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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals,
Last night I was fotunate enough to have a shot at a good buck. 16 yards standing broadside, I nailed him, or so I thought. The deer ran about 65 yards and stopped, then he laid down and I thought to my self " Yes, I'll be eating backstraps baby!" After about 10 minutes I look over to where he laid down and he was still alive and looking around?????? WHAT!!!

The deer gets up and walks about 10 yards and lays back down. I couldn't see him anymore because of the tall grass, but I kept watching. He never got up but still waited 1 hour before getting down. Found my arrow, dark red blood from front to back, complete pass through with a spitfire broad head.

I walk to where I saw him go down and when I got about 10 yds away he got up and hauled tail like nothing was wrong with him. What gives??

It was a good shot, a lil low but still the type of shot you would figure is a heart shot. I didn't want to push him so I let him go and I am going back after work to look for him.

My question is, what the heck happened??

Here is a pic of the buck showing where I hit him. There is not a steep angle on the shot, the angle would be like you were only 10 ft off the ground. Oh yeah, He was running like a gut shot deer, back arched and moving slow. NO GUT JUICE ON THE ARROW OR GROUND?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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dark red blood does not sound like a lung shot. Are you sure you were not a little farther back. Did the arrow stink? If it was low, sounds kinda like a gut shot to me. Was the deer broadside or quartering?
 

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Dark Red Blood might be an indication of a liver shot. You may have shot a little farthur back then you thought. A ton of stuff can happen in the split second from release to the shot entrance. He mave have moved after hearing the release. What kind of blood trail did you see?
 

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Not sure but it sounds like maybe the shot was back a little further than it looked. From what you described it sounds like a classic gut/paunch shot. It takes a while for them to get sick and die when hit there. In my experience if you got the heart he would have died within a minute or two. I have made the mistake of chasing a gut shot deer two soon before when i didn't realize that the shot was that far back. Once you jump them they don't bleed much, but he will die so don't give up on him. GOOD LUCK!
 

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Dark Red Blood might be an indication of a liver shot. You may have shot a little farthur back then you thought. A ton of stuff can happen in the split second from release to the shot entrance. He mave have moved after hearing the release. What kind of blood trail did you see?
this is my guess also. what you think you saw and what you saw sometimes is 2 different things. No offense, I've done it too.:embara:
 

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I would agree with the liver shot. My dad hit one there last year at dark so we backed out and let it sit over night. It got to -4 and we went back the next day at 11 and it was still alive. He didn't want to move much but got up and ran a little bit before I put the stalk on him and ended it. Hopefully you can find him.
 

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Dark red blood, no bubbles = liver shot. I guarantee you hit the deer further back than you thought, or the deer was at a steeper angle than you though he was. That is classic behavior of a liver/paunch shot animal.

If you had backed out quietly and waited overnight, that deer would have most likely been dead there in the morning. Since you bumped him, he took off. It can take over 4 hours for a liver hit deer to die. He is more than likely dead now, but will be much tougher to find as there may be a very sparse blood trail.

Go back out with a couple buddies and do you best to follow the blood trail. Be patient and try to find any little speck you can and follow the trail as far as you can. MArk the trail with tissue so you can look back and see the general direction he is travelling. Once you loose blood, then fan out and search from that point. The good thing is that this buck will want to bed down quickly because he is hurting, so hopefully if you backed out quietly after jumping him he didn't go far from that point. You should be able to find this deer. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There was no gut juice on the ground or arrow. I smelled the arrow and the pool of blood he left where he layed down the first time and it smelled like good ol fresh blood, zero stink, no bubbles.

As far as the liver goes, I got to see the entrance wound on the deer while he was standing and the entrance wound is exactly where I put the red dot. Complete perfect broadside shot.

The dark red blood has me puzzled. The shot was not far enough back to hit the liver and If I did hit the liver he should have hemmoraged ( sp) with in 30 minutes based on past experiences with liver shots? What else could I have hit? If it was an artery he would have died quick, no pink blood means no lungs, and if I had hit the heart he would have never gotten up?? I'm really confused. Surely I hit something????
 

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He was fatally wounded, most likely a gut shot. Deer will do exactly what happened, look near water, its where he most likely headed.
 

