First kill!


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Trent
December 11, 2013, 08:13 PM
OK this deer hunting stuff sounds fun but holy CRAP it's a lot of work.

I went out to my spot this morning. IMMEDIATELY saw what appeared to be a fairly big doe after I got in to position. Then another. Then they got in to my lane.

I shouldered my crossbow, estimated the difference, breathed... relaxed, pulled the trigger. It seemed to take a year for my arrow to get to the deer.

Then everything happened SOOO FAST.

I know I nailed him, but I also saw that I hit a little low.

My deer ran across the field, up in to the hills, and fell back down in to some brush. I figured "hell yeah!", nice clean kill. I put the bow down, reach for my belt, and realized I'd forgot my knife. So I mark the location good, can see the deer laying there about 80 yards off.

I get back with my knife, get to the spot, and find nothing but a blood pile.

Sonofa..

We had a fairly fresh snowfall so the blood trail is easy to follow. PRODIGIOUS blood trail, splatter, signs of coughing. I figure as fast as this deer is bleeding out this shouldn't be a long chase.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Every 50 yards or so I'd find where it coughed, or laid down for a minute. I caught sight of it a half dozen times. Always about 80 yards off, or so. It was watching me. I had to leave my bow behind when I crossed property lines so I had no choice but to wait it out (it never let me get a clean shot anyway).

I tracked him through the hills. Through the fields. Through the forest. Signs of coughing. Heavy blood flow. Blood sign everywhere. wasn't hard to follow, although I almost lost the trail quite a few times where there wasn't any snow. Had to back track about a half dozen times and find the trail again. A few times I had to search a while until I found it.

After over an hour and a half of hiking, I get to the edge of a corn field and BOOM. Jumps up and bounds off, like nothing ever happened. Fast as can be.

I figure he's not mortally wounded. Decide to come home, sad, and depressed.

I'm sitting here 15 minutes and figure... no. He's lost too much blood. There's no way in HELL he's going to survive.

So I got my boots back on and went out again. Hiked from my house a mile or so back to where I left off at, picked up where I left off, and found him 30 yards away in grass at the edge of the field. Thought he was dead. NOPE! Off he goes again.

One tough sonofa...

At this point I'm determined just to run him down. So off in to the hills we go... I run after him. He bounds ahead, then lays down. Each time I have to run less.. and less.. I'm closing on him. I finally wore him down to the point I could get close to him.

I reach for my knife. Left it at home...

I had to finish him off with my bare hands. I tried to grab him - he jumped up and I about peed myself. So I broke off a big sturdy 3" wide stick, that's about 3 foot long.

I get close to him again.

Hit him three times with the big stick, in the head. Broke the damn stick. He's dazed but still alive.

So I figure I'd break his neck. It looks easy enough in the movies, right?

No. Spun his head around 360 degrees and no snap.

So I sat on him, and choked the buck to death with my bare hands.

I tell you something. It was primal. I'll remember that moment until my dying day.

As if I wasn't tired enough... Then the REAL work began. I'm a LONG way from home, on foot, in steep hills, with no knife, no rope, no NOTHING. So I grabbed his rear feet and drug him.

Rest. Drag. Rest. Drag. Rest. Drag.

I had to haul him over a half mile to the edge of a clearing. Barbed wire fence stopped me, couldn't get him over it. Walk a half mile back to my home. Get my garden cart. Walk back with my 16 year old boy. Junior helps me get him over the barbed wire fence.

I can barely stand at this point. And I haven't even started butchering him yet. (Was a young buck, I actually thought it was a doe until I'd killed it and found his ding dong between his legs... little nubs for antlers. Weighed about 150-160 lbs.)

So I find that butchering an animal of that size, alone, is not easy. I'd never done it before. I managed to cut off all the meat. Didn't break any guts open on anything (didn't bother to gut it. Took the back strips off, quartered it, cut all the meat off the legs.)

Hauled the carcass out back a quarter mile behind my place, for the 'yotes to eat.

Wash the meat.. wash the meat more.. wash the meat some more...

Then I cut off a couple small steaks and I ate something I killed with my bare hands.

Now... I rest while the meat firms up a little in the deep freeze so I can finish making steaks.

Will post pics when I find my phone cable.

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Yarddog
December 11, 2013, 08:28 PM
Your lucky that deer did'nt tear you a new one,,Not going to break a deers neck for sure ; ) PS Congrats on your (First Kill)
Y/D

gspn
December 11, 2013, 08:29 PM
Are...you...kidding me?!?! :what:

If you're kidding me, then that was a GREAT story!

If you're being serious then that is among the craziest things I've ever read about on a deer hunt.

1 - work on your shot placement
2 - always give the animal 20 minutes before trying to track it
3 - if you see signs that you're bumping it then give it a few hours to bleed out
4 - in your case I'd suggest double and triple checking that you have your knife
5 - I always tell people that the work STARTS the moment you pull the
trigger...up til that point it's all fun and games

Congrats on your first deer...I'm certain nobody has worked that hard for one since 1500 BC.

On a more serious note, I applaud you for not quitting. Too many "hunters" quit looking for a deer the moment it becomes an inconvenience for them. I respect and admire your tenacity and will to see things through. Good job. You're half crazy...but I like you.

Trent
December 11, 2013, 08:40 PM
Here it is.

http://i.imgur.com/Cisel5Th.jpg

Trent
December 11, 2013, 08:43 PM
The crossbow bolt blew a hole clear through the bottom of both lungs, and took out the upper leg joint on the other leg. I can't believe how far this deer managed to run before the end.

When I got back I paced it out. The deer was larger than I thought, I was shooting downhill, and it paced out at 60 yards. I had held as if it was 40 yards. That put the bolt a little lower than I wanted it to go.

Crossbow I used was a ghost 400 with spitfire mechanical broadheads.

Wasn't as clean of a kill as I'd hoped for my first time, not by a long shot.

But, I recovered the animal and ended any suffering I caused with my bare hands.

So I hope that counts for something, on my karma. :)

BP Hunter
December 11, 2013, 08:48 PM
Great story! You should sell it to one of the outdoor magazines.

The deer I shot in the neck, also didn't die immediately. But it didn't fight either. I had to step on his mouth to suffocate it. It wasn't fun but it eventually choked.

Trent
December 11, 2013, 08:48 PM
Are...you...kidding me?!?! :what:

If you're kidding me, then that was a GREAT story!

If you're being serious then that is among the craziest things I've ever read about on a deer hunt.

1 - work on your shot placement
2 - always give the animal 20 minutes before trying to track it
3 - if you see signs that you're bumping it then give it a few hours to bleed out
4 - in your case I'd suggest double and triple checking that you have your knife
5 - I always tell people that the work STARTS the moment you pull the
trigger...up til that point it's all fun and games

Congrats on your first deer...I'm certain nobody has worked that hard for one since 1500 BC.

On a more serious note, I applaud you for not quitting. Too many "hunters" quit looking for a deer the moment it becomes an inconvenience for them. I respect and admire your tenacity and will to see things through. Good job. You're half crazy...but I like you.


No, I'm not kidding you. I wish I were, as it's been a VERY long day.

You offered some great advice, and I'll take it to heart!

My shot placement was low, because I made a ranging error. I need to practice that more. The actual shot was good, arrow dead center (across) of where I wanted it, but low - the arrow hit about 8" lower than I wanted it to hit.

