healed wounds poll


January 18, 2009, 01:42 AM
I have an ongoing disagreement on archery elk hunting with a hunting buddy of mine and I'm looking for some insight. First of all let me say I have never attempted to hunt elk with my bow, mainly for the reason that EVERY bow hunter I have talked to that has had an archery bull tag has wounded at least as many, but usually more animals than they have recovered. It is a rare occurance that I hear an archery elk story that doesn't involve one getting stuck and getting away. My buddy's argument is that elk have enhanced healing power and that most of the ones that get away heal up and are not killed from their wounds. I do not believe this as I have not heard a first hand story from what I consider a reliable source that they have taken an animal with old archery or rifle wounds that have since healed. I have killed around 15 big game animals and none had healed hunting wounds, but they have also all been young animals. One would think this would happen occaisionally if the healing power argument were true, however. I have, on the other hand, found many a dead carcass that was not recovered by a hunter. So, what have you guys seen or heard? Please enlighten me with any stories you may have. This is not restricted to archery elk, stories about all big game and rifle or other wounds are welcome, just so long as they are completely or almost completely healed up. Bear in mind that I am not doubting the toughness of wild animals, nor am I arguing the ethics of archery hunting. Thanks fellas. By the way I voted for the last option.

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January 18, 2009, 02:12 AM
Any game animal that is shot and gets away is the result of operator failure with either a rifle or a bow. Either poor shooting from too far away or bad shot placement and/or poor tracking skills.
The dead animals you've found are a result of this. Any of them have arrows in them? Bullet holes?
Your buddy is confused though. No game animal can supernaturally heal from a heart/lung shot. Mind you, I have seen postings on assorted forums about hunters finding broad heads and bullets in game killed later. Bad hunting/tracking skills.
Far too many hunters think they need a magnum rifle to hunt anything, especially elk, but never practice with it. Same thing applies with a bow. Insufficent upper body tone required to shoot a hunting bow well and little or no practice.

January 18, 2009, 02:31 AM
i took a deer last year with an arrow head int he chest cavity

and 3 years ago we got a really nice black bear (575lbs) and when we were skinning it there was the tip and about an inch of the shaft stuck in the back strap area along the spine (my buddy mullet got 3 stiches because he didnt see it till it sliced his hand open)

i have no problem with archery hunters but i have a problem with people trying to teach themselves how to bow hunt and not knowing where to aim and the distance that is an ethical shot

January 18, 2009, 02:51 AM
Ahh see I'm not arguing against any of your points. I know elk can absolutely be hunted ethically with a bow. I have killed a deer with my bow, and have not wounded any that got away. I practiced every day for a long time before the season, and it payed off. However, it is a fact that a lot of elk are wounded and not recovered during archery season. I realize this happens during the rifle season as well. Absolutely the main cause of this is operator error. No arguement from me there. It is just my personal opinion that this happens more often during the archery season, at least here in AZ because archery seson is during the rut and rifle season by and large isn't. The significance of the rut is that you can get close to these animals easier and make crappy shots on them. Also they are big animals, and it takes a good shot to put them down in a timely manner. Also a close miss on say deer sized game may be a bad hit on an elk. A bad hit with a big magnum rifle can stilll create a heck of a hole, or break a big bone. It is also damned exciting to call in a bull elk within bow range, those who have done it know (myself included), and the adrenaline gets going pretty good, making the strongest of men shake a little, which is all it takes. Many people don't practice nearly enough with their bows. I could go on all day with other x-factors, but would rather just say that I myself am more comfortable hunting elk with a rifle (not a magnum) so that is what I will continue to do. I believe you have every right to hunt elk with your bow and encourage you to do so. I may try it myself someday. My buddy practices with his bow a lot by the way, he is very proficient with it. And, he has wounded more bulls than he has recovered. I am just trying to get an idea of how many animals do indeed survive hunting wounds, which of course they sometimes do. And of course they are not heart shots. Not trying to argue against archery at all, just relaying the nature of the conversation as background. I do think it is more difficult in general to get one with a bow, which is part of the fun. The buck I got with my bow was definetely the most exciting.

January 18, 2009, 12:01 PM
I have never seen evidence of a healed wound, or at least a weapon inflicted healed wound.

If elk were to have some "advanced healing powers," I can guarantee they'd be a hot topic in medical journals. But they aren't.

