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Sometimes things just don't go as planned

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gamestalker, Jan 12, 2016.

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  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    My Son's are all very accomplished hunters, with both archery and firearm.

    Last January one of my boys killed his 2014 mule deer right at day break, and on Jan. 1st, short season too say the least. So this year we went out on the first day he had available, which I think was Jan. 2nd, and immediately stuck a nice mule deer at around 60 yards, actually very nice buck. I was guiding him and saw the entire event, and he stuck it cleanly, in what appeared to be right through the lungs. The shaft went through and through, and had some good sign on it confirming it had in fact lunged him.

    So last spring he decided to up grade and had PSE custom build on for his extremely long draw length. It shoots an honest to goodness 300+ fps with the shafts and broad heads he is using.

    We left him alone for a good hour or so before starting to track him, and I watched the buck for as long as I could before he was out of view. When we finally started the search, we immediately found a decent amount of pink foamy blood where he had laid down, but it wasn't long before we completely lost all sign, and tracking his foot sign was impossible once he hit the rocky terrain. We spent almost 3 hours trying to glass him back up on the back side of the slope were I last saw him, but not a single sign of him or the 7 ladies he was pushing? We looked the area over real good the next morning, and also looked for crows to see if they could lead us to him, but nothing. Then later that day we picked up some doe's being pushed by a really nice buck, and to our surprise it was him, and aside from the obvious blood stains, he was doing just fine, but not able to be stalked where he was hanging out.

    So we went out last Thursday and he stuck a couse white tail at 40 yards, right through the lungs again, in and out. Did the same routine, waited about an hour then started the search, nothing, and the area was extremely thick so trying to glass him up wasn't even an option. Then we found where he had laid down, and there was some pretty good blood, pink and foamy, so we knew he got some lung. Then the hunting gods turned on us and dumped heavy rain, then heavy sleet on us, so we were unable to locate any more sign what so ever.

    We moved on, but by now it was getting into the late afternoon. We found yet another big buck, mule deer. This time we decided to try and go for a hind quarter arterial shot, something that would let him bleed out quickly. He took the shot at 111 yards, and although that is extreme, my boy is indeed well prepared for long shots, as well very accomplished. Again I was spotting the shot, and we had lots of open terrain, so I knew I would be able to keep him in view for a good long while. I saw a good flow of blood down the leg, and thought he would likely pile up pretty quickly, but he just kept working his doe's as if nothing had happened. I ended up putting him to bed, and thought this is all it's going to take, he'll lay there and just die. No dice, he got up after about 45 minutes and went right back to working the doe's. We checked his bed, and it had barely any blood.

    Next day we found him in the same area, and he wasn't even so much as limping.

    All these years of archery, and this is by far the worst luck we've ever experienced. I mean we lose one now and then, it's archery, it happens, but this is season has been one of the most frustrating seasons ever. Even in past years, we almost always find them by the end of the day, or first thing the next morning by using the crows and good tracking techniques.

    GS
     
  2. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    I preface my remarks by saying that I am not a hunter, bow or otherwise. Not against responsible hunting at all, just not my thing.

    I may be totally out of line here but what you describe sounds like you are being irresponsible. Not intentionally, for sure, but it just seems to me that hunting is not about wounding a bunch of animals. Perhaps your son is not as accomplished as you think? I suggest you rethink the equipment he is using and not allow/encourage him to take shots that are too long for him.

    A 100+ yard archery shot is a LONG shot. If you are going to take such a shot you had better darn well harvest the animal.
     
  3. Stony

    Stony Member

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    Sorry, but this is a good illustration of the reason I don't bow hunt. I just can't get myself to poke a hole in some animal and hope it bleeds enough to put it down where I can find it. You know all these deer died....and for naught.
    I shot 5 deer this year....four dropped on the spot and one made it almost 30 yds. before dropping.
     
