View Full Version : Need knowledge......... I blew it!!!

December 14, 2008, 09:36 PM
Just got back from the woods. It's 9:30. Been looking for a deer sense a little after 5:00.

Shot him at about 12 yards. Bullet ( .35 Rem ) went through. Found lung blood on a sapling where the bullet exited. Blood trail was very sparse but did find another bit of frothy along with the drops.

He ran with head and tail down. Looked good...........figured I'd find him within 50 yards or so. In fact I could see him run for about 20 or so till he vered right around a big cypress tree. Untill then he went in a straight line, another good sign.

After about 20 or 25 yards there was a place that looked like he fell down. In fact I could sort of see him as he went through the swamp after the shot and this looks like the spot where he jogged to the right a bit.

After that not one more drop of blood. ???? We crawled around on hands and knees but could not find a thing. Did a sweep, 4 of us, from the last blood spot..........nothing.

Finally gave up after about 2 1/2hours.

So here is the question: It's 65 degrees here now and I don't expect it to get much below the mid 50s tonight. I'm going to go back in the morning and look some more. I'm convinced that he's dead, based on the lung blood, not to far from the last blood.............

What do you think is the chance the meat will be good in the morning? Only other time we've had to do this it was in the 30s and it was fine the next morning........but this one????

December 14, 2008, 09:46 PM
Ooof. That's too bad, bud! :( Regardless, get on the trail at next chance and find it. It will do 2 things for you: #1, get some practice tracking (its the only way to get better at it), and #2, you owe it to the animal to find it. Each tracking experience is different, but some have themes.

Is there any water close by to where you lost the trail? Any down-hill paths it could take? Did the blood trail look like it might have been circling back to the vicinity where it was shot?

Also, how long did you wait before starting the tracking?

December 14, 2008, 09:48 PM
Big question is will it be good in the morning when I go back for it?

December 14, 2008, 09:54 PM
That's going to be hard to say.:confused: How long did the animal live before it died? The longer it lived, the less chance for spoilage. Although the forcast called for 50 degree temps, how long is it going to take to cool down? And will the temp really hit 50?

The only way to really tell is to wake up in the morning, look online at a weather site for the historical picture of the temps in your area through the night to see what really happened. I think in the 50s, though, that might still be a little too warm. Normal recommended fridge temp is 37.

I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear. If I lived near you, I'd offer to go out with you tonite to find it.

December 14, 2008, 09:57 PM
At 50 degrees, you have zero chance of the meat being good by tomorrow morning. If you doubt that, leave a steak out on your counter overnight.

December 14, 2008, 10:04 PM
I would bet he's within 50 yards of the last blood spot. Might ought to take a couple of stand-up lanterns, put one on the last blood spot start circling from there. Look for white belly, not blood spots. Won't keep 'til morning.:(

December 14, 2008, 10:21 PM
Already did the circles. Swamp is very dry and not in the least bit thick in this area. Somehow it went further than expected...........

Sounds like you guys think it'll be ruined...........I'll still go for a second look in the morning.

I'd of rather MISSED than left a wounded one in the woods.

December 14, 2008, 10:29 PM
If shot placement is correct and you waited awhile(30 mins.or so) before trailing Meek and Milds probably right about being closer than you think. If its legal and you know someone with a dog, using him could help you. Lung shot at 5pm or so, 50deg. I would also doubt he`d be good unless he`s laying in water that cooler than the air temp. If you find him in water and its been alot cooler there, water temp lower you may be allright. Been there done that and its not a good feeling:(. Goodluck!

December 14, 2008, 10:36 PM
What really has me stumped is that after the spot where it looked like he fell down there was not one more spot of any sort......

Is it possibe leaves got in the wound and clogged things up? That's about all I can come up with that makes sense. Unless he was bleading in such a way that it was collecting internally?

December 14, 2008, 10:37 PM
I'd go back in the morning and start from scratch again. Mark the trail with toilet paper or plastic flagging. Go real slow. A lung shot deer can easily run 100 yds. You'll find more blood eventually in my opinion; just keep looking. Be patient and deliberant.

