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#3278882 - 06/30/13 08:10 AM Blood Trailing deer.
102
10 Point


Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 4023
Loc: Tennessee

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For those of you who may not have a whole bunch of experience on this topic, and as a refresher to us all, here are a few thoughts based on experience from a combined 150 years of deer hunting (in my group) and hundreds of blood trails.

First of all, allow me to suggest that almost all of these scenarios are arrow wounds and recoveries. Not to say that there aren't also a whole bunch of muzzleloader and rifle kills mixed in for experience. Mostly, unless otherwise posted, our discussion will concern blood loss, and/or infection, as the primary killer of these deer.

Note that high speed bullets kill animals with not only blood loss, but also hydrostatic shock. In layman terms...the bullet hits the animal at such a high rate of speed that it sends a "shock wave" (think ripple in a pool) through the animal that causes massive tissue damage.

A broadhead slices veins and arteries which bleed and cause shock from blood loss and eventually death.
The more blood loss the quicker the death.

[b]A double lung[/b] shot deer has extreme difficulty getting oxygen to the blood and brain and quickly looses consciousness and death comes quickly. MOST of the time, you will likely see or hear the deer crash.

It is possible, in VERY RARE cases, (I have witnessed a few) that a deer can survive a double lung shot with both entry and exit wounds prevalent.

A thoraxic surgeon friend who has seen this himself in deer (and people), explains that IF a deer has the right mix of fat and hide, and has its body turned or twisted in such a way that upon returning itself to "normal" position this hair and hide "covers" the wounds, it is possible for the animal to survive for a length of time. Possibly even recovering from the wound.

In my line of work we call this an occlusive dressing.

more to come later
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#3278993 - 06/30/13 11:30 AM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: 102]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16192
Loc: Franklin TN

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One of the members here, Gil, lost a doe a couple seasons ago that showed up on trail cam with huge scars from what appeared to be a double lung shot with a rage broadhead. Nobody could figure out how she survived.
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#3279112 - 06/30/13 04:18 PM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: catman529]
Hollar Hunter
8 Point


Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 2215
Loc: TN

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Edited by Hollar Hunter (06/30/13 04:19 PM)
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#3279153 - 06/30/13 05:30 PM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: Hollar Hunter]
ROUGH COUNTRY HUNTER
16 Point


Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 12539
Loc: FRANKLIN COUNTY

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they will amaze you sometimes
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#3279225 - 06/30/13 07:08 PM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: ROUGH COUNTRY HUNTER]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4761
Loc: medon,Tn.

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I don't know, but it seems very unlikely to me that a deer could survive a double lung shot with an arrow. No calling you out 102, but with todays broadheads, not much chance. Maybe one lung yes, but both, the partys over.
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#3279241 - 06/30/13 07:28 PM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: tickweed]
102
10 Point


Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 4023
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
I don't know, but it seems very unlikely to me that a deer could survive a double lung shot with an arrow. No calling you out 102, but with todays broadheads, not much chance. Maybe one lung yes, but both, the partys over.


Trust me on this tickweed, I WAS completely certain you were right. Afterall, if a double lung deer does survive, chances are you won't know because you won't find it, RIGHT???

I just could not be convinced that a double lung hit deer could survive.

And then one day (and several hundred kills later) it happened.

I made the "perfect" double lung shot and it survived. Only to be killed later by a friend later.

Now I have seen this repeated.

And I have seen this on video and game cams.

RARE...but true!
_________________________
God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3279320 - 06/30/13 09:27 PM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: 102]
hunter0925
8 Point


Registered: 01/21/13
Posts: 1092
Loc: TN, Rhea,

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I killed a 8 pt a few years ago that had been shot during bow season. This was toward the end of rifle so I would say it was late December. The buck had been hit hi but not out of the vitals. I would say it would have definitely hit lung and he was making it just fine.
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#3279432 - 07/01/13 05:15 AM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: hunter0925]
102
10 Point


Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 4023
Loc: Tennessee

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I only made mention of the double lung survivor to emphasize this: when blood trailing deer, always remember there are no absolutes.
We have seen double lung shot deer survive, and gut shot deer die within seconds.

Speaking of gut shot deer:
These type wounds are probably the most challenging to recover. These wounds are also, IMO, completely unacceptable. I am not proud at all to say I have accidentally shot several deer through the guts. And I have also been with many others who also accidentally gut shot deer. I would never encourage gut shooting any animal. It is a painful, long, and suffering death.
When I started bow hunting, I did not know how to recover this type wound, and lost a few, only to find them days or weeks later, by the smell or by seeing buzzards.