  4. JackSprat

    JackSprat Member

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    I shot this scrub buck that had been shot with a arrow .I think it would have survived,but one of the blades was sticking out just far enough keep the skin from growing over the hole. I guess that when he walked it was always walloring the hole ,and I figure that It probably was always gonna cause him pain.I didn't realize till I skinned it that the arrow had hit him from the front just barely hitting him in that flap between the shoulder,and his chest.and lodging in the back leg. IMG_0077_zpsjwufpstp.jpg IMG_0079_zpsx264kima.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I've bowhunted for over half a century. Seems some years nuttin' goes right. Used to be a 60 yard shot was irresponsible. Nowadays with the equipment available, it's a viable shot if the shooter does their job. I will not say the same for taking a 110 yard shot at a deer's hindquarters, while trying to hit the femoral artery. Just too much margin for error and a wounded deer. Exactly what happened. I doubt very much if the first two deer were double lunged, deer shot like that go down within 100 yards. Physically impossible for them not too. Even a single lung shot should make for an easy recovery. The fact that two of the bucks were chasing does again within a matter of hours is proof that the hits were poor and not mortal type hits. From my experience it sounds like your son may have hit a tad too far back and high on the first two, thus good early blood until the deer bedded down and the non-mortal wound closed up.

    For those that don't bow hunt, archery equipment is every bit a lethal and humane as a firearm. Deer wounded with a bow have a much better chance of recovery than deer wounded with a gun. GS's post is proof of this. IMHO, most bow-hunters strive for good hits, more so than many gun hunters. Bow-hunting also takes more skill than firearm hunting. It also takes being more selective of your shots to be successful.

    Sounds like to me GS, that your son may not be as familiar or as comfortable with his new bow as he has been in the past. I've found that over the years until a bow feels like an old friend, under the stress of an animal in front of you, it's easy to fall back on old habits and shoot it like a previous stick. He also may be thinking that the fast speed produced by the new set up allows him longer shots. While the bow may allow it, your son still has to make the shot. The fault is not of the equipment, or Lady Luck. Three wounded deer in a matter of days is not just bad luck. it's three poor hits. The choice of shooting at a deer's hindquarters @ 110 yards instead of the boiler room was just a poor choice.....period. If you're half the hunter I think you are GS, you already know this. Sometimes as hunters tho, we sometimes get desperate and frustrated and do desperate things. Been there done that myself. Generally just makes for more frustration.

    Odds are, the two seen chasing does a matter of hours later were not hurt enough to kill them, much less slow them down. The second deer lost to rain probably is a 50/50 chance of surviving, as again. I doubt very much of it was a lung hit if the deer bedded down and got back up and ran again. That just don't happen.

    Hunting is a continuous learning experience. As I have gotten older, because I don't practice as much as I used to, I have passed on shots with my bow that years ago would have been gimmes. With a bow, much more so that with a firearm, a hunter must realize their limitations and not lose their respect for their quarry.
     
  6. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Are you by chance using mechanical broad heads? I won't comment on taking a 111 yard Texas heart shot with a bow...
     
  7. axxxel

    axxxel Member

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    I do not hunt unless I know for sure that a decent tracking dog can be called upon within a couple of hours. I don't even own a dog myself.

    (even a rather crappy hunting dog can help out a lot when following the trail of a wounded animal)
     
  8. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    "I do not hunt unless I know for sure that a decent tracking dog can be called upon within a couple of hours. I don't even own a dog myself.

    (even a rather crappy hunting dog can help out a lot when following the trail of a wounded animal)"



    I have recovered 6 dead deer that quit bleeding or never started by my Boykin Spaniel trailing them. All were shot with a centerfire or a muzzleloader. The shots were lethal but slightly high so they went a while (70-120 yards) before bleeding good or dropping dead.
    The dog found them very quickly after being put on the trail and told to "hunt dead".
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Axxxel, dogs are illegal to use in Arizona for big game. Believe me, if it were legal, I wouldn't hesitate to use one during archery season.

    First of all, let me say I have zero input on what shots my sons take, they are big boys, and in this particular instance this son is 31 yrs. old, so he is his own man.

    As far as skill level, he's very good within the hunting sports, so I feel he just had a couple of bad shots that didn't get enough lung. Probably a bit high or slightly too far back.

