Home Forums Bows and Equipment Shot Placement Question

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    • DaveT
      Post count: 32

      Guys,

      Not sure where to post this one but since I was using a high EFOC arrow this is as good as any. I shot a very nice 8pt whitetail this past weekend while hunting So IL. Arrow set up is a 735 grain AD Traditional 25% EFOC (at least). I am using a 200 grain Grizzly BH. It is a great arrow combo and shooting a 55lb Black Widow longbow. Anyway long story short buck came in pretty rutted up after a doe had passed by a few minutes before. I was hunting in a loc on stand about 14 ft up max. At 16 yards the buck quartered and I shot. This all happened very fast and the buck actually appeared pretty broadside but must have been quartered harder than I thought since I hit it about half back in the rib cage about 3 inches above the centerline and the arrow stopped dead. I have shot completely through big hogs with this set up and was surprised that I did not get an exit at all. I did hit the deer a little higher than I like to but arrow was angling down and forward. Since it stopped with about half the arrow hanging out I guess I hit the far leg or shoulder bone and stopped. I have trailed high lung hits with no exit so wasn’t thrilled but felt good about the shot that it would do the trick. The arrow stayed in the deer as it ran off and it really moved out when shot.

      Waited 2 hours and came back with my buddies to look. I was expecting to not find much blood but we were actually able to follow a decent blood trail for almost half a mile into a dense cedar thicket. Looked to be some decent lung blood at times as well. Deer never bedded down and never found the arrow. Lost the blood there and it just stopped so I think it might have doubled back. Anyway never found blood again and rain came in heavy that night.

      Anyway anybody have any insight into what might have happened? I’m thinking one lung but can’t for the life of me figure out what happened. The arrow stayed in the deer I presume the whole time and I know from past experience this freaks them out so I guess he just kept moving and never bedded. Also since I the arrow stayed in it might have kept the lung from collapsing.

      I am obviously sick about this and hate it when this type of thing happens. This is why I have really tried to take all of the Doc’s research into selecting my arrow and BH set up. Whenever something like this happens though I do try my very best to learn from it and I just can’t seem to figure this one out. Any help from you guys would be appreciated.

    • Jesse Minish
      Post count: 115

      If you had good blood then it just stopped like you said the deer may have not been far away. I have had several blood trails that were great then there was no blood the last little ways. He might be laying in something thick and you just didn’t see him.?. If your broad head was sharp your set up sounds great. Wish I could be more help.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      DaveT wrote: Guys,

      Not sure where to post this one but since I was using a high EFOC arrow this is as good as any. I shot a very nice 8pt whitetail this past weekend while hunting So IL. Arrow set up is a 735 grain AD Traditional 25% EFOC (at least). I am using a 200 grain Grizzly BH. It is a great arrow combo and shooting a 55lb Black Widow longbow. Anyway long story short buck came in pretty rutted up after a doe had passed by a few minutes before. I was hunting in a loc on stand about 14 ft up max. At 16 yards the buck quartered and I shot. This all happened very fast and the buck actually appeared pretty broadside but must have been quartered harder than I thought since I hit it about half back in the rib cage about 3 inches above the centerline and the arrow stopped dead. I have shot completely through big hogs with this set up and was surprised that I did not get an exit at all. I did hit the deer a little higher than I like to but arrow was angling down and forward. Since it stopped with about half the arrow hanging out I guess I hit the far leg or shoulder bone and stopped. I have trailed high lung hits with no exit so wasn’t thrilled but felt good about the shot that it would do the trick. The arrow stayed in the deer as it ran off and it really moved out when shot.

      Waited 2 hours and came back with my buddies to look. I was expecting to not find much blood but we were actually able to follow a decent blood trail for almost half a mile into a dense cedar thicket. Looked to be some decent lung blood at times as well. Deer never bedded down and never found the arrow. Lost the blood there and it just stopped so I think it might have doubled back. Anyway never found blood again and rain came in heavy that night.

      Anyway anybody have any insight into what might have happened? I’m thinking one lung but can’t for the life of me figure out what happened. The arrow stayed in the deer I presume the whole time and I know from past experience this freaks them out so I guess he just kept moving and never bedded. Also since I the arrow stayed in it might have kept the lung from collapsing.

