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A different experience...

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Jst1mr, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Jst1mr

    Jst1mr Well-Known Member

    Having taken one buck and a young doe thus far this bowseason, I was out for one more doe for the freezer. I have been shooting very well this year, and it was the first year for me to try carbon arrows and expandable broadheads. Both deer taken to this point died within easy sight of the stand, arrows and broadheads performing perfectly. With snow predicted moving in for the afternoon, I hit the stand again with high expectations, and indeed got to see a few deer moving by. Then comes a deer which, to me, is more rare than even an excellent buck - one of the true old-timer "survivor" does. I have probably only shot 2 that truly qualify for that title in 35yrs of deer hunting...both aged at 5 1/2 or 6 1/2 years, and running up to 170lb dressed weight. Anyway, after a double- and triple- take to insure there were no horns, I drew my bow. The slight moisture from the wet falling snow caused my arrow to "moan" softly as it drew back through the whisker biscuit, which alerted the deer, but I quickly got off a seemingly perfect broadside shot. Everything felt good, and though I visually could not verify the hit location I knew by the sound that it had hit. The deer bolted, I watched it run full out until it was out of sight. 30 minutes of daylight remaining, light snow falling, not 100% sure of hit location...what to do? I waited 30 minutes, climbed down, and with flashlight tried to find the arrow to help determine the hit location and whether to wait or begin following. No arrow to be found. Decided to follow the trail for a bit to observe bleeding characteristics. Blood visible on the light snow, but not heavy...followed a bit further and seemed to be lightening if anything...soon found both halves of my broken arrow, both soaked in good blood. Seemed I should wait, but I was concerned that the ongoing snow may cover what blood and trail was there, so I pushed on. Deer was found dead within 100yds of stand, with a well placed double-lung pass through (with fully expanded broadhead)....so why the nearly non-existent blood trail? This absolutely huge doe was carrying up to 1 3/4" of hard fat over the ribs(up to 4" on the "hips") - although the entrance and exit wounds were bleeding heavily, the blood was blocked from flowing externally and flowed in the intra-fat and muscle tissue instead. In short, when butchering, this doe appeared to have been belted by at least a 12 gauge slug or something, with huge areas of "bloodshot" meat near the front shoulders/ribs. Just one more "odd" experience to add to the collection....there are so many things to consider before following that trail!
  2. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    Sometimes there is very little apparent blood to trail from with solid lung shots, especially "pass-throughs". Often the majority of the blood trail takes the form of a relatively fine mist on the vegetation. The blood is pooling in the lungs (and lower chest) and being expelled when the deer exhales - thus some brush will get "misted" and then nothing until the next exhale and so forth. I suspect the blood is "encourage" to pool in that area due to the vacuum created by the breathing.

    The entry/exits holes (unless they are fairly low) actually leave little of the blood trail for two reasons. - the blood is being pulled away from them by the breathing and they are being closed off by movement of the hide as the deer moves.

    When an arrow remains in the body it acts to hold the entry or exit wound open and more blood will then escape through those points, as it usually keeps tearing at the hole.

    Needing to depend mostly on lung shots with their low incidence of DRT kills and the poor blood trails they often produce is a primary reason why I quit archery hunting and do all I can to make CNS hits with firearms.

  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that your good senses caused you to follow up the shot. The snow fall can cause an orientation problem if you had waited until morning, even with gps. Those old does will pack the fat with a good food source.

  4. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Well-Known Member

    a wise old doe has to be one of the hardest animals to fool. a double lunger, especially if hit a little high can bleed very little. as mentioned above, I agree sometimes its just a little blown mist high and on the sides or an occaisional cough of spattered blood.
    Sometimes my best trailing strategies just comes down to intuition. no rule works every time. sometimes you've got to wait and sometimes you've got to push
  5. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    "Sometimes my best trailing strategies just comes down to intuition."

    I agree with that 110%. I've never come up with any "rule" that I was convinced could be taken as Gospel.

    I've been forced to begin tracking quickly due to weather but beyond that I have made the "when to start" decision just sorta on the "feel" of the situation. Better yet, CNS hits eliminate the "when to start" decision altogetther, and that's Good Stuff! :)


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