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Bow hunters how do you deal with a bad shot

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by daniel craig, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Emotionally I mean.

    Shot a small buck today high in the back. Right in the area where it’s not high enough to be a spine shot but not low enough to be in the vitals. Arrow stayed in the deer. All have to go in is some hair and and a bit of hard pink tissue the size of a pinhead.

    Deer took off, not fast but I watched it until it disappeared in the woods. A few hours of looking turned up nothing, no blood along anywhere I saw it go.

    This deer will probably live for a while with an arrow in it and that makes me feel like a real piece of crap. How do you handle that feeling?
     
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  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Something you have to accept, before you take the shot. Hopefully what you take away from it as a responsible hunter, is why the shot went bad and how to avoid it in the future. Let me tell you, it don't get better. Even after half a century of hunting, I still get a sick feeling in my gut when I think of those deer I wounded and did not recover. I think of those deer not wounded by me that I have come across and had to put down to end their suffering, some where it was obvious the suffering had been for days. The feeling like crap is a good thing, it means you have ethics and care enough about your prey that you want quick clean kills with minimal suffering. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "Oh well, it's just a deer." is not a good thing. Glad to hear that's not you.
     
  3. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    You don't get over it. We owe respect to the animals that we hunt. I know it that it doesn't help to say it, but if you hunt enough you are going to botch a shot. The best remedy that I have found is a good dog.
     
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  4. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    I definitely spent the next few hours in the stand analyzing my shots, measuring distance and figuring where to aim.
     
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  5. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    I have a cat?
     
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  6. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Deer can live for years following a poor hit depending on where the hit was. I once saw a deer's skull at a taxidermist's with a rusted broadhead half-way into the brain area of the skull. The deer was killed over a year later by another bowhunter who made a better shot.

    You do the best you can. If it's not good enough, practice more and be more selective with your shots.
     
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  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Don't take it too hard, it either has happened...or will happen to most bowhunters. Including me. I was sick about it too.
    About a mile north of my house is a road-kill deer. Two bald eagles were on the carcass yesterday. I'm sure coyotes by night.
    The deer you shot may or may not survive the wound, but it won't be wasted if it doesn't. It just won't be in your freezer.

    I'm going to make a long story short here....
    Dseveral years ago, #1 son had been hunting this particular buck . He had him on trail cam and had his stand in the bucks home area. One evening he was a able to get a shot on him. The arrow struck slightly back of ideal.
    We couldn't find him.
    We looked the next day.
    We hired a tracking bloodhound.
    No luck.
    14days later, almost to the hour, son killed the buck from the same stand. He only went a few yards afterthe hit. The old arrow wound was scabbed over and about four inches back of the kill shot. The buck was perfectly healthy.
    20151115_175627.jpg
    Your permit is for tagging a deer, not for one shot at a deer.
    Get back in the saddle.
    Best wishes!
     
  8. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I dont believe the void stuff.
    If under the spine then stuff was hit.
    Maybe in some instances that can heal
    ( Article about a slight lung hit in africa- animal shot again days later ).

    You can execute a perfect shot and have a deer move while arrow in flight. It happens.
    Some folks play for the drop and the deer stands still and they miss or wound low.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  9. Stevel

    Stevel Member

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    Everyones done it at some point. It sucks. I spent a few hours looking.

    As has been said, if it dies it won't go to waste.
     
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  10. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I haven lost an animal with a bow yet. The only recent deer I shot with my bow took the arrow thru both shoulders and went down on the spot. Ive had to put a couple arrows in goats, and finish off a few that ran by with antenna.

    I have lost a few animals when rifle hunting, and quite a few birds have gone down unrecovered. It sucks, and you always question what you did and what you coulda done. At the end of the day you either decide to go back out or quit. I've known a few people who have chosen the latter, and thats an honorable decision as well.
    If you chose to go back out, don't carry the guilt, as it makes it even harder to make a clean shot next time, but analyze what happened and see if there's a procedural change to be made.
     
