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What Happened? Failed Recovery

Allegheny Tom

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Feb 4, 2018
Western Pennsylvania
That's the classic behavior of a gut shot. Deer run a short distance, stop, and then walk off.
Sometimes the holes get plugged with guts so they don't always leave much of a blood trail.
Gut shot deer often won't go far before laying down. Paunch hits require sneaking out with as little disturbance as possible. Even looking for the arrow can screw you, but finding it can give valuable clues.
Gut shot deer need a very minimum of 4 hours before blood trailing, but even that is risky. 8 hours is much safer.
My bet is you hit him back and the arrow should be somewhere close to the hit. Go find water and look for him.


New Member
SH Member
Nov 23, 2020
Sorry to hear. Losing a deer is never pleasant. I agree with a few other's that your hit sounds like a high muscle hit. I would look at using mechanicals as they usually have more cutting area. I had a similar experience a few years ago. However, I was able to track the buck down and put a second arrow into him. Since then I have stopped using fix blades as I have found the entrance and extra wounds to be too small. I have move to 1.5" or greater cutting area to have a large entrance and exit wounds. Today I am shooting 2"Sver Titanium 2.0 which have been perfect on White Tail, Mule and Elk.