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tracking advice

994 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MtnOak
Took a shot this eve (late CT bow season). I use lighted knocks when I hunt, to help paint a clearer pic of where a shot lands, and I think I have a pretty clear pic of where it landed. Just a smidge high (well below spine though) and a little forward. Didn't pass through, but sunk in pretty deep, and I heard a very solid "thwack". Buck bounded off, arrow flopping and hitting saplings. When I retrieved it, the arrow had blood on it for a good 9," and two of three blades were snapped off on the grim reaper.

Snow is on the ground, and there was a good blood trail at the arrow. Red. Not pink froth, but sprayed out for a good radius on the ground where the arrow came out. I heard a snort, and backed out of there as quiet as I could, and gave the area a wide berth on my way out.

I'm thinking of waiting till first thing tomorrow to track, in case he's bleeding out, or its a one lung situation. Is that what you would do?

In that particular area, our neighbor is a real special guy, and I'm not keen on risking pushing the deer onto his property either. Sit tight, and pray he beds down and passes on? Or get out there w/ a light and try to move on him? And what do you think I hit? Broke through some scapula, left two blades, then pushed in some more to some lung? Or broke off on the far side? (maybe 9" isn't far enough to touch bone on the far side). In any case, feeling not great about it, and hoping for an easy recovery.
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If you don't have a coyote problem, let him sit,. Otherwise give him some time and go look

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How far from the property line and did the buck go towards it?

What’s a snort?
Like hacking or was a deer blowing at you?

How long after the shot did you get down/ hear the snort?

Did you follow the trail at all to see blood?

How bad is you coyote population?

When you say the buck bounded off, can you describe more his reaction to the shot?
How far could you watch him, before out of sight?


Going after him has a 99% chance of bumping if not expired.
But, I’m not sure I’d wait till day break either...especially with snow on the ground.
 

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How far from the property line and did the buck go towards it?

What’s a snort?
Like hacking or was a deer blowing at you?

How long after the shot did you get down/ hear the snort?

Did you follow the trail at all to see blood?

How bad is you coyote population?

When you say the buck bounded off, can you describe more his reaction to the shot?
How far could you watch him, before out of sight?


Going after him has a 99% chance of bumping if not expired.
But, I’m not sure I’d wait till day break either...especially with snow on the ground.
Good questions here.....^^^ ....to help you analyze the situation as much as provide answers in a reply. Both the snow and cold are to your benefit, as it will sap life out of a wounded animal and also leave clear sign for you to decode. The first arrow shot deer I tracked in snow, I kept noticing these red "berries" along the trail....even when there was open areas without weeds. I finally picked up a handful of snow and realized the "berries" were actually frozen drops of blood spray. Unless you are antsy about coyotes ruining the meat, I would leave it overnight as it won't spoil and you won't jump it from a bed. The snort you heard might have been another deer, but it was likely prudent that you backed out. Anticipate a poor night of sleep.....that is the price you pay for leaving an animal overnight. Hope it turns out well tomorrow.
 

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I’ll play the bad guy here. From what you explained with the location of the shot and the type of blood, I would say you hit above the spine. The spine dips really low at the front shoulder area And it’s very easy to shoot above the spine there while appearing to be a decent shot. It sucks and I hope for you that I’m wrong, but pretty confident that I’m not. (For not being there to look for myself fat least).
Let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all. Crappy morning. Good blood trail on snow for a few hundred yards. Petering out at 600 yards. Then jumped him. He trotted off slow. Kept tracking fresh tracks for another 300 yards, but no more blood, and seems he joined some other deer. Started bumping groups of does, and couldn't distinguish who was who. And no more blood. Fingers crossed he makes it through. thanks for the tips. feel pretty crappy. in any case. thanks.
 

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I’ll play the bad guy here. From what you explained with the location of the shot and the type of blood, I would say you hit above the spine. The spine dips really low at the front shoulder area And it’s very easy to shoot above the spine there while appearing to be a decent shot. It sucks and I hope for you that I’m wrong, but pretty confident that I’m not. (For not being there to look for myself fat least).
Let us know how it goes!
I almost posted the same thing last night but decided to refrain.
But I think you're probably right, and the updates kinda support that...
 