Larry Ashcraft
January 18, 2009, 01:38 PM
My dad shot a bull elk years ago that had had a hard season. Most of the tips of his antlers were broken off, AND he had a .54 cal Minie ball just under the skin close to his spine. Then he had the bad fortune of running by my dad, who took him with a nice heart/lung shot.

I helped skin it, so this is a little better than a reliable, first hand account for me.

January 18, 2009, 02:02 PM
I helped skin it, so this is a little better than a reliable, first hand account for me

Yeah, I would count that as a personal experience. Was the wound pretty grizzly looking and bleeding or was it on its way to healing?

January 18, 2009, 02:52 PM
This is the best example I have on hand.
An 8 foot long Oogruk, "Bearded Seal" that has PolarBear bite and claw marks all over its back side and flippers.



Seen plenty of Limping Caribou (Dont know what hurt them, I dont shoot them) Moose with .22Lr under the skin , scars under the skin of all different Bears is VERY common,especcially around the neack, and plenty of other animals that I skin for fur..Fox with missing feet, toes, Wolves..one with a .30cal bullet under its belly skin, otter with a missing leg, Geese with one foot, and Salmon that have bite marks that are healed....lots of others, but Ive been at it quite awhile.

It still comes down to making your hole in the animal in the Proper place.

A rifle, bow, spear...Proper Placement , Proper Placement, Proper Placement.

January 18, 2009, 03:14 PM
a friend of mine took a whitetail doe with an arrow running along the spine point tail to neck i personally saw the deer and it was healed up around the arrow.

ive taken a couple with buckshot in the front shoulders.

as an aside to this i plink the chipmonks off my woodpile in an effort to keep them from moving into my shed (ive had them chew a lot of things up) i shot one last year that when i picked it up to dispose of it was missing most of its back left leg, it was completly healed over although had no fur on it. im assuming it was one id a couple months before and hadnt recovered.

id suspect that most nonvital/non gutshot hit game recovers.

January 18, 2009, 03:49 PM
I struck a bull elk in the elbow with an arrow. It was a shot placed exactly where I aimed and would have taken out his heart and lungs had he not stepped in such a way that his leg was in front of my target when I let fly. I saw him the next weekend, still following his little herd of 5-6 cows around with his elbow scabbed over. I never got close enough to him again to take another shot.
I shot an antelope that had a small caliber bullet hole though his thigh. He would run with the herd and then lag behind whenever we jumped them. The wound was not bleeding but there was dried blood on the leg and the wound was obviously recent, if not fresh.
I believe any shot that enters the body cavity or entrails is going to have a high lethality rate.

Larry Ashcraft
January 19, 2009, 12:31 PM
Was the wound pretty grizzly looking and bleeding or was it on its way to healing?
Completely healed up and surrounded by scar tissue. Could have been from muzzle loader season just a couple of months earlier, but we thought it was probably from the year before.

41 Mag
January 19, 2009, 07:54 PM
For deer we had several old does around a lease that we just left alone due to them surviving being shot before. I have also taken one buck which had been shot before and recovered really well from it with no outward signs of it ever being shot. The insides were a different story as you could easily see where the bones had been smashed on both sides and the scar tissue over the holes. Might have been an arrow? We saw one a couple weeks ago that had a big spotch of hair missing off one side from what looked like an exit wound, wasn't slowing it down one bit. Friend shot a nice buck with his bow and misjudged the distance. Hit it higher than he wanted to, through the neck and out behind the shoulder. The deer hit the pasture and dropped about 150 yds out, laid there a few minutes with his head down. Friend figured it was only a matter of minutes till it would be over and walked over to get his ride. When he returned the deer was gone and no evidence of him being there was found. Three weeks later and then almost a month after that he has been seen twice since. Last seen still running does.

We also shoot hogs all the time which have all sorts of stuff wrong with them from gunshots. In fact I shot one Thanksgiving that I lost, then weekend before last shot two with my pistol and one of the two was the one I lost Thanksgiving. I had hit it in the top of the left ham as it was running away, and it came out basically through the left backstrap. The hog did a couple of end overs at the shot and I swung on another one. After getting the second one I looked back and the first was gone. The sad part was that we ended up leaving it due to possible infection or other less disireable things. It still showed no initial signs of having anything wrong with it at all until we examined it up close on the ground.