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First, sometimes the brain has a way of fooling ones eyes regarding where the arrow impacts. So, there is a chance the arrow didn’t hit where you thought. That being said, I hit a buck very close to there a couple years ago. It looked perfect, but I saw the deer alive about 20 minutes after I shot him, so I knew something was wrong. I gave it 5 or 6 hours and went to the last place I saw him. Long story short, there was very little blood, almost none. There was a little on the corn stalks (shot him in a standing corn field), but towards the end I was following broken stalks. I found him about 50 yards from where I last saw him and he had been dead a while. I turned out that the arrow had gone under the lungs, not through them even though I shot him from the ground. What saved me was the broadhead shattered the opposite side leg and he couldn’t walk more than 10 feet without falling down. With the lack of blood, I’m not sure the outcome would have been the same if he could’ve walked well. I suspect you’ll be doing a grid search, but he’s likely laying out there waiting for you.
As a side note, "dark" blood is a somewhat subjective term and I usually ignore it. To one person muscle blood may look dark as compared to lung blood. More often than not, if it's a liver shot the arrow will have some smell. At leaset that's been my experience.
 

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this is my guess also. what you think you saw and what you saw sometimes is 2 different things. No offense, I've done it too.:embara:
We've all done it. Deer are quick and under conditions in the field it can be extremely difficult to accurately tell what kind of an angle the deer was giving you at the moment of the shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow you guys are fast:)

I backed out quietly after spooking him and left. I saw where he went into the thicket and know the thicket very well. I am hoping he laid down about 20 yds in.

I teach High School and have 4 students who are dying to get some tracking experience so they are going to go out with me this afternoon after school and help me look.

I am thinking liver shot as well, but the shot was too far forward and low for it. I am basing the shot placement not on where I aimed, on where I saw the big hole in him while he was standing 60 yards away, hence the confusion :)

Thanks for all of your responses. The low was only 53 last night so the meat is no good which really stinks because I focus on meat waaaay more than horns, Just in the right place at the right time.
 

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The dark red blood has me puzzled. The shot was not far enough back to hit the liver and If I did hit the liver he should have hemmoraged ( sp) with in 30 minutes based on past experiences with liver shots? What else could I have hit?
The norm for a liver hit deer is certainly not death in 30 minutes, I can tell you that based on 20 years of bowhunting experience. You've described the situation very well, and everything you have said tells a story of a liver shot deer. The only problem here is that you went after him too quickly, and didn't give him time to die. All that said, you should still find this deer as it is most likely a very solid liver hit, which is fatal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again guys, I feel sure we will find him. I am really looking forward to looking for him with my students. All the kids want to learn about the outdoors and if we can find him I am sure it will be a memorable experience for them.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Thanks for all of your responses. The low was only 53 last night so the meat is no good which really stinks because I focus on meat waaaay more than horns, Just in the right place at the right time.

The meat may very well still be good. That buck may have taken half the night before it died, or even longer. You should be OK, but I would start looking ASAP and get it gutted quickly.

That's great that you are taking your students out. I wish I had a teacher like you!
 

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is it possible you hit low? did a blood trail continue the second time he got up and took off? did you see any hair laying? sometimes a brisket shot will leave a ton of blood, the deer will lay down and get back up, and no more blood?
 

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Dark red blood, no bubbles, no gut smell/juice...very clear indicator of a liver hit. 4-6 hours is usually what may experienced hunters will go by before recovering. You didn't know it at the time, so you did nothing wrong - you went by what your brain told you.

The track job will be a little harder, but it you hit low liver, I'm hoping you have some blood to trail. Best of luck, and congrats on taking the kids out. Need more people like you teaching today:darkbeer:
 

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Dark red blood, no bubbles = liver shot. I guarantee you hit the deer further back than you thought, or the deer was at a steeper angle than you though he was. That is classic behavior of a liver/paunch shot animal.

If you had backed out quietly and waited overnight, that deer would have most likely been dead there in the morning. Since you bumped him, he took off. It can take over 4 hours for a liver hit deer to die. He is more than likely dead now, but will be much tougher to find as there may be a very sparse blood trail.

Go back out with a couple buddies and do you best to follow the blood trail. Be patient and try to find any little speck you can and follow the trail as far as you can. MArk the trail with tissue so you can look back and see the general direction he is travelling. Once you loose blood, then fan out and search from that point. The good thing is that this buck will want to bed down quickly because he is hurting, so hopefully if you backed out quietly after jumping him he didn't go far from that point. You should be able to find this deer. Good luck.
MELEAGRIS got it perfect!!!!!!!!

45 yrs of bow hunting says his post is right on the money.
oh this might help .....when he ran away ,he will run 50-100 yrds and will always make a j hook to watch his backtrail he's not dead as of then,but he's dead now ....find him he didn't go far.....good luck.

ps if you make a straight line as to the way he was headed go 50 yrds to each side there's where you'll find him. get back ok
 

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same thing happened to me when i was 12 shot my first buck was so excited found arrow dark red blood is def liver but anyway i saw him laying down i got with in 15 yrds of him then he took off and i never found him. it was a sad day for me but i learned some thing from it so it wasnt a total loss
 
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