I didn't realize I'd made a ranging error until I was tracking it and SAW how big the dang thing was. I thought it was a smallish doe, I had a combo tag so I wanted some nice tender meat. I didn't know I'd just shot a decent size, young buck. The antlers were 3mm long, and obscured by fur.

lpsharp88
December 11, 2013, 08:52 PM
Man, I wish my first deer kill story was as epic as that. Gladly (luckily too), I didn't have to track him, or choke him to death haha. I applaud your effort

Trent
December 11, 2013, 08:52 PM
One thing I regret, when I came back home, I didn't grab my wolfhound to help.

My dog would have ended that chase, and fast.

When we play catch in the house he can bump his nose on my 8' ceiling with his feet still on the floor.

http://i.imgur.com/Y4QQF7xh.jpg

Trent
December 11, 2013, 08:53 PM
(It's also sad, that my first deer killed, was smaller than my dog. That buck weighed about 160-170? Maybe? My dog is almost 200.)

Trent
December 11, 2013, 09:02 PM
I'm still struggling to comprehend how a double-lung shot could have taken that long. The right side had a fist-sized exit wound in it. When I closed to kill it, I could HEAR it's breathing and see the steam on exhales, through that big hole.

These are incredibly tough animals.

Next time I hunt, I'm going to bring my laser rangefinder with me so there is NO doubt on range. I didn't think I'd need it since I was shooting < 50 yards. I was wrong. It's hard to tell how big a deer really is since they're all different sizes, and without knowing how big it really is, it's damn hard to range it accurately.

I feel like crap because it wasn't a clean kill.

But.. I have big hunks of meat chilling in the fridge, they should be stiffened up enough to cut in to steaks now.

I'm hungry. And I'm going to go eat part of this thing I killed.

OilyPablo
December 11, 2013, 09:13 PM
Good on you and good lessons for all.

I am very curious as the quality of the meat. Keep us posted!

plodder
December 11, 2013, 09:16 PM
Congrats on a budding deer slaying career! One thing I learned after one of my first kills is that a 140 lb. deer turns into about 220 lb. by the time you drag it a 1/2 mile or more through a swamp. In my advanced years I have learned that I don't need any venison that I would have to drag more than about 1 mile, so I have limited my hunting territory:D

gspn
December 11, 2013, 09:39 PM
Next time I hunt, I'm going to bring my laser rangefinder with me so there is NO doubt on range. I didn't think I'd need it since I was shooting < 50 yards. I was wrong. It's hard to tell how big a deer really is since they're all different sizes, and without knowing how big it really is, it's damn hard to range it accurately.

I feel like crap because it wasn't a clean kill.

Range estimation is a skill acquired through practice. If I could make two suggestions they would be the following:

1 - As soon as you get in your stand use your rangefinder and range several easily identifiable landmarks in different directions. This will allow you to very quickly determine how far away a deer is whether it's dead ahead or to your left/right.

If your limit it 50 yards then find out exactly where that is. A dead tree might be 50 yards to your left, a log on the ground might be 50 to your right...range them ahead of time so you don't have to think or do anything when a deer shows up. If your target is beyond your effective range then wait.

2 - The way I got really good at range estimation was through back-yard practice. Before I had kids I bow hunted a lot. Starting in June or July my brother in law and I would go out back and shoot every other night or so. We'd shoot dozens of arrows a night from all different angles and ranges. Eventually we'd have the shooter turn his back, then the other guy would move the 3D target to an unknown distance. When the shooter turned back around he had four or five seconds to draw and send the shot.

You will be surprised how good you can get when you practice like this. We would routinely stack three arrows touching each other. In fact that's how I started fletching my own arrows...it was too costly and time consuming to bring arrows to someone else to do it because we were shooting so tight we were tearing fletchings off and breaking arrow nocks.


Don't beat yourself up too bad about the lack of a clean kill. You did your best, and it sounds like you are sincerely committed to making sure it gets better from here. You recovered a deer that many hunters would not have...focus on that and enjoy your venison.

Trent
December 11, 2013, 11:35 PM
Good on you and good lessons for all.

I am very curious as the quality of the meat. Keep us posted!

Meat is very tender. I cut a few steaks off of the big chunk I cut off the ass end tonight (not even sure what different parts are called), and cooked them up. My boys had seconds, I had thirds.

My oldest daughter tried a bite and spit it back out.

My younger daughters were fascinated by the butchering and asked a lot of questions, but didn't eat any.

Oh, my wife won't talk to me or even LOOK at me now.

"You killed Bambi", she says.

Damn that tasted good.

And, I'm NEVER leaving the house without my knife again. Ever. That thing is going to be a permanent fixture on my belt.

gspn
December 11, 2013, 11:49 PM
Meat is very tender. I cut a few steaks off of the big chunk I cut off the ass end tonight (not even sure what different parts are called)

There are lots of good butchering books out there for cheap. There's really not much to it, but you have to do a few before you get good at it.

The rear leg is basically four big muscle groups. Each can be separate mostly by pushing your fingers in along the seams that you can see that separate them. After that you really just need to lightly hit the ends with a knife to cut the tendons and those big ol' roasts just lift right off. Pretty easy to debone as well...just takes some practice.

Remember to remove the "silver skin" which is the silver colored membrane on the outside of the meat...it is very tough and you don't want to serve it to anyone.

Liberty1776
December 11, 2013, 11:50 PM
forget about all that...HOLY CRAP ON A CRUTCH - that's a big dog!!!!

KansasSasquatch
December 12, 2013, 12:04 AM
If you want to know how to butcher a deer and know what all the cuts are watch the 4 part video here http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-aD43mDtk70. It sounds like you cooked up the top round or bottom round. Hopefully you got the tenderloin out and didn't leave it on the carcass for the yotes.

If you're going to eat them (like a real hunter should) its supposed to help keep the meat tender if you get a DRT (dead right there) shot. Supposedly the running releases lactic acid into their muscles, just like in humans (that's what the supplement Creatine is designed to stop) and the lactic acid toughens the meat. Glad you didn't give up. No sense feeding the yotes more than you gotta.

CApighunter
December 12, 2013, 12:46 AM
Buddy of mine had to finish one with a knife once. Said it was his worst experience of his whole hunting career.

Trent
December 12, 2013, 01:09 AM
I took all the meat off all four legs, two long thick pieces along either side of the back bone, and two decent sized pieces off of the neck. I also though there was another big piece of meat on the neck but that turned out to be the windpipe, so I left it.

I also cut down along the ribs and took two decent sized pieces of meat out there as well; discarding the damaged section that my arrow ruined. The meat between the ribs was so thin it wasn't worth dressing it further.

I could have boiled the leg bones and got another 4 or 5 pounds off of it, but my wife was literally in tears... so I called it done.

(She's still crying, 12 hours later... I'm not going to get any for a loooong time I fear.)

Davek1977
December 12, 2013, 01:16 AM
n/m

OptimusPrime
December 12, 2013, 01:20 AM
Think of all the money you'll save in the future, with never having to buy more bolts or bullets or anything. Just go catch deer with your hands, Rambo.

Trent
December 12, 2013, 01:21 AM
The rear leg is basically four big muscle groups. Each can be separate mostly by pushing your fingers in along the seams that you can see that separate them. After that you really just need to lightly hit the ends with a knife to cut the tendons and those big ol' roasts just lift right off. Pretty easy to debone as well...just takes some practice.

