Tracking is hard, not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Intro to Bowhunting & Archery' started by Creepy21, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Creepy21

    Creepy21 Weekend Warrior

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    Little long,

    Ok I took my first shot with a bow at a doe yesterday about 5:30 pm. It was downhill about 18 yards, broadside opening. I had a little shaking but felt like it was a good shot. I aimed just behind his front leg, and near the bottom of the belly. Figured downhill + me being amped. I believe it was a good hit, she jumped up, turned and took off. I watched her go and listened to the crashing through the woods. My son and I waited about 15 minutes and went to look for the arrow at the point of impact. I now see the point of lighted nocks which I do not have. I never found the arrow. We looked there about 25 minutes. Also did not see any blood at poi. We did find a few drops about 40 yards away, and some more about 30 yards after that on the trail she took. The blood looked bright red, no bubbles or green though. Kind of the color of the banner on this mobile site.

    So here is the deal. My son and I backed out and got sown better flashlights. We came back about 8 and searched till midnight and found nothing additional. My problem is that I cannot go back this am since I have a flight that I am currently sitting on. I called a local group that brings out dogs to assist but they said they couldn't come until the morning. Their advice given the above was that I probably didn't get a good shot.

    So here is my very long winded questions. #1, is there anything I can do to have someone try and recover the animal without me there? I live in New York. #2, is there a chance given the above that I missed? Attempting to not sound like a blow horn, I am a pretty good shot, and I could not recover the arrow. If I found the arrow I would be more inclined to think we'll I just grazed him, must of pulled it. Since I can't find it, I am guessing it is in her. Even due to the lack of blood is that possible?

    Thanks for any advice. I feel like crap. I hope she doesn't end up in someone's yard with an arrow hanging out. I can't get back in until Monday to search and I feel wasteful.
     
  2. takemrarely

    takemrarely Weekend Warrior

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    Not finding arrow means it is in her or you missed it when looking. Unless you can give ur tag to someone, and I am not familiar with NY laws, you would need to recover her.....
     
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  3. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    I agree, either the arrow is in her and she won't be far if the placement is what you think. If the arrow passed through, you missed it and potentially some good info. I couldn't find my arrow after shooting a doe last week. Either way, with that placement and bright red blood, I am guessing she is dead with the arrow in her. That would explain a weak blood trail.
     
  4. Coop

    Coop Grizzled Veteran

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    Well misses don't lead to finding blood, so you obviously didn't miss. You had to hit the deer somewhere for it to bleed. Without seeing pictures of the blood or being there to see the shot, anything anybody says is just going to be a guess at best. It is a crummy feeling and I feel for you. All you can do is make certain you do better next time. I would highly suggest either some lighted nocks or making your arrows lighter or brighter in color to make seeing them in flight easier for you.
     
  5. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    It's a bummer for sure, but you should make yourself available for the recovery of a deer. That's being a responsible hunter.
     
  6. Arkyinks

    Arkyinks Weekend Warrior

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    Just so you know it happens to all sooner or later. I had hunted deer for over 30 years, with over 100 deer taken when I lost two in the same season. So I know how you are feeling. Finding the arrow is important because it will give pertinent information. What I was taught I will pass along to you and it has served me well.
    Sit still and be quiet for 30 minutes ... I mean dead still and listen... sometimes when a deer is shot it will circle around DOWN WIND to see what spooked it. Often when shot they run a ways then stop and listen. You often find that puddle, then they move on if able, if they hear you they will move out in high gear... if not then they walk off.
    After your wait go to where the deer was shot at and mark that spot. (I use flagging tape) Then go to where you last saw the deer and mark it. Next find the arrow if you did not see it when you marked the shot spot.
    The arrow can tell if it was gut, liver, lung or missed clean. Then trail from shot to last seen spot looking for blood, foam and hair. Then it becomes work. In my trailing I have found that they go down hill and away from the truck if at all possible. If you can follow the blood more than a mile chances are the deer will live through it. Even if a mechanical blade fails to open just one hole in a lung from a field point will put a deer down in 1000 yards. Like I said before they will often circle back to get a wift of what spooked them so mark wind direction after the shot. If you lose the blood trail look blind down wind of the shot. Have found more than one that way.
    Coyotes have to eat too, so it is not wasted but just remember next time you loose the string.
     
  7. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    This is why I don't hunt as much as I'd like to anymore, I can't be sure that I'll have time to properly track or process a deer as it deserves. I realize people are busy but it's also a bad deal to waste an animal.

