Rough morning hunt

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by t8rsalad, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. t8rsalad

    t8rsalad Weekend Warrior

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    I hear every bow hunter has this happen to them at one point or another. I was out this morning and had a deer come in to freshly trimmed shooting lane before first light. Couldn't see my pins, even though I could see this was a good sized doe. Fast forward to a little after 9:00 and I'm getting ready to climb out of the stand when I hear the old familiar sound of a deer stomping it's hooves. It was the doe again, this time about 25 yards out. We went back to the stomp dance, but this time I was ready and was at full draw for a couple of minutes. Full disclosure, I had the buck fever shakes going for my first shootable deer this year. I let it fly and heard the arrow enter and exit the body cavity. I gave it 20 minutes since I knew I'd hit her. When I got down, there was a second doe that I didn't see that blew out hard. I found my arrow very quickly. Unfortunately, it appeared that I had it her down and back farther than I wanted. Arrow was covered in a brown and green goop (gut shot based on everything I know), so I backed out for 7 hours. I came back, went straight to where my arrow was and started tracking the trail she'd taken and side trails. I'd went 200 yards in each direction or until I hit a fence line, but no sign of the deer bedding down or blood. During this time, I came across a doe and fawn and had another doe blow out without ever seeing me. Other than controlling my emotions and shooting better, is there anything else I'm missing on the process? The only other thing I can think of is come back with one of the special flash lights, but given the lack of blood, I don't know if it would do any good. The next question is based on the amount of scent I dropped and bumping the deer on my 30 acre of pines and scrub trees, how long should I say backed out before going back and getting back on the horse? I'm thinking a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
     
  2. AWK08

    AWK08 Weekend Warrior

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    you need to go back in and do everything you can to recover that deer, if it stinks up and disturbs your spot, so be it.
    that decision was made when you released that arrow
     
  3. t8rsalad

    t8rsalad Weekend Warrior

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    I was out for 2 hours tonight, bird dogging every trail with no sign. I'm tracking down the neighboring property owners now as we speak so that I can go back out tomorrow to see if I can find it. I know there's a small creek on the far east side of the property, so I'll drive by that tomorrow after work as well since I know gut shot deer tend to go to water. The only problem is if the deer survived and went into a neighbor's cornfield, there's no finding that thing until after it's harvested. Believe me when I say it, this will only be my 2nd non-recovered deer in 17 years of hunting and I feel like crap about it. If there's any other techniques or things to try, I'm all ears. I'm not sure if tracking dogs are an option in my area, otherwise I'd do that.
     
  4. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    Guts a lot of time will clog up the wound and you wont get much blood, plus the green matter coming out will be hard to see any way. Your best bet is to keep looking. See if you can find a tracking dog service ( If legal in your state). If that is not a option, head to closest water and start your search there. Some times they will jump in a pond and sink. Next place to check is the thickest place on the land that is so thick you cant walk in.
     
  5. t8rsalad

    t8rsalad Weekend Warrior

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    I've been through the few thickets on the property so far and that's where the deer blew out of earlier. Given the lack of sign post shot and the beds I did finds were dry without scent of the guts, do you think there's a strong chance at survival? I know it's all 50/50 right now. It got up to 75 today here in Missouri, it's not exactly hot right now to drive the deer straight to water. I've checked into the dogs idea and it is legal here in Missouri. Does anyone on the forum know of local services off hand? The power of Google found a few results, but most are not willing to travel over an hour to my area.
     
  6. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I would check the water, its the deers natural reaction to go straight to water when injuried, not because its hot out. I have heard that every gut shot deer will die (don't know if this is 100 percent true), it just takes time. Could take 8-12 hours, but if you don't push them they will die in there first bed or in or around water most of the time. A lot of times you just have to grid search.
     
  7. RCW3D

    RCW3D Weekend Warrior

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    First off...it sucks but it happens. Obviously you need to try everything you can to recover the deer but based on the temperatures in Missouri, I'm not even sure that the meat would be usable by now. I would still go back out and see if you can find it, if nothing else, it is a learning moment on where a mortally wounded animal will head towards in that area. The next thing you need to remember is, although losing the deer sucks big time and will weigh on you, that deer will be recycled back into nature and feed plenty of other wildlife.
     
  8. t8rsalad

    t8rsalad Weekend Warrior

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    I did this tonight. Checked the creek as suggested. Bumped up the deer I think was with the doe yesterday, but didn't find her. I did find the bones of a small buck that had shed it's antlers before death. My guess is a winter kill or one that had been shot more than a year ago. I did go back into the spot and found 2 shed antlers that the squirrels had gotten to before I found them. One was within 5 ft of the arrow that I found kicking over the overgrowth. The temps here the last 2 days have been 75 plus, so my only guess is that the doe went off property. The land to the west just sold, so I don't have a contact for that property and haven't been able to get a hold of anyone to the north since it's in a trust. It's rough, because that doe has been on my mind the last 24 hours. My only hope is that she comes by my trail cam again if she's made it. If I find her, I'll update you guys. Thanks for the words of advice. It's much appreciated.
     
  9. head2toe camo

    head2toe camo Weekend Warrior

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    Learning experience. sounds like you did what any ethical hunter should do, and you're not gonna fix it by finding her. Although I understand why you're still hung up on it. Get back in the stand and do better next time.
     
  10. copperhead

    copperhead Grizzled Veteran

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    This situation has happened to anyone that has hunted for awhile. If it hasn't they have been lucky. It does suck and sounds like you made every effort to recover her. That is all you can do. Don't let it discourage you. Just like every thing else in life use it as a learning experience and move on. The fever is why many people hunt and it's a part of hunting. Learn to a manage it and make a good shot. Give that area a little break and get back at it when you can. Don't forget the camera so we can see your success. Good luck.
     

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