Remember to remove the "silver skin" which is the silver colored membrane on the outside of the meat...it is very tough and you don't want to serve it to anyone.

Silver skin. I think that's the clearish-membrane around the meat? It started collecting a LOT of blood as I washed it, chilled it in the deep freeze, and cut it, I removed ALL of it. It also was collecting some loose hairs.

Hair. Good grief hair is hard to clean off.

I learned today "you can't wash the meat enough."

I did OK I guess. When I was later cutting up the meat in to steaks I focused on the "short grained meat" for steaks. "Long grained meat" was diced up and put in a bag that I'll grind up later. I got a gallon and a half of diced meat for grinding, about a gallon of "strips", a half gallon of "diced roast", 4 decent sized roasts, a bag of "back strap steak" (the two long pieces I took off the back).

The mid-leg muscles were put in to bags - figure I'll use those for stew, or whatever. I took my time cleaning it with a sharp knife, and didn't leave much of any meat on the bone. The rear legs I carefully cut from the inside along the abdominal cavity, separated the hip joint, and took the whole of the rear meat with the leg. Later I separated the muscle groups out. The four larger pieces I kept intact for roast.

I was mindful of temperature, and was cleaning it within an hour of death. The first thing I did was skinned it. It was a pain in the neck as I was doing it in my garage, on a tarp on the floor. Next time I'm going to hang the thing by the neck. It got REALLY slippery and I ruined a pair of jeans, doing it on the concrete slab.

I'd read that meat can spoil quickly so I tried to get it cold as fast as possible. After removing the skin I quartered it up, took the back pieces and neck pieces and laid them aside. Then started working on separating the leg meat from the bones. I took my time, and didn't leave much of anything on it.

If I'd fully dressed it and boiled the bones I could have got a few more pounds out of it, but the time it'd take wasn't worth it. Besides, once I'd knicked the abdominal cavity and the intestines poured out, it smelled bad. I wasn't interested in digging further. I know the heart is edible, and liver, but I'm not starving. If I were hunting for survival I would have got every bit of meat off of it. With one more unfilled tag, I figured good enough was good enough.

It took an hour and a half to clean and about 30 more minutes to wrap the carcass and haul it to the edge of my property for the coyotes.

My mother's boyfriend told me he can do it in 10 minutes, from the time he hangs it. I believe him, he's killed a hell of a lot more deer than I have (6-8 a year for the last 40 years... he lives in the middle of nowhere and survives on the meat). :)

There are SO many things I would do differently. We have these little blue sleds that roll up. About 4 foot long and 2 foot across, with two big handles cut on the front. They roll up in to a compact 2.5" bundle. Next time I go tracking, I'm taking one of those, and a 10' section of rope.

And a knife. I'm never leaving home again with out a knife on me!

1911 guy
December 12, 2013, 01:48 AM
I love to archery hunt, but haven't the last few years because of time constraints for practice and I refuse to go out and shoot a deer in the butt. Having said that, may I offer a couple suggestions?

Wait fifteen minutes after any archery hit. Mark the location and sit there. Eat a sandwich or smoke a cigarette.

Study range estimation. Have a few known range objects around you and practice knowing what X range looks like.

Practice shooting at your max limit. For example, I max out around 40 yards with a compound. I shoot at 50 in the back yard.

Build a simple platform so you can practice shooting at elevation. As you've seen, it makes a big difference in arrow impact.

Always try to get one step closer. Bragging rights for "I shot him at X yards" is for varmints and pests. A good range for hunting is one step before you get made by your quarry.

Trent
December 12, 2013, 02:07 AM
Great suggestions and advice guys.

This hunt is fresh in my memory (I'm currently cramping up in my back and legs from this ordeal, as I type this).

The lessons I learned today and tomorrow will affect and influence EVERY hunt from this day to the end of my days.

So don't be shy, please, give criticism and advise. Whatever part of hunting, doesn't matter - shot to harvest. I'm all ears, and I now realize I have a *lot* to learn.

I read, and read, and read on deer hunting before doing it. But one day in the field gave me more insight in to it than 100 days reading on forums.

That being said, now anything I read will really hit home, because I've been there and done it wrong.

Please strike while the iron is hot. :)

1911 guy
December 12, 2013, 02:26 AM
Where are you hunting? There is a list of willing mentors here on the site. It's a sticky at the top of the "Hunting" page.

interlock
December 12, 2013, 06:47 AM
Congratulations on your kill. When you hit one and it runs then have a coffee or a smoke and a sandwich. Then walk back and get your dog from the car. Let the dog to the tracking.
It will generally get better than this. But sometimes it will be nasty. ...

josiewales
December 12, 2013, 08:10 AM
Whoa! First time I've ever heard of a guy choking a deer! Next time, if you just wait for a half am hour or so, he'll lay down and bleed out. The only thing keeping that buck alive was adrenaline. Good job though, that was a great read!

Davek1977
December 12, 2013, 08:38 AM
I have a strong feeling Trent WILL NOT forget his knife NEXT time :) Lessons learned in such a manner are seldom forgotten.... ;)

Buddy of mine had to finish one with a knife once. Said it was his worst experience of his whole hunting career. While not something I "enjoy" I've slit the throat on almost every deer I've ever shot. Necessary or not, it was how I was taught, and just consider it step one of filed dressing usually. Was there something "bad" about your friend's experience (deer got up, etc) or was it just new, therefore, unsavory to him? I just can't see the ordeal being overwhelming to a seasoned hunter....

Patocazador
December 12, 2013, 10:06 AM
My kids are nothing like yours.
I raised a steer from a calf and the kids named him Sam. When he got big enough, I had him butchered. My kids ate deer all the time and usually only had beef when they ate hamburger so when they tasted their 1st steak, they said, "This is REAL good! What kind of meat is it?"
I said, "This is Sam."
They looked at me funny and grabbed another piece and said, "He tastes good. When are we gonna raise another one?"

Fremmer
December 12, 2013, 11:17 AM
Yup, wait a half hour before you go looking. And stop wrestling deer; if you're gonna finish one off, use a knife or a gun and do it quickly.

Trent
December 12, 2013, 12:25 PM
The bigger problem I am facing now, is my wife.

After the kids went to bed last night, she broke down crying.

"It didn't do anything to you."

"It just wanted to run around and be free."

"Cows are raised to be killed. Deer grow up to play in the woods and be free"

Etc.. etc.

I didn't think it would be anywhere CLOSE to this big of a deal.

I think, next time I harvest a deer, I'll do all the cleaning out in the woods, pack the meat back in gallon zip lock baggies, and send her off shopping when I do the final bits of meat prep and storage.

Fremmer
December 12, 2013, 12:38 PM
Sorry about the wife.

I'm glad you like hunting. Welcome! :)

That said, your first hunt went pretty badly. You didn't put that deer down with a good shot (understandable, stuff happens, but still bad). Then you kept jumping that deer for miles. Then you finally found the deer, but you didn't have the proper tools to quickly and humanely finish it off. So you had to resort to strangling it. That's bad. Really bad. If someone had filmed that on a cell phone, PETA and the rest of the nut jobs would be going crazy with showing it. And the game warden might not like that, either. I understand ya gotta do what ya gotta do, but you need to use another bolt, or a gun, or at least a knife to finish one off.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but this is why new hunters need mentors. Don't mean to offend you, I'm just offering a different perspective.

