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WaitForIt

Non-recovery

17 posts in this topic

Bummed. First time in my life that I've made a successful shot and not recovered the animal.

Was on stand well before light, and was reading a book when a nice doe came in from my right. I didn't see or hear her until she was directly out front in a clearing. I let her continue behind some brush, where she didn't reappear for awhile - thought she'd slipped away. As it turns out, she circled back towards me, then veered off to my left. Never had a clue I was there - totally relaxed.

I had nearly written off the possibility of a shot - lots of head-high brush and I could barely see her. But, she walked into the only clearing to my left and presented a classic broadside shot.

I drew, chose my spot, and squeezed the release. I saw the arrow hit, and my first thoughts were "little high, a little far forward", but I felt the shot was decent. Angle was great, just a little higher than I wanted. It was 7:10am, and I would wait for 1/2 hour before getting down for a look.

Here's where it turns ugly. The distant rumble of thunder turned into light rain, and it had only been 10 minutes. I had a decision to make, and with regret I hustled down to the ground to find the blood trail and quickly locate the deer before the rain set in.

At the site, no arrow, no blood. I figured the arrow didnt exit, and with a higher entry wound I was concerned. I grid-searched until I found blood - this took at least 15 minutes.. raining.

I then followed the decent blood trail through the forest. Under the canopy, it was relatively easy to follow and wasn't getting wet. However, the trail came to a clearing, and thats when I realized it was raining pretty hard. I had one last blood drop before the clearing. I searched the woods on the other side for over an hour, couldn't find ANYTHING. No indication of where the deer ran, no broken branches, and the ground was tore up in general from all the deer in the area - nothing stood out. I knew I was in trouble then.

I went to go get my buddy - 9am at this point. We grid-searched the woods opposite the clearing for the next 2.5 hours - never again did we find blood, hair, anything.

This is really disappointing. I've taken several with the bow before and I'm now sitting here second-guessing everything. I'm 99% sure I would have found that deer if not for the rain. Definitely a humbling day in the woods.

So, here's what I've learned..

1) Aim low. I set my pin, which is normally at 20 yards to 17, and I STILL hit about 4 inches higher than I intended. The deer was approx. 22 yards from the tree I shot from. Could have deflected, but in all likelyhood I simply wasn't aiming where I should have been.

2) Don't hunt in the rain - It wasn't raining when I shot, but after what happened today that will forever weigh on my mind.

3) Get help if you aren't sure. If I'd have called my buddy at the first sprinkle I might be celebrating tonight instead of feeling bad about what happened.

4) Shake it off and get back out there - happens to everyone at some time. Thats what I keep telling myself, anyway. I know it'll be haunting my thoughts next weekend, though...

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WaitForIt i have a horror story similar to yours.

Its Sat. Afternoon at 7:15 the biggest buck around all of a sudden appears from a stand of pines 15 yards away! hes making his way toward me on the other side of a pine sniffing the ground. the same pine i peed under two hours earlier! i can hear him sniffing and he makes his way to the side of the pine and i have a shot. only thing is he is standing facing me. hes at a little less than 10 yrds facing me sniffing the ground still im about 22 feet up so i think i have the angle so i draw back settle the pin between his shoulder blades and let er rip before he gets wind of me. i watch the lumenok hit its mark and disappear inside the buck! i was pumped i just shot the biggest buck around my area not to mention the biggest with a bow. i got down and walked back to my father-in laws to tell him and wait a half hour. i go back to the spot and i search for blood, nothing! i searched for the next 3 1/2 hours looking for blood and found nothing! i came back 7 a.m. sun. morning and search for the next 12 hours and found nothing! i walked atleast 20 miles weaving back and forth and trying to find the path he took.

i thought i hit lungs and liver. a matched up where i hit with the angle on a trail cam broadside pic. and i figur by time it went throught the backstraps i hit liver and guts. the other kick in the pants is i had a camera set up to video tape it but i hit the record button too soon after i hitting the power button so it didnt record.

i rushed the shot and now im regretting it big time!!!

here is a pic of him

twig08.24001.jpg

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Have you slept at all in the last couple of days?? Man what a bummer!!! I had a similar situation a few years ago and it sucks!!! Good luck to both of you and I commend your efforts at tracking it and putting in the time to pursue the game!!! Good Luck- confused.gif

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Sorry to hear of anyone losing game.

Thank you for sharing your non-recovery stories, though. When it happened to me last fall, I felt like I was the first hunter to ever have it happen. After retelling the story, and hearing other stories, I realized if you hunt long enough, it will likely happen to you.

Keep lookin, Good Luck!

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Hey wait for it, sorry to hear about your deer. Stuff happens ! One thing I noticed a few years ago was that if I did not bend at the waist when shooting from the stand I would hit high. Just something to think about.