      I am obviously sick about this and hate it when this type of thing happens. This is why I have really tried to take all of the Doc’s research into selecting my arrow and BH set up. Whenever something like this happens though I do try my very best to learn from it and I just can’t seem to figure this one out. Any help from you guys would be appreciated.

      Dave,

      Please read “Broadhead Sharpness and Blood Trails” in this forum. That hunter got very poor penetration also, but his deer went down on the spot. Read what Dr. Ashby had to say about it. Your situation is not the same, but some similarities do exist. I think you have a dead deer within 150 yards of where you “lost” your blood. Good luck…

      Ireland

    • DaveT
      Post count: 32

      Thanks Guys for the tips. Ireland I will check out the old thread you suggested.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      This may sound like an odd question, but did you hit him on the left or right side? Also, how many degrees do you think he was quartering away? 45? More? Less?

    • DaveT
      Post count: 32

      The deer was shot on the left side. I am thinking a 30 degree or less quarter. I didn’t actually think he was quartered hard enough to get the front shoulder but his leg might have been back. I read the thread that Ireland suggested and this is indeed a possibility. The arrow of the deer in those pics was a little higher than my shot and not angling down. I’m thinking though the Doc’s explanation of the arrow skipping is a possibility and thus killing the momentum. I have shot deer before hitting the off side front shoulder and it makes a far louder noise than this did and also seems to do allot of damage. The arrow acted more like now that I think of it like some just halted the momentum…it also was at a shallower angle than I was in up the tree leading me to believe I got a skip. I’m thinking it somehow now hit a high rib at an awkward angle and changed the trajectory of the arrow. This arrow set up I have is normally pretty devastating on anything it hits so this is why I am so surprised and confused on this outcome. I guess I need to get better at making myself aim at the lower 1/3 when from a treestand and hopefully avoiding these high hits altogether if possible.

      Thanks so much for the input guys and good luck to all the rest of the season.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      DaveT wrote: The deer was shot on the left side. I am thinking a 30 degree or less quarter. I didn’t actually think he was quartered hard enough to get the front shoulder but his leg might have been back. I read the thread that Ireland suggested and this is indeed a possibility. The arrow of the deer in those pics was a little higher than my shot and not angling down. I’m thinking though the Doc’s explanation of the arrow skipping is a possibility and thus killing the momentum. I have shot deer before hitting the off side front shoulder and it makes a far louder noise than this did and also seems to do allot of damage. The arrow acted more like now that I think of it like some just halted the momentum…it also was at a shallower angle than I was in up the tree leading me to believe I got a skip. I’m thinking it somehow now hit a high rib at an awkward angle and changed the trajectory of the arrow. This arrow set up I have is normally pretty devastating on anything it hits so this is why I am so surprised and confused on this outcome. I guess I need to get better at making myself aim at the lower 1/3 when from a treestand and hopefully avoiding these high hits altogether if possible.

      Thanks so much for the input guys and good luck to all the rest of the season.

      Dave,

      If you are like me, the first thing you consider is “changing your set-up” (ie different broadhead, more FOC,etc, etc). You have a great set-up Dave, I would not change a thing…

      Ireland

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Dave — I agree with Ireland to stick with your current very strong arrow setup. Obviously all anyone can do is guess and I know how even the shooter has trouble sorting out exactly what happened and what he was seeing in a few seconds of whirlwind activity. My guesses are as much questions and include: Was your broadhead shaving sharp with a good Tanto tip (which would eliminate or minimize skipping)? Was the buck in the process of turning when you shot, or standing stock still? A turning target will definitely limit penetration, as I experienced on a 5×5 bull I killed last year from 6 yards. I was lucky to get him with half-shaft, one-lung penetration and zero blood trail. On the latter topic, one of the many reasons I rarely use tree stands is my discomfort with shooting down at a steep angle, which radically complicates gett a double-lung and/or heard shot. With a high entrance wound, no exit wound and the arrow still in, I’m surprised you got any blood trail at all. What was the shot angle on the buck re elevation? Assuming any “fault” on your/the shooter’s part, which I always look hard at in my own failures, broadhead sharpness and shot angle would seem to be the two most obvious likely culprits, though neither of them may have come into play at this point. Losses will always happen but an Ashby setup definitely minimizes them as other recent posts here continue to demonstrate. Thanks for being honest about your loss and doing your best to sort it out. That’s all we can do at times. Great arrow setup, so that’s not it. Best luck, dave p