HankR
December 12, 2013, 12:55 PM
"Cows are raised to be killed. Deer grow up to play in the woods and be free"

Good luck with that. My wife is OK w/ the whole process (but she doesn't do the butchering). My 8 yo daughter has never really liked the taste of any meat, and that was long before she understood what it was. She's good w/ jerky, salami, spicy stuff but doesn't care for hamburger, steak, pork-roast etc (even hot-dogs). She's good w/ cooking chicken or turkey, but doesn't like to see raw red meat. Loves to eat the potatoes and carrots from around a pot-roast (beef or venison), but not the meat.

She does understand that the deer had a better life, being free up until contributing the jerky whereas the steer was basically in jail ("grounded") for it's whole life. She thinks the deer thing is much more humane. Many people are more comfortable pretending that the meat was never alive, and the farther they are from the harvesting process the happier they are. Again, I hope you can get that worked out.

gspn
December 12, 2013, 01:13 PM
"Cows are raised to be killed. Deer grow up to play in the woods and be free"

Etc.. etc.

I didn't think it would be anywhere CLOSE to this big of a deal.


Whoa. Cant help much on that one. You could explain that deer have natural predators and that coyotes, wolves, and bears kill them all the time...but I don't know if it would help at this point.

I hope she can get good with it since it sounds like you really enjoy hunting.

MtnCreek
December 12, 2013, 01:14 PM
That sounds like an exciting experience! :)

A lot of good advice. Only other thing that may be worth mentioning is to take a look at the broadhead to see if the blades are still intact before starting to gut or butcher.

I think you would be a fine candidate for spear hunting. Just be sure to take along a video camera. :D

Edit: gspn said 'Congrats on your first deer...I'm certain nobody has worked that hard for one since 1500 BC.' I got a little Copenhagen on my screen when I read that!

Trent
December 12, 2013, 01:30 PM
Yeah this hunt could have gone a lot better.

When I hit a deer and destroyed my pickup truck back in 2009, my wife didn't shed a tear for the deer that was killed. I gently reminded her of that last night. We also went through the kitchen and house and I cleaned up anything and everything that she pointed out as "gross" (even if it had nothing to do with the deer processing).

I explained that if the deer population isn't controlled, these "happy, free animals" starve to death in winter, encroach on humans and get run over, or worse. An unchecked deer population is REALLY bad.

I didn't hunt until now. But then again, I also didn't see 40+ deer every time I drive to or from work, either. The deer are so thick around here, every day for a week I'd see 5-7 deer on each of my game cameras - together, in a group photo. I'd wake up with 8 of them standing in my front yard. I'd be out letting the dogs do their thing, and they would stand 50 yards away watching. They wouldn't run, even when my wolfhound was watching them.



That said, your first hunt went pretty badly. You didn't put that deer down with a good shot (understandable, stuff happens, but still bad). Then you kept jumping that deer for miles. Then you finally found the deer, but you didn't have the proper tools to quickly and humanely finish it off. So you had to resort to strangling it. That's bad. Really bad. If someone had filmed that on a cell phone, PETA and the rest of the nut jobs would be going crazy with showing it. And the game warden might not like that, either. I understand ya gotta do what ya gotta do, but you need to use another bolt, or a gun, or at least a knife to finish one off.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but this is why new hunters need mentors. Don't mean to offend you, I'm just offering a different perspective.


No offense taken, this echoes my feelings exactly.

Forgetting my knife was a really bad mistake. I couldn't take a handgun or bow with me because I had to enter adjoining land to track - needed to leave weapons behind. If that weren't the case I could have finished the deer the first time I spotted it. I had a clear broadside at one point not too long in to the tracking, about 40 yards out. Easy shot. But all I could do is cuss about not being able to finish the animal.

By the time I did end things, it was a relief to stop the suffering. I felt horrible about it, I truly did. I was shaking, and almost threw up. But I caused it; it was my responsibility to finish it. That's why I kept on until the end and didn't give up. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't see it through.

I learned a lot about myself yesterday.

(I also learned a lot about hunting and butchering; but compared to what I found inside myself...)

I'm in my mid 30's, and went in to the woods with a certain soft innocence. I came out of those woods hardened. I put all those thoughts and feelings aside and focused on getting the job done, despite it being rather distasteful. I felt nothing at all - no emotions whatsoever - while butchering. I'd turned them all off.

gspn
December 12, 2013, 01:47 PM
Forgetting my knife was a really bad mistake. I couldn't take a handgun or bow with me because I had to enter adjoining land to track - needed to leave weapons behind. If that weren't the case I could have finished the deer the first time I spotted it.

Check your local regs too...in some places you are not allowed to have any type of firearm with you during bow season.

I'd hate for you to be trying to fix one problem and end up in another.

buck460XVR
December 12, 2013, 01:53 PM
Check your local regs too...in some places you are not allowed to have any type of firearm with you during bow season.

I'd hate for you to be trying to fix one problem and end up in another.


....actually according to the game warden that comes and talks at our Hunter Safety course, killing a deer by any method other that what your permit/kill tag is for, is illegal. This pertains to not only the initial shot but finishing the animal off also. In other words, you can't legally finish a deer off during bow season with a firearm.....nor can you legally choke them or beat them to death with a stick. Even cutting their throat with a knife could be considered illegal. Always surprises many of the dads of students who have been hunting for years and always chose to cut the throat as opposed to shooting the deer again.

Trent
December 12, 2013, 01:55 PM
Check your local regs too...in some places you are not allowed to have any type of firearm with you during bow season.

I'd hate for you to be trying to fix one problem and end up in another.

Yeah I'll do some homework on that. The Illinois regulations on hunting are pretty damn complex. I'm not at all sure how concealed carry (which we will soon have) will factor in to hunting, or what the laws say about dispatching an animal in a humane way.

If my only option is "knife to the heart", I'm going to start writing some letters to my reps, to try to get 22 pistols added to the hunter's kit.

(There's no sense in complaining about something if you also aren't prepared to stand up and fight for it.)

Trent
December 12, 2013, 03:31 PM
I'm also adding granola bars to the list of things to take in to the woods (knife being #1 on that list, rope a close second).

In all the excitement yesterday I *completely* forgot to eat anything, all day, except the deer steaks last night. I had coffee for breakfast, no food though. Hiked through lunch. Butchered through dinner.

Just lifting the coffee pot to pour coffee today caused my arm to shake. I was completely baffled as to why until I stopped and felt the pang in my stomach. Oooooooohh.. duh!

My body was completely sugar deprived. Munching on granola bars or trail mix would keep the sugars up. 12 hours of heavy physical activity without resting, or food, was too much. I should know better.

It seems like all my common sense went right out the dang window yesterday.

It seems the small things can make a huge difference.

Still appreciate any tips on gear, etc. I'll be making a checklist for next time, so I'm better prepared.

gspn
December 12, 2013, 04:01 PM
Still appreciate any tips on gear, etc. I'll be making a checklist for next time, so I'm better prepared.

Tell us what is in your current loadout...what do you take to the woods with you now?

Someone else started a thread in the hunting forum on "EDC" (every day carry). You might want to check that out as it will keep you from having to reinvent the wheel so to speak.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=735731

Trent
December 12, 2013, 06:43 PM
Tell us what is in your current loadout...what do you take to the woods with you now?


