Bad day in the woods...not for the squeamish.
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  1. #1
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    Bad day in the woods...not for the squeamish.

    So, I know this isn’t a hunting forum but I find dedicated “outdoorsmanship” forums here on the ol’ World Wide Web to be inhabited entirely by the sort of folks who take deer, roadside, with their Mossberg 500’s while riding their lawnmowers down to the local ABC...wait, did I just describe my father...ok, moving on. Last Sat was a bad day in the woods. I failed to recover my first deer in nearly 20years of hunting white tail here in SC. Good clean shot @ about 80yds, iron sights, with the ‘94 30-30 on a nice 8. Thought I heard him go down about 60yds from the shot. Found good blood and even a fragment of rib bone the size of my pinky finger. Eventually lost the trail and searched blind for nearly 4hours in very thick brush before the rain set in. Nothing. Still having trouble processing what the heck went wrong and how that deer could have travelled more than 100yds after what I’m darn sure would have been a double or at least single lung! My perfect record is now permanently marred and a nice buck wasted, well, I guess the coyotes ate well. Anyway, just needed to vent.

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    Been there and done that, too! It is a sickening feeling, but things happen in the real world that don't happen on the range.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
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    I feel your pain. If you hunt long enough it is going to happen.
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    I know just what you are feeling. It is a sick feeling in your gut that leaves you with a deep sense of disappointment in yourself.

    I shot a deer once with what I thought was a perfect shot. Bullet entered behind the right shoulder and exited through the left side, breaking the left front leg. The deer went running past a guy in my hunting party, spraying blood and limping. The snow showed that the deer was dragging the front leg and squirting blood. It laid down under a tree and got up and left as I approached it. the only tracks that led out from under that tree showed and animal that was no longer limping and no longer bleeding. I had 6-8" of snow on the ground and with these being the only tracks, I followed them. Then it crossed a road and there was no snow on the other side and no trail to follow and after 3 hours of following it, I lost it. I am sure the coyotes ate well that night too. It remains to this day the only deer I ever lost.

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    "Sometimes you eat the bear...sometimes the bear eats you".


    I'm sure the 'yotes appreciated your kill...so, nature was once again balanced.

    Next Year...Next Tag My Friend



    Speaking of Deer Getters...here's my PA version in .30 WCF:




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    NRA Life Member since 1977...

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    So....... you shot your deer and it ran off. If you waited at least a half hour before going after it, which would give it a chance to lay down and bleed out then that's a good start.

    Thirty minutes or so later you're tracking your wounded animal, following the sign until you get to a point where there's no more sign to follow. If this is the case, and it's now about four hours after the shot, then you've done just about all you can do. You have no more trail to follow and it's about to rain.

    Over the many years I've hunted the Canadian woods I've had two animals run off after being hit. A black Bear, and a Whitetail. As always, I sat down and waited about a half hour and when I started the trail for these animals I found the Black Bear about 40 yards into the bush where I found it at the base of a tree it was going to climb. I thought it was a bit odd that it had a mouthful of birchbark when I found it. It died before it could climb the tree. The deer I found about a 125 yards away from where I shot it.

    You didn't mention whether or not you waited a half hour or so before going in after it. If you didn't, then what often happens is the animal will keep on running into the bush as long as it's able, to get away from the danger. The more you chase it, the further into the bush it will go. Many wounded animals are lost this way.

    I hope this helps a little, and best of luck on your next hunt.

    Bud
    Last edited by Matchlock; 11-26-2019 at 11:14 AM.
    Put my saddle on the stove, Ma, I'm ridin' the range tonight.

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    That is good advice Matchlock.

    My father taught me to wait a while before tracking for that exact reason. It sucks because if the animal is suffering; we want to end its pain...but it often makes it worse when it is trying to escape known danger.

    Sorry about the loss OP. It definitely sucks.
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    "There is nothing permanent except change." - Heraclitus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchlock View Post
    So....... you shot your deer and it ran off. If you waited at least a half hour before going after it, which would give it a chance to lay down and bleed out then that's a good start.

    Thirty minutes or so later you're tracking your wounded animal, following the sign until you get to a point where there's no more sign to follow. If this is the case, and it's now about four hours after the shot, then you've done just about all you can do. You have no more trail to follow and it's about to rain.

    Over the many years I've hunted the Canadian woods I've had two animal run off after being hit. A black Bear, and a Whitetail. As always, I sat down and waited about a half hour and when I started the trail for these animals I found the Black Bear about 40 yards into the bush where I found it at the base of a tree it was going to climb. I thought it was a bit odd that it had a mouthful of birchbark when I found it. It died before it could climb the tree. The deer I found about a 125 yards away from where I shot it.

    You didn't mention whether or not you waited a half hour or so before going in after it. If you didn't, then what often happens is the animal will keep on running into the bush as long as it's able, to get away from the danger. The more you chase it, the further into the bush it will go. Many wounded animals are lost this way.

    I hope this helps a little, and best of luck on your next hunt.

    Bud

    Sound advice. It is tough to wait it out but that is the smart thing to do. I'm sure the OP did the best that could be done. That is all that can be expected.
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    Thanks Sevens, and you're exactly right. When you hit an animal and it runs off, the first thing it wants to do is lay down and rest because it's hurt. If you wait thirty minutes, it see no danger and relaxes and stops, lays down and usually bleeds out within a few minutes and oftern only a few yards away. I too learned this from a hunter more than fifty years ago, and for me it's even more crucial because I've never hunted with a modern rifle. I've always hunted with a muzzleloader. I've used a 54 Cal. Plains Rifle for the last 36 years.

    Bud
    Buds_Silver_Rifle_Montage_2Bigger.jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
    That is good advice Matchlock.

    My father taught me to wait a while before tracking for that exact reason. It sucks because if the animal is suffering; we want to end its pain...but it often makes it worse when it is trying to escape known danger.

    Sorry about the loss OP. It definitely sucks.
    Last edited by Matchlock; 11-26-2019 at 11:34 AM.
    Put my saddle on the stove, Ma, I'm ridin' the range tonight.

  11. #10
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    Had that happen on a bow hunt on Granger Lake a few years back. I searched for 3 hours and nothing.
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