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That's unfortunate. Don't let it get you down to much though. It's always good to really study the anatomy of the animal you are pursuing. Shot angles really change things. Let it be a learning experience and move on. Wish you the best.
 

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Losing an animal is tough. Eventually happens to us all. Good time to reflect and analyze. You're fortunate that you were able to recover the arrow and see what happened to the BH. You now have facts to think about.
 

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Sounds like you hit the spine. I have done that twice. No blood until they throw the arrow, then it pours out. You get a great blood trail because they normally start walking pretty soon. So it looks better than it is. If pushed, they can leave blood for hundreds of yards and like you said, just peter out. Both deer i’ve done this to, i seen perfectly fine a week or so later. Put a camera out and see what happens.
 

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Sounds like you hit the spine. I have done that twice. No blood until they throw the arrow, then it pours out. You get a great blood trail because they normally start walking pretty soon. So it looks better than it is. If pushed, they can leave blood for hundreds of yards and like you said, just peter out. Both deer i’ve done this to, i seen perfectly fine a week or so later. Put a camera out and see what happens.
Doubt this very much. If you actually hit the spine, the deer drops in its tracks. They don’t necessarily die quick though so another arrow is most likely required. However they do NOT run off and bleed until blood Peters out. Just does not happen unless you miss above the spine.
 

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Doubt this very much. If you actually hit the spine, the deer drops in its tracks. They don’t necessarily die quick though so another arrow is most likely required. However they do NOT run off and bleed until blood Peters out. Just does not happen unless you miss above the spine.
It 100% happens if you don’t get between the vertebrates or break through.. a spine can stop an arrow. Sometimes you can also cause temporary paralysis. They drop, wont be able to get up for a few seconds and then are able to get back to their feet and run off. You are showing your inexperience. I smacked the spine of both of those deer only getting a couple inches penetration.

One snapped the arrow off at the tip and the other tossed the arrow after about 25 yards. The buck i hit in the spine tossed the arrow and left an insane blood trail for about 25-30 yards. Then i went back and found blood for another 300-400 yards before losing it. Seen him a week later with the high hit i put on him. Right where his spine would be. You see it alot in videos also... get some experience before giving your opinion.
 

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Took a shot this eve (late CT bow season). I use lighted knocks when I hunt, to help paint a clearer pic of where a shot lands, and I think I have a pretty clear pic of where it landed. Just a smidge high (well below spine though) and a little forward. Didn't pass through, but sunk in pretty deep, and I heard a very solid "thwack". Buck bounded off, arrow flopping and hitting saplings. When I retrieved it, the arrow had blood on it for a good 9," and two of three blades were snapped off on the grim reaper.

Snow is on the ground, and there was a good blood trail at the arrow. Red. Not pink froth, but sprayed out for a good radius on the ground where the arrow came out. I heard a snort, and backed out of there as quiet as I could, and gave the area a wide berth on my way out.

I'm thinking of waiting till first thing tomorrow to track, in case he's bleeding out, or its a one lung situation. Is that what you would do?

In that particular area, our neighbor is a real special guy, and I'm not keen on risking pushing the deer onto his property either. Sit tight, and pray he beds down and passes on? Or get out there w/ a light and try to move on him? And what do you think I hit? Broke through some scapula, left two blades, then pushed in some more to some lung? Or broke off on the far side? (maybe 9" isn't far enough to touch bone on the far side). In any case, feeling not great about it, and hoping for an easy recovery.
How far was the shot??
A little high and forward? only blood after the shot was around where the deer was standing at impact maybe a little after he took off? arrow sticking out quite a ways? Arrow backs out?
Sounds like you caught the shoulder blade and the rib behind it........ pretty sure I can prove that, if he’s still going I’d say you may have got 1 lung or more like partially 1 lung.
 
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