  11. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    I’ll be going back out to look for it or signs on my hunt on Wednesday. I have a feeling, even if it’s still alive it’s probably hanging out around here. They don’t travel TOO far from their normal range. At least not in this area.

    Thanks for the support y’all! I have solace in the fact that our state doesn’t allow barbed broad-heads (the back end can’t bel less than a certain angle to the shaft) in the idea that this may help an arrow work loose.
     
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  12. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I had a similar experience in September. The biggest buck I’ve ever seen in the flesh, hot damn he’s using MY pasture. I promptly screw it up and send an arrow into him about 3in too far forward. Hit a heavy bone and the arrow fell out 10yds away with the tip of the broadhead actually BENT! I trailed blood for hours until it dried up.
    I sure hope he survived. If he didn’t I hope some momma bear found him and set up her and the Cubs for a really good winter.
    For a few days after I had considered not filling my tag this year, but I slowly came around to the idea that this kinda thing happens.

    To silence the guilt I still have from the situation I’ve decided to take up a more active role in trying to help the local deer thrive. I have plans to do a lot of predator control this winter as well as put out mineral licks, plant some more fruit trees and seed some more high protein plants in my pastures.
    Don’t beat yourself up to bad. Just do all you can to learn from the mistake and correct for it.

    Now if I can get the neighbors son to stop shooting at deer way to far away with buckshot
     
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  13. Ks5shooter
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    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

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    Not a bad shot,just a well intended shot that went wrong. Don't beat yourself up on it. That's why its called hunting and not killing.
     
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  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Something like that happened to me last year. I have only been launching arrows for 3 seasons now. I hadn't lost s deer using a gun since I was a kid. A more experienced hunter told me that when you try to kill deer by launching sharpened sticks at them, that this is inevitable if you do it for any amount of time. All we can do is practice and try to make it go better in the future.
     
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  15. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Don’t sweat a bad hit or a bad miss. Practice and give a 100% effort is the best you can do.

    And remember, all wild animals die. Some wild animals people get to eat, but most are eaten by other animals. A bad shot doesn’t change that fact.

    I went thru a period of 5 years shooting 15 Minnesota whitetails with a bow, not a single miss. Year six I hunted with a gun and missed the first two deer I shot at, both less than 100y. It happens.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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  16. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I still feel bad for the accidental wounding (possible death) of a young red oak tree that I buried a broadhead in when the buck I was shooting at moved at the exact instant I released my arrow. It was about 3" diameter, and may have recovered, but the broadhead couldn't be extracted. Was actually grateful the buck moved enough to make for a clean miss instead of a bad hit.
    Learning from it is important. Even if you did everything right, things beyond your control can happen. Understanding why is just another part of the improvement process.
     
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  17. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Same. With a gun I haven’t lost a deer in a long time. I have to remember I’m still new at using a bow.
     
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  18. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    First off, I'll admit I've taken only one deer with a bow and that was a crossbow which probably barely counts. The deer lay down pretty promptly but didn't die promptly. I waited 10 or 15 minutes and there was still movement. When I approached to give it another arrow it took off. It lay down at the margin of a corn field. I sat on it and finished it off with a knife.

    So, did I take it with a bow or with a knife? LOL.
     
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  19. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Sucks no two ways about it.

    That said in the last decade and a half I have been using archery tackle I have missed, hit bad, and dropped quite a few deer and plenty of hogs. I have also witnessed two deer hit solid by arrows that were killed later qith only a bit of scar tissue to show they were initially hit.

    I'm not saying that it happens every time but deer are tenacious and have an uncanny will to carry on. They can find a place to crawl up into and bed down until they have to move. We walked within feet of one just such buck and he wasn't moving anything but his eye.

    Your conscious is a good thing and is guiding you in the right direction. Sometimes stuff happens that we simply cannot avoid even when using high power firearms.
     
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