January 19, 2009, 08:22 PM
One of my sisters boyfriends when we were kids shot one of her cats with a 22lr, he disappeared for a month or so and came back good as new. He was hit in the rear shoulder. Also had a dog hit by a corn stalk chopper, we brought him home, he crawled under the corn crib and healed up. We thought he would die but couldn't get to him to put em down. Pushed food and water under the building and although his front leg was useless he lived another 8 years. As long as nothing vital is hit and infection doesn't set in animals and people for that matter will heal.

January 19, 2009, 08:44 PM
I killed a doe one time in Indiana that was limping. When I recovered her one of her feet was missing and had healed over entirely. It just looked like a club.
Also in Indiana a friend of mine shot a buck and swore he hit it in the neck. He couldn't recover it but a few days later I killed a buck about 100 yards away from where he had been hunting. He was positive it was the same deer and when we examined it sure enough its' throat had a big cut in it which had not quite gotten the carotid artery.

January 19, 2009, 09:56 PM
I must say I am surprised at the response to this post. It would seem that a lot of the ones that get away do survive some pretty nasty wounds. I just figured the semi vital shots would down them in a few days, and infection would get the most of them. And I do think that a good many of them are hit bad enough to die later. BUT, looks like a good many of them keep on keepin' on.
Don't get me wrong, I have seen them take a lot of punishment and I know they are tough. We shot a cow elk one year in the thigh with a .30-06, busted its hip and shattered one of its femurs. That cow went almost a mile before we caught up to her without ever slowing to a walk. Excellent blood trail the whole way. She finally laid down and couldn't get back up when we got there, but we couldn't believe how far she went with that injury.
Now, here is the irony. Today My bro and I went out to our deer hunting spot to try and thin out some cototes. We didn't get any, but I did manage to shoot a quail out of the air with my .357 pistol!!! Shooting handloaded .38 specials with #8 "snake Shot." (Sorry , had to brag about that. It was also my first mearns quail) Anyway, on our last stand I called in two mule deer. One was a decent 2x3 buck. I didn't see them till I got up, but I could here them snorting over by my brother. Turns out they were headed to the call and walked right past him, the doe in the lead, then saw or smelled us and veered off. The significance of this part of the story is that my brother said the buck was limping on his right front leg. He said it was kind of swollen and looked like an old break that was healing. It has been archery season for about a month, but he said the wound looked old. He figures maybe it happened during the november rifle hunt. Other than the limp, he seemed to be healing up. I didn't get a good look at him, just identified him as a buck, but I didn't notice the limp, my bro told me afterwards. That is a wound I would figure would get infected and put one down after a week or two, but here we are. Anyway what are the odds huh? Guess I have to erase my answer and go with #2. Crazy

January 20, 2009, 09:52 PM
I shot a Canada goose this season that seemed totally healthy. He flew into the decoys with no problems. When I cut up the meat I found .22 LR slug in the breast. Just my personal experience for ya.

January 20, 2009, 10:28 PM
I shot at a nice buck about 10 years ago. The light was fading fast, but the distance was only about 50 yds. or so. I could still see the post crosshair in my scope so I touched off a round. There was no doubt in my mind that I had hit him good. No blood, no hair - nothing. I tried tracking but with no blood trail it was useless. Several weeks later a guy showed me the rack of a deer he killed. It looked like the one I "missed". I asked him if the deer had any bullet holes other than his. "As a matter of fact he did have a piece of his back bone misssing". That old weaver k3 was promptly retired after I "missed" that buck. It would no longer hold zero.

Too bad cause I loved the post/crosshair scope. I was going to send it to the weaver guy in el paso, but never got around to it.

Larry Ashcraft
January 20, 2009, 10:37 PM
Dogs, cats, and horses heal up miraculously from nasty wounds. No reason to believe their wild cousins wouldn't do the same.

My grandma had an old hen whose feet had frozen off due to a nasty cold spell. She did just fine walking around on stumps. She just couldn't roost.

January 21, 2009, 04:20 AM
i Shoot a lot of deer. I have shot deer with missing feet and healed Car accident injuries pretty often. i have shot a roe buch with a patern of bird shot in the side of it's neck. healed cleanly and in good condition

January 21, 2009, 09:20 AM
I have shot 5 or 6 pigs and found bullets in em, one with a broadhead, several deer with broken or missing legs (2 this year) and a buncha rabbits with pierced ears of about .22 cal. Caught quite a few fish with misc injuries too.

