View Full Version : Follow up---Found it---sad.

December 15, 2008, 07:14 PM
Went back at first light this morning to have another look. It took a embarrisingly short amount of time for me to find it. After chasing off a possum that was busy trying to gnaw his way into the belly I very quickly determined that it was ruined.

Was already fairly sure of that fact as our low last night, due to cloud cover holding the warmth in, never got below 65 degrees. After finding it I tried to backtrack to where I had marked where the last blood we were able to find last night was. Even knowing the basic track I could not find blood.

And what I think made it the most dificult was that when he fell down at that BIG cypress tree, he had taken a almost 90 degree left turn, not a slight right as it appeared had happened from my stand. Besides that it is so unusual in our flat land for a hard hit deer to veer much from the straight, but this one had.

And as you can see from the picture the exit wound on the left side tells the story of how well he was hit. He just bled inside..........

But all was not loast. I went ahead and gutted him. And this will tell you how far along the deterioration had gone.....when I went to pull the last part of the intestines out of the pelvis they just came lose from the rectum and pulled right out with no force. Trust me decomposition had set in good.

And yes it stunk but when you've worked in a fishhouse and cleaned fish for a living for 30+ years not much bothers you.

And let me say at this point that I will NEVER eat a possum again because as I was dragging the deer off he had ambled back over to the gut pile, the stinking rotten gut pile, and was chowing down. Not my idea of a "hearty" breakfast.

I got it gutted and hauled out to the truck. So what to do with it?

And then I remembered that there is a wildlife care service that specilizes in LARGE predators not 10 miles from the entrance to the hunting property. So I took a chance and drove over there.

Have you ever seen a Mountain Lion chow down on a whole deer ham? Skin on?

And better than that if you could have seen the 550 pound Bengal Tiger grab that deer by the neck just as if he was killing it and then carry it off and start chomping! Just amazing....

According to the lady there the big cats will eat it bones and all, except the antlers. The antlers, after the Tiger is through with them, will be tossed in with the Wolves who will gnaw them away.

She said that the bones are good for their teeth. From what I was told they love to get fresh roadkill deer and fresh carcuses, even after they have been cleaned. The animals go nuts for it.

So while I'm still bummed by what happened I do feel much better that the animal did not go to waste.



December 15, 2008, 07:20 PM
Good ethical hunting boss...

You did the right thing by going back and getting it when you could and by not letting it go to waste.

December 15, 2008, 07:31 PM
Thats a shame that it was spoiled but you definitely did the right thing by going back for it. Especially since it ended up going to a good cause.

December 15, 2008, 07:50 PM
In nature nothing is ever wasted just recycled.

December 15, 2008, 09:17 PM
Good deal, that you went back and found your deer.
I knew from your original post that you had made a good shot, and the deer was dead.
How far did the deer go? Less than 120 yards, I bet.

I have shot many, many deer in the flat lands in Georgia. Very common for a lung shot deer to run straight for a certain distance. Perhaps 25, or 50 yards.
Then to make a turn. I have seen them turn 90 degrees, I have even seen them turn 180 degrees. Then they may run, up to 120 yards total, until they drop.
Of course, on other occasions, the deer will run in a straight line, until it drops.

Well you did as good of a tracking job as you could have done.
At least you know that the deer died quickly and did not suffer.

The body of the deer remained in the natural cycle of the woods, and, ultimately, did not go to waste. The big cats will crap out the remains of the deer, plants will grow in that crap, and they will be eaten by deer, and the cycle continues.

December 15, 2008, 09:20 PM
At least you found him, I missed one and looked for six hours. I swear it was a good hit, but nothing. It will drive you nuts not knowing if he made it or not. I have wanted to try one of those blood light tracking devices myself. Sorry for your loss.

December 15, 2008, 09:28 PM

You did good!!
To many people wouldn't have looked for that deer for more than an hour----good on you.
The hunting Gods may smile on you one day with a real monster buck.:)

December 15, 2008, 10:05 PM
Don't feel bad, bswiv...you did more than a lot of people would have done, and it happens to the best of us sooner or later. The very first deer I ever shot with a bow was lost (a doe), and I know it was a fatal hit from seeing her after I started tracking. Rain washed away the blood a minute later, then7 foot high brambles and lost sight b/c of hills made it impossible to find without a DR Motor Trimmer, which I did not have & it was not my land anyway. :(

One question, tho...why did you not at least take the skull cap & antlers for yourself before giving the rest to the care center?

