Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
gurkster

Wounded Deer Question

22 posts in this topic

Hi, I am new to posting to this forum, but have read it for a few years. Tonight I just hit a beautiful 10pt buck and my arrow bounced off??? Only going in 2 1/2 inches. It was a 17yd shot, I hit where I was aiming, I have been bow hunting for years and have harvested deer before. My question is on a broadside quartering shot with ~70# what whould prevent my arrow from penetrating more - ribs? My last two deer were pass throughs and like I say my hit l;ooked good. Question 2 is do you think this would be fatal - I know it is very hard to say. I shot at 5:50 and just got back in from trying to find it. No blodg found at all, except on the arrow?? I should mention that I have always shot thunderhead 125's, this year I switched to mechanical - anyone else ever experience this? Thanks in advance for any insite into this. I hate to wound a nice guy like this, hopefully he makes it or I find him. I will be out looking again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say a quartering shot. Do you mean quartering to or away? Hard to say what happened, could have hit shoulder just right as to prevent penetration, but at 17 yards you should have blasted right through any bone, unless of course your mechanical failed??? No way just a rib bone will stop an arrow from penetrating at that yardage.

Quartering to shot is a less than ideal shot to take, lots of stuff in the way of the vitals and a very small target... lots of room for error.

Anyway, welcome to the site and keep on posting, always good to have a fellow hunter on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off Welcome to HSO/FM.

As far as the shot I would say you took a very low percentage shot at best.I would also guess you hit a shoulder blade also.You could also have went through the brisket but I dont know how the deer was positioned to you.

As far as the mech. broadheads go,I personally dont use them but did try one year.I just didnt think they looked tough enough.They do fly well.I would guess the deer will live.

Were the broadhead blades still in good shape and none missing? Do you know which way the deer was going to look in the right area?Sometimes you might not find any blood for 30-40 yards if the hit was not good or the exit hole was high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies. To clarify, it was a slight quartering away to broadside shot (I agree that a quartering to shot is tough, and I would not take it). I am wondering if I may have hit the shoulder as you said, as I also would be very surprised if a rib stopped it that short, even if the mechanical failed. I would guess that if it was a shoulder hit, the deer would likely make it?? Once hit he bounded 2 or three times and then looked back towards me. He stopped for a couple seconds and then bounded away. Also when the arrow hit, it sounded like a slap or a drum?? There were other deer in the area and they acted as if nothing happened, other than looking up when he first bounded. They stayed in the area for a few more minutes, before finally trotting away. Thanks again for the replies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me like he will live for another day. smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you hit the shoulder blade at an angle it could do it a few years ago i shot at a nice eight and the arrow went to forward and didn't penetrate the bone. that was a broad side shot at 30 yards. it sound like i shot a tree, with a loud whack. i followed a very small blood trail, about one drop every ten yards, for what we figured eight miles. the deer was seen about a month later at a feeder with an arrow sticking out of the shoulder. i wish i would have missed completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks rotwieler, that must have been what happened, and it did have that tree hittig smack sound, which doesn't sound right. I will search again this morning. I did see the deer leave and searched his exit trail last night, however, most of the time it was in the dark, and I didn't find any blood. I hope he makes it, and that someone else might get a chance at him with a bow or gun this year, or he lives on for a another year.

A secondary concern is my equipment. I have always used fixed blade broadheads (Thunderhead 125) and just this year switched to machanical - no real reason other than to switch it up I guess, and others have stated that the accuracy is better with the machanical and you lose that "knuckleball" effect that you can get with the fixed blades. Anyone else have machanical broadheads fail? - the one I shot seems fine still, the blades move freely, etc. Maybe I hit the shoulder and the broadhead failed to open, causing the smack sound and the minimal penetration??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds exactly what happened to me on a doe last year. I had a nice broadside shot at 15 yards and the arrow hit and bounce straight down and stuck in the snow right below the doe. She bled very little and I went to follow up the next morning and I tracked her down and scared her away. Every bed during the night had just a little blood, bright red. The only thing I can think of that happened is my arrow hit a rib directly head on and my downward shot angle deflected it. I saw my shot go right to the ribs so I know it was not a shoulder blade. Also from the little bit of blood in her beds, it makes sense that she was hit there. I think she got a nice flesh gash and that is it. She looked just fine the next morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also new to the sight. This is my second post. When I was at the pro shop picking out mechanical broadheads the gentlemen told me some of the mechanicals point is to short and when they open the may deflect on a quartering shot. I use wolverines. They have a longer point so the start to penetrate before they open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bowman1

