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healed wounds poll

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by wankerjake, Jan 18, 2009.

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Healed wounds?

  1. I have taken game with old healed hunting wounds

    94 vote(s)
    51.4%
  2. I have heard first hand accounts from a reliable source of healed wounds.

    52 vote(s)
    28.4%
  3. I have heard second hand accounts that may or may not be true

    15 vote(s)
    8.2%
  4. I have never taken or heard a reliable account of alleged healed wounds

    32 vote(s)
    17.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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

    Sunray Member

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    Any game animal that is shot and gets away is the result of operator failure with either a rifle or a bow. Either poor shooting from too far away or bad shot placement and/or poor tracking skills.
    The dead animals you've found are a result of this. Any of them have arrows in them? Bullet holes?
    Your buddy is confused though. No game animal can supernaturally heal from a heart/lung shot. Mind you, I have seen postings on assorted forums about hunters finding broad heads and bullets in game killed later. Bad hunting/tracking skills.
    Far too many hunters think they need a magnum rifle to hunt anything, especially elk, but never practice with it. Same thing applies with a bow. Insufficent upper body tone required to shoot a hunting bow well and little or no practice.
     
  3. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    i took a deer last year with an arrow head int he chest cavity

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

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

    wankerjake Member

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    Ahh see I'm not arguing against any of your points. I know elk can absolutely be hunted ethically with a bow. I have killed a deer with my bow, and have not wounded any that got away. I practiced every day for a long time before the season, and it payed off. However, it is a fact that a lot of elk are wounded and not recovered during archery season. I realize this happens during the rifle season as well. Absolutely the main cause of this is operator error. No arguement from me there. It is just my personal opinion that this happens more often during the archery season, at least here in AZ because archery seson is during the rut and rifle season by and large isn't. The significance of the rut is that you can get close to these animals easier and make crappy shots on them. Also they are big animals, and it takes a good shot to put them down in a timely manner. Also a close miss on say deer sized game may be a bad hit on an elk. A bad hit with a big magnum rifle can stilll create a heck of a hole, or break a big bone. It is also damned exciting to call in a bull elk within bow range, those who have done it know (myself included), and the adrenaline gets going pretty good, making the strongest of men shake a little, which is all it takes. Many people don't practice nearly enough with their bows. I could go on all day with other x-factors, but would rather just say that I myself am more comfortable hunting elk with a rifle (not a magnum) so that is what I will continue to do. I believe you have every right to hunt elk with your bow and encourage you to do so. I may try it myself someday. My buddy practices with his bow a lot by the way, he is very proficient with it. And, he has wounded more bulls than he has recovered. I am just trying to get an idea of how many animals do indeed survive hunting wounds, which of course they sometimes do. And of course they are not heart shots. Not trying to argue against archery at all, just relaying the nature of the conversation as background. I do think it is more difficult in general to get one with a bow, which is part of the fun. The buck I got with my bow was definetely the most exciting.
     
  5. John828

    John828 Member

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    I have never seen evidence of a healed wound, or at least a weapon inflicted healed wound.

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

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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

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

    wankerjake Member

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

    caribou Member

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

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

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

    mio Member

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    a friend of mine took a whitetail doe with an arrow running along the spine point tail to neck i personally saw the deer and it was healed up around the arrow.

    ive taken a couple with buckshot in the front shoulders.

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

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

    MutinousDoug Member

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

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Completely healed up and surrounded by scar tissue. Could have been from muzzle loader season just a couple of months earlier, but we thought it was probably from the year before.
     
  12. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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

    We also shoot hogs all the time which have all sorts of stuff wrong with them from gunshots. In fact I shot one Thanksgiving that I lost, then weekend before last shot two with my pistol and one of the two was the one I lost Thanksgiving. I had hit it in the top of the left ham as it was running away, and it came out basically through the left backstrap. The hog did a couple of end overs at the shot and I swung on another one. After getting the second one I looked back and the first was gone. The sad part was that we ended up leaving it due to possible infection or other less disireable things. It still showed no initial signs of having anything wrong with it at all until we examined it up close on the ground.
     
  13. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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

    preachnhunt Member

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

    wankerjake Member

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    Sweet Irony!

    I must say I am surprised at the response to this post. It would seem that a lot of the ones that get away do survive some pretty nasty wounds. I just figured the semi vital shots would down them in a few days, and infection would get the most of them. And I do think that a good many of them are hit bad enough to die later. BUT, looks like a good many of them keep on keepin' on.
    Don't get me wrong, I have seen them take a lot of punishment and I know they are tough. We shot a cow elk one year in the thigh with a .30-06, busted its hip and shattered one of its femurs. That cow went almost a mile before we caught up to her without ever slowing to a walk. Excellent blood trail the whole way. She finally laid down and couldn't get back up when we got there, but we couldn't believe how far she went with that injury.
    Now, here is the irony. Today My bro and I went out to our deer hunting spot to try and thin out some cototes. We didn't get any, but I did manage to shoot a quail out of the air with my .357 pistol!!! Shooting handloaded .38 specials with #8 "snake Shot." (Sorry , had to brag about that. It was also my first mearns quail) Anyway, on our last stand I called in two mule deer. One was a decent 2x3 buck. I didn't see them till I got up, but I could here them snorting over by my brother. Turns out they were headed to the call and walked right past him, the doe in the lead, then saw or smelled us and veered off. The significance of this part of the story is that my brother said the buck was limping on his right front leg. He said it was kind of swollen and looked like an old break that was healing. It has been archery season for about a month, but he said the wound looked old. He figures maybe it happened during the november rifle hunt. Other than the limp, he seemed to be healing up. I didn't get a good look at him, just identified him as a buck, but I didn't notice the limp, my bro told me afterwards. That is a wound I would figure would get infected and put one down after a week or two, but here we are. Anyway what are the odds huh? Guess I have to erase my answer and go with #2. Crazy
     
  16. Berrettaguy099

    Berrettaguy099 Member

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    I shot a Canada goose this season that seemed totally healthy. He flew into the decoys with no problems. When I cut up the meat I found .22 LR slug in the breast. Just my personal experience for ya.
     
  17. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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

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

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Dogs, cats, and horses heal up miraculously from nasty wounds. No reason to believe their wild cousins wouldn't do the same.

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

    interlock Member

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    i Shoot a lot of deer. I have shot deer with missing feet and healed Car accident injuries pretty often. i have shot a roe buch with a patern of bird shot in the side of it's neck. healed cleanly and in good condition
     
  20. ~z

    ~z Member

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

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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

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

    the muleskinner Member

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

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

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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

    Exactly, +1 to that.

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


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

    Caribou, your experience and stories and pics are just amazing - we're very privileged to have a hardcore hunter like yourself on here. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  24. the muleskinner

    the muleskinner Member

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

    It is amazing what these animals can live through in my experience though.
     
  25. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

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