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skee0025

First Blood or Kill shot

52 posts in this topic

I have had this question thrown at me several times today as it happened to 2 of my friends this weekend. Both placed shots on bucks that would have been fatal given time, but other hunters fired the final shots after the deer were flushed while my friends were attempting to recover them. The DNR is very clear in a situation where there is a dispute they will take control of the deer pending a resolution between the parties as the deer is state property until it is taken legally, so said the CO. My question to you is what camp do you fall into, First Blood or Kill shot, who has the right of recovery?

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first blood, deer may not do unordinary things if they haven't been shot. like only running a few hundred yards, stopping and bedding down. sometimes, unwounded, they will run up to a mile, i've seen bucks do it first hand.

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I know its not always possible---but I feel this should be taken care of before season... Talk to the group around you and come up wiht a plan and or see how they feel on the subject...

I would vote for kill shot...

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I would go off first blood IF the initial shot would be fatal. You have to give the deer time to bed down and expire. If someone starts tracking the deer 30-45 minutes after the first shot and jumps it, chances are the first shot would only have wounded the deer and the person that has the kill shot should have rights to the animal. Just my $0.02

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Skee, this is a tough question. I'm sure both hunters thought it was theirs. I'm not sure of your location or how you guys are set up but with gun season, the deer shouldn't really run to far. If it's running far enough for others to shoot it, (unless they are really close) then it probably isn't an immediately fatal shot and the deer is theirs. I know it happens, it sounds like it happened twice to you. My advice, whoever is doing the shooting needs to get better with their equipment or not take risky shots. A deer thats hit well should not go very far, 50-200 yards max. If it goes farther than that, I wouldn't think the wound is immediately fatal, and to the finisher goes the spoils. Maybe not what you wanted to hear, but if you can't resolve this with your neighbors or who you are hunting next to, you could go through this year in and year out. Obviously, if the deer was hit well, ran 50 yards over the hill and got shot again, thats a whole different story. Then the deer should be yours and the people who shot it should realize that.

Almost all shots are fatal to a deer given time. They will expire either to the shot, easy predation, or the elements. However, we need to do our best to ensure a quick, clean, humane kill. I don't think there is a lot reason to have to track gun hit deer. If you think it was a poor shot, you have to give the deer time to expire and hope that someone else doesn't stumble across it.

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Hmmm i say kill shot, whoever kills it tags it. Kind of goes without saying but practice makes perfect. The better shot you can put on a deer the less likely this is to happen. I just love seeing that deer drop where it stood, then you have no worries.

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Once the tag is in the deer it is that person's deer. I would say that would usually mean the kill shot. I can tell you, if I see a wounded deer running through the woods, I will put another shot in it to put it down. Depending on the deer, I would have a civilized conversation with the other hunter, pending they can track the deer to you and discuss if the original shot would have killed the deer. If it was a vital shot and the second shot was a neck shot, killing it instantly. I would then say the deer goes to the first shooter. More or less, there is no clear cut answer, but I know it is not worth fighting over.

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I agree with 96 trig. I have shot many does and a couple of bucks. Every one had dropped with in feet of where the bullet entered them. Most times I will see deer fall right in scope. I hunt with a semi auto Rem. slug and site in at 75 yards.

So, I would vote kill shot! I know archery is another story, but the way ballistics are no a days, a good accurate gun shot, should kill a deer right away or with in seconds.

But, if someone wanted a deer that bad, they would argue for it, I would surrender deer to them. I am not into this sport to argue with a fellow hunter. There is always another deer to shoot.

Good luck!

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Quote:

I agree with 96 trig. I have shot many does and a couple of bucks. Every one had dropped with in feet of where the bullet entered them. Most times I will see deer fall right in scope. I hunt with a semi auto Rem. slug and site in at 75 yards.

So, I would vote kill shot! I know archery is another story, but the way ballistics are no a days, a good accurate gun shot, should kill a deer right away or with in seconds.

But, if someone wanted a deer that bad, they would argue for it, I would surrender deer to them. I am not into this sport to argue with a fellow hunter. There is always another deer to shoot.

Good luck!