Welcome to HSO/FM.Glad to have you here and we look forward to your future posts.

Good luck this fall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible that you hit a branch or twig which caused your arrow to just barely hit, like a flesh wound? Any hair found, which will tell you more where you hit?

I agree with the others, this deer will probably live.

I like my Thunderheads, pass thrus on just about every shot, never have hit a should blade though. I also like the fact that I can replace the blades, my rule is that once that broadhead hits the ground, I put in new blades, I want sharp blades!!! I practice with the dull blades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing that could have happened with your mechanical is that when one of the blades opened it opened on a rib and cause the arrow to make a harsh turn that would result in BAD penatration. The slap could have been the back of the arrow hitting the deer. Just my two cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with BLACKJACK about going with the fixed blade broadheads. A few years ago I took a shot at a doe that got deflected by a tiny branch that was in front of her. I didn't even see the branch. The arrow deflected right into her hind quarter, and broke her femur bone. I was shooting 125 gr Muzzys, and it was a 30 yd shot. To break that big of a bone at that distance is pretty sweet. Needless to say that one needed to be finished off, but that was better than watching her hobble away wounded.

I'm a firm believer in the Muzzys, they fly true and are definitely bad to the bone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about that Mo... i don't think you have ever shot a deer!!!! lol grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would say my peice. Hunted for years with 125 thunderheads. Worked very well. Someone talked me into mechanicals tried them two years did not like them. The biggest thing that turned me off on them was they freeze up if they get wet for some reason. I sliped on a hill last winter and my bow went in the snow. Cased my bow for the night and went out the next morning,checked my blades and they were stuck from the water that got in there when the snow melted. Freezing weather problem of course,but if your like me your out there in cold weather.

I went back to the thunder heads this year. 100 grain this time.

I like the way a fixed blade looks on the end of the arrow. Something else just does not look right. Call me weird thats OK.

CC HURL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again for all the input. It looks like I am not alone on this. I looked for sign a bit this AM again, and nothing more to go on. After reading this and going over the scenerio many times in my head. I do think the deer has a high probability of making it. However, I will continue to look. I have the luxury of living on the land I hunt, so I can keep looking a little easier than some.

I don't want to start a mechanical vs fixed broadhead debate - I am sure both are proved technologies and work well. For me however, I will finish off the season with the mechanical, but switch back to fixed next season. As some have said they look stronger, more durable, and it removes a small element of things that can go wrong. Plus my personal confidence is with the fixed blade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gurkster, did the arrow remain intact? I had the same thing happen last year. saw the arrow, saw the impact, heard the thwack. the arrow broke off about 4-6 inches from the tip. I tracked it for hours, and again the next day. okay blood to start...then just a little...then it just quit. replaying the whole scene in my minds eye, I deduced that I hit the should blade square, and the 'thwackthump' sound was the shaft snapping. when I found the shaft, there was blood, and a bit of flesh in the shaft. i thought this was odd...even without a pass through, if it stuck then broke and fell out...it the hollow shaft should still be clear. This fact lead me to the conclusion that the shaft snapped, stuck a bit then fell out. This left a superficial puncture wound, not deep enough to be fatal, and perhaps a broadhead lodged in the shoulder...again not fatal or even crippling in this case. It's a tough situation, and I agonized and replayed and rethought everything. This was pretty much a broadside shot....if only he'd take one more step forward with the front left leg....