    The shot on the big mule deer at over 100 was something he contemplated and almost walked away from. But it's hard, and anyone who hunts trophy game knows how difficult it is to walk away when looking at a big boy, and especially when you've made a number of shots like that before that went well. I think our confidence level begins to exceed the capability of the equipment, archery is not as predictable as a firearm. It takes very little to to disrupt the flight path of a shaft, even a light breeze or gust will impact the intended POI. And the reason he opted for the arterial hind quarter shot, is because at that extreme range he was worried about the trajectory of the shaft coming at such a downward angle, that it would be far more difficult to predict it's vital path, thus fearing it would deflect off a rib or the shoulder blade. This approach hind leg shot, has been effective in previous years when a lung shot wasn't doable, just not this time. We've put elk down with that option in previous years also.

    A couple years ago we killed a monster couse that had part of a shaft and the broad head inside the head. It had been there for a long time, over a year at least, as it had caused his main to split during regrowth on that side the following year / years. The shaft entered just behind and below the ear, stopped inside the eye. He was blind in that eye obviously, but it sure did create an interesting rack growth.

    And no, we don't use mechanical broad heads any more. Those have never worked well for us. We tested them on small game, rabbits and yotes, and they weren't always deploying as designed.

    We are responsible hunters, and as such, we rarely lose one, and never 3 in two days. I've known archery hunters that quit this sport, simply because of the unpredictable results, even when everything seemed to go accordingly.

    GS
     
  10. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    How common is this hind leg shot? Anybody else do this??

    Aiming for an artery in the hind leg with an arrow seems... like a good way to wound animals?
     
  11. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    110 yard shot with a bow at the femoral artery of a deer?
    Right after wounding 2 others?
    "Very accomplished hunters"
    "Worst luck"
    "We are responsible hunters"
    "I have zero input on what shots my son makes"
    Hmmm...
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  12. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Other than hunting with a spear, I don't think there is any other weapon used for hunting that has a higher rate of risk involved, regarding losing an animal. We try to be as effective as possible, but it's still archery, and thus has the highest rate of lost game of any other method of taking.

    GS
     
  13. ZWCoffindaffer

    ZWCoffindaffer Member

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    All I gathered from any of things in the original post is a 111 yd shot with a bow... At the deers hind.
     
  14. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    And of course when using archery gear to hunt with it is your moral obligation to reduce those risks by only taking ethical high percentage shots. A hind quarter shot at 111 yards is not in any way shape or form to be considered an ethical archery shot. That fact is not negotiable.
     
  15. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

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    Was the hind quarter shot at 110 yards really intentional or just another bad hit? I wouldn't even admit to trying a 110 yard archery shot at a deers hind quarter. I don't know anyone that does that even with a rifle.

    I did see a deer shot in the hind quarter with a 7mm mag but it was a deflected bullet and not on purpose (technically a miss) although the deer didn't go far.
     
  16. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    As long as there is daylight left I'm looking for the animal I know I wounded instead of hunting another one. You owe it to the animal.
     
  17. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Never in the 50+ years of bowhunting deer, have I ever chosen to take a hindquarter shot over a boiler room shot. There is no rational reason to.


    Sorry GS, but that is just plain BS. If the range was too extreme for a boiler room shot, it was too far for a femoral artery shot....much smaller kill zone, much higher chance for a wounded animal. Your son was shooting at an animal out of range and using the wish and a prayer tactic. The telling of it being a regular and normal shot taken by your family over the years may be the major reason your son had three wounded animals over a matter of days. Ethics generally comes from years and mentors. If it is an acceptable practice within your hunting party, regardless of the ethics, it becomes the norm and acceptable.

    I have used GWPs for bloodtrailing deer for 30 years. They are legal here to bloodtrail as long as they are on a leash and you don't have a firearm/bow in your possession. They do not find deer that are as poorly hit as the three in GS's OP, because you never catch up with them and you cannot take another shot as long as the dog is with you. They do tho, make for a great way to retrieve dead animals when you have lost bloodtrail.