Exactly what shack said! Kill shot! But if I get threatend over it, take it I dont need to get shot! If more people spent time sighting in your guns before season, there would be alot less of this in the woods, there still is times when it will happen, but alot less!

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This is a question that will go on forever. I do my best to not allow a deer to run away when I shoot it with a rifle. I always do my best to aim for a shoulder/lung shot. Best option is to have one quartering to you. Take it through the shoulder and it will break down the deer. The bone fragments plow through the lungs/heart and all that makes for a deer that falls dead in it's tracks.

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I actually am in the process of profecting the trick shot. I shot a doe saturday through the front sholder and the lungs. But had her run up the hill towards the truck before expiring. It was very nice that I didn't drop her in her tracks. I have hunted for 8 years now and that is the first deer that took a step after the bullet entered, but I liked the result of a 30 yard drag. She only ran about 30 yards, but it was in the right direction.

My cousin shot one last year that gutted herself and ran to the path for pick up. He shot it from straight above and broke the sturnum and everything fell out over the course of a 75 yard run up the path to the truck.

If someone wants my deer, I am more than happy to shoot another. I have no problem finding them seeing how our group shoots about 55 a year.

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Trophy,

That there is a neat thing. I would never have that kind of luck. LOL. cool.gif

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I definitely think it depends on the hit. I've seen many well hit slug deer go 100-200 yards, although agreed most go less than 50. Very few drop in their tracks unless neck shot or their back is broken. Most heart & lung shot deer with shotgun have gone 20-50 yards in my experience. Where I hunt I usually have 2-3 hunters in other parties within 200 yards of me & 2-3 more within the same distance in my own party. If a deer is hit hard, which usually means gut shot or even one lung, I would give it to the original shooter unless they don't want it or don't come to claim it.

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Careful guys. This is turning into a discussion. Might get locked.....

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Quote:

Careful guys. This is turning into a discussion. Might get locked.....


This is a healthy discussion with intelligent conversation. There has been no name calling or bashing. This can be 20 pages long if people stay open-minded and allow for other opinions to be expressed without attacking or bashing people.

I think that it should be the kill shot. If you are an ethical hunter who practices with the weapon, only take high percentage shots and passes on the poor shots, the first shot will be the kill shot.

I've had deer shot with a gun travel 100yds and I've had bow shot deer drop in there tracks. No one way drops a deer in their tracks unless it was on the spine. Everything else depends on the deer itself. Some area strong and some are weaker and some go farther on adrenalin.

I know this can be tough on public land or in situations like Ripley. There are so many people out there that a deer that travels 100yds might leave your sight and wander past someone with less ethics than you. If you can't talk it out call a CO. No deer is worth getting threatened over.

Keep up the great discussion folks.

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The guys I hunt with have always did first blood. I have always hunted on private land. I have never bagged a trophy, but I have put the kill shot on two of them. I don't and never did consider those deer mine. I was just glad to help. Those deer would have never ran by me if they hadn't been shot by the first guy. Now - I had a guy try to claim that a fawn that I finished after he botched the first shot was mine. That deer wouldn't have died for days and would have suffered. Again, that deer wouldn't have ran by me if he hadn't shot it first. He took it home.

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No one way drops a deer in their tracks unless it was on the spine.


Power stroke, you are very correct with this and your whole post. I stated "many deer" in my post, but it was only two does I have dropped in their tracks, they were both spinals and they were on the long end of what I would call a clean shot (brought cross hairs up a little). About 130-140 yards. I had actually seen does hoves flip in air while looking threw my scope. Down side was they where alive on both of them when I got to them 10-15 minutes later.

I use a Winchester, rifled slug/hollow point, 1 oz slug, 12 gauge and 1600 FPS. I get the best pattern at 75 yards with this round. More so than Fedral.

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I'm not saying that deer don't drop in their tracks cause I've done it to two this year and all 3 of the deer that I've shot with my bow have never taken more than 10 steps combined. I can't claim that as any feat cause I couldn't duplicate it if I wanted to.

Spine shots do happen either by accident or occasionally on purpose, but they are a very low percentage shot.

I think (my personal opinion) is that too many hunters shoot at running deer. There are many reasons that deer start running and many reasons hunters think they need to take that shot. If you cannot stop the deer by grunting or making another noise then you should let the deer pass.