Double Naught Spy
January 21, 2009, 10:36 AM
Y'all realize that these "healed just fine" sorts of animals probably haven't healed just fine, but are in a certain amount of pain as a result of their injuries, right? They may be functioning, but they aren't like fine.

I had a buddy try to convince me that animals don't feel pain like humans. It was his belief because of the lack of wimpering, crying, screaming/screeching. He then went to work for a vet's office and learned what a big dog you are holding can do to your arm when somebody sticks a needle in its flank.

the muleskinner
January 21, 2009, 12:01 PM
My hunting compatriots and I have killed many a whitetail with old war wounds. More deer survive than you might think. A few years ago I hit one "a little far back" and could never find it. A buddy of mine shot it in a corn field in late muzzleloader a month later. Healed up nicely.

And to those of us who have never missed a deer, or hit one that got away. All I can say is that you must not do much hunting. It's part of hunting. Even the most seasoned outdoorsman has one get away from time to time.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 21, 2009, 12:06 PM
I think your friends are incorrect. While some surely heal and survive, I believe the vast majority of hit but unrecovered animals die within a few days; usually a slow painful death, but not always. I base this on the fact that I have personally found dead deer that someone from my hunting party killed two weeks before (that we had looked and looked for), and I have personally found dead deer on multiple occasions that someone else unknown to me had killed a few weeks before, whereas I've never killed one with a healed wound that was clearly from a hunter.

Y'all realize that these "healed just fine" sorts of animals probably haven't healed just fine, but are in a certain amount of pain as a result of their injuries, right? They may be functioning, but they aren't like fine.

Exactly, +1 to that.

By the way, I haven't hunted elk, but I agree with the OP that the stories from my elk-hunting buddies I hear, every year, involve about as many hit and not recovered, as hit and recovered - and that's with both bow and muzzleloader. They are amazingly tough, bleed amazingly little, and go amazing long ways in very thick stuff where it's hard to find them. And their vitals (heart in particular) are farther forward and lower relative to the rest of their "thorax" than other ungulates like the deer which these once-a-year weekend elk warriors are used to hunting. But I'm pretty sure the majority die, given my friends' insistence of clearly making a good vitals hit with a 300 grain conical bullet or muzzy-tipped arrow, etc. They are often completely dumbfounded at how the elk got away with a clearly good hit. [[And as a side story, I've also had a buddy whose hit arrow-hit cow elk jumped a fence from public land to neighboring private land - blood trail. Goes to the land-owner's house: "Can I go in and get my elk?" "Sure, right after you pay the same $2,000 that I charge everyone else who hunts on my land." Wouldn't even cut the price. "Nevermind." My buddy doesn't make much, and he saves the whole year for this elk hunt. Some people just need killin.]]

paintballdude, so you have a friend from NC nicknamed "Mullet" - is that right? You got a pic of him? :)

Caribou, your experience and stories and pics are just amazing - we're very privileged to have a hardcore hunter like yourself on here. :)

the muleskinner
January 21, 2009, 12:11 PM
The doc is right. It's hard to say what the wounds found on deer are the result of barring physical evidence. i.e. broadheads, and bullets. Unless the animal is known by his rack or another physical feature.

It is amazing what these animals can live through in my experience though.

CSA 357
January 21, 2009, 06:34 PM
I have killed a few that had been shot , they all had healed up , i tooka big 9 pt one year that had been shot in the front shoulder, his leg was infected real bad, and he was real sick, the meat was not good so i kept the rack, i have dresed deer shot with a rifle and buckshot fell out when the hide came off, one was a 250# deer, his rack was messed up on one side, im sure it was due to him being shot, but he was still a brute!

Harve Curry
January 21, 2009, 08:02 PM
I've field dressed and caped out 2 elk that had broadheads deep in the shoulder muscle and the other in a hip. Both were completely incapsulated and healed over.

January 25, 2009, 09:41 PM
I killed a Blacktail that had a bullet lodged in the fatty tissue of his rump. Long healed, at least a year, maybe two. I've seen Deer that have had a previous broken leg from a year gone by that lived just fine. As long as a wound is not to a vital organ or an artery, most animals are strong enough to make it through. Sure in a high predator area a Deer might have a reduced chance of survival, but they do know how to hunker down when they need to.


