Hasn’t happened in years

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by courtgreene, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    A1C35FF4-6F65-4228-ABA7-0EA660834137.jpeg It’s probably been eight years since this has happened, but tonight I lost one after trailing blood for 98 yards (measured on HuntStand app from first blood to last blood). The shot looked good in my scope, light was great, and it was an easy trail until it wasn’t.
    I trained my dogs to blood trail, and one of them did very well, finding tiny blood drops past where I stopped seeing anything. I trailed for two hours. The only thing I can think of that could’ve happened is that I pulled the shot and grazed him.
    I’ll look again after I hunt a different spot in the morning so that I can search in the light of day. It’s cold so if I find it it’ll be fine. I’m mostly posting because I spend so much time here talking about successful hunts that when I fail I think it’s important to own it so that new hunters know that we all screw up now and then. Still sucks though.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Looks pretty dark maybe a liver shot,
     
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  3. gspn

    gspn Member

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    That sucks, but with good light, I have high hopes you'll find that deer in the morning. Be methodical, go where the evidence points. Good luck.
     
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  4. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    It's rough losing a deer. I've lost 2 that seemed well hit over some 38 years of deer hunting. One was when I was quite young with a bow. Shooting a relatively weak draw weight and a poor choice in broadhead. Arrow failed to penetrate after striking a bit high and at a very steep angle. Stuck in the "wings" off the spine above vitals and only went in 5". Trailed that one an estimated 1.5 miles until arrow fell out in a corn field and blood stopped shortly thereafter. Nearly ran that one to ground, as he was found dead by a pheasant hunter the same evening some 200 yards from where I had lost the trail.

    Second was with a rifle. Sufficient cartridge and bullet with a .280 Rem and 154 Hornady SST. Bullet hit front shoulder obliquely at a quartering angle towards me at aprox 90 yards. Deer dropped on the shot and rolled down a steep hill. As I approached, it got up and ran off into heavy cover. Followed that one some 300 yards until it doubled back in heavy cover and entered a waterlogged tag alder bog where walking was difficult and trailing impossible. Only thing I can figure it that the bullet deflected or failed to penetrate to vitals, as shot vector should have carried slug right through both lungs. I've also had a couple of misses that are absolute mysteries. Strange things happen in the woods with a potentially moving target and lots of things present that can deflect a bullet. I've had 2 different deer move just as the trigger broke, resulting in poor hits and long but successful blood trails. I've also had a bullet failure on a clean double lung shot resulting in the same. Actually recovered the bullet from a stump behind the deer, and it was not expanded at all, despite being a RNSP at more than sufficient velocity and striking an aspen stump square on.
     
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  5. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    When a blood trail is no longer existent....(and you think you've made a telling shot) then simply begin the search by looking in the direction of 'last blood'. IF the deer (or other sign) is not found within a couple of hundred yards then consider the deer might have gone off another direction or even doubled back. At that juncture I will make ever widening circles out to about 250 yds. (terrain permitting).

    But don't let the lack of blood alone be the determining factor of when to give up the hunt or as evidence of a good hit or not.

    You are not looking at arterial blood there....but that doesn't mean it was not a fatal wound. Good luck....keep looking.

    That particular area of blood looks like the deer was standing (had stopped briefly).
     
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  6. Mr. Hill

    Mr. Hill Member

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    Sorry to hear that; heck, maybe it stepped forward at the exact moment you pulled the trigger.
     
  7. stillquietvoice
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    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    Almost lost my spike buck Sunday, st the shot it dropped like a rock, rear legs were moving, thought I saw him move off toy left, followed his trail, but that was where he came in from. Went back headed back in the direction that he was going and found him. Somehow his rear legs dug in and he fell into a hole made by a fallen tree,
     
  8. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    It happens and sucks.

    I lost a doe about 10 years ago that I hit with my ML in January. Looked like a solid hit, lots of initial blood, than nothing.
     
  9. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    Update. I took my dog (arty) in the daylight. She was a rock star as usual. She got on the trail right away, and followed it past last blood. As we went she kept finding blood we had not seen at night but in smaller and smaller amounts until nothing. She kept on the trail for two hundred more yards until we slowly wrapped to the left and reached a stream. On the bank after no blood for a long time we found a fairly large but thin spot with more blood, a few drops on the other side, then nothing.
    This all leads me to believe we could keep searching for a year and will never find a deer. Instead we will find that I pulled the shot and nicked the deer. Enough to bleed but not to die.
     
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  10. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    Another reason (other than Arty, whom I trust completely in matters of blood trailing) that I’m almost 100% sure I missed is that this morning before she and I went looking again I shot this guy. In a different location, I shot him with the same gun at roughly the same yardage with the same load and aiming at the same point on the deer’s body as the miss last night, and he dropped on the spot. So that rules out gun, load, distance and only leaves flinching. 72DB4D75-F3CF-413C-A653-2D26E4EA01C6.jpeg
     
  11. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Years ago I spent a good 4 hours helping a buddy find a big doe that he swore he hit well. No major blood trail; just a few very small drops and they were few and far between. We kept going in the ever widening circles and several times were ready to give up when a couple more drops were found. Finally started finding more blood after a couple hundred yards and numerous changes of direction. He was about 50 yards from me when he found the deer. When he started gutting we discovered that it had massive internal bleeding and very little of that blood was leaking out. Forgot where the shot struck but it didn't exit and obviously didn't do enough damage to stop the deer sooner. It happens. We were both glad we had the persistence to stick it out and keep searching. I feel that too many hunters quit their search too soon even when they know they hit their target.
     