I've made bad shots for reasons that were my fault as well as things I couldn't control (I had a nock split in the arrow once).

I think that aiming for the shoulder is a poor idea because you may wound the animal and there is no guarentee that your bullet will make it through to the vitals. Bullets will deflect off of bone and end up where you didn't want them. I've recovered two deer that were shot in the shoulder. One was mine and the other belonged to my brother. My deer, the 20ga slug deflected off the shoulder up into the neck and hit the spine. That deer dropped, but was still alive and required a finishing shot. That was horrible. My brothers deer the bullet deflected down and broke the front leg and we tracked the deer for more than a half mile until we could put a kill shot on it. This deer only had a broken leg and would've been alive, but crippled the rest of its life.

I think its great that people think about these things cause even though we all want to make the best shot and never have to wound an animal it will happen eventually and its important to know where you stand.

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Interesting scenario, I believe by the book the person that makes the killing shot gets the deer. Now is where the conundrum happens. I have had this very scenario play out just beneath my stand after shooting a wounded buck. I watched this deer at 50 yards limp up and bed down without having a clean kill shot. I watched it for over an hour. There was also a fork bedded about 15 feet from the base of my tree. The deer got up and began the three legged run towards me and I shot it nearly at the base of my stand. I sat down, waited about ten-15 minutes and when I saw no signs of movement in the woods I decided, well, I guess this is my buck. I climbed down and was getting ready to get into the nitty gritty and I hear someone say, "Did you see that buck? Did you shoot it?" I replied that I had indeed shot the deer. The hunter asked, "Can I get a look at him?" I said sure and he walked over. I listened to his story about how he shot it right away that morning and had been blood trailing it ever since sunup. I was impressed for a couple reasons: He took the time to track an animal marginally hit, 2) He tracked it in a slow and careful manner so as not to disturb the whole woods around him, 3) he followed the deer to the end. Now, knowing that he had done so much work and was tracking the deer to put the finish on him all I could do was offer him the animal. He said you made the kill shot so it is yours, I said, 1,2,3 and that I admired his tenacity to follow up his shot. He ended up with the deer, I ended up feeling pretty decent about the decision and made a new friend. That deer scored 140+ by the way. Would have looked nice on my wall but all I did was end a long and tedious tracking job. I guess when you look at this type of situation excitement and greed might take over with bigger bucks involved, gets even stickier with crossing into private land. I would hope that each of you as sportspersons would consider the ethics and the right thing to do. What if it was a childs first deer and a trophy buck? How would you want someone to react if you are in the same situation. STCatfish had a great response to a moral hunting dilemma, but he bit his tongue a bit and didn't get to hunt the prime spot he wanted to. He made a couple friends and mentored a youth in the process. Tough decision but made in good concience.

Good luck to all, take the high road! Your reward might not come right away but it will come to you!

Tunrevir~

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Nice post!

I figure if anyone wants the deer more than I (being on the both ends of the Blood shot or kill shot), I would give it up. If that person hesitated or realy did not want deer, I would take. Anyways, I would try to make it end as good for each other as possible.

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I was hunting about 15 years ago in central North Dakota, where I lived, and ended up shooting an 8-pointer. It was my first season deer hunting, though I'd hunted predators before that for many years, as well as upland birds and ducks.

I was sitting downwind of a trail that came out of sunflowers and CRP into a small woodlot surrounding a stock dam. Prime location. Season started at noon then.

About 11:45 I heard a flurry of shots about a mile away. About 12:15, a buck comes out of the flowers walking along the trail. Cool, I thought. Just like I planned. All those guys driving the flowers/CRP pushed this fella out and he headed right to his favorite spot, where he rubs and scrapes and stays out of trouble in the only thick cover in his territory.

I put a bullet through his heart/lungs from about 60 yards as he walked by me and that was that.

I gave him a few minutes and walked over and was standing looking at him when I saw a hunter emerge from the edge of the flowers about 100 yards away. He looked at me and the deer and waved and then turned and walked back the way he'd come.

I didn't think much of it.

