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Hit her forward, lesson learned

Hardly_Hangin

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
388
Location
Jasper, Ga
The last time i killed a deer with my bow was around 2018. Not that i havent been bow hunting since then, im just poor at it and we have a very generous gun season. I have missed 2. Yesterday, i missed one - misjudged yardage. Today, i finally connected - and lost her. She was perfectly broad side at 35 yards, and i hit her too far forward. My arrow got 7-8" of penetration and she carried it off. I was hunting a very small parcel of land, and she ran strait towards my truck. I made a big loop around hoping to avoid bumping her, but she ended up around 20 yards from where i parked and i spooked her.

I waited an hour, then went back and found first blood. It was very sparse, but i tracked all the way to where she was bedded and it was everywhere. None after that - blood had started to clot. I think it was artery blood.

Lesson 1- stay put. If i hadnt have jumped her she might have died right there at my truck.

Lesson 2 (this one keeps biting me) bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. I was full draw on a yearling at 15 yards and heard another deer walking behind her. I hesitated and elected to see what the second deer was. The yearling caught my ground scent and boogied, leaving me a lesser odds shot on the doe i ended up shooting.

Such is bowhunting i guess.
 

Plebe

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
2,125
The last time i killed a deer with my bow was around 2018. Not that i havent been bow hunting since then, im just poor at it and we have a very generous gun season. I have missed 2. Yesterday, i missed one - misjudged yardage. Today, i finally connected - and lost her. She was perfectly broad side at 35 yards, and i hit her too far forward. My arrow got 7-8" of penetration and she carried it off. I was hunting a very small parcel of land, and she ran strait towards my truck. I made a big loop around hoping to avoid bumping her, but she ended up around 20 yards from where i parked and i spooked her.

I waited an hour, then went back and found first blood. It was very sparse, but i tracked all the way to where she was bedded and it was everywhere. None after that - blood had started to clot. I think it was artery blood.

Lesson 1- stay put. If i hadnt have jumped her she might have died right there at my truck.

Lesson 2 (this one keeps biting me) bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. I was full draw on a yearling at 15 yards and heard another deer walking behind her. I hesitated and elected to see what the second deer was. The yearling caught my ground scent and boogied, leaving me a lesser odds shot on the doe i ended up shooting.

Such is bowhunting i guess.
My takeaway....wait, and...wait.

Sorry it didn't work out.

Thanks for sharing though. The more we can learn from disappointments, the more we can share successes.
 

Jimdude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
275
Location
New Jersey
I’ve been told by many to wait a minimum of 30 minutes before even getting out of the tree, and that’s if you think it was a good shot. Longer if your not sure. I’m glad you took something away from the experience and sharing it may help someone down the road. Keep at it and stay positive!
 

DRR324

New Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
22
Too far forward doesn't work for venison in the freezer some times.... hunting an oak flat in late season, this doe was coming up on the flat while a doe and fawn were already feeding. The doe on the flat got nervous, which made this one also get twitchy- which in turn, made me rush through my shot. Literally just didn't get the pin settled and I hit her right where you see the hole on her left side. She ran off with a few others after a complete pass through. I gave her an hour and half, tracked her for 400 yards, "decent" blood to start, but petered out after 80 yards, down to drops every 20 yards- she was walking after the 80 yard mark (following tracks in snow). These pics were 4 days later.... Shooting a 150 Razorcap (think stainless Wensel Woodsman design) which was stropped sharpened and not why it didn't kill her. Through the meat just abover the spine.
 

Bowmanmike

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
1,051
Too far forward doesn't work for venison in the freezer some times.... hunting an oak flat in late season, this doe was coming up on the flat while a doe and fawn were already feeding. The doe on the flat got nervous, which made this one also get twitchy- which in turn, made me rush through my shot. Literally just didn't get the pin settled and I hit her right where you see the hole on her left side. She ran off with a few others after a complete pass through. I gave her an hour and half, tracked her for 400 yards, "decent" blood to start, but petered out after 80 yards, down to drops every 20 yards- she was walking after the 80 yard mark (following tracks in snow). These pics were 4 days later.... Shooting a 150 Razorcap (think stainless Wensel Woodsman design) which was stropped sharpened and not why it didn't kill her. Through the meat just abover the spine.
Both the ops and your doe probably dropped too because they were alert. That is a big one for me to remember still,aim for the heart on an alert deer. In the heat of the moment it can be hard to keep track of everything. Learn from your mistakes and successes and you will get better each year.
I lost a doe once because I tracked too early and bumped her. The next time I had a less than perfect hit I backed out and returned to find the doe 100 yds from the hit site.
 

Hall17

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
1,033
Location
Pennsylvania
First off thank you for sharing. By posts like this I am hopeful someone can take something away from it. Shooting an animal with a bow is a percentage game and sometimes we lose on those odds. However, it happens and most likely will happen again. Take something away from the experience and keep learning. That is all we can do as bow hunters
 