Normally, I carry my wallet, lighter, a pack of smokes, cell phone, and (now) a 5" ozark trail knife on my hip.

When I hunt with the crossbow I brought along a belt pouch with my cocking string, wax for my string & rails, and an arrow puller. A quiver that holds three arrows mounts on the crossbow itself.

I have one empty pouch in that belt pouch piece. It also has a cup holder pouch that I'm supposed to put a bottle of water in, but I can't find the bottle anywhere.

One of the things I thought about packing was some basic medical supplies. if I lost my footing, got cut climbing a barbed wire fence, etc..

I got a little nervous when I was tracking. I stared at the ground for too long, as I walked, got tunnel vision on the blood trail, and *100%* lost my bearings. I looked around and had no idea where I was, or what direction home was in. I pulled up maps on my phone, that showed me where I was via GPS, but the compass on it wasn't calibrated, so I had no idea what direction I was supposed to go in. I ended up using the moss on the tree boy scout trick, since the sun wasn't out (overcast).

When I run rifle matches I always have a first aid kit with me (a GOOD one, complete with blood clot powder, sterile bandages, etc; it's more of a trauma pack than a first aid kit). I've recently picked up a suture kit and started learning how to suture. (but I'm a long way off from being able to do so effeciently; it's more of a "just in case" thing, living so far out in the country, my dogs like to roughhouse from time to time, and you see how big they are above...)

I don't want to load myself down with a 60 pounds of gear, but I also want to have the basics covered. 10' of rope would have come in SO handy when I was pulling that deer out. (Also would have helped if I had a knife, to string it up and field dress it; but I wouldn't do that on someone else's land, so I had to drag it back to mine anyway).

gspn
December 12, 2013, 07:47 PM
Gear lists will vary based on type of hunt and type of land. I mainly deer hunt on private land that I know like the back of my hand. You can drop me off anywhere on that 1,000 acres in the middle of the night and I'll get back to the barn easily.

It sounds like you might be hunting public land or land that is new to you...so knowing where you are is going to be important. A phone GPS only works when you have a battery and a signal. A dedicated GPS is expensive but can keep you out of trouble. A basic compass is cheap and reliable. You'll have to figure out what the best method for you.

When I hunted public land I always had (in addition to my rifle and ammo):

orange vest (when needed...gun season)
knife (with small sharpener)
small flashlight (nowadays I really like a headlamp as I lets me do stuff hands free)
Enough rope to pull me weapon up the tree to my stand (doubles as a drag rope)
range finder
surveyors tape (used to mark blood trails)
compass

I don't carry much because I'm never far from home. If I was out west or on a multi-day trip I'd carry a lot more but for a simple deer hunt on land that i know...it just doesn't take much gear to get the job done.

I have a small first aid kit in the truck but I never take it into the field.

Even if I don't need the flashlight to find anything, I use it on the way out of the woods. I enjoy walking back in the dark...but even on private land a poacher or a sloppy guest hunter could mistake me for a deer in the dark. Most people understand that deer don't use flashlights so I figure it improves my odds of not being accidentally shot.

The compass will always point north...no batteries and no cell signal needed. So for example, if you know that you are hunting to the north of a major road and you get lost you can at least navigate south, hit the road and walk back to your truck. More than once I SWORE the compass was wrong...I mean I KNEW it was wrong. In the end I reluctantly relied on the compass and turns out...it was right. I was so turned around I was actually arguing with the compass...it's usually right and it's a simple lightweight piece of gear that can save you a cold night in the woods.

Keep it light, just bring the basics...but know ahead of time where you are. Study the map and know some major landmarks. A compass, a flashlight, a piece of rope and a knife are basic but powerful tools that I don't go without (a lighter or matches couldn't hurt).

wgaynor
December 12, 2013, 07:54 PM
That has to be the best darn story I've heard yet! You have tears flowing down my face and my wife and dogs looking at my like I'm a mad man!!!


Epic Tale dude.

twofifty
December 12, 2013, 08:10 PM
Gear lists will vary based on type of hunt and type of land. I mainly deer hunt on private land that I know like the back of my hand. You can drop me off anywhere on that 1,000 acres in the middle of the night and I'll get back to the barn easily.

..........

The compass will always point north...no batteries and no cell signal needed. So for example, if you know that you are hunting to the north of a major road and you get lost you can at least navigate south, hit the road and walk back to your truck. More than once I SWORE the compass was wrong...I mean I KNEW it was wrong. In the end I reluctantly relied on the compass and turns out...it was right. I was so turned around I was actually arguing with the compass...it's usually right and it's a simple lightweight piece of gear that can save you a cold night in the woods.

Keep it light, just bring the basics...but know ahead of time where you are. Study the map and know some major landmarks. A compass, a flashlight, a piece of rope and a knife are basic but powerful tools that I don't go without (a lighter or matches couldn't hurt).
Your being turned around & reluctantly deciding to follow the compass in spite of knowing it is wrong brings back fond memories.

twofifty
December 12, 2013, 08:14 PM
Trent thanks for posting your story.
Your deer in the pic looks -it's head anyhow- like it went 20 rounds in the ring.

Wish there was a pic of your own face after you finally wrassled it into submission, having tracked it all day long through hill and dale. lol

buck460XVR
December 13, 2013, 09:14 AM
Whenever I hunt deer, whether it be with a bow or rifle I always have a small pack with everything I might need. This includes things like a small folding saw, EXTRA KNIFE, flashlight, drag rope, rubber gloves, antibacterial wet wipes and depending on the hunt whatever else may be required or desired. One of the things that is always in my pack when I hunt is T.P. No only does it work better than leaves or ferns for it's intended purpose, but it is also how I mark a bloodtrail when trailing a wounded deer. Like bread crumbs, it will keep you from getting lost if you track into unfamiliar territory, but marking the blood trail regularly and especially the last blood helps trail a wounded deer. To help determine direction of a wounded deer when blood is lost, you just have to look at the trail of T.P. hanging on the brush and the general direction of where the animal has been and is heading is obvious. Makes for a better circle when blood is lost and if the animal backtracks or doubles back(happens often) you can easily walk 10-15 yards to the side of the marked trail to see if the animal has jumped off to one side or the other. Many time small spots of blood dry up and disappear within a short amount of time. T.P. hangin' above it makes it easier to find again if needed. First good rain makes the T.P. disappear. Using the T.P. to find your way back works, but a wounded deer generally doesn't take the easiest and straightest path thru the woods. This is why having a compass in the pack is a must. If I'm hunting a good distance from my vehicle and will be there all day, I take the the pack with me. If I'm hunting close to my vehicle for a short amount of time, I may leave the pack in the vehicle and go and get it if I need it. This many times gives a wounded deer time to die or lay down and stiffen up. At that time I will often dispose of any other equipment with me I don't need such as heavy clothes or the climbing tree stand(when hunting public land). I also many times change warm heavy boots intended for standing to lightweight hiking boots easier to walk in.

Art Eatman
December 13, 2013, 01:02 PM
Inside the carcass, either side of the spine and toward the rear, are two pieces of meat: The "inner tenders". Those are the tenderloins, the most tender meat on any animal. DON'T forget those! :D

A friend of mine was a hunting guide on a ranch which catered to city dudes. After a kill and before the client headed home with his buck, the guide would carefully remove the inner tenders. The explanation was that these were "poison sacs" and if a dog got to the carcass, it could die from the poison.

