Archery Talk Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there have been several excellent posts dealing with this subject, but I was thinking of a bit of a different twist. What if we broke the areas down into specific areas (heart, lungs, liver, paunch, etc.) and spent a couple of days discussing specifics on one particular area at a time? Experienced hunters could discuss deer reaction, blood color, length of trail, time expired before taking up the trail, etc. What do you guys think? I think it would be very beneficial, especially for newbies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
I think its a great idea.

I also think that hunters who are unsure should read John Trout Jr.'s book about tracking wounded whitetails. I cant think of the name.


I'll start it off with lungs I guess.

Usually when I get a lung hit, larger bucks will exhale a deep grunt when hit squarely through the lungs. Almost all of the animals I have hit through the lungs take off as if on fire, and usually keep their tail tucked tight. Crashing through most anything.

The blood will be foamy and frothy with bubbles, and a lighter colored red (almost pink).

They usually dont go very far, maybe 80 yards on average, and normally expire on the run.

Tracking them is usually pretty easy. Though I feel the lung blood can be a little tougher to find than heart or liver blood. (Not as dark) that may be just my eyes though..

Heart hits usually cause the animal to take off much like the lung hit, except Ive noticed they kick their back legs real high most times.

They are usually recovered within a short distance as well, less than 60 yards normally, expiring on the run the same as a lung hit. Tracking should be easy with blood that is thick and dark and looks like what you EXPECT blood to look like.


Liver hits, Ive only had two liver hits, but they also involved a lung. The blood was dark and bubbly, but that was a mixture I believe. Both animals expired within sight, one went about 35 yards, the other about 10 yards.
In my two experiences, liver hits seem to cause fast fatality.

Paunch/ intestines/stomach

Luckily I have never had a hit like this, so I cant tell you any firsthand experiences. However, its my understanding that the deer normally hunches up tight, and doesnt run off as fast. From what I have read, and seen firsthand tracking gut shot animals for others, these animals will NORMALLY try to bed down asap, and also tend to move down hill, or seek water. However, dont let that stop you from normal tracking. The blood may not be (blood like) but it will be more like stomach contents, green mush. It also smells like a lawnmower bag that sat in the sun for a week. Give these animals time to expire before tracking. They normally die in the first bed they take up. 6 hours is a good wait period if weather is not a factor. Dont push them, and bring a weapon, you may need to finish them off.
Feel free to add to that....Those are just my experiences.

Well, my wrist hurts....so maybe someone else can share...

Great thread idea though, hopefully more people will share their findings. Im sure there are some on here with way more tracking experience than I have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will add a couple of points to a liver hit. The liver is the largest vital and a hit in this area will prove fatal. Normally the deer will slightly hunch up, begin trotting, and then walk. They will often bed down within sight of your stand. I always sneak out of the timber if possible and give the deer a minimum of 2-3 hours. Get a compass reading of where you last saw the deer. The blood will be dark maroon...fairly large spots. Proceed slowly on the trail with your bow. Often times a liver hit deer will get up from where it first bedded. There may not be much blood sign after this because of plugging up. But the deer won't go far. Take your bow as I have had to shoot a couple, but that was when I took up the trail in an hour or so. I think you are much safer waiting 3 hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Another tidbit about liver hits. If you shoot a deer and know its a liver hit as stated before let it lay for a bit. As a liver hit WILL be fatal as it can't clot on its own. But its also a slow bleeder. I centerpunched a lil buck last year in the liver with a 100gr spitfire, darn near split it in half. He tore off and fell while in mid stride 50 yards off and left 3 drops of blood from impact to where he died so give the trail some time as it will steadely get to be more blood on the ground and may not be any on the ground for 30+ yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
Heart-Deer usually kicks, but not a given. Standard 30 minute wait, unless I see it fall, then 15 minutes after any motion. Blood trails can be tricky, some have poured out, others not so much cause the heart wasn't pumping it out.

Double Lung- Again standard 30 minute wait if it doesn't drop in sight. Blood is usually very good and easy to follow.

Heart/lung- this is my favorite. You catch the near lung and down into the heart, or the arteries coming right out of the top of the heart. HUGE blood trails that aren't very long at all.

Single lung-Wild card. Deer can live on one lung. But they can also die(sometimes they die in a short distance, sometimes it is a long one). Hope you catch a lung and some arteries. 2 hrs wait, sneak on the blood trail.

Liver-trickiest of them all. For me its 2 hr wait minimum preferably 4, and a SNEAK on the blood trail. I've had liver shots run 100 yds bleeding like crazy and be dead in minutes. I've had them bedded and finished with a follow up shot after 2 1/2 hrs. Combine a liver with a single lung and to me you don't seem to gain much. I'm still waiting 2 hrs. Liver with a gut shot is your best friend over a gut shot alone as it usually provides a blood trail. A lot depends on where in the liver you hit. An outer lobe and the deer needs time, center punch the main vessels and it'll bleed out fast, but this is something you can only tell when you are gutting the deer.

Gutshot-8 hrs. No hesitation, go home and find something else to do. Hope you've caught a little bit of liver to help with the blood trail. Sneak while trailing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,685 Posts
I had a double lung went in by the back rib up high went out about 2 inches back of the far front leg about half way up the deer.

Deer left full throttle, went about 100 yards.