January 25, 2009, 11:06 PM
I have also dressed deer and elk that have had previous wounds from both gun and arrow and heard first hand of 2 different arrows found encapsulated in body cavities.
I personaly believe that there is a higher number of rifle wounded deer than some are willing to admit, simply because of distance and inability to put yourself directly on the spot the animal was standing.
With a bow and arrow in decent light one can usually see the hit and the arrow placement as well as locate the place animal was last seen and formulate a tracking strategy.
A rifle shot on the other hand can often be made at distances covering terrain that may take hours to reach and when one gets there the sun and other indicators will have changed making finding a starting point often difficult if not imposible. Often I think game that does not drop at the shot or show positive indication of being hit are left wounded and if it is a bad enough hit dies.
As for the heartyness of a wild animal, I have little doubt that they have great abilities to recover from wounds from us, each other as well as auto misshaps and the like.

January 26, 2009, 11:45 AM
I have shot and seen hunting partners shoot deer that are full of puss from bullet wounds. As soon as you start skinning the smell knocks you over.

January 29, 2009, 03:59 PM

I took one hog that had about 5 inches of arrow shaft and broadhead
on it. Encapsulated and just inside of ribcage. Shot had too much
angle on it.

I took a whitetail buck and it had a horn wound from fighting in it's
left chest. Wound was full of puss and had migrated into shoulder.
This animal was soon to die. My bullet just made it a little sooner.


January 30, 2009, 02:15 PM
I shot a whitetail that had a wad of scar tissue on the rear leg next to a joint. In the middle of it, was a little plastic disk that Brennekke uses to seal the bore for their slugs. My brother in law uses Brenekkes and had missed, or thought that he'd missed a deer with one the year before. No way of knowing if it was the same deer or not

February 3, 2009, 05:22 PM
Hunting in central PA, I worked up on a buck that should have seen me coming, but didn't. When I put him down, I saw that his right eye was completely gone. Don't know if it was from tangling with another buck, or a hunting incident, but it was healed over ... definitely not a fresh wound.

Skinned a squirrel out once, one that I had taken with a .22 to the head, and found shot pellets and a .177 airgun pellet under the skin.

And can't remember if I saw it at a hunter safety course I helped with, or at a sporting goods shop, but someone had a deer's skull that had a broadhead and about two inches of shaft in one of the eye sockets. Owner claimed he took the deer during gun season.

December 24, 2009, 01:10 AM
yep. got two previously wounded deer this year so far and one last year.

December 24, 2009, 09:55 AM
Over the years we have taken quite a few deer with wounds... I shot a real nice 23" spread 9pt w/a 12ga Brenneke slug in its spine. We have shot deer with broadheads in there spines and front leg joints. (I think we have three of those on the cabin walls)

I have seen photos of a deer shot w/a rifle that had a broadhead in its skull...
Overall they are lots tougher than we are....

December 24, 2009, 10:02 AM
of course animals do heal, but many probably die also just depends on how much damage was done and how much blood loss occured to say that most of them heal is likely wrong, but some of them do.
ive killed a buck once that was completly missing its hoof on its rear leg and was walking on its leg bone and it had been like that for quite awhile as it wasnt bleeding at all but you really cant call it healed either.

December 24, 2009, 11:00 AM
I'm surprised to see this one come up again! I'm still surprised by the results(kinds hard to swallow), over 50% have seen it first-hand and over 75% have either seen it or know someone who's seen it...that would indicate a fair amount of them do survive. Obviosly depends on where you hit them, but sounds like a lot more survive than I originally suspected. And I never had a doubt that they are tougher than we are, I've seen them do amazing things with mortal wounds.

December 24, 2009, 11:59 AM
Texas White-tail are on the smaller end of all N. American Big game, and they survive less than perfect shot placement with astounding regularity. I have taken two with creases across the back, where the spinous processes were broken, but the deer was otherwise healthy. One with a front leg blown off, and one with a .22 hollow point that had cut a groove through a hind quarter and come to rest in the flank. Over the years I have also seen or taken quite a few with severe hind-leg injuries from fences.