It wasn't until I got the deer home and skinned it and started butchering it that I saw two .22 caliber bullets lodged in the animal, both far back. One in the backstrap and one in the hindquarter on the same side. Barely made a hole in the hide, didn't penetrate much and did no damage except to muscle tissue.

My guess after thinking it over was that the guy I saw after I killed the deer was the guy who put the .22 bullets in the deer. Because of where they were, I also guessed he shot at a running animal and didn't lead it enough. That's the most common mistake when shooting at a moving animal, and I agree that the vast majority of hunters (myself included) do not practice this kind of shooting enough to be proficient at it and should avoid such shots.

He also was not scoped, and it looked like a military-style rifle he was carrying, so I figure he was shooting .223, which was a legal deer cartridge in N.D. and one shot by quite a few people I knew. Not enough muscle for a good kill shot in marginal conditions, I've always thought. Certainly didn't do the job in this situation. The bullet in the backstrap came straight in and stopped just short of one of the vertebrae at the spine. Any .30 caliber bullet from the standard deer cartridges would have packed enough energy to break that bone and damage the spine enough to put the deer down right there, though it would have required a finishing shot for sure.

At any rate, he could easily have walked up to me and the deer, said he was sure he'd hit it and was following its tracks. There had been no blood that I could see on the ground or on the deer, but in all honesty I wasn't geared toward looking for previous wounds.

It would have been a potentially difficult situation. If he was the one shooting earlier, he'd shot the deer before legal shooting hours, and was using a very light round, not one with enough killing power in many situations. Nor did I see any evidence at the time the deer had been shot previously. It was a situation that never developed, but as I thought through all the possible scenarios while I was packaging the deer it ocurred to me that even though there was not conversation or argument or confrontation, it was a good thing to think about ahead of time.

In the 15 years since then, I have never been in a situation where I and another hunter each had a claim on the animal. But I'm with the people who say give up the deer if it's going to become ugly. A deer's not worth it. Unless, of course, it's a monster buck. That's when things could get out of hand in a big hurry.

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A trophy, wall monster buck could be a hard one. I would give it up though. I would hate to have it hanging on my wall and thinking of the experience clouded around it, every time I look at it. Having to think “why did I not aim a little better” or “I should have seen deer limping”. I want something on my wall I could totally be proud of and display with a good story for years.

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ST, you would have had a lot of leverage on your side had their been an argument. That might be why the guy never argured. Or the shots could have been old, possibly from another hunter, but you probably would have been able to tell if that was the case. Could have been a shady squirrel hunter, you know those guys aren't all there (kidding).

I agree that a deer can run 100-200 yards with a double lund shot. I guess I'm not used to hunting land where people are that close. If you put a good shot on the deer, it hops the fenceline 50 yards away and gets shot by the neighbor, I would think that the deer should be the person with the first lethal wound. The problem will ALWAYs be what is considered a lethal wound. I would think that any shot placed in the lungs would be immediately lethal. Any shot there otherwise, would not be considered immediately lethal and should go to the finisher. This includes gut shots. Gut shot deer can go along ways. I think everyone else would agree any heart, head, neck, or spine shot and the deer will drop anyway (in almost all cases). I also think that too many deer are shot while running away. However, there are a lot of deer taken while running. A lot depends on what kind of terrain the deer is running through. A close running shot (40 yards or less) is not a hard shot to make. Farther than that with open sights, it gets tough.

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The problem with that is you loose a whole shoulder or two. That's half your meat. Just shoot them behind the shoulder or in the neck.

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Powerstroke, I agree and disagree with some of the statement you have made. Absolutly too many people shoot running deer and most are not "expert" hunters. By expert I mean people that know their rifle, bow, shotgun like an extension of themself. There are many people on this forum that know their abilities, know their equipment and can make some of those more difficult shots. As part of knowing your equipment, I shoot either a 7mm rem mag or a 12 ga slug gun. I know the penetration I can get shooting through a sholder and I know the accuracy for a neck, spine, vital or front shot. I know that I can put the bullet where I want it to go. I am not as confident with a bow, that is why my shot selection reaches out to only 30 yards and has to be a standing broadside shot.

My point is, know your equipment, practice your shooting and hunt within the limits of your ability. We all owe that to the animals we are hunting to make a clean ethical kill shot.

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