good luck the rest of the season..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its possible that maybe a feather or vane on your arrow was loose or bad. I have some practice arrows that i shoot with the bad vanes and occasionally they will slap the target and will not stick into it or at best a little. I read an article about someone that had a lucky arrow that they shot a few deer with and when they shot it didnt fly true and basically slaped the deer in the ribs. So maybe something was out of wack with your arrow or bow causing it not to fly straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The arrow remained in tact, not even bent as far as I can tell. It has blood on it, I measured it on the first 2 1/2 inches. There was also a small amount of tissue on one of the three blades (looked to be fatty tissue). Also there was hair on it. The arrow and vanes should be fine, I get a dozen arrows and practice with 9, keeping 3 for hunting only. Once I am sighted in good, I shoot each hunting arrow once to make sure I feel good with it (with a practice blade). I then put on a new, never used, broadhead. So the arrow, vanes and broadhead SHOULD all be in top condition. Also someone mentioned twigs. I was hunting from a ground blind and it was a clear shot to the deer, so no twig defections or anything like that.

I will share a bit. I always like hunting before bad weather, but not with the wind. Last night we had both. I decided to hunt it and see, I saw a small basket racked 6pt two nights ago and 5 does. That night I saw a doe enter the woods at 5:50, watched her for a bit and saw a nice buck. Then I saw at least 3 more does. All in thick brush, and I am on the ground - downwind. I could see the bodies, but not clearly, as it is thick grass in there. I kept getting glimpses of the buck in the same general area, but in different spots (if that makes sense). Anyway, the does kept there distance and disappeared into the grass. I kept seeing the buck getting closer, but looked like he would pass out to far for me. I was behind a tree and had to keep positioning myself on either side to get ready for a shot. I was in position as he hit 30yds, coming straight at me. Then all of the sudden a second buck (larger in body and rack, but still 10pt) appeared right behind him. Explaining why I kept seeing him in different spots (it ws two deer I was seeing). They came through the clearing and had no clue that I was there. They were looking like they would both pass right in front of me. Well I contimplated waiting for the one to pass and take the bigger one, but when the first was opened up to what looked like the dream shot, and put his head down - I shot. As I said through the peep site it looked like the perfect hit, and then he spun around and I see my arrow bounce/fly off and that awful twack sound. Well he ran about 40 yards, stopped and looked back at me, waited a few seconds and then ran off. Now the big guy just jumped up, but didn't run off. He then continued to graze and ended up circling around. behind me. He was at 20yds to my backside, and I had an arrow nocked, but never even thought of drawing as I new that I had touble on my hands with deer one. He stayed for about 2-3 minutes, but sensed something was up and trotted off. I then got up to inspect my arrow, I think at that point I may have scared to big guy too frown.gif, and at least two does that I saw bound off. I hope my area isn't ruined??? But I had little light (at least in the woods area) and really had to start my search. Well thanks for letting me ramble, the experience was great, only the outcome sucked!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gurkster, I know how you feel. There is nothing worse than not being able to find out what exactly happened. I shot a doe a couple years ago (first deer with a bow) and got the same thing. I heard the same "whack" and watched my arrow flip up over the back of the deer, I wasn't sure at first what I saw, I initially thought it was a pass through. I got down and went to inspect the arrow and it was broke off about 2 inches down and the mechanical was missing. I didn't find any blood right away, but then there was a huge spot about 10 yards from the spot of the arrow. I followed it for what felt like forever until the blood trail disappeared, talk about heart breaking. I even took the next day off of work to track some more, but I got the same result.I have a few friends that have had the same thing happen and they assured me that the deer would probably make it. And you never know you may get another chance at him when the rut hits full swing. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like a typical mech. broardhead issue!! This very same thing happened 2 times to me last year and I'll NEVER shoot a mech. head again.Stick with the fixed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That stinks man, sorry to hear it. If the arrow only went in that far, I would bet the big boy will live. Not to play devil's advocate on the fixed vs. mechanical broadhead issue, but I've shot mechanicals for four years. I started shooting Rocket Steelheads (100 gr.) and liked everything but the rubber bands (brittle in cold weather). Two years ago, I switched to Grim Reapers (125 gr.). Every animal I've shot (not as many as I would like, Ha Ha), has been a complete pass through and the farthest one went sixty yards. Fixed blades are tried and true, no question, but there are some very good, reliable mechanicals on the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Posts