December 24, 2009, 01:38 PM
i buddy of mine bagged a buck that had 1 antler busted off and that area healed up and the other just fell off that day cause it had fresh blood there and had scaring from 2 different shots on its hind quarters and what appeared to be some scars from an apparent road rash incident.

Art Eatman
December 24, 2009, 03:00 PM
My father told of seeing another hunter's buck that had been shot across the top of its neck and was healed over. The shooter said he'd noticed that the buck couldn't hold its head erect.

December 24, 2009, 03:54 PM
This time of year in the wintering grounds of Colorado its not at all uncommon to see dear and elk with limps that are likely caused by auto encounters. This lower ground is full of skeletal remains accumulated over the seasons due to the concentrations, vehicles, winter kill and to some degree wounded game as well I'm sure.

December 24, 2009, 04:35 PM
I have killed two Florida Osceola bucks that had bullets in their bodies. One had a fully encapsulated (and expanded) .243 just above the shoulder in the backstrap. The other one carried what I believe to be a .30/30 in a ham. Both were completely healed and showed no evidence of being disabled.

The .243 carrier was believed to have been a deer shot at the tail end of the season the year prior and the shooter stated he recalled a four point of similar size that he thought he'd hit.....same deer? I dunno, point is, that they do survive some rather dramatic wounds, further, these Florida deer are substantially smaller than most Texas deer, likely averaging around 120 or so for the usual buck.

December 24, 2009, 04:47 PM
I cleaned an elk two years ago that had a Broad head stuck in a vertebrae in the C-spine. I have killed dozens of big old boar hogs that have healed over bullet wounds in their shields mostly fragments from CF .22 rounds from guys shooting varmint bullets on hogs. High velocity .22 rounds, frangible bullets and mature boar hogs are not a good mix.

I found a 69 cal lead round ball embedded in the shoulder of a cape buffalo I killed in Tanzania back in 2002. I sure would have liked to know the story on that one mainly what happened to the poacher who pulled the trigger. But the very best one I ever had was in South Africa bow hunting. The year before my buddy had arrowed a zebra stallion he followed the blood trail for about a mile before he lost it. I shot a zebra about 5 miles from where he'd shot that one and on skinning it noticed an abscess in the elbow of the shoulder. It was my buddies broad head from the year before. He had hit the stallion in the femur and the arrow had with time broken off, the head worked itself loose from the bone and had migrated down the leg to the rear lower point of the shoulder where it was simply resting under the skin.

It was a G3 Monotech that I resharpened and am using to this day.:) Try that with a mechanical!!;)

December 25, 2009, 06:47 AM
I killed a cow elk in northeast oregon about ten years ago with a broad head in its wind pipe that had un screwd from the shaft and heald into place. The wind pipe actuly grew around the broad head. I found it when I reached shoulder deep into the chest cavity to cut the wind pipe off and pull out the heart and lungs, sliced my palm pretty good. She was NOT fine. The only reason I got her was she was the last elk in line and couldn't keep up with the rest of the heard as they ran up a hill I could hardly crawl up.

The next year another guy in our party killed a big old cow with an arrow stuck in the sholder blade that was broken off just under the skin.

December 25, 2009, 07:07 AM
I killed a whitetail deer with a 22 bullet stuck in his jaw, the bone had grown around it.

Shytheed Dumas
December 25, 2009, 08:27 AM
20 years ago I shot my best/biggest buck. I had a bullet graze across one of it's shoulders. It was deep enough to do a little shallow muscle damage, but it didn't limp and would definitely have healed right over.

This year I shot a spike that had a run in with a car. One hind leg had a healed break with hard bony scar tissue the size of a peach, and the other had a relatively dry open gash to the bone. I honestly didn't notice a limp as he came through the brush at less than 30 yds before I dropped him.

December 25, 2009, 08:55 AM
Watched a tv show where they had shot a deer the year before and it came back into the area and they got it this time, first shot was a 50cal black powder if i remember right.

December 25, 2009, 05:10 PM
First hand or seen the photos...

- Dog shot throughand through the rear of the rib-cage. Probably with .22RF. Survived.

- Sambar with 2 expanded .30-cal projectiles in the neck. Recovered.

- Sambar with bullet hole through the upper 1/3 of the shoulder-blade. Approx .375" diameter. Bone growth surrounding the hole argued that it was an old wound.

