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Not all heart shots are the same…

casts_by_fly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2022
Messages
226
Location
NJ
I went with a buddy Saturday to a place he had a bunch of does coming in. They were there and spooked off when we got there, so we settled in figuring they would be back soon. Two little ones came in quickly but the bigger does didn’t so we just held tight. Finally around 445 they all came in. The first big doe came in head on and didn’t give a shot. The second held back and was the last of the four to come in. After the other three were eating happily she eased in from the perfect spot for me. When she put her head down I drew, picked a spot in the crease and let loose. We watched the arrow disappear into her shoulder and she ran off about 50 yards and stopped. We thought for sure she would fall over there but somehow she didn’t. After five minutes or so she walked off. We watched the video back on his phone a couple times and couldn’t understand what was going on or why she didn’t fall over. We decided to give her a half hour and went to get warm in the truck.

When we were able to finally move a little (it was 18 degrees with 15mph winds) we grabbed some lights and went for a walk. The arrow was bloody but nothing special. There was light arterial spray at the hit site and for 10 yards but it stopped quickly. We were soon following tiny drops until we got to the place she stood. There were two good puddles there but where she walked off it was back to drops every 5’. If we didn’t have snow on the ground it would have been one heck of a track to follow. As it was we were following footprints more than blood. After a hundred yards we were getting worried. Fortunately, with the snow and a spotlight I found her laying another 25 yards down the trail.

I was careful pulling the heart and lungs out so we could see where she was hit. I couldn’t find a mark on the lungs at all. The heart was a full pass through but it was the bottom tip and not where the arteries come in. The chest cavity had a gallon of blood in it when we gutted her. She clearly bled out from the heart into the cavity but there was nothing pushing the blood out the exit hole even though both the exit and entry were low on the body. She also had pretty heavy fur which soaked up more. The picture below is from the video frame as the white fletchings were disappearing into her shoulder. You can see them right in the crease. An inch left and it center punches the heart. An inch up and it hits both lungs. I would take this placement 100% of the time on a broadside deer and yet… in this case it was surprisingly not the intermediate result I expected.

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How high up are you?

Shot distance?

Are you directly behind the camera(broadside) or left or right of camera?
 
Entry and exit pretty close to each other elevation wise and nothing to really pump the blood out like a lung or a good artery hit. I’m with you and the hit location, I’d take that every day. I killed a doe on a NWR with almost an identical shot placement wise, but more vertical offset as I was in a tree, and if I hadn’t seen her fall I might never have found her. No blood pressure external, but the cavity was full.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I made a horrible shot on a doe, behind the diaphragm and high, and the blood trail looked like Freddy Krueger had come to town. Arrow went right under the spine and severed the arteries. Gruesome.

I say all that to say, please watch the deer leave and listen to it as well. Drive me nuts watching YT videos and the deer hasn’t made 3 jumps and dude is facing the camera, fist pumping and telling me how he “smoked him!!!!”…..you never know until you find it so put the odds as far in your favor as you can by watching and listening.
 
How high up are you?

Shot distance?

Are you directly behind the camera(broadside) or left or right of camera?

yeah, ground blind hence no corresponding ‘live from the saddle post’. 12 yards. I’m left of the camera by about 2’ so not much. Entry and exit were level with each other and the same distance back from the front so it was broadside. We initially thought maybe it was quartering too since he was to the side. That’s what scared him to think single lung until we watched the video a couple times.


Entry and exit pretty close to each other elevation wise and nothing to really pump the blood out like a lung or a good artery hit. I’m with you and the hit location, I’d take that every day. I killed a doe on a NWR with almost an identical shot placement wise, but more vertical offset as I was in a tree, and if I hadn’t seen her fall I might never have found her. No blood pressure external, but the cavity was full.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I made a horrible shot on a doe, behind the diaphragm and high, and the blood trail looked like Freddy Krueger had come to town. Arrow went right under the spine and severed the arteries. Gruesome.

I say all that to say, please watch the deer leave and listen to it as well. Drive me nuts watching YT videos and the deer hasn’t made 3 jumps and dude is facing the camera, fist pumping and telling me how he “smoked him!!!!”…..you never know until you find it so put the odds as far in your favor as you can by watching and listening.

I’ll have to look at some heart physiology but I think the bottom of the heart doesn’t do much work. Blood isn’t meant to go down the heart so it was still pumping up while leaking out the bottom. The last couple heart shot deer I had were dead in 10 seconds but I hit the top main bit of the chambers.