Rotwieler, Not to kick a man when he is down, but a shot on a deer facing you with a bow usally ends up like your story. Better luck next time.

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On a related note, how long could you go without finding a deer in our recent 70/80 degree temps before the meat spoiled?

I missed a doe last night at about 30 yards. I am almost certain as I didn't see the arrow hit. She jumped and whirled after I released and then ran off, sounding a warning call I've heard from young deer that have been spooked before - sort of a high pitched shrieking sound.

Anyway, she settled down and circled back. I saw her casually walking away and watching me through the woods for quite awhile. I found no arrow but it likely would have went into the slough she was standing in front of if I missed and I found no blood. I was out there with the big flashlight for more than an hour last night walking all over, but no arrow and no blood. So I am very confident that I did not hit her given her reaction afterward and no signs of blood anywhere.

Regardless, I looked again this morning before work and am going to look again tonight to be sure, but the meat would surely be spoiled by now if I had hit her?

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Quote:

On a related note, how long could you go without finding a deer in our recent 70/80 degree temps before the meat spoiled?

I missed a doe last night at about 30 yards. I am almost certain as I didn't see the arrow hit. She jumped and whirled after I released and then ran off, sounding a warning call I've heard from young deer that have been spooked before - sort of a high pitched shrieking sound.

Anyway, she settled down and circled back. I saw her casually walking away and watching me through the woods for quite awhile. I found no arrow but it likely would have went into the slough she was standing in front of if I missed and I found no blood. I was out there with the big flashlight for more than an hour last night walking all over, but no arrow and no blood. So I am very confident that I did not hit her given her reaction afterward and no signs of blood anywhere.

Regardless, I looked again this morning before work and am going to look again tonight to be sure, but the meat would surely be spoiled by now if I had hit her?


chucker that's a very good question. Also what do most people do? Skin it right away and get the body cooled down and then butcher it up that night/day or how many will take it in to be processed??? Because if I shoot one in this heat I'm not sure what I would do for processing??? More likely take it in because of time constraints and warm weather were having? What are others doing?

thanks,

meat-run

(don't let my name fool you either) wink.gif

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Meat-Run, I shot one when it was near 80 two years ago and brought it to the processor about six hours later. In the meantime, I packed the body cavity with milk jugs full of frozen water. I was prepared for the situation. grin.gif

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chucker, thanks for the great idea.

and thanks for your response.

mr

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When I have harvested deer with warmer temps, It seems to be mostly in the evenings so by the time I get home with the deer it is generally late, at that point I lay it on the garage floor on a tarp and pack the heck out of the cavity with bags of ice or frozen jugs, whatever, paying special attention to the areas with the thickest meat. They have always been good overnight until I can bone them out and get the meat in the freezer. Of course the sooner the better, but sometimes I just cannot get to it right away with the work schedule and such. If daytime highs stay below 60 and cool down well at night I am comfortable with hanging the deer in the garage for a day before butchering. I hope to have this problem soon!

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What I do when shooting one in warm weather is skin and quarter it. I always have room in my fridge (live alone) to toss the quarters wrapped in saran wrap in. They can then sit for at least a few days and I think it even helps tenderize somewhat similiar to hanging. The backstraps and other scraps get taken care of right away. I do it this way because I always butcher my own deer and it gives you some time to get things done. I can imagine many families wouldn't have the fridge room to do this though.

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Tippman,

I'm one of those guys that doesn't have that much fridge room so I'm looking for alternative ideas before I hit the stand Wednesday morning. I just hope I have that problem trying to find fridge space if you know what I mean.

later,

mr

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Ice, Ice and more Ice.

Plastic does not let the heat out - so a "game bag" filled with ice in the cavity and around the body will do great.

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Back to the original topic, one thing that has saved us a couple of times when recovering deer is this....sometimes just as they are dying, the deer will take a big jump to their right or left. I can think of 3 times where we lost the blood trail and looked and looked and looked. Then someone remembered that and we all went back to the last blood and looked hard right and hard left and there it was.

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Fill a huge tub full of ice in your garage, and hang the quarters above it, then close it in with a shower curtain and keep it as air tight as possible. I saw this done out west w/ an elk and it seemed to work good.

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I think some meat lockers will take your deer overnight and hang it in their cooler and you can pick it up the next day. Even if they charge you $20 or so I think the meat's worth that!!!

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I know they make some sort of spray and black light that you can pick up the smallest of blood drops, I havent ever used it but heard it works well. At my cabin I have an old fridge, I threw it down on its back, I cut the meat in quarters and throw it in there, i use block ice which if your not opening the door will last along time. I can fit 4 deer in the big part and a couple more in the small part. I was going to use dry ice last year, but my supplier didnt meet me on time to get it for me before I left.

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