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Old November 21, 2020, 11:35 PM   #1
Prof Young
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Serendipity Deer Recovery

Okay. So I shot my first eight pointer this year . . . and there was no blood trail. Yeah, I've since learned there are a lot of reasons for no blood trail even though you hit the deer, so no need to comment on that unless you are just itching to do so. That's not the point of the story.

I scour the field and find nothing. I made the huge mistake of not noting the point where it went back into the woods. It gets dark and I quit for the day.

Next day I bring grand son with me. We'll squirrel hunt and look for the deer at the same time. He is still shooting a bb gun so the squirrels are pretty safe. Anyway we look everywhere and I get a bit lost. I think I know the way back to the truck but am not sure. We get a text from Grandma. "Forgot about grandson doc appt. Come home right away." So we make a bee line in the direction I think is back to the truck and . . . presto chango . . . there is the deer. And he was less that 50 yards from where I shot him. He had sort of circled around behind my ground blind and piled up there.

Gotta love it.

Life is good.
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Old November 22, 2020, 01:45 AM   #2
huntinaz
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Good deal
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Old November 22, 2020, 02:35 PM   #3
upstate81
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Cool congrats!
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Old November 22, 2020, 05:33 PM   #4
kenny53
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Did the boy make it the DR's on time or did you get in trouble? Also congrats.
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Old November 22, 2020, 06:36 PM   #5
603Country
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I’ve found it useful to, after shooting a deer that ran off, use the rangefinder to range the distance to where the deer was standing. Then, when you’ve walked to where you think the deer was, range back to your stand. Once you’re sure you are in the spot the deer was, your chance of finding any sort of blood trail is much better.

First time I tried it that way, I had just shot a monster buck that had then crashed into the brush. 268 yard shot. I walked down to the bush he’d been standing by, but once on the ground, which bush was it? They all looked about the same. Walked back to the blind, re-identified the right bush and ranged it. Walked back down the sendero, ranging back to the blind till I was the right distance, and found blood. That approach, along with use of my trusty blood trail tracking toilet paper, finally led me to him. Sometimes the blood trail is slow to become easy to track. If you aren’t looking in exactly the right spot, your chances of finding blood are poor.
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Old November 23, 2020, 01:22 AM   #6
bamaranger
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good for you

Glad you found your animal. Few things.....maybe nothing, grates me more than losing a deer after the shot. Perhaps the one thing that does is to hear accounts of guys who hit a deer and do not go all out trying to recover it. By going back the next day, you took an extra step and were rewarded accordingly, even if somewhat by accident.

Also, hunting with grandson......he'll remember that trip for the rest of his life, more attaboys to you.
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Old November 23, 2020, 07:23 AM   #7
wild willy
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603Country great tip Low thick brush or tall grass a deer can be hard to find plus when you get where they are everything looks different than where you were.As far as the circle back toward the stand I've seen that quite a few times especially with archery kills.
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Old November 23, 2020, 11:08 AM   #8
reinert
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I had a very similar experience bowhunting on some private land at least 20 years ago. I hit a nice 4x4 (western count) whitetail buck out of a tree stand, and had some good snow on the ground after a light storm the night before. Arrowed the buck, and he ran off and was out of sight. Waited a while in the stand to let things settle down (me mostly), and then climbed down. There was good blood to begin with, and then, as it turned out, there were two other blood trails, crossing mine, from other hunters from that same morning.

I never saw either of those hunters, but by the time I realized there were more blood trails than my own, the snow melted off, and I lost my trail. I trailed MY deer a good, long distance from where I arrowed it, but I was sick that I lost my deer after looking most all that day.

About a week later, one of the local high school kids who shot bows with a small group of us "old guys" (that was a really cool little group; respectful school kids who wanted to learn) asked me if I shot at a buck recently over in the area I hunted (he had permission to hunt there, too), and I surprisingly told him I had. He then told me he found a dead 4x4 with what he thought was my arrow (an Easton XX75, 2216 shaft with green and black vanes). From our close little group, we all knew what equipment each of us was using to hunt with, so he knew my arrow! Since we both knew the area well, he told me where he found the deer, and I went to look for it. Sure enough, there the buck lay, with my Easton shaft buried in its side. To the young school kid's respectful credit, he never touched the deer, nor the arrow, but wanted me to know he'd found it, which he did. And here's the kicker to the story; after my looking for that deer, which took me close to a half mile away from my stand, and then losing the trail, that whitetail buck was found dead by my young hunter friend not 60 yds. from my stand. It made a gigantic circle back to where I'd shot it. It was a lesson, certain sure. Because of what I went through losing the track, and then the the fine kid who found it and told me of it, I punched my tag on that deer, cut the head off the carcass and went home. Didn't make deer meat that year, but the whole story, to me, was worth the meat loss, and the use of my tag. And, of course, I still have that rack...