After you find the deer, field dress it and observe carefully what you see. I think it will be okay as I've tracked archery shot deer the next morning and the meat was okay at your temp range. There is a big difference between leaving a steak out over night and a deer with a hide on it. The meat should be okay.

That deer is not wounded; it's dead. You just didn't find it. Deer often will run toward water to lie down to and die. Leg shot and they tend to run up hill.

Do circles from the last known blood after marking the blood trail. You can often sight back along the trail behind you if you have it marked and it helps in predicting where the deer may have run after you've lost the trail. The lung area will be full of blood.

December 14, 2008, 10:43 PM
Marked the blood trail...........it's a straight line to where it ends. Usually one that's hit good runs in a fairly straight line but he had to detour around the BIG cypress tree and that was the end of it.............

I'll post what I find in the morning...........

Brian Pfleuger
December 14, 2008, 10:52 PM
That is a rotten feeling. We just had one that only went about 200 yards and couldn't go any farther but he still took 7+ more hours to die. We called EnCon while standing 10 feet from this deer because it was after hours. They would not give us authorization to shoot it. Sucks... buts that's hunting. If there hadn't been snow we'd have probably never found this deer, even at that small distance. The dogs are a good idea if it's legal in your area. You might even call EnCon and see if they have a list of trackers.

Like was said before, the meat question will depend on how far it lives through the night. Regardless, if it were me I'd feel better to find it even if it was spoiled.

December 14, 2008, 11:01 PM
Made the dog calls. No luck with that.............

Back at it in the morning.

December 15, 2008, 12:04 AM
Any luck bswiv? One trick I have learned is to use a gps to track your trail as you go in circles or in a grid, so that you can be sure that you have not missed any areas. If you can keep at it long enough you are sure to find it; frothy blooded deer do not survive long.

Best of luck!

B. Lahey
December 15, 2008, 12:33 AM
Any bears or large cats in that swamp?

Seen any UFOs around there? Maybe its smoking over zargnar wood on the wormhole express to alpha centauri right now...:D

Mike U.
December 15, 2008, 04:54 PM
Or maybe a local Bigfoot made off with it. :D
See any size 24 bare footprints out there? :eek:

I certainly hope you can resolve this issue.
It really sucks having that uncertainty hanging over your head. :(
I know it bothers me to even have a squirrel (or any form of four-legged vermin) make off without me knowing it's fate for certain.

I wish you the best of luck in your search.

December 15, 2008, 05:06 PM
I am with 22-Rimfire. I think almost all meat will be OK. The around around the wound channel may be scrap, but I would bet the rest is OK.

Let us know.

December 15, 2008, 06:09 PM
That is a tough deal for sure. Sounds like a good lung shot. Hard to believe he got away.
Y'all got down on your hands and knees for hours, you do know what you are doing.

You shot the deer at 65 degrees, and a low of 55 is expected.
I wouldn't eat the meat.
Let's say the deer is 98 degrees. Laying in the woods, 5 minutes after you pulled the trigger, air temp of 64 degrees, with that fur coat that deer is not going to lose much body heat.

December 15, 2008, 06:28 PM
So very sorry to hear about it. Just went through the same kind of search, after my wife thought she hit one. No blood in our case.

One thing i was introduced to , after shooting a buck that was retreived after dark, was a blood tracking light. It really seems to make the blood trail stand out in the dark. May be to late for this one but in the future its a good thing to have with you. For the evening hunts anyways.

Hope you find him...J.R.

December 15, 2008, 06:47 PM
Never read an answer to the question
Also, how long did you wait before starting the tracking? .

You may have pushed that deer when all he wanted to do is lay down and die. It won't help you on this one, but it is imperative to wait 30 minutes before tracking. (as hard as it is to wait).

December 15, 2008, 07:40 PM
See "Follow-up.......sad"...........