I had a similar shot on a doe in December. I was holding for a couple minutes and when I shot I pulled it into her liver and spinal arteries. She went 20 yards and faceplanted. The arrow was a mess. I’d never take that shot intentionally but a liver shot through the artery is a dead deer before you’re out of the tree.
 
Yep. My BIL’s first bow kill was a broadside shot on a doe and he squared up the ham, lol. Definitely NOT recommended, but severing the femoral artery is a quick, messy death too.
I did that one once also. I was 15 or so shooting a golden eagle formula 3d at 70 lb with 2315 aluminum arrows and 145 gr bear cut to tip heads (basically a magnus stinger). Somewhere around 525 grains looking back at it. That bow had a thick grip and I was bad for torquing it. On this particular shot I torqued it 3’ at 20 yards which end up going straight through the pelvis and cut all of the arteries back there. The doe went 30 yards and piled up.
 
You’re spot on, no two shots are the same.

I center punched a Coues deer heart several years ago with a four blade fixed head (slick trick standard). The picture of the heart was really cool but if I didn’t see that buck go down ~75 yards from the impact, it would have been a tough blood trail. There was blood but not what you’d expect.

The upper part of the heart at the aorta intersection or just a bit higher through the lungs has always left a better blood trail than center or lower heart from my experience.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
I noticed the near leg was back and far leg was forward. I think if you had the same aiming point with the near leg forward you would have cut the top off the heart. Odd that you didn't nick a lung, I would have expected both of them to be puncuterd.
 
I noticed the near leg was back and far leg was forward. I think if you had the same aiming point with the near leg forward you would have cut the top off the heart. Odd that you didn't nick a lung, I would have expected both of them to be puncuterd.
She was perfectly broadside. When she first stopped she was near leg back. i waited for her to take another step which squared her up. I took pictures of the entrance and exit at the butcher and they are the same place on both sides of the deer. The back legs aren’t squared up but the front was. I also thought for sure the lung would have been hit. Maybe it was and I missed it trying to get it done, but I looked pretty good at each piece and didn’t see anything harmed or cut.
 
Amazing the doe had no reaction to the shot yet or even the noise of the bow. Arrow looks buried to the fletching. When I first saw the pic I thought it had to be a crossbow bolt. But your post said "drew back".

Quite the editing feature to be able to screen capture with as clear a frame as that. Very cool.
 
Amazing the doe had no reaction to the shot yet or even the noise of the bow. Arrow looks buried to the fletching. When I first saw the pic I thought it had to be a crossbow bolt. But your post said "drew back".

Quite the editing feature to be able to screen capture with as clear a frame as that. Very cool.
Yeah, it is very cool being able to watch your shot back. My buddy just had an android phone, maybe a pixel? I don't think it was samsung. Nothing special, just his regular phone. Then you can watch it frame by frame and take a snap from it. I just screenshot the ipad I was watching it on to post it here.

She hadn't reacted at that point but the very next frame she was starting to move and a total of 8 frames later her belly was practically on the ground. That video is 30 fps so in that 1/4s she dropped nearly her entire body height (so about 18" all in). Of course the arrow was long through her at that point. I wish the nock had stayed lit the entire time. It shut off as soon as the arrow made first contact with the deer. The battery is fine, but I think the switch is dirty from blood from a previous deer. This one might get relegated to practice duty.
 
If it were me and I saw the same arrow placement as your shot? Right away I would say "Dead deer!" Glad you found her. A few years ago I took a kid hunting and he put a shot on a doe just left of your shot. Complete pass thru, broken shoulder. We had a heck of a time finding that deer. Almost zero blood. Pin Drops. We stayed w/ it a finally found her. I saw the shot personally so I knew it was a dead deer. Sometimes they are just a bitch to find. Years ago when I was young and dumb I hit a tall spike a 2-3" lower than your shot. Just nicked the bottom of the heart. It was like he was literally were pouring the blood on the ground. Not spraying it but A small continuous line. We went several hundred yds. Easy tracking. I never thought a deer could lose that much blood and couldn't believe he hadn't piled up yet. That deer went 400-500 yds with a nick in the bottom of his heart. Only 1 blade of the Thunderhead cut it. We tracked him to the property line. Eventually that deer died out in the neighbor's field which is a whole different story. The point is sometimes they are just tough and don't want to die!
 
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