In actuality, the poison sacs were put in the ranchhouse freezer for tasty-yummy eating later on. So, whenever I cut and wrapped the inner tenders, I labelled them "Poison Sacs". :D

gspn
December 13, 2013, 01:22 PM
The explanation was that these were "poison sacs" and if a dog got to the carcass, it could die from the poison.



AAAHAHAHAHAA! I'm going to have to use that one on somebody. THAT is funny.

Trent
December 13, 2013, 01:26 PM
Oooh crap. Unless those came off with the hindquarters that I cut, coyotes got those. :(

If there was meat to be had that could only be gotten through the abdominal cavity, I missed it.

When I removed the rear legs I took them from the inside. Cut down along the outside of the abdominal sack to the hip joints, then removed all the meat with it. I ended up with a huge chunk of meat from each hind leg; I sliced down between the muscle groups, detatched the tendons from the leg joints, and pulled it the meat off in one big chunk. I set those aside as I knew the meat back there would be nice and tender.

I set the legs, whole, aside, and trimmed all of the meat off of them.

I separated the hindquarters meat in to major muscle groups and cut steaks off the larger pieces. The smaller pieces from the rear, I diced - figured I'd make deer steak tacos or stew out of it.

I took two thick pieces off the back. The thicker part I cut diagonally in to steaks, and the thinner part I diced and tossed in to the "grind" bowl. (Most of the stringy long grained meat was diced and put in the grind bowl).

The fore-legs were done similarly except around the shoulder blades, I had to work a little to get the shoulder meat off separately as I couldn't get everything off in one big piece.

(I took one pic of the slaughtering right at the end, but it's frigging gruesome, not sure what THR's rules are on posting pics of slaughtering.)

rondog
December 13, 2013, 01:54 PM
Sounds like you did most of the processing in the kitchen? No wonder the wife is po'd!

HankR
December 13, 2013, 02:29 PM
If there was meat to be had that could only be gotten through the abdominal cavity, I missed it.

Probably only a couple of pounds, but very tender.

Trent
December 13, 2013, 06:47 PM
Sounds like you did most of the processing in the kitchen? No wonder the wife is po'd!

I butchered it in the garage, but washed the meat and cut it down to steaks & cubes in the kitchen. Couldn't do it outside as all my outdoor spickets are shut off for the winter.

I did clean up after myself; cleaned the hair and gunk out of the drain catch, washed the cutting board, bowls, and utensils I used, and didn't leave a spot of blood anywhere.

I also mopped the blood in the garage up. I threw down an 8x8' section of 8mil black plastic but cut though the plastic in a couple places with my knife. (I didn't have anything to hang the deer with, so I did it on the floor on the black plastic).

I *won't* do that again. That plastic got so dang slippery I about landed my ass in a pool of blood and gore a couple times. Before I take another deer I'm going to rig up a come-along in the garage to hoist it with, and put a big plastic bin under it to catch any blood. (And if it's not ultra cold I'll do it out in the woods on a tree branch.)

Doc7
December 14, 2013, 09:36 PM
I've only been squirrel hunting and hope to learn from your first hunt before I go for deer.... Or any hunt, really : )

Congrats on the first one. Just wondering crossbow or not, did you seek permission from the owners when you crossed property lines like you mentioned?

I hope I never have to choke out an animal to finish it! That is a good story for 2 decades from now though! I am glad that my wife is excited about hunting and as a biologist interested in the gutting!

Trent
December 15, 2013, 01:57 AM
I've only been squirrel hunting and hope to learn from your first hunt before I go for deer.... Or any hunt, really : )


I hope yours goes better than mine!


Congrats on the first one. Just wondering crossbow or not, did you seek permission from the owners when you crossed property lines like you mentioned?


No, I didn't. Wouldn't know who to ask anyway; The land I was on was vacant - no houses anywhere, just a few square miles of woods, hills, and farmland on the other side of the lake from my house. The land itself wasn't posted no trespassing, nor did it have the signature purple spraypaint around trees that signifies no trespassing by IL code. While tracking, I passed no fewer than 5 permanent tree-stands while I was tracking the buck, so those woods aren't strangers to hunters.

I left the bow behind because THAT would have been a serious no-no. (Both from DNR and from the landowner...)

When I came back home (grew frustrated), I was overheated; I changed from my thermal camo suit to my blaze orange jacket and my NRA RSO bright yellow hat, before I went back out. Those tree stands I saw made me a bit nervous; on the off chance one or two were populated, I didn't want to catch an arrow myself. So I made myself as visible as possible.

bandur60
December 15, 2013, 05:25 PM
When my compass lied to me I was fortunate there was enough snow that I could backtrack myself. 'Twas a very foggy morning and I hunted around the end of a ridge and across the far side without realizing it. Started out going ENE and was headed WNW when I tried to figure out where I was in relation to the pickup. Believe the compass!! This was in unfamiliar territory and pre-GPS days.

HankR
December 16, 2013, 09:46 AM
I butchered it in the garage, but washed the meat and cut it down to steaks & cubes in the kitchen....I did clean up after myself...

I think that my plan will be to do the kitchen part when the wife is away. Send her to town for something, even if I have to invent something. Typically this time of year there's concerts and plays and musicals that I'd just as soon miss anyway. Send her and the girl child to something like that and hope to get everything polished up before she gets back.

How is your wife doing w/ the whole hunting thing? Any improvement? It sounds as if she was more concerned w/ Bambi's demise than the mess, no?

Arkansas Paul
December 16, 2013, 10:56 AM
Dammit man. That's hardcore. :)

I give em 15 or 20 minutes when I shoot them with a gun. I've not had success bow hunting yet, but after reading your story, I think when I do shoot one, I'll give it an hour before I ever start to track. Pushing them is never a good thing. You likely wouldn't have had to track him nearly as far if you'd waited longer. Oh well, you live and learn.

As far as butchering it, here are a couple of tips I've learned doing it myself (I'm too cheap to pay someone to do it).

Separate those muscles in the hind quarters before making steaks out of them (Its actually pretty easy once you do it a couple times). Separate them, then slice AGAINST the grain for steaks. If you're making jerky, cut it along the grain. You want that to be a little chewy.

two long thick pieces along either side of the back bone,

Most will agree that this is the best part of the deer. You can marinate them and grill them whole, or slice about 1" thick, pound them out with a meat mallet and pan fry (that's my favorite way).

Note that there are also two shorter strips inside the cavity of the deer, near the rear. These are the true tenderloins. They are very tender.

You may already know this, but one thing to watch out for preparing venison is not to overcook. There is relatively no fat content so they are best served medium.

Good job and happy hunting.

(I didn't read every single post, so forgive me if repeated something)

Trent
December 16, 2013, 12:54 PM
Hank;

Wife is not as upset now, as she was.

I made jerky a couple of nights ago. THAT was an adventure.. first time I'd ever ground meat. Usually I'll make beef jerky whole, out of strips of sirloin. But I decided to get a jerky gun and a grinder, so I have the option of doing sausages later.

You know, those things work better if you have the BLADE in the stupid thing behind the grinder head. A half hour in, and my 8th time trying to de-clog the grinder plate, I'm getting frustrated.. look over, and there's this little throwing star looking thing.. completely forgot to put it on the shaft.

So... after that it went fine. Except I didn't know what a "scant 1/4 teaspoon" was, so I used slightly too much cure per pound (by weight), but not enough to cause any risk of sickness. Next time I'll weigh the dang cure out on my reloading scale, it does grams.

