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Primum Non Nocere
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I shot my B tag tonight which is an anterless whitetail doe but I cannot find her. No arrow and no blood. I am sure I hit her good as I watched her roll to the right when I shot. It was a slight quartering to me and I put it right through or behind the shoulder and she rolled right and then spun right and she fell and then took off into the nasty buck brush. In all I watched her fall three times in the first 5 seconds after the shot. I will be back out in the morning to see if I can locate her. I have never lost an animal and I hope this won't be the first one...
 

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good luck and dont give up, I would guess the arrow did not exit with a high entry wound, which leaves almost no blood, sounds like you broke her shoulder. I bet you find her.
 

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Good luck with your search. You probably already know this since you have never lost an animal, but my grandpa was talking to me the other day and what he said really made sense....something I had never really thought about. I am usually a blood only trailer. I find blood and follow and if I lose it I look for more blood...but he was telling me to survey the land as well. If the blood trail ended going up a hill....chance are the deer went lateral on the hill rather then expend the energy climbing the hill. If there is really thick stuff, they probably chose the path of least resistance since they are already wounded and will choose conservation of energy. Might not work in every situation....but something to consider none the less. Hope you find her.
 

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For the sake of your sanity I hope you find her bud.

I hit a BIG buck 2 years ago and never found him. Just as I released he went from perfectly broadside to almost facing straight away which caused my arrow to enter where I didn't want it to. At any right, my buddy, my uncle and I searched for a full day, covered countless miles and never saw hide nor hair of the buck, and we lost blood after about 100 yards or so. I was sick to my stomach for 4 days, literally, and I didn't eat anything, LITERALLY.

Luckily a week later I saw a BIG buck chasing a doe with a clearly visible wound on his side, so the beast lived. That made it a little easier to cope with, but the guilt was still there knowing that I wounded such a magnificent animal in general.

Good luck with the search man. Make sure you let us know how it turns out.
 

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best of luck to you finding her tomorrow. I hope that the temps are favorable for you so you don't lose the meat.
 

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update

I am sure you are looking. How close was it when you shot and how high were you? A few years ago, i shot one close quatering towards. The exit came out opposite side, just behind the diaphram and on underside of the deer. Went about 150 yards before she bled. The entrance wound was high, and the low exit wound filled with gut and blocked the blood. When she filled up and bled out of the entrance wound, it was easy tracking.
 

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Primum Non Nocere
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Discussion Starter #7
Well we got up this morning and looked high and low to no avail. I can't find a drop of blood anywhere let alone my arrow. I am really frusterated by this. I had six people helping me last night. This morning it was just the wife and I but both searches covered alot of area but it is so thick out there you could step on her and never know it. I tried re-tracing her path that I saw and then checking all the trails that were in that brush for any kind of sign. Nothing. We followed a ton of trails and went off trail and got covered in stickers but so be it. This is gonna eat at me. Any other suggestions. It was 70 degrees when I shot her and dropped to 50 degrees last night and today it will be 80.
 

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mtmedic said:
Well we got up this morning and looked high and low to no avail. I can't find a drop of blood anywhere let alone my arrow. I am really frusterated by this. I had six people helping me last night. This morning it was just the wife and I but both searches covered alot of area but it is so thick out there you could step on her and never know it. I tried re-tracing her path that I saw and then checking all the trails that were in that brush for any kind of sign. Nothing. We followed a ton of trails and went off trail and got covered in stickers but so be it. This is gonna eat at me. Any other suggestions. It was 70 degrees when I shot her and dropped to 50 degrees last night and today it will be 80.
I always do circles when I do not have a blood trail. I has worked well in the past, especially when there are 2 or more people.
 

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Primum Non Nocere
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Discussion Starter #9
tjandy said:
I always do circles when I do not have a blood trail. I has worked well in the past, especially when there are 2 or more people.

We did circles, zig zags, and gridlike patterns. Thats what has me worked up so much I think. Somebody should have found something...
 

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i read an article last year that said most deer that are hit hard and have a pass-through will turn in the same direction that they were hit on, and after thinking about all the deer i shot in the past and there travel route he was right. if the arrow enters on the right they will turn to the right.
 