December 15, 2008, 10:33 PM
OK, looking back on the blood trail and the deer, how far was it from the last blood spot and what sort of a search pattern could have found it in the dark? :confused:
I'm not criticizing you but I want to hear the rest of the story as I've got a big interest in perfecting my own deer finding techniques. (Usually my evening deer kills involve rain, mud and insects so there is a lot of incentive in finding them quickly.) I've found that having two or more lanterns to set out as markers really helps, especially so the circles get done right and all the little holes in the grass are explored.

December 15, 2008, 10:39 PM
Meek, i'm tellin ya , ya gotta try a bloodlight!!

We backtracked an already found deer and were amazed that blood drops showed up ahead 5 or 6 feet. They kind of shine at you. The light involves a mix of red and green spectrum, not sure how it works but walmart has them and for an evening hunter it would seem invaluble..J.R.

December 15, 2008, 10:45 PM
I have found that a deer's eyes will reflect a red spotlight from really far away; that can help as well...

December 16, 2008, 06:37 AM
Total distance from place I shot him was not more than 70 yards. He was not more than 30 or so yards from the last blood.

We had my nephew stand at the last blood with a flashlight holding it along the path he had been following. Expanded our search from that left and right in widening arcs.

What messed us up is the hard turn the deer made at the BIG cypress tree. Even with that my brother in law stepped over the log that the deer was laying on the othere side of.

In retrospect we should have gone and gotten a couple of the million candle power lights and had a look with them. Still it did seem that what we had was providing plenty of light. In 30+ years of stillhunting I tracked a lot of deer and hogs. This one should have been found. I figure the brother in law stepped within a couple of feet of it and just missed it as it was on his side of the arc.

Still it's my fault because I was so sure from experence that the deer was right there. Everything, the look of what little blood I had (LUNG BLOOD!) and the way it ran at the shot ( HEAD AND TAIL DOWN ) all that said dead deer in seconds...................

Screwed it up. Should have been more insistant on persistance and trusting experence.

December 16, 2008, 10:22 AM
Good idea on the large animal shelter.
I think I'll take all my "leftovers" there if I can find one near me.
Sounds like you did due dilligence on tha deer. Wildlife has to eat too you know.

December 16, 2008, 10:55 AM
Glad you went back and found your deer and did something with it. Losing a deer happens, finding it and doing the right thing takes effort. Good ethical hunting.

December 16, 2008, 11:08 AM
Sorry for the whole thing, glad you found it and put it to good use.

Last elk we recovered (not mine) had fallen in a tangle of logs and had somehow managed to slip all the way down to the ground.

It ain't always easy.

Mike U.
December 16, 2008, 06:37 PM
Well, it looks like you took the lemons you were dealt and made lemonade. ;)
As the others have said, good ethical hunting on your part.
I especially love that you took the deer to the wildlife shelter/farm. Not everyone has enough presence of mind to do something good like that.

Good on ya for a proper follow-up!

December 16, 2008, 08:05 PM
Good job bswiv. Thanks for going back!

December 16, 2008, 08:23 PM
You know, things happen. You did the best you could with a bad situation. You would be a welcom addition to any hunting camp I'm in.

December 16, 2008, 09:03 PM
Just saw a story on the AP about a guy who got killed in a car wreck. Then he disappeared:o Took 2 days to find him. He was still in the car, that was crumpled up in the wreck. True story i guess.

Seeing that story makes me think you did pretty good. Hope you were able to save the head for a mount. Beautiful deer.

December 16, 2008, 11:26 PM
Total distance from place I shot him was not more than 70 yards. He was not more than 30 or so yards from the last blood. Thanks for the info. I've seen deer zigzag before too.

December 17, 2008, 12:07 AM
Sorry it wasn't the ending you were looking for, but good on you for going back and finding it.

Brian Pfleuger
December 17, 2008, 10:45 AM
.35Rem is a plenty capable weapon for deer. I suspect that the near point blank range made the bullet less than effective. Any animal shot like that should be mighty close by with a substantial blood trail.

December 19, 2008, 09:11 PM
DAMN GOOD JOB way to make the best out of a crappy situation

December 19, 2008, 09:22 PM
Sad beginning, but a pretty neat ending to your story..... At least I think so.

December 19, 2008, 09:45 PM
You did good!

B. Lahey
December 19, 2008, 09:46 PM
Kitties have to eat too.:D

December 20, 2008, 08:15 AM
You should have taken pictures of the cats chowing down!