I've been cutting 4" strips of the jerky I made and giving to the kids each night for a snack. "Who wants deer jerky?" and they all come running.. except my wife and oldest daughter. My two younger girls and both my boys love the stuff.

So, I'm 5 for 7 now, as far as getting people on board for hunting. That's a majority. :)

I thought briefly about having the deer processed but two things stopped me;

1. I killed the animal, I should do it.
2. See #1.

:)

Kingcreek
December 16, 2013, 01:03 PM
Quite a story. Congrats on the recovery. If I shoot a deer and jump it up while tracking, I will back off and give it an hour or more.
If you are skinning and cleaning properly, you won't have to wash the meat. All that washing just makes the membrane all bubbly and is unnecessary. There should only be a little hair that you can pick off by hand as you go.
The more deer you take apart, the easier it gets.

gspn
December 16, 2013, 01:50 PM
Hank;

You know, those things work better if you have the BLADE in the stupid thing behind the grinder head. A half hour in, and my 8th time trying to de-clog the grinder plate, I'm getting frustrated.. look over, and there's this little throwing star looking thing.. completely forgot to put it on the shaft.



:D AAAHAAHAHA! Been there...THATS funny.

Trent
December 22, 2013, 03:36 AM
A followup.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=738319

Aaron Baker
December 22, 2013, 09:33 AM
I just wanted to chime in to point out that game regulations are different in each state.

In Kentucky, you may finish off a game animal by any method, as long as it is humane. So even though full metal jacket centerfire cartridges out of a pistol with a 15-round magazine aren't legal for hunting, it's acceptable to use that carry pistol to finish off a deer shot with a legal gun or bow.

On the other hand, Kentucky fish and game folks are very vocal about telling you that you need permission from adjacent landowners to even track wounded game on their property. Granted, this is only an issue if you get caught by a landowner who isn't happy about you hunting on their property, but it's worth paying close attention to that issue because we all need to be good stewards of our hunting traditions.

I've never bow or crossbow hunted--only gun. And every deer I've ever shot has been less than 50 yards away. (Considerably less, in fact.) But I can sympathize with all the headache and muscle ache you've experienced. Glad to hear that you're learning lessons. I didn't have a mentor either--it's definitely more difficult when you're learning to hunt without someone to guide you. Good that you stuck with it.

Aaron

jack44
December 22, 2013, 09:49 AM
That's why I hunt with a gun the deer wont run away when the 45/70 drills it

Bobson
December 23, 2013, 02:13 AM
My kids are nothing like yours.
I raised a steer from a calf and the kids named him Sam. When he got big enough, I had him butchered. My kids ate deer all the time and usually only had beef when they ate hamburger so when they tasted their 1st steak, they said, "This is REAL good! What kind of meat is it?"
I said, "This is Sam."
They looked at me funny and grabbed another piece and said, "He tastes good. When are we gonna raise another one?"
Dad?

Trent
December 23, 2013, 10:40 AM
I just wanted to chime in to point out that game regulations are different in each state.

In Kentucky, you may finish off a game animal by any method, as long as it is humane. So even though full metal jacket centerfire cartridges out of a pistol with a 15-round magazine aren't legal for hunting, it's acceptable to use that carry pistol to finish off a deer shot with a legal gun or bow.


Since I was technically trespassing (wasn't posted no trespassing, BUT, I didn't have the owner's consent), I made sure to leave all weapons behind; so my bow was still on my property. (Didn't mean to leave the knife behind, though).

Now, I indirectly know the owner of the land - never met them in person - but I know they are avid hunters. (I heard two shots over there, just last night; about 2:30 AM; they must have been after 'yotes). While tracking the deer I passed quite a few permanent deer stands.. so it's pretty clear how they feel about hunters.

The other thing was, there was fresh snow on the ground, and I could easily take them to where the blood trail crossed *from* my property, on to theirs, to prove I wasn't poaching on their land.


On the other hand, Kentucky fish and game folks are very vocal about telling you that you need permission from adjacent landowners to even track wounded game on their property. Granted, this is only an issue if you get caught by a landowner who isn't happy about you hunting on their property, but it's worth paying close attention to that issue because we all need to be good stewards of our hunting traditions.


Yes, it is like this in Illinois too. I knew the minute I stepped over the barbed wire fence I was at the mercy of the disposition of anyone I met. I knew the land was vacant, but if I'd met up with the property owner unexpectedly I was prepared to flag them down and throw myself at their mercy.

In Illinois, you're required to make an attempt to recover a wounded animal but (per IDNR hunting digest guidelines) this requirement STOPS if you have to enter someone else's land to track the animal (unless you have their permission.)

Had I run in to someone, I would have immediately told them what I was doing and asked their permission. If they said "go away" I would have apologized, and went back home.


I've never bow or crossbow hunted--only gun. And every deer I've ever shot has been less than 50 yards away. (Considerably less, in fact.) But I can sympathize with all the headache and muscle ache you've experienced. Glad to hear that you're learning lessons. I didn't have a mentor either--it's definitely more difficult when you're learning to hunt without someone to guide you. Good that you stuck with it.

Aaron

Next time I'll have my distance markers set, and not rely on the size of the deer as a reference. That was a dumb rookie mistake. I totally didn't think about deer being all different sizes... :)

ICE1210
December 23, 2013, 09:21 PM
Trent,
I've hunted since I could walk, you did a great job with that deer. Inexperience is your only problem and that won't be one for long. I'd much rather hunt with a person who is conscientious and inexperienced than one who is an adept hunter with no respect for the game he hunts. The great lengths you went to in recovering your deer speak well of you. You have, with your own hands, literally put food on the table for your family, that is something to take pride in. As others have said, I advise taking a knife next time and remember to get the tenderloins, they are located inside the chest cavity on either side of the spine, forward of the diaphragm. My wife loves them marinated in Italian dressing and grilled.

Trent
December 24, 2013, 12:08 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Ice.

I've eaten venison just about every night since I took that animal. Made my new knife sheath, know to get my ranges ahead of time, and learned a lot of lessons.

And.. Next time I won't leave the tenderloins to the yotes.. :)

This looks a lot better than the generic nylon one I lost. :)

http://i.imgur.com/ygl7aru.jpg

Big20
January 2, 2014, 10:54 PM
Great story. Reminds me of the time I hit a doe with my 45 cal. Muzzleloader only to have her try to get up as I approached with an unloaded gun. I wacked her over the head with the empty gun then put one foot on her neck to hold her down. It was a game of push her down and try to reload, push, reload..... Finally she out pushed me just as I put a maxi all down between her shoulders. She still went another 100 yards.

Trent
January 11, 2014, 06:19 PM
Well, I went for a hike today with my husky, to see what was left of the deer carcass I dumped out in the woods behind my place.

I was shocked at how efficient Coyotes and Fox are at scavenging. The only thing left were hooves, skull, spine, and pelt.

Next time I think I'll move one of my game cams to supervise.

(will put a warning that it's graphic, but nothing you guys haven't seen before)

http://i.imgur.com/est26rS.jpg

twofifty
January 12, 2014, 08:23 PM
Trent thanks for keeping us up to date.

I admire that you decided to take up this strange new activity and jumped into the deep end. The concern and respect for that animal that you brought along with you -and lived up to- makes up for any mistakes. It is a steep learning curve even for those of us who are lucky enough to have a mentor.