I agree that those who have never wounded game have not done much hunting. Wounds result from game moving unexpectedly, projectile deflection prior to impact, and projectile failing to penetrate in a straight line. The latter often having to do with the use of an inappropriately light calibre/projectile for the game in question.

Then there are those animals that simply have not read the script. You get that when dealing with complex biological systems.

December 26, 2009, 12:16 AM
I've seen several. A couple years ago while I was guiding, one of our hunters arrowed a buck that ran off and we couldn't find. About 2 weeks later it was killed out of the same blind by a different bowhunter. The arrow passed just over the spine and was well on its way to being healed.

Just this last weekend, I was out at our lease and one of our other hunters brought in a small buck. THe buck was mostly unable to use his right leg (the reason he got shot), with considerable muscle atrophiation and a knee joint that it didn't seem to be able to flex.
When he got it back to camp we found a half-dollar sized scar, nearly round, and a dark spot in the middle. This scar was on the left side, near the back of the ribcage. The wounds may or may not be related, but I'm pretty sure the scar was from a gunshot wound.

December 29, 2009, 04:42 AM
"Can I go in and get my elk?" "Sure, right after you pay the same $2,000 that I charge everyone else who hunts on my land." Wouldn't even cut the price. "Nevermind." My buddy doesn't make much, and he saves the whole year for this elk hunt. Some people just need killin.]]

What a jerk. Guys like that just need to get popped in the jaw real good one time and it changes them forever. I've been around a guy like that and one time he was just being an a**. I couldnt' take it anymore, (no joke) I snapped and headbutted him straight in the nose. I still see the guy quite often and let me tell you he's a completely different person, very nice. If you spoke to him now you would have never thought he was like that before. I also agree with you Doc, it is a privilege to have Caribou here. I don't think it gets more die hard than him.

December 29, 2009, 05:34 AM
What a jerk. Guys like that just need to get popped in the jaw real good one time and it changes them forever.

Far more likely to lead to a rash of "No Shooting" signs.
Your attitude only convinces landholders - and I should know, I live amongst them - that hunters are violent thugs who do not respect the rights of the property owner.

They'll make exceptions for friends or maybe paying guests, but huners that they don't know? Not a chance if they've been exposeed to this level of foolishness.

Losing a deer over a boundary is hard. But it's no harder that losing one any other way.


December 29, 2009, 09:57 AM
I don't know about deer or other big game, but I've caught many a bass that had a hook in it's guts, a lot of times with line hanging out of their mouths. Some looked sort of sickly, but for the most part they looked healthy. A lot of times the hook has rusted to the point where it pulls out quite easily.

On the other hand, I've seen a lot of them gut hooked and released that died later too. Some chance is better than none.

December 29, 2009, 12:19 PM
On critters I've taken: I've seen .22's in deer butts...fully healed, but buried in the meat,
Broken legs with the bone fused together like an 'N',
1/2 an ounce of #9 shot under the skin of a rabbit's neck, healed,
And 14 flies in the back and fins of one salmon in the Lake Ontario tributaries.

And i've shot more than a few coyotes who got hit/went down hard, and vanished in the tall grass before i walked over....like the Viet Cong....no trace they were ever there. They are tough critters with remarkable healing abilities.

December 29, 2009, 12:55 PM
My brother in law got a 3 legged (knee down) deer this year. The Good part was that he shot the legg off last year and spent 3 days trying to track him down.

December 29, 2009, 01:16 PM
Rodeo4joe, you reminded me of a guy that was in our hunting club when I was a kid, he would "hunt" deer before season and shoot small bucks through an ear then he would try to kill them later on in season, I guess he was trying to find another aspect of a challenging hunt.

December 29, 2009, 10:50 PM
I killed a 9 point in '84 that had a 00 buckshot in it's hindquarter that was encapsulated in a membrane and the hide healed over. This year a 7 point was killed at our club that had what looked like a 22 magnum bullet just under the skin of its belly, no bullet holes so we figured it from last year. I weighed the bullet amd it was like 47 grains. Yes many deer die with gunshot and archery wounds too. I found a nice 8 point skull and antlers last year that was probably an archery or poached shot deer. The bottom line is if you shot at it, go and give a good look for the animal. I have recovered 2 or 3 deer that we had no blood trail, but the shooter which was me one time had thought it a good hit. Keep looking then look some more. If you can get a dog, a good lab or couch pooch can find one you would never find.

