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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 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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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
 

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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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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


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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Yep, I'm sure he did, and it happens to us all sooner or later.

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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Boy, ain't that the truth.

Bud

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

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Some excellent pics of that thar Meat Harvester Bud...

.54 Caliber eh...!? ( I like it already )


I've been looking at a Pennsylvania Flintlock myself...





:cool:

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You said that you thought you heard it go down. That seems to me that you might have not waited long enough and pushed the deer. Deer are remarkably resilient animals. I heard a story at the beginning of the season about a hunter walking up to the deer that he just shot and having the deer get up and attack him, actually killing the hunter. Rare but it can happen.
I always wait 30 minutes even if I see the animal laying there still. Better luck on your next hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So here’s the full rub (no pun intended).

I gave the deer about 20min after the shot. I was darn sure I heard him go down.

As I approached the thick brush he had crashed into, one of my German Shorthaired Pointers comes running out at me, tail wagging and tongue hanging out. She was out of the kennels and lazing around the backyard. When she heard me shoot (as this particular stand is only about 200yds from the house) she bounded over the 4ft fence to come “investigate”.

At the time, I didn’t sweat it to much because I was darn sure I’d find a dead buck about 40yds ahead. As I came to the spot I thought he had fallen I found exactly what you would expect to find in this situation...a huge amount of blood where he had lain down (that rib bone fragment) and then nothing else in the vicinity as far as sign, aside from tracks, indicating my trusty ‘ol bird dog had, in fact, jumped him up off his death bed. Given she had about 20min worth play time prior to me discovering her, it’s not outside the realm of possibility she could have run his wounded butt into the next county. Now if your thinking, “No big deal, just follow her to the deer dummy!” I tried that (as much as I hated to further encourage the dang fur drive I’m always fighting in my bird dogs!). In this particular case, she pointed 3 woodcock in the span of about 20 min and I knew she had lost interest in helping me recover my prize. What a circus.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience . Sadly this situation can and does happen .
It doesn't help , but you did all you could .

Be safe out there gentlemen .
 
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