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Old November 13, 2013, 07:15 PM   #1
Kreyzhorse
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Never Give Up On Wounded Deer

Just wanted to share my story from last weekend.

I've been taking a new hunter out the last two deer seasons and until this past weekend, he had never taken a shot at a deer. About 8am I heard his rifle report and via text he confirmed he shot but did not think he hit the deer. I told him to sit tight and I'd make my way over. I also told him to memorize where the deer was when he fired.

After reaching him, about 30 minutes after his shot, I had him show me where the deer was. There was zero blood or hair and he assured me he missed. I of course widened my search area and found a few tufts of white deer hair. There was no blood by the hair at all.

At this point I mentioned he might have just grazed the deer but we needed to be sure. I widened my search area and still found no blood. During this search, I even got down on all fours to make sure I didn't miss any blood sign.

After searching a 30' circle centered around the deer hair and finding nothing, I just couldn't convince myself that he just grazed the deer but the lack of any type of spore left me uncertain.

I then attempted to mimic what the deer would have done had I been shot at. Would I have ran down hill along this path? Yes, but my partner said he didn't go that way. Would I have ran up hill? Not likely. That left one area that I was sure our deer headed off towards. I then started my search into the thicker woods and about 20' outside of where I ended my search circle, I found one drop of what I call serum. It wasn't blood, but a mixture of clear liquid with a little blood mixed in.

Anyway, about 10' after that first sign, I found the first drop of blood. The trail at that point was very easy to follow. The deer wasn't bleeding a lot, but he was leaving an easy track.

Eventually, we bumped him in a thicket and he took off running like he wasnt injuried at all. After the bump though, I noticed his blood trail was getting a little thicker.

We slowly kept on the trail and eventually caught up to him laying down in an open area. He didnt see us and we were about 25 yards behind him so we sat down in a small depression to give him a bit more time. After close to 30 minutes, he was alert and and didn't appear that he was going to pass on his own so I set up a shot for my buddy and he made a nice finishing shot on the wounded deer. At this point it was about 2 hours after his original shot and a dam far sight from my pick up.

When we rolled the deer over, I saw the original shot had gut shot the small buck. I don't believe however that the bullet did any more than open a small cut into stomach cavity. It did not appear to nick any of the intestines. As the deer ran off after the shot, I think the action of running then forced a billiard ball size clump of intestines outside the body. When we cleaned the deer, I actually had to slit the hide to make the opening large enough to pull the guts back through.

I know this is a rather long tale, but I wanted to share what we went through to find this deer. My young hunter was ready to give up the search but I kept telling him that you don't give up until you are sure that the deer was either not wounded or was dead.

He felt terrible his first deer wasn't a clean kill but I told him that he should be proud of what we went through to find the deer and put it down because if we didn't the deer would have died a slow death.

I tried to teach him that if you are willing to shoot an animal, you should be willing to do whatever you can to finish it as humanely as possible, no matter what it takes.

I hope no matter what, that he learned a valuable lesson that he keeps with him for the rest of his life.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I thought I'd pass it along for any other new hunters.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Kreyzhorse; November 14, 2013 at 07:17 PM.
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Old November 13, 2013, 07:23 PM   #2
shortwave
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Quote:
I tried to teach him that if you are willing to shoot an animal, you should be willing to do whatever you can to finish it as humanely as possible, no matter what it takes.

I hope no matter what, that he learned a valuable lesson that he keeps with him for the rest of his life.
A great lesson learned first hand. He will most likely remember it the rest of his life.

Kudos to ya Krezyhorse for the lesson's you're teaching as well as this post as a reminder to us all.
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Old November 14, 2013, 11:40 AM   #3
mwal
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You did a great job of mentoring a new hunter. Well done

Mwal
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Old November 14, 2013, 11:54 AM   #4
BumbleBug
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That's part of it...

Following up & trailing in part of why we call it "hunting". There seems to be disagreement by some on weapons & methods. But being skilled at "hunting" after the shot is part of the sport.

Thanks go to you for mentoring a new hunter & I bet he'll never be quick at declaring a miss again!

...bug
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Old November 14, 2013, 01:04 PM   #5
40-82
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Excellent post. You go about the job of making a difficult recovery with classic style. I hope your young hunter someday appreciates that he had a chance to witness something far beyond what the average deer hunter is capable of.
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Old November 14, 2013, 02:07 PM   #6
1tfl
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Very good lesson to give to new hunter.

We had a guy here hit a hog slightly off target and he took off into the swamp. I took the guy into the swamp following the blood trail for 4 hours but had to give up when rain washed away all signs. I knew the wounded hog was a resident and would stick around for a while in the swamp. I spent 5 mornings and evenings sitting on a stand just outside the swamp and on the morning of the 6th day he came out and I shot him. That hog was shot too far back (would have been a good shot on a deer but not on a hog) and was gut shot. In 6 days it must have lost about 20% of his body weight. I hate to see any animal suffer.
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Old November 14, 2013, 07:12 PM   #7
Kreyzhorse
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Thanks for all the replies guys.