With the lessons learned, next year should be much easier in every respect.

interlock
January 15, 2014, 02:28 AM
H I Trent,
I hope you are well? Thanks for keeping us posted. Have you considered training that husky to blood track?
You don't have to spend a fortune on a nice little puppy of some exotic breed. I am sure he will be fine. The training is not difficult and you get a hunting buddy who is always keen to go and who won't let you down.
Interlock

tnxdshooter
January 15, 2014, 03:40 AM
OK this deer hunting stuff sounds fun but holy CRAP it's a lot of work.

I went out to my spot this morning. IMMEDIATELY saw what appeared to be a fairly big doe after I got in to position. Then another. Then they got in to my lane.

I shouldered my crossbow, estimated the difference, breathed... relaxed, pulled the trigger. It seemed to take a year for my arrow to get to the deer.

Then everything happened SOOO FAST.

I know I nailed him, but I also saw that I hit a little low.

My deer ran across the field, up in to the hills, and fell back down in to some brush. I figured "hell yeah!", nice clean kill. I put the bow down, reach for my belt, and realized I'd forgot my knife. So I mark the location good, can see the deer laying there about 80 yards off.

I get back with my knife, get to the spot, and find nothing but a blood pile.

Sonofa..

We had a fairly fresh snowfall so the blood trail is easy to follow. PRODIGIOUS blood trail, splatter, signs of coughing. I figure as fast as this deer is bleeding out this shouldn't be a long chase.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Every 50 yards or so I'd find where it coughed, or laid down for a minute. I caught sight of it a half dozen times. Always about 80 yards off, or so. It was watching me. I had to leave my bow behind when I crossed property lines so I had no choice but to wait it out (it never let me get a clean shot anyway).

I tracked him through the hills. Through the fields. Through the forest. Signs of coughing. Heavy blood flow. Blood sign everywhere. wasn't hard to follow, although I almost lost the trail quite a few times where there wasn't any snow. Had to back track about a half dozen times and find the trail again. A few times I had to search a while until I found it.

After over an hour and a half of hiking, I get to the edge of a corn field and BOOM. Jumps up and bounds off, like nothing ever happened. Fast as can be.

I figure he's not mortally wounded. Decide to come home, sad, and depressed.

I'm sitting here 15 minutes and figure... no. He's lost too much blood. There's no way in HELL he's going to survive.

So I got my boots back on and went out again. Hiked from my house a mile or so back to where I left off at, picked up where I left off, and found him 30 yards away in grass at the edge of the field. Thought he was dead. NOPE! Off he goes again.

One tough sonofa...

At this point I'm determined just to run him down. So off in to the hills we go... I run after him. He bounds ahead, then lays down. Each time I have to run less.. and less.. I'm closing on him. I finally wore him down to the point I could get close to him.

I reach for my knife. Left it at home...

I had to finish him off with my bare hands. I tried to grab him - he jumped up and I about peed myself. So I broke off a big sturdy 3" wide stick, that's about 3 foot long.

I get close to him again.

Hit him three times with the big stick, in the head. Broke the damn stick. He's dazed but still alive.

So I figure I'd break his neck. It looks easy enough in the movies, right?

No. Spun his head around 360 degrees and no snap.

So I sat on him, and choked the buck to death with my bare hands.

I tell you something. It was primal. I'll remember that moment until my dying day.

As if I wasn't tired enough... Then the REAL work began. I'm a LONG way from home, on foot, in steep hills, with no knife, no rope, no NOTHING. So I grabbed his rear feet and drug him.

Rest. Drag. Rest. Drag. Rest. Drag.

I had to haul him over a half mile to the edge of a clearing. Barbed wire fence stopped me, couldn't get him over it. Walk a half mile back to my home. Get my garden cart. Walk back with my 16 year old boy. Junior helps me get him over the barbed wire fence.

I can barely stand at this point. And I haven't even started butchering him yet. (Was a young buck, I actually thought it was a doe until I'd killed it and found his ding dong between his legs... little nubs for antlers. Weighed about 150-160 lbs.)

So I find that butchering an animal of that size, alone, is not easy. I'd never done it before. I managed to cut off all the meat. Didn't break any guts open on anything (didn't bother to gut it. Took the back strips off, quartered it, cut all the meat off the legs.)

Hauled the carcass out back a quarter mile behind my place, for the 'yotes to eat.

Wash the meat.. wash the meat more.. wash the meat some more...

Then I cut off a couple small steaks and I ate something I killed with my bare hands.

Now... I rest while the meat firms up a little in the deep freeze so I can finish making steaks.

Will post pics when I find my phone cable.

1. You suck at hunting and you let an animal suffer.

2. I call bs that you killed a deer with your bare hands. No human man is strong enough to kill one with his bare hands.

Torian
January 15, 2014, 06:41 AM
Nice story. Are you permitted to carry a sidearm while hunting with a crossbow to address something like this?

Also...dat dog!

jrdolall
January 15, 2014, 07:30 AM
It looks like a decent shot though a little low. I am always amazed at how long a deer can live after a marginal shot and I have two suggestions.
ALWAYS give a deer at least 30 minutes to an hour unless you see the animal laying there and it is not breathing. If you had given this animal an hour after you found that she was no longer laying in the original spot then she would have bedded down and bled out fairly quickly.
ALWAYS be prepared for a follow up shot. Have that bow loaded and ready as you track an animal. I have seen a deer stand up and look at me from 20 yards in just this situation.

The shot placement does not look that bad but, obviously, needs to be better. Range is the most important factor in archery and a 5 yard mistake can cause this to happen. You need to either limit your range(mine was 30 yards when I did a lot of bow hunting) or get a range finder. I don't care how good you are standing in your yard shooting at a known distance, if you misjudge the distance in the field you will be a bad hunter.

Congrats on your first deer though! I have plenty of bad memories over my 40+ years of hunting. I had to put a deer down with a knife in a situation similar to this and it was no fun.

caribou
January 15, 2014, 09:10 AM
Well, it took till post #15, and then I saw you actually learnd your lesson; Dont go out with out a knife.

The rest comes as it does, its Hunting, not harvesting and your trying to kill an animal, it aint gonna wait like wheat.

You done good,, and im sure it will get easier over time. The Key to getting a wounded animals is the persistence you showed, as well as you judgement that all that blood wasnt just a slight flesh wound.....

Going hunting? Bring self and knife, the rest is debatable and variable. :D

Trent
January 15, 2014, 06:29 PM
1. You suck at hunting and you let an animal suffer.

2. I call bs that you killed a deer with your bare hands. No human man is strong enough to kill one with his bare hands.

You're certainly entitled to your opinions. Even if they are quite rude.

The deer was down, I finished it with my bare hands. Cut off the oxygen supply by closing the throat, and that was that. Not all that hard, really. Shook me up a little.

It would have expired on it's own soon enough. It was weakened by blood loss and the two lungs I opened up with the initial shot.

Would have been a lot quicker with a knife, a little messier, maybe.

black_powder_Rob
January 16, 2014, 08:48 PM
Trent you don't have to defend yourself, you are new to hunting and are entitled to a few mistakes. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes (sounds like you did). As far as letting the animal suffer, your shot placement was okay (took out both lungs), probably could have been better but hey stuff happens. Cudos to you for not giving up and retrieving the deer.

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