense on getting hurt or worse...
Those ME swamps are a different breed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,834 Posts
The deer may be IN the swamp as I have heard many times deer will go to water or get into it when hit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
If you could barely get out, theres no way your getting him out!!!! You did the right thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
This was in Massachusetts, i was wishing this would of been in Maine and i was dealing with a cedar swamp that would of been much easier. I know what you mean about not being able to get the deer out, i knew i was in trouble when i went above my knees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
I don't doubt that you could smell the deer, but it is possible that you are just smelling stagnant water. I would go back and make sure he didn't turn and walk along the edge of the swamp. Is it possible that you can walk around the swamp and come in from a different direction? You mentioned it was on 40-50 yards wide, maybe he is just on the other side and you might be able to get in that way. Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation though.

Not to hijack this guys thread, but he said it was physically impossible to get in the swamp because he sunk up to his knees. Is it possible for a deer to get through that mud? Wouldn't they also sink down and get stuck?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
sounds like he probably hit the water, i had a buck go about a mile on a deflected shot hitting him in the pouch area. He went in a little creek two separate times and walked the water for 50 yards + at each instance. Luckily i just began area searching and located him just up on the land right next to the creek.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
I've had deer go down in swamps. If there is a will, there is a way.

If you can smell the deer, it isn't that far. Not being there I am wondering if you are looking for dispensation for not wanting to get dirty and sweaty?

I met up with four bear hunters in a swamp where I hunt about a mile in -- I got to wear hip waders to keep dry going to my stand. They got a bear even further back in and took over eight hours to drag the bear to high ground -- about another 1/2 mile to the road, then. They were dirty, wet, tired, but smiling and drinking beer when I talked to them and admired the big bear in the back of the truck. I suppose they could have forgone the bear, the dirt and work, and just enjoyed their beer, but I doubt they would have felt very content about it.

Yeah, we have 'quick sand" in my swamps, too. But it isn't like the stuff in the movies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I walked the length and around the back side of the swamp and adjacent to where i lost him. Around the backside there was a steep hill atleast 45 degrees if not more and there were houses at the top. I looked at every deer track and spent and hour or more examining that area. That hill was so steep that there would of been spraying blood if he would of attempted to go up that hill without a doubt. When he was running the side of the hill headed to the swamp before i lost him you could see a serious increase in the amount of blood. This buck was maybe a bound and a half from water. I sank what looked like solide ground with leaves and acorns. Not sure how deep the water was but there was definitely standing water. I looked for an hour or more with my binoculars, up and down that damn swamp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks pal, but i was sweating, wish you were here so you could try your hip waders. Took me 10 minutes to get out when i was up to my knees, stuck up to your hips im sure is a blast. And i apologize, i know it wasnt "actual" quick sand, just the first phrase that came to mind. Find a different thread to run your mouth in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,769 Posts
Loosing an animal sucks, but it happens. Even with the best intentions and exhaustive searches. Usually the arrow penetrates and quickly kills or comes out and the animal heals quickly and recovers fully. If the buck is dead, at this point he will likely be spoiled and food for predators. Tough lesson and incentive to make the shot the very best you can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Would something like snow-shoes keep a person from sinking into the mud? Some type of large surface that spreads your weight to walk on might get you in there. It could be dangerous to try getting into the swamp by yourself though, unless you had a way to call for help should you get stuck and unable to get out.

That being said, some deer that are fatally hit are just not going to be recovered. Good luck, and stay safe. No deer is worth dying for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
That is a great idea, i had not thought of that. Not sure if it would work but it would be worth trying if this ever were to happen again with a friend there as well.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top