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Blood went dry

Kowi Anukasha

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
131
Location
Indian Territory
As I posted earlier I was not there and didn't see the impact but I track a lot of deer for a lot of different types of hunters with wildly diverse experience levels as well as different methods of take. I absolutely don't know it all but have learned over the years. First is to listen to the hunter and his story combined that with the evidence left on the ground/arrow and my own personal failures and successes to determine the main point of the equation. That main point is are we tracking a dead deer or a live one? After following, listening and reviewing what you have posted and the hesitant nature of the dog tracker I'd lay money that she is still alive. I don't like to speculate what someone else is thinking but I feel the tracker thought that as well. I feel you hit the deer higher than you think and are in-fact over both lungs. I know you posted you saw bubbles in the blood but from experience that is not always an indication of a lung hit. A few things stand out in my mind to support this.
1. Your initial reaction that the shot was a little higher than you would like.
2. Your arrow not dispersing into the animal on impact tells me you hit dense muscle/bone. That area just above the spine is a known arrow stopper.
3. Having good blood at first then drying up is classic of a high hit that is over the thoracic cavity, spinal cord, and aortic artery. And rather in the thick muscle and above the center line of the vertebrae, this area has with lots of small capillaries that bleed profusely at first but will clot rather quickly.
4. If the deer did in-fact bead up but left no visible blood in the bed tells me she was licking the wound and possibly the blood from the ground. This also indicates to me she was not mortally wounded but is a survival instinct to keep predators off her trail.
I feel you done all you could ethically and responsible to recover this deer and I know it's a kick in the nuts but trust me I could go on for hours about my own failures but it does no good for you or the next one you get a shot at. However something that will help is to get your bow get in a tree and shoot a target preferably a 3D target but a target at least. Focus on a tiny spot and I have no doubt you will pound it but regain your confidence in your self. I do this my self and in teaching others and it helps tremendously. This and and as many have stated pick that focus spot slightly below the center line of the body cavity in the future. Get that big "C" back and my guess is that we will see an entirely different kind of post soon.
 

BTaylor

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
281
Location
Central Arkansas
Some things for future encounters I didnt see mentioned. Make a mental note of the exact spot you could last see the deer as it left. Take a compass bearing on the last location you could hear the deer running. When you get down, mark the spot of the hit and the last spot you could see the deer leaving. If you cant find blood or lose blood, those points and blood spots marked with TP or flagging will give you a direction of travel. Lots of times deer will stay on that course.

Prime example, I shot a doe a couple weeks ago with my longbow and hit her back. I wasnt sure if it was liver/back of lungs or just behind that at the shot. There was only one drop of blood next to the arrow when I got down. I looked for maybe 10 yards finding nothing and backed out. Next morning I lined up shot location and last place I could see the deer and took a compass bearing. 25 yards out I walked straight in to the blood trail where it started. It only lasted 30 yards. The end of the blood, the last seen location and shot location were all on the line. I took bearing on that line and picked a giant oak up on a hill side as target. The doe was 20 yards past that tree and had bedded facing her back trail 170 yards from where I shot her. The only blood was the 30 yard stretch early in the trail. If I had tried to trail that deer in the dark I would have for sure bumped her and lost her due to no blood to follow. My deer was a text book recovery of a poorly hit deer that pretty much left no trail to follow. The reason it was a text book recovery was because I have learned some hard lessons in nearly 40 years of bowhunting and have learned from lots of other peoples bad encounters. Thankfully I can count the number of fatally hit deer I did not recover on one hand but they all suck bad. Keep your head up, learn from every trip in the woods and get back in a tree.
 

bj139

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
1,965
Location
SE PA
In regards to the deer I shot a few weeks ago, there was 5 yard stretch of no blood. I always look in the direction of travel in an arc while marking the spot I last saw blood with my hat, etc. I found blood after that. Under such conditions, abrupt changes in direction of travel are unlikely.
 
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