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Old November 23, 2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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so what do you think happened?

Sat. night i get a call from a friend hunting upstate NY on his own, bout 4 PM
he shot a big 6 pointer from his ladder stand. His first deer - he's all
excited. It dropped dead still at the shot, he's halfway down the ladder when it
gets up and staggers around and then bolts off running strong. ***? I get
there first light Sunday and spent the next 6 hours trying to track this deer. I
used hydrogen peroxide and found a 2" splotch of blood where it dropped and then NOTHING. we could see its tracks and figured the direction it was going they eventually disappeared kept sweeping and spraying, looking for some sign all the way to the road and people's backyards. bummed to say the least. Checked his sight - it was on. I figure it was to his right, which is awkward for a righty
he must have jerked the trigger and pulled it high, grazed its skull and gave it
a good headache. Exhale and squeeze, buddy Live and learn I trust.
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Old November 23, 2010, 02:02 PM   #2
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Made a bad shot and just stunned the deer. Hard to say if there is no good sign of blood. Your buddy was just a little too excited to bag his first buck and the fever got ahold of him. Nothing to do but go back to the stand and sit it out.
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Old November 23, 2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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If the deer falls, congratulate yourself, put another round in the chamber, and admire the view for a few minutes.
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Old November 23, 2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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Strange things happen. He could have hit it high, in "No Man's Land", and stunned the spinal cord. The deer recovered and ran, with no injury to vital areas.

I shot a doe, using a 12ga, that was standing broadside at 40 yards and I was sitting in a chair resting my elbows on my knees and I had a 3-9 scope on the gun. It ran, we looked for hours and found a tiny bone fragment and about 3 drops of blood. I killed a deer at 110 paces with the same gun. Who knows? Crap happens. It sucks, but it happens.
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Old November 23, 2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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Who the heck knows what happened? Grazed, stunned......fainted!! Just kidding on that last part.

But I am on the same page of, down does not mean done. Reload and wait, sometimes they get up even when hit good and need a "convincing" round to stay put, sometimes they get up only to go a few yards.
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Old November 23, 2010, 03:46 PM   #6
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He screwed the pooch!
Guns have only two enemies, rust and politicians!

Deer are amazing please don't burn the sauteed onions and I'll pass on the steak sauce, thank you.
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Old November 23, 2010, 04:00 PM   #7
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+2 on the reload and wait side. Shock is the number one factor deciding whether you take home your deer or not. Allow time for that shock to finish the job, or if the hit wasn't major, be ready for the second shot, JIC.

When he immediately started after the deer, he brought adrenaline into play. I've seen animals bleed completely out and still keep running if they're being chased. Other times, their instinct will make them find a hidey hole and "disappear".

I know it is very hard for a new hunter to settle down and wait a few minutes to ensure his kill is clean, but it's worth the discipline and wait.

I wish him better luck on his next hunt.

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Old November 23, 2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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I know it is very hard for a new hunter to settle down and wait a few minutes to ensure his kill is clean, but it's worth the discipline and wait.

Reload, watch and wait at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Hopefully your buddy learned a lesson on this one.

As far as what happened, almost any guess is as good as another. Deer are pretty tough animals and I hope this one was just grazed and didn't go off and die some place with a mortal wound.
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Old November 23, 2010, 04:39 PM   #9
Miata Mike
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I give a +1 on grazing the skull.

My son when he was 12 years and 1 day old shot a 10 pointer while I watched sitting next to him, and it dropped like a box of rocks. A little while later it started thrashing around on the ground so I gave it one in the neck to put him down for good.

Not sure if it was the first shot or mine but when we got up to it there was a 12 gauge hole in the ear and a half moon chunk missing from the antler. I am very glad I gave it one for good measure and we still waited 5 or 10 minutes before I climbed down from the stand. My boy still watched with loaded gun in hand until I walked up to it.

If he waited a good while before climbing down then he just had very bad luck.
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Old November 23, 2010, 05:57 PM   #10
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The season after I killed my 1st deer I was presented with a shot on a huge buck and thought I was Marion Morrison. I dropped him in his tracks from a head shot, as I didn't want to damage any meat like the year before, if at all possible.
I jumped from the stand as they could only be 6 ft. above ground in those days and it would have took to long to use the ladder. I got a couple flashes of tail as the buck bounded away. I saw that buck every night for months and do believe I nicked its antler.
Its happened to more people than you can imagine.
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Old November 23, 2010, 09:59 PM   #11
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head shots are frowned upon.......