That young man who found my deer graduated from high school that year, and I never saw him again, even to this day. But a year later after my bowhunting incident, my oldest son got out of the Army and it was fall of that year (late 90's) and thought he'd like to hunt a whitetail. I got permission for him to hunt that area I bowhunted, and he was allowed to rifle hunt in there, and he used my old .32 spcl. M94 (my old deer rifle, his now) and he shot a nice 4x4 not but a 100 yds. from where I arrowed my buck the previous year. Now here's the kicker on that story; that deer had an arrow stuck through the meaty part of the neck, which was not any kind of a killing wound, but it was a good find for my son to shoot, and he made a fine kill shot with the old .32 spcl. Very odd with the arrow in the neck, and here's the next part of the story. That arrow, I identified as an arrow of one from the SAME KID WHO FOUND MY DEER THE YEAR BEFORE. No freeking kidding. I knew it was his, and I couldn't locate him to give it back, and tell him the story. Sheesh, you really can't come up with these sorts of things without some fantastic imagination from a novel. And one more time, to this very day, I've never seen that fine young fellow bowhunter who found my deer all those years ago. I had that 2018 Easton Game Getter shaft, with a Bear Super Razor head tip for a long time, always meaning to get it back to my young friend, and never did. And now, I hate to admit it, but I have no idea what happened to that arrow through the years of moving it around, and then moving to a new place 10 years ago. Just a hunting story here, to go along with the OPs deer. So glad you found it, hope the meat was still good, too.

And as a parting shot here, I live in Wyoming, and I just came across a new addition to the 2020 big game hunting regs. that now states that one leashed dog can be used to track a wounded big game or trophy game animal for 72 hours after the wound/shot was made by a hunter. That's pretty big news for a new addition to the regulations. That will no doubt make a big difference in finding a lost animal.

If you're a hunter long enough, you'll have a critter that eludes finding it at some point. I've been a big game hunter for over 50 years, and have lost a few critters in that span of time, and it's always a lesson, and it always makes me sick for the loss. Hope everyone's hunting season has gone well, and hope it continues successfully through the year!
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Old November 23, 2020, 03:54 PM   #9
Sanch
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Good fortune is always welcome.
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Old November 23, 2020, 04:03 PM   #10
Sanch
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BTW, Prof Young,

Usually lack of blood trail implicates a destroyed heart. A heart that's not pumping blood leaves little to no blood trail. Assuming that you connected with a fatal heart shot, 50 yards was a far piece for your buck to travel. It's not unusual, yet it's not the norm.

I'm aware of big game hitting a hundred yards before their oxygen-depleted brains stop functioning. However 90% of the time, heart shot game drops in their tracks or, stunned, wanders a few paces before giving up their ghosts.
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:11 PM   #11
603Country
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Over the decades I’ve killed somewhere around 300 deer and tracked more than that. Heart shots and lung shots are what I mostly do. They usually run, but don’t often run far. I did have a huge old 9 point (just under 300 pounds) make it about 100 yards into briars and palmetto. He died on the run and I could hear the crash. Thank goodness for a good blood trail.

From observation and tracking I would say that a heart/lung shot deer will weaken quickly but not know why. Give them 15 minutes and they’ll normally lean on a tree or lay down and bleed out. Ya gotta give em time.

All that said, if you shoot a deer longways or quartering, you may not get an exit, which means little or no blood trail. Broadside...in the heart/lungs. Works every time.
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:48 PM   #12
wild willy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 603Country View Post
Over the decades I’ve killed somewhere around 300 deer and tracked more than that. Heart shots and lung shots are what I mostly do. They usually run, but don’t often run far. I did have a huge old 9 point (just under 300 pounds) make it about 100 yards into briars and palmetto. He died on the run and I could hear the crash. Thank goodness for a good blood trail.

From observation and tracking I would say that a heart/lung shot deer will weaken quickly but not know why. Give them 15 minutes and they’ll normally lean on a tree or lay down and bleed out. Ya gotta give em time.

All that said, if you shoot a deer longways or quartering, you may not get an exit, which means little or no blood trail. Broadside...in the heart/lungs. Works every time.
I've killed less deer (100+) than you but thats my experience too.Heart shot deer almost always run and it don't take long for them to go 50 or 100 yards.I've had two that ran 20 or 30 yards turned around and came back almost same trail and died within feet of where I shot them.Not sayin it can't happen but I've never seen a heart shot just wonder around stunned and then fall over.
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Old November 30, 2020, 12:48 PM   #13
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Congrats on finding it.
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