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vister

haven't had a worse feeling

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vister

Saturday morning while sitting in stand a nice doe quickly and steadily made her way to me. So i prepared for a chance to shoot. She was trotting directly at me so i gave a quick whistle when she was in range. She froze and i let it sail. I could have waited for a better shot, but i had been drawn back for some time now.

Not sure where the arrow hit, but it was a clean pass through, as the arrow was covered in hair, fat and blood broadhead to nock. All i had for the shot was her neck and brisket. She jumped up and i noticed the arrow kind of fling out to the right side, her left at impact.

About 45 minutes later I began the search. Quickly found the arrow, but a bit farther back than thought, about 38 yards out. Got on a good blood trail till it crossed into the neighbors woods. Thinned out, found a bunch of big clumps of clot, some tissue, and then a very good blood trail once again, also finding blood about 22 inches up that had been rubbed onto the brush from the left. That told me the arrow exited from the left.

Blood then crossed another neighbors hay field and then into anothers woods, where the blood thinned and came to a stop. My buddy and I gave it our all to pick up on the trail again, but to no luck. We decided to give up on it, after tracking for nearly 2 miles and over 4 hours. That was the worst feeling i have had in the woods hunting to this day. Being unable to find a wounded deer.

I was confident on the shot, just wondering what happened out there. I think the arrow hit the chest a bit right, deflected off the breast bone, rode along the rib cage and exited out her left side and that is why i think the arrow looked so goofy just after it hit her. only causing some blood loss, and nothing vital was struck?? The hair on the arrow was 3 inches long, typically from the brisket. Any thoughts?

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iffwalleyes

It happens it stinks but there is always that chance. I had a similar thing happen a couple years back durning gun season. I shot a smaller buck on the last day of the season. I shot it as it was running I knew I hit it but also figured I did hit it to far back. Anyhow I shot it just on the top of a hill. It did about three sommer saults down the hill and then I thought it piled up in the brush along the river we were hunting I couldn't see it moving. So we began tracking it and we tracked for about three mile and spent three hours looking. We caught up to it once. It had managed to break through the ice of the river and swim to the other side and climb up the bank. By the time we got across the river we lost our blood trail and weren't able to located the deer. That was the worst feeling in the world for me and one I hope not to have to go through again but in all reality I will probably have it happen again some day. I wish all of the shots were quick and clean but they are not always that way.

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koonie

Your other option besides the neck shot was to let her pass.

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harvey lee

I would have to agree that one should have passed on the neck shot and waited for a better one. One needs to really put a good shot on a deer to get it by archery.

Shooting with a bow at the neck or brisket is a very low percentage shot and most times will turn into a crippled deer.

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MNOutdoorsman

I had a very similar thing happen Saturday morning. A nice sized doe came walking down the trail right by my stand. As she walked through the shooting lane 10 yards from my tree, I let the arrow fly. She instantly hit the ground and I could see 2/3 of the arrow sticking up from her back. My first thought was that I shot her in the spine and will need another arrow to finish her. I turned to get another arrow and turned back just to get a glimpse of her heading into the woods. I heard a crash a few moments later and thought she must be down. I waited an hour and a half then went to look for her. I found blood right away but never found my arrow. We trailed her for about 1/4 mile until she entered a corn field. We decided to give her a some time so we waited 2 more hours then picked up the trail again. We finally gave up after going about 1/2 mile and the blood stopped.

The only thing I can think I did wrong was shooting from a sitting position. I probably didn't bend at the waist enough causing my shot to go high.

I know excactly how you feel. I wish I could have a "do over". I feel bad knowing I probably killed a nice doe by muffing an easy shot.

I know it happens, but I wish it wouldn't.

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Stratosman

Yeah if you're a bowhunter it's gonna happen sooner or later.... I will reiterate what a couple others have said and say that is a VERY low percentage shot, next time you butcher a deer take a look at the make up of the front end of a deer, there is nothing but bone in the way of the vitals. The only chance it to slide the arrow just below the throat patch and above the briskit. And if the deer is even slightly angled in either direction, there is no unobstructed path to the vitals.

Now I will say that I lost a deer one time to a poor decision with the bow and it sucks real bad, I felt terrible. But you know what? I have never taken a questionable shot since. Sometimes that's what it takes.

Get back on that horse. smile.gif

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harvey lee

One time i thought I would spine a deer as it walked under me and it looked to be a very easy shot, just hit the spine. Well, it didnt work out that way at all as I was to the side just a little bit. Very low percentage shot and I have never and will never try that again. Some shots look so easy but they are simply a very poor choice. As Stratos has stated, we have all tried it and most end up crippling them.

Been there and done that. frown.gif

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Scott K

Sorry to hear of your hunt!

Even on a good shot, I have trailed them for a mile, up a 150 ft hill. When I cleaned it, I hit the heart, about a quarter of it, there was blood all over the place, I couldnt believe how far it went when following the trail, then cleaning it, and seeing where it was hit. They are tuff, and I know it can be hard to pass on some iffy shots, but after a losing a couple, you will get more cautious on your shots.

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vister

yeah, I know it was an iffy shot to say the least. I feel comfortable up to fifty yards at deer, as most archers should with todays equipment. It just took a lot of shooting that far to train myself to get patterns. Once I was grouping at 50, boy 20 yards seemed like nothing. It was a tougher shot, I did aim at the white under the neck, just mis calculated the range. Now I now, I don't think I'll ever let em fly at a shot like that again. I guess you just have to learn the hard way. It is a horrible thing wounding a deer, but i think it also makes you a better hunter as your judgement increases learning from past errors.

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Powerstroke

It is important to learn from your mistakes and admitting them is even more important. I won't preach about the shot too much since its been covered.

Every hunter has wounded or lost an animal. If they haven't it will in time. Its part of the game. The most important thing is to minimize the chance that the animal will escape wounded. Always stick to high percentage shots and don't take chances. If that deer didn't spook it would've most likely come back another day. Now she will not come back for another chance and you don't get to keep it. I've never lost a deer, but I have had shots that didn't hit where I wanted them. I've been fortunate to recover the deer. I did lose a pheasant last week that I'm not happy about. It wasn't as big as a deer, but I treat it the same. All hunters should aim to kill in a quick, humane manner.

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UdeLakeTom

The family was taking recently about does...even in rifle season and a good hit, doe seem to have more perserverance and seem to keep on going when a buck might have been down.

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chucker34

Harvey, I had a similar shot this past week on a nice doe. I was actually doing a slow stalk. I brought my bow with me on a walk as usual and for once ran into some deer within range. She was standing 30 yards from me back turned to me and head looking back for the longest time. I was waiting for her to turn broadside before finally bolting so I could release but she just slowly walked away, butt and tail facing me. Since she was on a hill, back facing me at about a 45 degree angle, I thought afterward, why didn't I just take a spine shot. Seems like it would have been a slam dunk. All I had to do was hit dead center at 30 yards. But your story reminds me of why I didn't. She could have moved slightly or who knows what. Good reminder.

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