after reading this thread, maybe a finishing shot is in order, even if the deer is down, and appears down for good.
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Old November 23, 2010, 11:44 PM   #12
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My Dad dropped a 10 pointer in its tracks, then the same thing happened. While hunting the next day he saw the same buck and put 3 into him (the last from 6 ft away!) The deer had a diagonal crease in the top of his head between the antlers.
It happens.
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Old November 23, 2010, 11:54 PM   #13
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after reading this thread, maybe a finishing shot is in order, even if the deer is down, and appears down for good.
Hard to argue with that, especially given that a buck is big and strong enough to cause injury if it revives with you standing over it.
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old November 24, 2010, 12:00 AM   #14
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My brother had the same thing happen to him this year he dropped a fork and it crumpled layed there for 15 min got up he shot it again and nailed it right through the shoulders but it kept running and got into some think underbrush he and tree of his friend's tracked it for 5 to 6 hours found lots of blood but no deer it would have been his first deer also. but the next day he shot a 3by2 it dropped on the first shot and didn't get back up.he made sure this time when he got close he took out his glock 20 and put a 10mm 180 grain jsp in the neck and shatterd the spine.
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Old November 24, 2010, 12:13 AM   #15
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I think Peetza is right I knocked a doe right off here feet with a bow at 28 yards. Thought whoo hooo, then she stood up and ran off with the arrow flopping around just above her spine. I forgot that I had set my sight at 40 yards earlier in the day.
* (Swinging club) Whack! whack! whack! *

Nope, the old nag's still dead .
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Old November 24, 2010, 07:50 AM   #16
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Had the same thing happen to an Uncle of mine. Ex-Army sniper. He shot the buck and hit it in the antler. Stunned the deer but dropped it in it's tracks. He foolishly unloaded the rifle and put it away and went to clean the animal. When he got there and started the buck jumped up. My Uncle jumped on the buck's back and grabbed hold of the antlers. Rode that buck for about 200 yards, stabbing it in the neck with his knife. Deer finally sucumbed. Guess his heart just couldn't take the strain. Must have been high strung. That was the LAST time any of us lowered our rifles. If it moved it got another round.
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Old November 24, 2010, 10:03 AM   #17
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Ah yes the ol knock em down and they get up and run away deal. I have assisted on a few tracking episodes similar to that and in 2 cases we finally lost blood and never saw hide nor hair after that. Bad thing about both instances was it was a real nice buck. Deer have the strongest will to live than any creature I know of.
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Old November 24, 2010, 11:09 AM   #18
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He wasn't hunting around the Chatham area was he ? A friend of mine shot this one Sun. morning, it looked like the horn was shot off

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Old November 24, 2010, 01:01 PM   #19
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I assume your friend recovered the arrow. What'd look like? If there wasn't blood smeared on the shaft and in the fletching, probably a glancing blow. Others have said it. Sit tight on an arrow-shot deer; reload if still in range.

Peetza's right. Monday I missed a big doe at 80 yards with a scoped Mossberg 500. I'd have called that shot dead on. Same gun/ammo combo that has taken a deer every year, sometimes multiple, for the last several years. But the doe spun around and bounded away flag flying ... not like I've seen any hit deer run. Checked the area carefully. No hair; no blood ... no nothing. I checked the area for a good 50 yards all around. Nothing. Next morning did a wider circle, still checking. Still nothing. I'd like to blame the gun/scope, but I think I plain missed.

Weird things happen.
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Old November 25, 2010, 12:51 AM   #20
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he swears he aimed for the shoulder. I have discouraged him from head shots. Too easy to shoot ones nose off and have it get away and die a slow death.
Told him my story, Years ago (i.e. young and little foolish) I shot one in the head, by accident really, Had a doe permit in my pocket but wanted to wait for a buck. (no more room in the freezer son) I was scoping this does' head with my finger on the trigger looking for horns and, boom! dropped right there. Oh well, I packed up, unloaded my gun and walked over to her only to have her roll over and try to get up. Talk about shocked! Mad scramble to reload and finish her. Not sure i would have thought to jump on her back if she took off though...
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Old November 25, 2010, 02:33 AM   #21
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watch out

A deer that drops "dead still" at the shot is a heads up. I too have been in on more than one tracking episode of deer that fell instantly, then got up to run.

Not just head shots, (which I don't recommend) but also a bullet near the spine might cause such a reaction.
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Old November 25, 2010, 03:33 AM   #22
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Deer have the strongest will to live than any creature I know of.
Sometimes I think they just don't know they're dead. Wild animals do not lay down and lick their wounds while the adrenalin is still flowing. And they seem to have an endless supply.
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Old November 25, 2010, 08:03 AM   #23
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This is very true, a friend of mine downed a little doe with his bow, he said the shot was broadside quartering to him a little, 25yds, arrow went completely through the deer and the deer went down. Now my friend should have stayed in his stand and nocked another arrow and waited , but HIS adrenalin would not allow for that as he watched her get up and take off with blood running out of both sides. So he called me up at about 8:00 pm, and said help me find this deer dude, so I packed two flashlights and took off for the woods. 1 hour into the track the blood had dribbled down to just a speck here and there, and we were playing the old "leapfrog" tracking scenario. I then made a disasterous discovery of where she laid for awhile and bled. The whole point is that IF given the appropriate time an animal WILL go lay down, and usually die. We never found the doe, and if it wouldn't have been for tornado sirens we'd a stayed til daylight. I think it's reasonable to think that your buddy may have KO'ed that deer and when it got it's stuff together it split!!
Thanks for coming!
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:04 PM   #24
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I've never had this problem...

with a .243
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:20 PM   #25
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It begs the question, and I'm surprised that no one has asked, yet, What did he shoot it with?
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