Home Forums Bows and Equipment I lost my first deer this weekend…

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    • ToddRvs
      Post count: 64

      This is going to be one of those “He got away Stories”

      After many years and many trips to the deer woods. I lost my first deer Saturday.

      I was set up in a ground blind about 15 yards from a well used deer trail and i was using my new long bow. Everything was going great, it was not to hot, the wind was in my face and the mosquitos were no where to be found. I was sitting there and about 30 minutes before dark a nice fork horn buck started to make his way down that well used trail and towards my blind. The buck was cautious and taking his time. Something most not of been right for this buck, because instead of continueing down the trail that would have brought him within 15 yards of my blind he decided to turn off into the woods. He was about 30-35 yards away when I grunted at him. He stopped and looked in my direction, It was too late though, The Zwickey tipped ceder shaft was already on it’s way. I heard the shaft hit and the buck humped up and took off. I listened while he crashed through woods until I could hear him no more. I waited until dark to give him time to lay up and called my friend on the two way to come and give me a hand tracking him. I figured I would find him within 50 to 75 yards piled up. I would come to find that would not be the case. I went to the spot I shoot him at and I found no blood and no arrow. My buddy and I tried to find a blood trail but all we found was a few drops here and there. After a couple of hours we decided to wait until morning to pick up the trail.

      I did not sleep a wink all that night I kept going over the whole episode in my mind and no matter how I looked at it, I knew I made a good hit on him. So why could I not find any sign.

      Morning came and we decided to start at the place I shoot him and work out from there in a circular pattern. After about an hour and more than 150 yards away we found where he had laid up for the night. We found a what looked like afist size blood stain and after that no more blood and no more sign. We finally called it quits after more than 4 hours of searching.

      I have to say I am really sick over the whole matter and it really bothers me. I had never lost an animal that I had shot before and I hope I never do again.

      Has any one else ever lost a deer after shooting it.

    • John Carter
      Post count: 71

      Sorry to hear this mate.

      Yeah,I’ve lost 3 animals over the years,,,and their the ones I remember most,,and still feel really bad about.

      Sounds like if he got through the night,,there’s a good chance he will recover.

      Unfortunately this is one of the down sides to hunting,it can an does happen,,,what more can you say.:cry:


    • Stephen Graf
      Post count: 2371

      What John said.

      And… all is not lost if we learn lessons from our mistakes. One question I might ask myself is : is 35 yards too long a shot? A lot can happen in the time it takes an arrow to go 35 yards even assuming the arrow was flying to the intended mark.

      Once you’ve mulled it over for all you can learn. Let it go.

    • ToddRvs
      Post count: 64

      Steve Graf wrote:

      One question I might ask myself is : is 35 yards too long a shot? A lot can happen in the time it takes an arrow to go 35 yards even assuming the arrow was flying to the intended mark.

      I have made 35 yard and even 40 yard shots on game before and never lost any. I also make 30 and 40 yard shots in practice very consistantly. So I do not know, maybe I hit a twig I didn’t see and it deflected my arrow, or maybe I just made a really bad shot and I thought I made a good shot. I just do not know. All I know is I have a deer out there with one of my arrows in it and I feel terrible about not recovering that animal. I hope it was just a superficial wound and he will be ok. I really do. I will be looking for him on my Trail Cameras, and for the rest of the season.

    • NHguy12
      Post count: 24

      Sorry to hear that. I lost a turkey once and even that bothered the heck out of me, still does. So, I can only imagine your feelings on a deer.

      Here in NH we are required to put our name and address on arrows in case someone does find it. We also are supposed to turn in our tag and “claim” the unfound kill. Not sure what Florida requires.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hi Todd, not much to add to what’s already been said, not every hunt has a happy ending you can only look to yourself and learn the lessons one at a time, I guess most of us have been there.
      Do you know anyone with a good dog, start from the bed and if you don’t get a scent work towards water sources, be patient with the dog and don’t second guess it.
      And as has been said, don’t lose heart, put it behind you and become the best hunter you can, Mark.

    • William Warren
      Post count: 1384

      Sorry to hear of your lost deer. Brings back my own memories and feelings. From your description and my own experience, a deer that humps up is hit too far back. This will be a fatal hit, however, it will take some time. The best advice if this happens is to let the deer lay perhaps until the next day unless weather would force you to take up the trail sooner. I learned this the hard way and beleive me, it changed the way I look at the shots I take or don’t take. Good advice from Steve, mull it over, learn from it and then let it go.

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      Todd, sorry about your lost buck. I lost one myself, a few years ago. Spike buck in velvet, hit him back by the hips somewhere, blood went about 50 yards and stopped. I combed the ridge for 2 hours that day, and for half the next, never found anything, not even my arrow. I learned a good lesson from it. Never shoot at an alert deer.


    • Bowhunter1978
      Post count: 3

      Sorry about your lost animal I have lost a couple also.I hunted with a compound for a few years and lost the biggest buck I ever shot with a bow.He was a 18in. six point.I started shooting a long bow this year and shot a doe and lost her it is amazing how long it takes a arrow to cover 25 or 30 yards.I do enjoy shooting and hunting with trad bows more than I did comound bows.So I will give it another try.

    • Steve Branson
      Post count: 73

      If he hunched up, may be a gut hit. Will bed down after a short time but they will definately try to get to water since they will become dehydrated. Its tough losing an animal, but it happens. Has happened for centuries and will continue to happen as long as man hunts, it’s not good, but it is part of nature.

    • SteveMcD
      Post count: 870

      Sorry about your loss. It is tough. Been there too. Anyone who has not had a lost animal or a bad hit just hasn’t been at it long enough. That said, one thing I’ve learned over the years. I have regretted few shots, but I have never regretted not taking a shot.

      What Duncan and Steve said. “Humped Up”.. yup tell tale reaction of a gut shot deer, he is mortally hit but needs about 6 to 8 hours to die. Pushing him too early just chases him into the next county. HOWEVER, nothing in nature goes to waste, the local coyote, wolf, bobcat and bear all thank you very much! 🙂

      You are now a better hunter for the experience.

      Good Hunting!

    • BlakeFischer
      Post count: 27

      I had a friend who experienced the same thing a couple of weeks ago, I was bewildered that we did not find his doe after his description of the hit, high tenderloin/kidney area. We found blood, where she laid down but lost her when she seal up and moved. I was bothered by the fact that he only got the arrow 1/2 the way through the yearling, then I examined his broadheads. Dull would describe them best. A sharp broadhead is critical to recovering marginally hit animals. So if you are not afraid of your broadheads and they will not shave hair, then spend sometime or find someone who will sharpen them for you.
      Don’t forget to constantly touch them up during the season.

    • SteveMcD
      Post count: 870

      Well Blake.. we’ll just have to see how my Eclipse 145 Broadheads do!!! 8):D

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