  12. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I shot a doe Tuesday just over a hundred yards with my 243 H&R HANDI-RIFLE, standing still shot.
    Looked like I missed it, no humping up just bolted. Snow covered terrain. There was four does, they all took off to the right then swung back around to the left but there was only three that went to the left.
    The place was heavily tracked up. I didn't see any noticable blood. Took my time and found it dead as can be about sixty yards away from where I shot her.
    I to have lost a couple of deerin the last fifty years of hunting, if any does any amount of deer hunting you will loose a deer.

    Two deer that were hard to find were lung shot, no snow very little blood. I shot one and molest son shot the other one. Different places.

    Both shot with rifles, they both humped up and ran like hell.
    It took a while but we found them.
    While looking for my doe I could of shot another large doe when we were walking over to where I shot the lung shot deer..
    It pays to be persistent after you make a shot at a deer.

    When we were hunting northern Pennsylvania twenty plus years ago an old guy would sit on his porch and shoot deer in the hay field across the street from his house. If they didn't fall in the field he never went to look for it.
    Every year guys were finding dead deer in the woods around that hay field.
    My brother owned twenty acres behind his house and we had three 400 plus acre farms surrounding this dumb acres property.
    He shot a nice eight point backwards across the hay fieldand hit it right where the bottom jaw is attached to the skull.
    The bottom jaw was flipping in the breeze. It made it across the road and was going by the tree stand my oldest brother was in and he shot it and killed it.
    About thirty-five years ago a guy shot a deer up around Ithaca New York back when it was shotgun only. The deer was coming straight on to him and he was going to take the white throat patch shot.
    It does drop them right now if you hit them there.
    Well any way he hit it square right in the nose and the slug stopped short of killing that buck.
    It went right down, on the way over to the deer it got up and took off.
    Almost a week later another guy shot it and killed it.

    When my oldest brother was stationed up.in Alaska one of his friends shot a nice bull moose.
    He put his rifle in the antlers and his buddy was going to take his picture.
    The moose got up, took off and they never found the moose or the gun.

    Strange things do happen.
     
  13. Mr. Hill

    Mr. Hill Member

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    The moose story made me laugh. Lost the rifle and the moose!
     
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  14. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    About forty years ago we were deer hunting over on Grange Hall Road in Kirkwood New York.
    Early in the morning was in the single digits then by around 9:30 - 10:00 in was up close forty degrees. I stumbled upon a guy who was out like a light and snoring at a good clip. No snow on the ground.
    I grabbed his shotgun leaning against the big maple tree he was sat up leaning against and moved it about thirty-five feet away and leaned it up against another tree.
    I bet you that gave him a memory that he still has if he is still ll alive.
     
  15. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    The blood color and amount of blood in your photo does not appear to be a grazed shot. Rather I suspect some type of "gut" shot behind the lungs. Usually the loss of a blood trail indicates the wound has either been plugged by fat or something like the "innards" are blocking blood from escaping the body. You might be pushing the deer to run. Allow time for it to lay down and bleed out. My son just found his deer by tracking it for 500 yards. Same situation, except he has law enforcement training in tracking a blood trail. (Better than a blood hound.) lol
     
  16. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^ this

    It happens. I have lost one. At feels terrible, but hunt long enough and it will happen.
     
  17. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I've had quite a bit of good luck this season....and lots of bad luck....

    *note to self.....don't brag to your adult sons on sight-in day about only using two slugs per year.....on paper confirmation ..and one for a bucks heart... that's baaad juju
     
  18. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    I'll try to remember not to do that in ten years when my son becomes an adult
     
  19. flatsticks

    flatsticks Member

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    Sorry to hear about the issue not finding the deer op.
     
  20. Orion Jim
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    Orion Jim Contributing Member

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    About twenty years ago I returned to my Jeep at noon to warm up and have a sandwich to find an old guy sitting in the passenger seat. He had gotten lost and tired when he spotted my Jeep and hopped in to warm up and rest. He was from the adjoining state but had wandered over the state line because the two state forests were one enormous tract of land. Once he described where he had accessed the forest I was able to determine where his son had parked his truck. When I arrived with his dad he said he’d been searching for him for a couple hours and honked his horn occasionally to help guide him back.
     
  21. caribou

    caribou Member

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    Thats why its called Hunting, NOT 'harvesting'....it aint in no pen, its wild and trying to get away with everything its got.
    Your hunting it down and trying to kill it, and thats what sometimes happens.

    Ive never lost a Caribou, the tundra is too wide open to lose them, but Rabbits, Fox, Ptarmigan, a Martin and a few other kinds have left me with spots of blood on the snow and no animal.
    Ive had Caribou and Moose jump in lakes when shot......ughhhhhh and a Sheep that slid down into a creek in a gully.

    Part of hunting. Do your best, Keep on Hunting.
     
  22. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    It happens to everyone of us. I lost one several years ago while bow hunting. Rage Broadhead opened in flight and ran right down her back bone. Laid her open like she was filleted. Trailed her for over a mile. Never got a second shot. She showed up on a buddy’s camera weeks later and then again the next year. Always sucks to lose one.
     
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  23. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    98 yards?? I've trailed Elk for miles due to a poor shot placement. My fault, but my job to find it!:(
     
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