Home Forums Campfire Forum My first shot at a deer

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    • jaytbuzzard
      Post count: 80

      I had six does come in to 20-25 yards. I shot at one of the larger ones. It was my first shot at a deer. It all happened so fast. It looked a little low. They all took off and disappeared into the woods. I had to sit down so I wouldn’t fall out of the stand. A little while later I got down and looked at my arrow. There was blood on it, but not as much as I thought there would be. I called a friend to help me search for her. We started looking about an hour after the shot. The first drops of blood were found about thirty yards away. We tracked the blood for at least a hundred yards. Some of it was really pooled up and in other places it was a drop or two. The blood just stopped. We looked for several hours and didn’t find anymore blood or her. I feel sick about it. One of the guys thinks that I might of hit her low in the brisket and she wasn’t hurt that bad. I hope that’s the case. I thought that my first shot would end differently than this.:(

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      I feel for yah man, its a tough break. However I wouldn’t give up just yet. Ravens/Crows might find your Deer before it spoils so it might pay to keep a look out for them. Also a tracking dog might be another alternative, depending on the regs in your area. Couldn’t hurt to contact your local DNR to find out for sure.

    • Treetopflier
      Post count: 146

      Indeed, if we shoot at game, sooner or later we miss or get a bad hit. If you’re truly freaked about it, my humble advice, the advice I give myself in such spots and try to follow, is to hold for a closer shot next time. I’ve been doing this a long time and still consider 20-25 a stretch for my shooting skills under the pressure of buck/doe fever. Good luck, keep the faith, worship self-restraint. ttf

    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      20 to 25 yards is a pretty far poke in the woods. I’m not sure I have ever shot at 25 yards in a hunting situation. Other guys (especially Western hunters) seem to be more comfortable with shots like that. It’s your hunt, your ethical standards, not mine. But if we were buddies sitting around a fire splitting a 6 pack I would urge you to rethink your effective range.

      That said, if you think the arrow went low, and from the blood trail you describe, your buddy who thought it might be a brisket shot is probably right. If so, that deer will most likely recover, and you both learned something:)

    • jaytbuzzard
      Post count: 80

      As luck would have it, haha:roll:, I had to go back into the woods today to look for my camera that I lost yesterday. I found my camera, but no deer. One of the guys that was helping me look, has been hunting for a long time said that with the ground being covered with wet leaves, that it’s possible the doe laid down and that helped the blood stop flowing. I looked again for a while today and saw nothing different. I have no intention of giving up now. Looking back, I think my biggest mistake was looking at the deer as a whole instead of focusing on a spot. I would have waited for them to come a little closer, but one of the does jumped for some reason and I thought they were going to leave. I felt confident with making the shot but I didn’t pick a spot. I have prayed for the doe, hoping that she is ok instead dying and not being found. Thanks for the words of encouragement, I will keep yall posted on my future adventures.

    • William Warren
      Post count: 1384

      I had the same thing happen to me on my first 2 deer. Since that time I’ve learned to approach the spot where the deer stood when shot very carefully so I can study it closely looking for hair, blood, bone, or tissue that might be left at the scene. Over the years I’ve found all of these things either on the ground or on the arrow or on both. These signs can give you a clue as to where your shot actually hit and what you should do next. Brisket hair will be long and not as bristly and blunt as shoulder hair. It will be lighter in color.
      Regardless of the sign I find I know I must follow up. I owe it to the animal. It sounds like you did as much as you could do, enlisting the help of others, to find your deer. I agree that shortening your hunting range is a good idea. I like a deer to be 10 – 15 yards.


    • rayborbon
      Post count: 298

      Get back in the saddle. It is not always like that. I have lost one critter but most fall.

      I’d recommend looking for a lost critter a second day as well. When the hysteria wanes.. Many people have had success finding their critter the following day.

    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      Jay — you’ve hit on a big problem that doesn’t get nearly enough discussion among us — failure under hunting pressure to pick a spot. I can screw up a shot even at close range, and the farther out the target, the greater the screw-up quotent. I have personally never been able to understand “target panic” when shooting at targets. But when shooting at game re call it buck fever and I still suffer from it. In recent years I’ve developed a habit of chanting silently “pick a spot, pick a spot” as game approaches or I’m waiting for the right shot siuation. But even then when I start to draw, the “spot” too often becomes a zone the size of a football. It sure help when occasionally an animal has a bit of scruffy fur or other identifiable spot to concentrate on in the kill zone. Another thing I do when practicing close to and during hunting season is shoot at blank targets, where you’re forced to pick a spot. But of course, soon’s there are some arrow holes in there, we have spots to look at. It’s a huge problem and good that you recognize it in yourself. With targets over 15 yards or so, in my experience, failure to pick a precise spot virtually guarantees missing the mark. Hang in, dave

    • tom-wisconsin
      Post count: 239


      I have been practicing for three years. This is the first year I feel comfortable shooting at a deer with my recurve. My farthest comfortable confident range is 17 yards. I did use a compound bow when first hunting deer. My comfort range with my compound bow at the time was 25 yards. I missed the same doe twice at 18 yards. One arrow went under her belly and she did not move and I took a second shot and this one went over her back. I was just lucky I did not wound her. I was not shaking bad when I took the shot, but I was afterwards. So you are not alone.


    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      “failure to pick a precise spot virtually guarantees missing the mark.”

      Thats the best advice on the subject so far….:D

    • cody
      Post count: 87

      Don’t feel bad man I have missed two this year (for the same reason as you). No worries. Everyone is talking about Buck Fever like its a bad thing. True it accounts for bad shots and misses but think about it for a second, would you really want to be rid of the body shaking and the shaky voice and heart pounding out of you chest and the cold sweat and that knot in your throat that makes the next swallow hard to get down. I mean missing sucks and makes your stomach feel like its somewhere around your ankles but if you hit everything you shot at you wouldn’t want to do it anymore. You can’t be thankful and appreciate the good without experiencing the bad.

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