I had one drop of blood about every 30 to forty feet. Not a good blood trail.
Found the deer and once cleaned I saw I took out 2 lungs only, didn't catch any other vital. the body cavity was full of blood but not much on the ground. the blood couldn't get out very well with a high exit hole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
liver is the trickyest one of them all! i've shot deer though the liver and had them drop in sight, i've also twice shot deer though the liver and had them live 8-9 hrs, the liver has viens and arterys running though it if you center punch it and miss alot of the arterys it can take awhile....just try to shoot them though both lungs and you'll watch them fall!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,492 Posts
My personal code is as folows:

1. Lung- always try to hit both of them, double lung deer always dead-manditory 30 minutes if I see the deer drop, 1 hour if I don't see it drop. Bubbles are good and splatter from both sides is a godsend.
-Single lung hit minimum 2 hours if blood is faint or a night time shot then wait until the following morning.-

2. Liver- always fatal, minimum 4 hours if I don't see it drop. And always wait until morning if it's an evening shot. Dark blood that can look brown when dry.

3. Stomach-Always fatal - I believe- minimum 4-6 hours even if I see it drop. Watery blood that can be filled with green or grainy matter.

4. Heart- always fatal, 30 minute wait to be sure. Instant blood, red as a fire engine, clots often present and dries in goupy lumps.
 

·
Urban Archer
Joined
·
744 Posts
Kidney

If your shot goes errant for any reason and strike the deer high, right in front of the hips. All hope is not lost and you may have hit the kidney. The hair will be dark when compared the hair at mid-body and the blood will be dark red. The deer should not mke 80 yards with this hit since it causes such intense blood loss. If you strike the appoximately same place and your arrow is covered fat/meat but no considerable blood you sliped between the spine & the kidney. Your chance of retrieval with that hit is 0.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think gut shot deer are the worst case scenario. However, in the last 5 years our group has done a few things to increase the odds of finding a deer shot in the guts. A gut shot deer will almost always hunch up and its back legs will spread. Often times they will merely walk away. If possible, get a second shot. I know this is hard to do. Watch the deer and get a good compass reading. In the last 5 years, I've been on 11 gut shot deer cases. In 9 of these, the deer bedded down within 80 yards of the stand. Watch the deer very carefully because you probably won't have much sign to go on. Give the deer a minimum of 6 hours. If shot in the evening, take up trail following morning. Try to arrange to have 3 or 4 helpers. This is the only time I take more than one other tracker with me. You may need to use the grid method, to find the deer. Out of the 11 gut shot deer, 8 were recovered. I use to think you had about a 50-50 chance of recovery. The key is watching, waiting, and perserverance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Very good information guys. Nice work.

I am a heart shot kind of guy. I won’t let an arrow fly unless the deer are with in 20 yds and the heart shot is visible. Popped one Doe and thought it was a perfect heart shot. But the Doe took off like a rocket. Most times I see them drop. I played it back in my head a million times and couldn’t understand how she kept going. I gave here an hr and started my stalking search. Spotted her ear about 80 yds from the hit spot. It took me another hr to stalk with in 20 yds of her in the thick crap I was in. Drew back and put another arrow in her. She never even blinked. Bedded down with her head sticking straight up dead. So I made a very successful stalk on a Doe I already killed. And even got a second kill shot. When I cut her open she had no more blood inside.

I must say that most of the deer I hit in the heart bolt and fall very quickly when I shoot them from a stand. Usually with in 30 yards. For some reason when I stalk them most don’t run at all. I’ve had some continue grazing after the arrow passed right through. Must have something to do with the angle. I haven’t figured it out.

I think it’s a very good practice to start nocking an arrow the second after the first shot leaves the bow. And you should also practice at longer distances than you hunt at for that second shot. I practice out to 70yds and only take shots under 20 at deer. But if I ever need to I’m positive I can get another arrow in if I can see it. Kind of an insurance arrow.
 

·
Bowhunter
Joined
·
5,209 Posts
If deer are feeding in groups and you shoot one, you may find that rest that scattered return pretty quickly. That happened to me last season (on day 2). Fortunately I had nocked a second arrow right after my first shot. When the other deer returned I arrowed a second one - within 4 minutes of the first one. Both recoveries within 25 yards of my stand. :) After that it was a lotta work.....
 

·
She's baaaaack!!!!
Joined
·
20,539 Posts
1) watch the deer closely after the shot, GET a landmark (log, double tree) where the deer passed, keep watching you may spot some movement
----- this will give you a good starting point which could save some time
---- I've found deer that were headed north and then I saw a suspicious deer to the west, checked my mark and the deer was lying in the creek to the west

2) patience, I've done better the last five years than I did the first 20. Wait as long as possible before taking up the track. If you don't have patience you will, not might, put up a mortally wounded and recoverable deer that will be lost. It's only a matter of time.

3) At the last spot of blood. I've learned to get on my knees and look up the track line and see disturbed ground maybe 10 yards ahead. It could be just one leaf sticking up. Track partner checks it out for blood. Your eyes should be about 2 feet or less off the ground when looking for a track line.

4) When tracking take water and snacks. Take extra clothing if at night as temp. will drop and you won't be moving much. I've taken nap breaks while on track before.

5) I've found that non-mortally wounded deer will at times go back to feeding. If it looks like he's wondering around munching on acorns you're probably not going to find him.

6) If I shoot one late in the evening and he appears to be sticking to the thickest cover, I like my chances of recovery. He's staying in thick cover at night because he's weak and vulnerable.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top