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While watching hunting shows, I couldn't help but notice how the encourage hunters to back out and leave the animal over night when you make a marginal shot. Now I do agree with this thought process BUT what happens if waiting over night is not an option? What I mean is, due to our huge predator popular it is too risky to let a deer lay over night. The bears (which are protected) and coyotes are as thick as skeeters here in Florida.

One recent example happened this last December. A good friend of mine shot a huge 8 point just before dark on a WMA. He got down at dark and started to track him. He ended up bumping him and the buck ran further into the cypress swamp. So my friend decided to let the buck lay over night. This particular night was forecasted to be in the lower 20's, so spoiling was not an issue. Well he was back where he spooked the buck at daylight the following morning. He tracked the buck 100 yards further into the swamp and found him.......half eaten.

During the night, coyotes found him and completely ate both hams off of the buck. My friend was lucky a bear didn't find the buck and drag it off. This happened on public land which can not be predator hunted except during deer season. Also our coyotes are pretty much all nocturnal and night hunting is illegal except for coons. So our wildlife commission has tied our hands behind our back when it comes to predator control. The bears are even worse then the coyotes in some areas. On my 2300 acre lease we have 6 different bears that consistently roam our property.

This basically leaves us with no other option but to keep pushing the occassional wounded deer in hopes it bleeds out quickly. Any other ideas?
 

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Trapping....you could trap yotes all year round if the law allows for such a practice. I am sure you could find some traps at a reasonable rate if you shopped around. This still leaves a chance of the deer being found by these predators but would at least give you some sense of helping the situation while reducing the population of coyotes. Just a thought.
 

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No deer or partially eaten deer? This is the option.
 

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No deer or partially eaten deer? This is the option.
Exactly. You can leave the deer til the next day and maybe risk losing it, or you can guarantee losing it by pushing it. That is my opinion and experience anyways.
 

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Last year I left two different deer over night. Both I hit good and *thought* I saw/heard go down, but with the sun fading fast I wasn't 100% positive and decided to come back the next day. The first deer, a little 6pt, was laying right where I expected, perfectly ok. The second deer was a doe, which I shot 5 days after the buck out of the same stand. They died within 100 yards of each other. And when I found her, she looked like this.... photo.jpg




Both front quarters destroyed, and the front half of the backstraps gone. I knew coyotes were around, but hadn't worried about it. I really wonder if the gut pile from the first deer brought them into the area--or at least made them hang out there a little more--so they were on my doe immediately. Who knows??? But, as someone else said, I'd rather have less of my deer than none of it. And, if you are really that concerned then stop hunting in the evening and only hunt mornings.
 

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Had a buck completely picked clean this year in the hours of 5:30pm to 7am. Could only find a piece of hide the size of a trashcan lid, his antlers and red bloody skeleton. My area is an anomoly. Based on the hit, I should have gone back in after 2 hours and scooped him up. Now I know. There are places within 30 miles of me that it's perfectly fine to leave your critter overnight. You just need to make the judgement based on lethality of hit and your area.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Not being judgmental here, just thinking that in these situations hunters may have to start being more selective in the shots they take, if they take them at all......:noidea:
 

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Not being judgmental here, just thinking that in these situations hunters may have to start being more selective in the shots they take, if they take them at all......:noidea:
Perfect world?
 

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Not being judgmental here, just thinking that in these situations hunters may have to start being more selective in the shots they take, if they take them at all......:noidea:
That is advice a lot people should hear! But, for me at least, even when I *know* I made a good shot I like to be extra cautious and wait. Unless a storm threatens to wash away my blood trail or the temperatures are warm, I just assume take the risk and come back in the morning when there sunlight to track and it is dead no matter where you hit it (well, within reason).
 

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Most hunters on the outdoor channel to are guided or on some sort of outfitters "High fenced" land with very little population of predators to their big game wild life that they pay so much for the genetics. There going to protect there investments hints the reason why most outfitters own land and have it high fenced. With this being said chances these guys are gonig to have a half eaten deer on a high fence land like that are very slim.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Never lost a deer?
No from being left over night. Just saying that if it's at that time of the evening where it's getting close to the end of hunting hours, and you know there's a predator problem in the area, you may have to restrict your shots to something that should be a slam-dunk quick recovery.
Just making a suggestion, not stating a directive....:wink:
 

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Not being judgmental here, just thinking that in these situations hunters may have to start being more selective in the shots they take, if they take them at all......:noidea:
Poor shots happen on occasion, but there is no excuse for poor shot selection.
 

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gotta make your plan of attack based on your areas conditions...weather,location and predators are a deciding factor on if you let them lay or not overnight
 

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Live Free or Die!
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No from being left over night. Just saying that if it's at that time of the evening where it's getting close to the end of hunting hours, and you know there's a predator problem in the area, you may have to restrict your shots to something that should be a slam-dunk quick recovery.
Just making a suggestion, not stating a directive....:wink:
Gotcha. :darkbeer::thumbs_up
 

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I've never seen a coyote eat the rack. ;) The two or three ive let lay were never touched. Got lucky I guess. I have intentionally let a few lay over night after finding them and gutting them but i usuually lay some clothes around them so the yotes dont touch them. I have had the guts eaten but never the deer.

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Discussion Starter #19
No from being left over night. Just saying that if it's at that time of the evening where it's getting close to the end of hunting hours, and you know there's a predator problem in the area, you may have to restrict your shots to something that should be a slam-dunk quick recovery.
Just making a suggestion, not stating a directive....:wink:
the shot in question was made with a .30-06 at 100 yards. the 150 gr. bullet went right through the front shoulder. so the shot did not appear to have been bad at all.
 

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What's wrong with tracking at night? Been doing that all my life. If I think I make a good hit, I'm going after it. I never heard too much about "backing out until the morning" until the TV hunters started doing it.
 
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