    • Ya I think my dog would want to go after them he gets really excited around other dogs. That's why I will never hunt him without his e collar because I know I can stop him in his tracks with it. My dog likes to hunt close and I never let him push out way in front of me so at least I have eyes on him at all time and can give him the command to come to me if I see a wolf. I always keep a slip lead with me as well so I can put that on him and not have my hand tide up reaching down holding on his collar.

      I had a couple run in with wolves last year in the Longville/Remer area but that was just with me on foot with no dog.

      The one thing that gets me is "Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed" 

      I don't think I could just stand there and watch my dog die.

      Anyway did you hunt a different area? Any birds I have only been out once in the mille lacs area and didn't see any. Going to Nemadji this weekend and should see some.

       

    • smalliehunter

      Posted

      A friend and I will also be up chasing smallmouth this weekend!!!

    • slammer

      Posted

      Add Sallie to the list.

    • BlackArrow1

      Posted

      Went up north of Tofte last weekend camping/looking for a few grouse and to see the fall colors. Was in the region of the grade and 600 road. Pulled off on a walk only trail to run my lab and see if I could kick a few. Anyhow, my lab sits and barks like hell with anticipation at me every time I'm getting the gun out and getting ready to hunt her. So for about 5 minutes she's harassing me loud barking with excitement. We start walking down the trail maybe 50 yards and I see all this brown commotion jumping around ahead of us about 75 yards. At first I think we startled some deer. Then one came out full on the trail and stood watching me/dog. They were timber wolves. That one slunk off in the woods and another came out and just sat there looking at us for about a minute or so. When I noticed they were wolves I grabbed the dog by the caller. They seemed interested in my dog. Her barking must have drew them in. They ran off after looking us over a bit. I turned around and left that spot to avoid any issues. I'm thinking that maybe some younger bird dogs would be enticed to chase after wolves that show this kind of interest in them. In my opinion that would be bad and a dog may not come back alive, given their boldness and interest in my dog. It was fun seeing them, but we didn't just walk up and surprise them, they were coming to see the barking dog. Just curious? Maybe. Looking for an easy meal, maybe. I'm just putting this out there to inform bird hunters up there what I saw, so they can be aware if they have dogs. And no they were not coyotes. 

    • ANYFISH2

      Posted

      Made it out yesterday evening, SAW 4 deer. The same small buck and 3 does.  They sure seemed skittish with the wind.

      For the fact I am getting very few daytime pics of any deer, I am at lest seeing a few every sit.

    • delcecchi

      Posted

      The crescent and south switch meet all the criteria, except for boat access.   And they even usually have some sort of craft beer on tap, like surly furious etc. 

      The only place near the lake that has upscale food that I am aware of is the casino.    We try to get to the wilderness grill for lunch a time or two.   And daughter and husband will sometimes go there on date night while they are up, although the pull to the east is less now that the quilt shop in tower shut down. 

    • I am going up this weekend with a few buddies and the plan is to fish hard...will post back and let ya know if we find anything.

    • cabin040

      Posted

      Was up for the week of Sept 10-17th.  First day spent on East and West Fox lake and we did well on bass, crappie and northerns.  Second day was very slow fishing.  Spent one day on Kego and did well on bass and norhterns.  Hit Mitchel twice and did well on sunfish and bass.  A few nice crappies in the mix as well.  Went to Little Boy for a day of walleye fishing, and it was very slow.  1 walleye and 1 smallmouth bass.  Great week of fishing on a few new lakes.  A very nice area to explore.

      1 person likes this
    • Cliff Wagenbach

      Posted

      The trees are turning color fast now! Seems to gain color by the hour now!