    As for archery having a higher incidence of lost animals, that too is BS. I hunt upland game in many of the same areas I deer hunt. Very seldom if ever do I find dead deer during the archery season. After rifle season it is very common. As I said, most bowhunters are very diligent about taking high percentage shots and retrieving their game. Still like some gun hunters who shoot at every flash of brown, flinging arrows at the most animals you can and hoping for a lucky hit, is what some folks do instead. This is where the stories of deer running thru the woods looking like a pincushion generally come from.
     
  18. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Buck, it is illegal to use dogs at all for deer and most other big game in Arizona, leashed or not.

    BS, you can't effectively calculate success ratio based on the number of bones you find during walks in the woods. According to Arizona Game & Fish, the official for archery deer in Arizona is under 5%, 4.4% five year average. This does not reflect our personal success ratio which is significantly higher. It's all spot and stalk out here, it's not legal to hunt food plots, bait stands, or any other type of canned hunt in Arizona. We don't have the privilege and comfort of sitting in a blind or stand, over bait, while waiting for a trained deer to come walking in.

    Rifle season is under 30%, I think the official number is 27%. Those averages don't reflect our success ratio however, we are 96% for all big game for at least the last 5 yrs.. Again, this is such a low ratio because we (Arizona) have to actually find the deer, they don't just come walking in for there daily nutritional and tasty meal.

    GS
     
  19. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    So you have to hunt your deer,a lot of us do. Yet we never found any shame in an empty tag at the end of the season, that's why it's called hunting.
     
  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Well, maybe some hunters are content to go home empty handed every year, but I we are not among that group. Shame on us for enjoying filling our tags every single year, and even though the odds are stacked against us. If it means losing one or two now and then, then that also defines the term "Hunting".

    GS
     
  21. theleo

    theleo Member

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    One or two now and then, or three in a few days. They're deer, who cares rite?

    The guys that could hit that shot consistently enough to take it aren't shooting hunting bows. Long brace heights, long heavy stabilizers (front and rear off of v-bars), and single pin scope. I highly doubt that is what your son has for a hunting bow. He aimed for a less than an ideal target at an extreme range for a bow. It is quite simply, a shot he never should have considered. Doesn't matter if you like filling your tags (he didn't punch it on that buck anyway) or if you want meat in the freezer (go to the grocery store if it's that big of a deal) bad shots shouldn't be intentionally taken and crossing your fingers that it results in a kill. If it's all about how big the horns are, your son should consider a high fence hunt. He should be able to stalk close enough to a high fence buck to not have to shoot so far.

    There is no way to justify him taking that shot.
     
  22. stiab

    stiab Member

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    That's disgusting, can't believe you actually think that, much less typed it.
     
  23. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I have killed a deer with a femoral artery shot but it was a very bad shot that I got lucky on. I certainly wasn't trying to hit it there.
    Oh, and it was from 35 yards. The Hoyt Top Cut broadheads I used were responsible for having a couple of bad shots slice enough vessels to have the deer die quickly in spite of my pulled shots.
     
  24. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    "How big the horns are", Well that speaks magnitudes as to how much some folks know about game that shed Antlers, right, write, or is it rite?

    We've always been hated because we don't go home empty handed each year, and because we didn't do it the right way. We get called cheaters too, because we use radios and tripod glass to guide the hunts. It all boils down to jealously from those who just can't seem to fill their tags, or even have an opportunity to launch an arrow during the 3 months of hunting season.

    I won't name names, as this is a public forum, but I was taught by one of the finest guides in Northern Arizona, who by the way, taught me that as long as it's legal, go for it. He taught us to spot each other's stalk, and shot, firearm or bow. And that if you know someone has the weapon and skills to attempt seemingly impossible shots, let them lob bullets or shafts while you call the shots over the radio, high / low / left / right until that animal is down, or has managed to out fox you. Attempt to close as much distance as is possible, but don't ever let a legal opportunity slip by.

    GS
     
  25. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    The lack of ethics described by the OP here is non refutable. Lets put this one to bed as one of the more non "high road" hunting threads we've ever had on THR.
     
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