1tfl, that is some serious determination. I can't stand leaving a wounded animal either but that was a strong committment on your part.
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Old November 14, 2013, 07:20 PM   #8
Mobuck
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If I'm "mentoring" a beginning hunter, I never leave their side. Makes no diff if they're 10 or 25. Cuts down on time spent doing what was described.
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Old November 14, 2013, 08:16 PM   #9
SC4006
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Thank you for posting this! I am contemplating on whether I want to get my hunting license and hunt deer or not, but if I do you taught me a valuable lesson in your story.
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Old November 14, 2013, 08:34 PM   #10
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
Thank you for posting this! I am contemplating on whether I want to get my hunting license and hunt deer or not, but if I do you taught me a valuable lesson in your story
Hunting isn't for everyone, but if you are considering it, I'd give it a try. Hunting can be a very rewarding experience and there is much more to it than taking a nice trophy or even filling the freezer with meat, both of which are pretty rewarding by the way.
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Old November 16, 2013, 06:59 PM   #11
Brotherbadger
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Great story and a great lesson for new hunters. Last week we searched for 2 hours for a deer my buddy swore he hit. We never found a drop of blood, but somehow lucked into finding the buck 300 yards into the woods. It turns out the bullet entered the base of its neck, and traveled down into the gut. No exit wound, only a small pool of blood 2 feet from where we found him.

Moral of the story: if you are sure you got it, don't stop looking.
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Old November 16, 2013, 07:08 PM   #12
thallub
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You did a fine job mentoring that hunter and tracking a wounded deer.
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Old November 16, 2013, 09:42 PM   #13
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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They say persistence pays. And in this situation it sure did. Nice to hear you fellows were rewarded with that Spike at the end of its trail. I've seen allot of belly bumped deer in my time. Hate to see those kind of shots but it does happen. It's good that you took the shooter along trailing to watch & learn. I'll bet this experience will remain in his memory for years to come. (the one that almost got away. But not quite!)

good story Sir._
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:29 PM   #14
reynolds357
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Reminds me of some of my experiences before I got me a tracking dog. Now its "Blake, find him." Then take off running and try to keep up with the dog.
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Old November 17, 2013, 10:18 AM   #15
buck460XVR
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In these days of high tech bullets, attractant scents and hunting clothing that supposedly neutralizes the electrical impulses given off by your body, woodsmanship and tracking skills have become a lost art. I can't count on both hands the number of times folks have told me they had a clean miss only to search the area they last saw the deer and find a blood trail or a dead deer. Many time, those same hunters have no remorse when they realize they almost wasted a deer, and someone else had to find it for them....... unless it has a big rack. Then all of a sudden they are the "hunter".

Few years back, I checked on my brother after hearin' him shoot. Got the same story...."don't know how I missed, had him square in my crosshairs!". Had him show me where the buck was when he shot. Got to the trail, no blood, not even leaves rustled from a startled deer. Walked 15 yards to the trail behind it and found hair and a small amount of blood....immediately. All of a sudden it was "I knew I didn't miss!". Why then did you give up? Followed the deer about 200 yards thru a swamp when we came to a small patch of highground and I told my brother to get ready. Words weren't hardly outta my mouth when the good buck staggered to his feet and tried to stumble away. At this point my brother exclaims "My damn gun is jammed!" and I finished the animal off with the my old M1917. The head now resides on his wall and of course the story has changed. Somehow I always thought the wrong guy tagged that deer.
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Old November 17, 2013, 11:42 AM   #16
Pahoo
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It's an obligation !!!

Quote:
I tried to teach him that if you are willing to shoot an animal, you should be willing to do whatever you can to finish it as humanely as possible, no matter what it takes.
By my measure, it's not a choice but an obligation, to do one's best in retrieving "any" game that you hunt. In past years, we have found dead animals that hunters had given up finding. I don't know of many hunters that always make clean kills, even though we surely try. It's going to happen and part of the hunt. A additions obligation is to not let the meat, go to waste.....

The most challenging situation I have encountered, was finding a buddy's deer that he had bow-shot the previous evening. We tracked that deer for three days and on the 3rd. day, while we were still looking, the landowner found it, just 75yds. of where we were. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 19, 2013, 04:58 AM   #17
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Good post! You mentioned "Marking the last place you see the deer". The widening circle is a good idea. I am guilty of not marking the spot many times. I think because the last look you had was through a scope, the "spot" always seems a lot closer than it was. I have often surprised myself when using a widening circle and finding out it was a lot farther than I thought I had shot.
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Old November 19, 2013, 10:30 AM   #18
David13
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Very good job and post.
I think it's an obligation also.
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