      Cliff

    • Driving a scenic route through a state forest is a great way to view fall color, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  

      Finland State Forest

      Finland State Forest

      “Routes through hilly or rugged areas dominated by deciduous trees tend to have the best mix of color,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist. “And the dark green needles of conifers accent the yellow, orange and red leaves of deciduous trees in mixed forest.”

      Here are a few state forests routes to consider:

      Late September

      • Finland State Forest heading northeast along County Road 7 from Finland.

      Early October

      • Bowstring and Blackduck state forests along state Highway 46 between Deer River and Northome.
      • Pillsbury State Forest along Beauty Lake Forest Road between County Road 77 and County Road 1.
      • St. Croix and Nemadji state forests loop. From Interstate 35, take exit #183 and head east on state Highway 48. Head north on County Road 24. Head east on County Road 24. At Markville, head north on County Road 31. Head west on Park Forest Road. At Kerrick, head south on state Highway 23 to Interstate 35 exit #195.

      Mid-October

      • Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest has two good options. Along Zumbro Bottoms Road off of state Highway 60 southwest of Wabasha. Along state Highway 16 between Interstate 90 and state Highway 26.

      Visit www.mndnr.gov/stateforests for information about visiting a state forest and additional scenic routes. Entrance into a state forest is free. State forest campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $14 a night.

      Visit the Minnesota state parks and trails Fall Color Finder at www.mndnr.gov/fall_colors to find areas in Minnesota with peak fall color. The Fall Color Finder is updated every Thursday through the end of October.

      Discuss below - to view set the hook here.



  • Posts

    • ZachD
      Ya I think my dog would want to go after them he gets really excited around other dogs. That's why I will never hunt him without his e collar because I know I can stop him in his tracks with it. My dog likes to hunt close and I never let him push out way in front of me so at least I have eyes on him at all time and can give him the command to come to me if I see a wolf. I always keep a slip lead with me as well so I can put that on him and not have my hand tide up reaching down holding on his collar. I had a couple run in with wolves last year in the Longville/Remer area but that was just with me on foot with no dog. The one thing that gets me is "Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed"  I don't think I could just stand there and watch my dog die. Anyway did you hunt a different area? Any birds I have only been out once in the mille lacs area and didn't see any. Going to Nemadji this weekend and should see some.  
    • smalliehunter
      A friend and I will also be up chasing smallmouth this weekend!!!
    • slammer
      Add Sallie to the list.
    • BlackArrow1
      Went up north of Tofte last weekend camping/looking for a few grouse and to see the fall colors. Was in the region of the grade and 600 road. Pulled off on a walk only trail to run my lab and see if I could kick a few. Anyhow, my lab sits and barks like hell with anticipation at me every time I'm getting the gun out and getting ready to hunt her. So for about 5 minutes she's harassing me loud barking with excitement. We start walking down the trail maybe 50 yards and I see all this brown commotion jumping around ahead of us about 75 yards. At first I think we startled some deer. Then one came out full on the trail and stood watching me/dog. They were timber wolves. That one slunk off in the woods and another came out and just sat there looking at us for about a minute or so. When I noticed they were wolves I grabbed the dog by the caller. They seemed interested in my dog. Her barking must have drew them in. They ran off after looking us over a bit. I turned around and left that spot to avoid any issues. I'm thinking that maybe some younger bird dogs would be enticed to chase after wolves that show this kind of interest in them. In my opinion that would be bad and a dog may not come back alive, given their boldness and interest in my dog. It was fun seeing them, but we didn't just walk up and surprise them, they were coming to see the barking dog. Just curious? Maybe. Looking for an easy meal, maybe. I'm just putting this out there to inform bird hunters up there what I saw, so they can be aware if they have dogs. And no they were not coyotes. 
    • ANYFISH2
      Made it out yesterday evening, SAW 4 deer. The same small buck and 3 does.  They sure seemed skittish with the wind. For the fact I am getting very few daytime pics of any deer, I am at lest seeing a few every sit.