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Old November 26, 2011, 10:09 PM   #1
sallor
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Stiffening up after resting.

Are deer stiffening up when they are wounded and stop to rest because of the effects of shock, or because of where they are wounded?

This particular deer had only a tiny wound that passed just under the spine near the rear end. It had run off as though nothing had happened (not shot by our party), and was lost. Was found days later by our party unable to get up, and was subsequently killed and dressed. Because of the internal bleeding even though the wound was minor (could not even tell where it was wounded until skinned) this one probably was affected by the wound, but this can't always be the case.

Any ideas on the advice to allow them to lie down and stiffen before following them?

Last edited by sallor; November 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old November 26, 2011, 10:27 PM   #2
Gbro
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Are deer stiffening up when they are wounded and stop to rest because of the effects of shock, or because of where they are wounded?
Your success or lac thereof will change your mind on what is right in manny instances. As a rule we let a deer go for a short time before taking chase to allow a mortally wounded one to expire, however we will not always know the wound is mortal early on.
I spent a morning last week trailing a wounded Doe in a State Park with the local Conservation Office after a young hunter stopped the search with his family because of the State Park.
We ran the track for 3.5 hours and the deer bedded 7 times (beyond where the family stopped)and each time the bed's had less blood in them. It was hard to tell how much effect the family searching had with the deer getting out of the bed's but most beds were in areas where the deer had escape routs and could watch its back trail, but with this being a Mine State Park there were many up's and down's and this deer went both. Long story short, we lost it. With its up and down travels there was many indications of a non-lethal injury.
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Last edited by Gbro; November 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM.
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Old November 27, 2011, 12:53 AM   #3
mete
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Under the spine at the rear end ? You may have damaged the nerves in that area. Sometimes hits in that area will paralyse the whole back end .I saw a video of that where a cape buffalo was heading into think brush .The shot instantly dropped the back end ! I recently shot a deer with my 44 mag.The bullet holed the lungs but hit a glancing blow on a vertabrae .There too the whole back half of the deer collapsed in an instant !
Your deer I bet had nerve damage otherwise he would be long gone with a 'minor wound'.
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Old November 27, 2011, 01:01 AM   #4
Discern
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If an animal is wounded and not being pushed or chased, their usual response is to bed down and hide. If they are chased or pushed, they might go for miles. Blood provides oxygen which is needed by muscles to function normally. If they have lost a lot of blood, they will be weak - maybe too weak to get up.
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Old November 27, 2011, 06:43 AM   #5
Kreyzhorse
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Any ideas on the advice to allow them to lie down and stiffen before following them?
If you believe a deer is hit poorly, give it at least 30 minutes before you go after it. That will hopefully allow the deer plenty of time to bed down and expire or bleed out enough that it can't get up again.
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Old November 27, 2011, 11:24 AM   #6
buck460XVR
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Was found days later by our party unable to get up, and was subsequently killed and dressed.
Altho not a mortal wound, the trauma and subsequent infection would make the deer weak as it's body uses the majority of it's resources to heal.

The idea of letting a deer with a nonmortal hit lie down and rest before pursuing has little to do with "stiffening" up. It has more to do with the wound bleeding longer, making the deer weaker and easier to get close to. It also has to do with letting the effect of adrenaline released to diminish.
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Old November 28, 2011, 09:44 AM   #7
sallor
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deer stiffening

Thanks for your replies. This deer was a mystery. It is thought it may have been wounded by a muzzle loader, yet there was very little blood and the wound was so tiny it had to be skinned to find it. However there was a lot of evidence of bleeding under the hide; I think one or both hind quarters showed a lot of bleeding, which may indicate a lot of movement before lying down. The deer was found about a week after it had been alegedly shot (we don't know if it was the same deer) and it was in very vigorous condition except it could not use its hind legs. If it was the deer shot at by hunter using the muzzle loader, it had traveled several hundred yards to where it was found.
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