    Anything anyone tells you is purely speculation on if the deer is dead or not. Bright blood isn't definitive by any means and neither is not finding an arrow. I didn't understand the part about aiming for the bottom of her belly...if that means what it sounds like then I doubt you killed her but again that's pure speculation. Sounds like you aimed way too low.
     
  8. Creepy21

    Creepy21 Weekend Warrior

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    Thank you all for the advice and insight. Early in I completely agree. In hind sight I should not have even gone out last night as I knew I didn't have the next day if needed. I won't make that mistake again. Coveymaster, I aimed a bit low because I had planned on working from a blind this year so my sights are set up shooting in my yard. I do have a high deck and i set a target up a few times to see what it might feel like shooting from a tree. I noticed that at like distances when shooting from up there my sights leave me high. Being that I was about 10 feet higher on a ridge and shooting down I aimed a little low since in practice those situations went high. Anyway, again thank you all for the time. Come to find it that in NY I could have someone find it, but they need a tag to drag it out. Since I can't provide that then hopefully I'm just feeding coyotes and nothing worse than that. I will see what I can track down in Monday when I get back home. Hopefully I can at least figure out what happened.
     
  9. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Aha, that explanation makes sense! Thanks for sorting that out!
     
  10. foodplot19

    foodplot19 Grizzled Veteran

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    Shooting down hill can definitely be tricky. I use to hunt from about 30' up in a tree at my aunts place. There was a large bluff in front of me that made it hard to hunt if I was lower in the tree. Problem was that if the deer was close to the tree I was in it wasn't as far out from the tree as it was down. Make sense? Gravity takes less control of your arrow if you are shooting down a fairly steep hill than it does they you are shooting more horizontal. If you are 20' up in a tree and shooting around you on fairly flat ground you won't notice this, but if you are up in a tree 20' and shooting down much of a slope it will come in to play. I didn't read that you were in a stand or not. Either way, at 18 yds you would've had to be shooting down a fairly steep incline to have needed to aim low. At 18 yds and near to the same grade you are at put it where you want to hit the target. No need to compensate for elevation.
    Distance is deceptive to people that are elevated. If you are hunting in the woods where the terrain changes quite a bit you either need to check distances before you climb in to the tree or when you do get to your stand pick spots that you might shoot. Range that point straight out in front of you, not down to the ground. Check both to see the difference. Like I said before if you are 20' or less and shooting around you on fairly flat ground just put it on the spot you want. It'll work out just fine.
    For instance, the tree I hunted out of last night. I'm up 20' from the gound below me. To the south out at 20 yds I'm about 10' above the ground but to the north of me I'm about 40' above the ground. There will be a difference on what the range finder tells me if I shoot it to the north. My range finder is older and don't compensate for angles like some of the new ones do.
    I hope this helps you out.
     
  11. Creepy21

    Creepy21 Weekend Warrior

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    That does food plot. Math is hard. I got a range finder that compensates for that very reason. And to clarify, no I was not in a stand. Was sitting with my back to a tree stump. The good news is my scent control is working is a deer got that close with me just sitting there!
     
  12. Creepy21

    Creepy21 Weekend Warrior

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    Well for anyone following, I'm calling off the search. Put in about 6 hours this morning with a friend who has more experience than me. Sadly it rained pretty good yesterday which made the odds of tracking 2 days later even worse. Found nothing more than we did the first night. Few lessons learned for me, #1 don't hunt when the next day is impossible to move. #2 be much more quiet longer after the shot. #3 get a better flashlight.

    Thanks for the comments/advice everyone. Hopefully the next time is more successful.
     
  13. Hoytvectrix

    Hoytvectrix Weekend Warrior

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    #4, get lighted nocks.
     
  14. rth548

    rth548 Newb

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    I shot one about a month ago from my tree stand, never found the arrow or any blood or hair at POI. I believe the arrow buried up under the leaves and it was a clean miss, but I spent 3 hours that night and the next morning looking for the deer just to be sure.
    Lighted nocks are going on my arrows this weekend since I won't get to bowhunt again til next week.
     
  15. Hoytvectrix

    Hoytvectrix Weekend Warrior

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    Make damn sure that you re-sight in your bow with the new nocks. Many people say that they do not affect the flight, but my experience is that they do a little at the very least. In every case where I had a difference in point of impact, the arrow with the (Nocturnal) lighted nock was low at point of impact.
     
  16. Bowman_08

    Bowman_08 Weekend Warrior

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    Sounds like a liver shot it's normally dark red blood she will die but might take a while and blood trails on those shot are real slim to none


    Sent from my iPhone using Bowhunting.com Forums
     

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