WISCO

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
60
Location
Northern Wisconsin
Had a similar situation this year with my target buck. I was hunting from the ground, buck came in from my left and I clocked him at 30 yards. The buck was on a very slight slope heading down hill from me. This buck was not aware of my location and didn't appear to be alert. I set my sight on him took my time with my shot and let the arrow fly. The shot felt good and I watched my lighted knock disappear into the buck. Buck reacted like he was hit hard and took off like a batt out of hell. I gave it 30 min before I went to look for blood. . When I got to the hit sight I found tons of brown hair , no blood and no arrow. With the hair and no blood I immediately got the sinking feeling in my stomach. I ended up finding my arrow about 15 yards away smeared in white fat from broadhead to the vanes and only a smear of blood on one vane about the size of a pen head, there was no trace / smell of guts on the arrow.
The area had been pounded down with deer tracks in the snow which made it hard to pick up his track. I was finally able to get on his track and tracked him for about 100 yards just off of him loosing hair and it settling on top of the snow. Once the hair stopped falling it was impossible to determine his track from all the others. unfortunately I was not able to recover the buck and feel it was non lethal hit, due to the evidence on the arrow. The only thing I can think of is he dropped on the release and my arrow hit just below his spine through the back strap. Its amazing the speed / time in which these animals can react in. I did come away with some knowledge that you can never predict what a deer will do on the release of an arrow and a shorter shot will increase my odds of my arrow hitting where I want it. This was the first time I took a 30 yard shot on deer and will probably be my last. Even with shooting a fast bow this buck was able to drop roughly 8-10 inches in a second. Its sucks losing / wounding an animal and isn't something I want to happen again. I will be headed back out to this spot soon to put some trail cams out in hopes of getting him on camera to confirm he made it.
 

NMSbowhunter

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2022
Messages
818
I really stinks to lose a deer. If you haven't lost one, though, you just haven't been at it long enough. This is true with a gun or bow. It happens, we hate it, but try to learn from it and move on.

I have taken a fair number of deer with my bow, around 50, and now bowhunt exclusively. I have learned a few things, usually the hard way, over the years. I try for close, high percentage shots at undisturbed deer. I shoot a heavy arrow, use a cut on contact broadhead and like shots inside 20, 15 is better. I have gotten to the point where I would much rather pass one that is outside my comfort zone than look for a wounded deer.

Don't beat yourself up too much. Hopefully she survived and will have a wild story to tell her friends.
 

kyler1945

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
4,849
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
Had a similar situation this year with my target buck. I was hunting from the ground, buck came in from my left and I clocked him at 30 yards. The buck was on a very slight slope heading down hill from me. This buck was not aware of my location and didn't appear to be alert. I set my sight on him took my time with my shot and let the arrow fly. The shot felt good and I watched my lighted knock disappear into the buck. Buck reacted like he was hit hard and took off like a batt out of hell. I gave it 30 min before I went to look for blood. . When I got to the hit sight I found tons of brown hair , no blood and no arrow. With the hair and no blood I immediately got the sinking feeling in my stomach. I ended up finding my arrow about 15 yards away smeared in white fat from broadhead to the vanes and only a smear of blood on one vane about the size of a pen head, there was no trace / smell of guts on the arrow.
The area had been pounded down with deer tracks in the snow which made it hard to pick up his track. I was finally able to get on his track and tracked him for about 100 yards just off of him loosing hair and it settling on top of the snow. Once the hair stopped falling it was impossible to determine his track from all the others. unfortunately I was not able to recover the buck and feel it was non lethal hit, due to the evidence on the arrow. The only thing I can think of is he dropped on the release and my arrow hit just below his spine through the back strap. Its amazing the speed / time in which these animals can react in. I did come away with some knowledge that you can never predict what a deer will do on the release of an arrow and a shorter shot will increase my odds of my arrow hitting where I want it. This was the first time I took a 30 yard shot on deer and will probably be my last. Even with shooting a fast bow this buck was able to drop roughly 8-10 inches in a second. Its sucks losing / wounding an animal and isn't something I want to happen again. I will be headed back out to this spot soon to put some trail cams out in hopes of getting him on camera to confirm he made it.
stinks you lost your deer brother!

also, there is no “below the spine through the backstrap”. If ya hit him in the back straps, you either hit high enough so as to avoid the spine, or you break his back.

Another thing to note is their spine dips a fair amount coming out of the neck. This is the area commonly misrepresented as no man’s land(below spine and above the lungs).

if you hit a deer in the spine, you’ll probably break it. If you hit it below the spine, in front of the diaphragm, you’ve entered the deer’s rib cage and you’re damaging the vitals. If you hit it above the spine, there’s a good chance the deer will be just fine.
 

kyler1945

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
4,849
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
The last time i killed a deer with my bow was around 2018. Not that i havent been bow hunting since then, im just poor at it and we have a very generous gun season. I have missed 2. Yesterday, i missed one - misjudged yardage. Today, i finally connected - and lost her. She was perfectly broad side at 35 yards, and i hit her too far forward. My arrow got 7-8" of penetration and she carried it off. I was hunting a very small parcel of land, and she ran strait towards my truck. I made a big loop around hoping to avoid bumping her, but she ended up around 20 yards from where i parked and i spooked her.

I waited an hour, then went back and found first blood. It was very sparse, but i tracked all the way to where she was bedded and it was everywhere. None after that - blood had started to clot. I think it was artery blood.

Lesson 1- stay put. If i hadnt have jumped her she might have died right there at my truck.

Lesson 2 (this one keeps biting me) bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. I was full draw on a yearling at 15 yards and heard another deer walking behind her. I hesitated and elected to see what the second deer was. The yearling caught my ground scent and boogied, leaving me a lesser odds shot on the doe i ended up shooting.

Such is bowhunting i guess.

One of the hardest parts of bowhunting and passing on deer. Having the first deer come through without potentially giving away your location to others is a real challenge when they're so close.

One way to combat this is have your "first deer dies" spots, and have your "I'll wait for some specific type of deer" spots. Mixing the two is a real challenge. Especially on small tracts, and even more so on public land.
 
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