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Tracking

Is there any water close by, if there is water go check it out. Uphill or downhill, if the doe continued to go uphill it usually means the deer was not hit as hard. Please do not take this the wrong way, but in the first part of your post you gave alot of impact details. This normally means that you are trying to watch the arrow. That is a fatal shooting flaw. I have heard alot of hunters over the years state where they hit a deer, or how good the shot was, but did not find the deer. Remember the only way to know where you hit the deer, is when you are standing over it. Good luck finding your deer, I hope you find her. Although if you do not find her , you will become a better hunter, I am sure of that, Tom:wink: .
 

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I have read where deer will sometimes head in the direction they were going and then circle back to the trail that they came from because they feel it was a safe trail as nothing happened until they got the spot they were shot. I have helped numerous hunters find wounded deer even to the point of crawling on my hands and knees in thorn bush's. Water is where they usually end up dead or still alive if thay make it that far. I have also seen guys look all over for a deer and I go to where they shot the deer and we find it within 75 yards as they just flat out didnt see it due to either terrain or foliage. I find that when I am looking initially I like to have as few people as possible because sign can be destroyed by too many feet trampling the area. I also know that blood can be VERY hard to spot in some types of ground cover.

Dont give up, even if you feel the meat has gone you will at least you may find the deer and perhaps increase your knowledge. Persistance usually pays off and I also have had people looking for a deer walk within 10 feet and never see it!! Do not be afraid to recheck where you and others have already looked, sometimes just a few feet difference in where you walk makes a world of difference.
 

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saskarcher
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I don't think there is a bowhunter alive who can say he never has lost an animal!
Its a part of the sport which we like the least! for sure,,,

We try our best to take ethical shots and practice to put our arrow in the right spot,,
But sometimes things just take a change,,
a half step, a hidden branch
murphys law just loves boehunters!!
You'll just have to find some solice in the fact that nothing in the wild ever goes to waste, even though the doe died perhaps before her natural time,, it will still provide for those others who need her most,,,

Still, i"m sorry for your loss,,
I know it hurts,,,
keep the faith
and keep em sharp:wink:
 

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She's baaaaack!!!!
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A deer going down from an arrow hit tells you a lot. Of course nothing is 100%.
You badly busted that deers shoulder.
The arrow may have hit one lung but there is a reasonably good chance that you did not touch a lung. With a quartering toward shot you can hit the shoulder, get a slight deflection that would put the arrow off in an undesirable direction. Because the deer went down I believe the impacted shoulder is busted up. The question is whether you hit enough vitals to put the deer down where you could find it, if it ever stayed down.
 

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The arrow may have deflected off her shoulder

and buried itself between the rib cage and hide. Not being there its hard to tell, but from what you explain thats what it sounds like. If this is true she will hide for some time and maybe you will get a chance at her again.

One of the fellows I know, made a shoulder hit on a nice doe a few years back and opening day the next season she came limping by with a young one in tow. Needless to say, I put an arrow throug her and we found his broadhead with about four inches of shaft embedded in her. The area of injury was thick with calcium that had grown around the broadhead. The flesh had formed a scar of tough flesh around the shaft.

I know that will not make you feel any better, but sometimes they do survive those shots. Most hunters try their best to make good clean kills and sometimes it just does not go as we would like it to go.

A quartering to shot, is a tough shot to make on a deer and I would recommend trying to stay away from that type of shot. Hope things work out for you and do not give up hope and may you have success in the future.
 

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HEAD0001 said:
Is there any water close by, if there is water go check it out.
I'll echo these comments. A few years back I hit a doe a bit back, and ended up losing the trail. At the end of searching for blood, etc., I looped around and checked out a pond on one edge of the property...there she was, floating on the edge. I've seen more than one hit deer go for water.
 

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Primum Non Nocere
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys for the words and advice. Remember this was a slight quartering towards me shot. She was almost broadsidewhen I attempted to put it through the vitals but it worked out different for some reason.

There is water nearby but when I checked I found nothing. Of course this water is the mighty Missouri river and she could be halfway through the state by now. I will have to learn from this and note that I went down swinging. I made every effort I could to find her and I can say that without doubt. I will continue too look as there is plenty of season left. Thanks again for all the advice and input...
 
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