In almost all cases, gut shot deer are DEAD deer. They simply can't survive the infection (septosis) caused by bowel and or stomach contents spilled out into the body cavity. The biggest problem with these animals is that they have no idea what is going on. And if need be, especially in the first few minutes of the injury, they can travel a long way in mere seconds, leaving behind little or no sign.

We generally classify a gut shot deer as any deer shot behind the diaphram. In fact, I believe it is a safer bet to consider a deer that has been hit in front of the diaphram, in the chest cavity, where the arrow exited out the guts affecting only one lung, as a gut shot deer.
Gut shot deer should be allowed to expire. Trying to get close enough for a second shot and risking jumping the animal, never to see it again, is probably not a good option for most of us.

I know of no one who is capable of trailing a deer through the woods and field without that animal leaving behind at least a little bit of blood. And I have seen MANY gut shot deer that do not leave behind any blood. Or bile.
I am certain there are those hunters/trackers who are very capable of trailing a wounded deer by track without the presence of blood. I have just never met this hunter yet.
I suspect John Sloan (bowriter)may be one of these rare individuals as he insists that gut shot deer be pursued much sooner than I.

Often times, when an arrow passes through a deer in the guts, it enters and exits through areas of the body that contain a lot of fat. This fat, skin, and hair will commonly cover these exit and entrance wounds, in essence closing the holes and preventing further fluid loss. This makes blood trailing much more difficult if not impossible. Especially when one considers that there may be very little major blood carrying arteries and veins cut by the broadhead in the first place.

We have seen gut shot deer live over 20 hours. I have recovered gut shot deer as long as 18 hours after the shot and still have to shoot the animal a second time.

As always, there are exceptions. The stomach has an artery running through it called the pyloric. Slice through this artery and you will likely see this deer fall. It is a RARE shot.

Also, there will often be blood at the exit wound site on the ground.

more to come!
_________________________
God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3279680 - 07/01/13 11:27 AM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: 102]
Winchester
Non-Typical


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 27498
Loc: TN

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Good posts as always 102.

 Quote:
We have seen gut shot deer live over 20 hours. I have recovered gut shot deer as long as 18 hours after the shot and still have to shoot the animal a second time.

I shot a mature buck a couple years ago in ILL. about an hour before dark one afternoon. Shot looked good but his reaction after the shot and being able to watch him for a few mins before he left my sight told me to back out! 18 hours later I found his bed 70 yards from where I shot him, which at first glance didn't look like he had bled much. After close examination the leaves/ground under the top layer of leaves was actually saturated with blood, almost like a sponge effect. He had only went another 70 yards where I found him, still alive! Although very weak he could still lift his head and look at me anytime I got closer than 20 yards. Instead of turning it in to a dangerous situation, I called my Dad who was hunting not far on the opposite side of the deer, and had him sneak in and put another arrow in him in his bed while he was pre occupied with watching me.
My autopsy when field dressing him showed exactly what I thought, center of one lung and Liver, hole as big as a quarter through both with a complete pass through.
While not a perfect shot, this deer especially being left alone, should have been dead long before I got to him!
For reference I shot him with a 100 grn Slick trick magnum head, which was scary sharp and zipped right through this 215 lb field dressed deer.
Just reiterating 102's point that there is no guarantee with any shot and each situation has to be handled on its own.
For reference, I have never met the individual who can track a deer through the woods on tracks alone either! If they aren't bleeding or tearing up the leaves, you cant track them.

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#3279750 - 07/01/13 12:51 PM Re: Blood Trailing deer. [Re: Winchester]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16192
Loc: Franklin TN

confused Online
I shot this buck 7 yards from the tree while he was moving. Had I made a noise to get him to stop, the shot would not have been 5 inches too far back. I did not cut into him to see where the arrow went, because I could already smell the exit hole in the belly. Keith (geezer) helped me out the morning after I shot him, and recovered him 24 hours after the shot, stone dead. He probably did not live long after the shot, but I did not have the experience to head straight for water like the deer and Keith did so I spent 8 hours in grown up CRP type field losing the blood trail. There was liver blood on the ground and a blood-soaked arrow, and then it dried up and the trail was lost in the thicket. I suspect the arrow probably nicked the back of the right lung, went through the liver and stomach and out the belly. It was a 7 yard chip shot but the buck was moving and I did not even think to stop him before shooting (it was my first archery buck and blood was pumping).

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