RDA 226sig
January 1, 2010, 08:13 PM
Over the years I have taken a number of deer that were previously wounded. Some years back I took a nice 8 point that had a large scab on his hind quarter that appeared to be from a gunshot wound. It was a large wound but had healed nicely and if he hadn't paused in a shooting lane he would have been fine. More recently I was skinning a deer and found part satalite broadhead wedged in his shoulder. The wound was healed over and he did not have a noticable limp. I have also skinned several deer that other people shot and found healed-over buckshot under the hide.

January 2, 2010, 04:05 PM
The two bones are the same foreleg bone from an injured/healed 5-point buck and the smaller one from a yearling buck. The 5-point had a couple OO pellets under the skin on the off side of the shoulder, a couple under the skin outside the chest cavity on the same side, and the one pellet fused into the bone of the leg. It was a very big-bodied buck but a very humble rack, injury related??? In my area, hunting with dogs and buckshot is somewhat popular. Not for me, though.

January 2, 2010, 04:51 PM
here is a small doe i shot this year,i saw it was limping and though it was shot earlier in the day but after i shot her i found out her left front leg was missing high up, and it was healed over with a small scab in the middle of the stump, like she rammed a stick or branch into it. she was healthy and weighted 109lbs. if i had know that she was healthy i would not have shot her. eastbank.

Double Naught Spy
January 2, 2010, 05:48 PM
The 5-point had a couple OO pellets under the skin on the off side of the shoulder, a couple under the skin outside the chest cavity on the same side, and the one pellet fused into the bone of the leg. It was a very big-bodied buck but a very humble rack, injury related???

Could be injury related, but also age related. Your injured buck appears to be less than 2 years of age based on the fusion of the epiphyses.

January 2, 2010, 09:27 PM
One of my pet peeves are bow hunters including an old friend who wound deer and can't track them or make a good kill.

January 13, 2010, 01:34 AM
I have a first hand account of a 3.5yr old 8pt buck shot in the neck just above the spine on opening day of the 08 deer season with a 270 cal. rifle ,150gr. bullet. The buck dropped at the shot and kicked 2or3 times when the deer was approached 15 min. later it jumped up and ran off! The hunter did not see the exact hit upon approach.Blood trail was followed for 100yards and just stopped. The same deer was killed from the same stand chasing does 4 weeks later!( no doubt it was the same deer, we had trail cam pics from summer of the deer, it had a double main beam on one side) It had a large chunk missing from the top of the neck where it meets the shoulders. From your poll , it happens more than you think, so go ahead and shoot that elk with your bow! just dont take a bad shot

January 13, 2010, 09:18 AM
While skinning an 8pt buck I shot at the end of general gun season I found a Muzzy Broadhead all festered over. I got the Muzzy sitting on the mount and when people ask if that's the tip I used I tell the story of how I found it in it.

January 13, 2010, 02:20 PM
Shot a buck that looked like it had a .50 cal slug hit his neck earlier in life (fom head to ass direction). Was only superficial, but left a wicked scar, only deer that I kick myself for not getting a cape of.

Anyways, I think a lot of the lost game are lost due to people not waiting long enough to track the game. I had a friend lose a buck this year cause he went after 15minutes after hitting it with a muzzle loader. It got up and ran off the property, huge pool of bled where he had been bedded. If people just didn't pressure animals and waited an hour or so before starting to pursue, there might be more recovered, or at the least, present them with a second shot to put the thing down.

Cranky CJ
January 15, 2010, 03:13 AM
Two years ago I found two dead deer in the woods. One had been shot and gust curled up on the ground and died. the other you could tell he kicked and wreathed around on the ground before he died. He did not go peacefully. that was a fairly sad sight.

If you shoot them, put your best effort into finding them.

January 21, 2010, 07:41 PM
as a taxidermist i see this quite often. everyother animal i skin out and mount has a scar for something and i have dug out bullets of a few critters. i even found a field tip in a coon.

January 21, 2010, 08:40 PM
Here are some examples of wounded or injured animals that survived.

This one got a hole punched in his ear and part of the antler blown away....nothing life threatening.

Left rear hoof injury....didn't stop him from chasing doe's.

Left front leg injury, healed and still going strong.

This doe got caught in fence, broke rear leg. We released it and saw her several months later.

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