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      David Petersen wrote: On the latter topic, one of the many reasons I rarely use tree stands is my discomfort with shooting down at a steep angle, which radically complicates gett a double-lung and/or heard shot. With a high entrance wound, no exit wound and the arrow still in, I’m surprised you got any blood trail at all. What was the shot angle on the buck re elevation?

      According to his post, he was 14′ up and the deer was 16 yards away. Not a steep angle by any means. My stands are usually 14′ high, and my average shot distance on whitetails is 14 yards. With a broadside or quartering away shot, a double lung pass through is a piece of cake.

    • DaveT
      Post count: 32

      Dave….thank you for the reply. It was one of those situations that happened so fast that I really just reacted. I did hit pretty much where I was looking but now wish I would have crowded the shoulder a bit more and tried to aimed lower. The buck came in fast and wasn’t still for long so it is totally possible that he could have moved a bit as well at the shot. The buck didn’t seem to duck but now that I think about it he might have turned a bit. The crazy thing is I have shot deer in this very area before and the arrow usually just zips right through without the slightest resistance. That is why at first I was thinking a far side leg hit. Thinking back on it now it does seem like the arrow deflected pretty hard on the shot when it hit like it hit a big bone but it was just the ribs. I am thinking now that the buck must have moved at impact and with the angle of the shot on the upper ribs the arrow just changed it’s angle and momentum was lost. This seems to be the most plausible explanation I can find.

      My broadheads are leather stropped and nasty sharp….tanto tipped as well. The sharpness of the broadhead is actually why I was probably able to find any blood at all. I actually do allot of hunting on the ground myself and could not agree more about the typically bad angles from a tree. The longer I am at this I am beginning to think that any perceived advantage one gets in a tree stand is quickly lost when it comes to the actual shot. I was actually about to build a ground blind in this spot but opted for the stand instead that evening.

      Anyway I appreciate everyone’s input and this forum has been a great resource. Hope to have a story with a happy ending to share with you all next time. Good luck everyone!

    • kingwouldbee
      Post count: 44

      That’s amazing…………………….. because I know this guy…………………. who’s neighbor’s….. uncle’s,…… cousin’s,……. wife’s……. best friend’s……….. mother’s,…….. grand father has killed thousands of deer with a 42lb bow for hundreds of years and never lost one.:shock:

      My friend, there are so many variables that happen at the shot, only God knows for sure what happened.

      We as would-be hunters strive to perfect our hunting tackle as best we can, and yet, there are still a lot of things that have to happen for us to make a clean kill.

      Just a few of the variables that might of happened:

      * Shot angle / animal movement / moving away / turning / ducking / squatting
      * Shot placement / animal movement ( deer are so fast, your eye might not even see it )
      * Deflection / unseen object
      * Was bone hit? / at what angle? / rarely hit perpendicular
      * What organs where actually cut
      * The animals will to survive

      Any of the above could be the cause, and that is why we need to become proficient shots, being able to place the arrow/broadhead on the spot I want to hit, shoot tackle as far above the minimum as we proficiently can.

      Arrows tuned to perfection, broadheads honed to above the minimum sharpness, required to kill ( a butter knife will kill )

      Even after we have done everything we can, there are still to many variables to guarantee a kill every time we loose an arrow/broadhead

      We often ether blame our self’s or are tackle, sometimes it’s nether.

    • DaveT
      Post count: 32

      Kingwouldbee,

      Funny thing I think the guy you referenced lives in every state:D.

      As far as variables in hunting are concerned I am very aware that once an arrow is released all bets are off. Animals move, arrow deflection, bone deflection, etc have all happened to me before. This is why I have gone to great lengths to make sure my arrows are “Ashby approved”. I agree that sometimes despite best efforts things just don’t work out. Anyway I have always appreciated the honesty of this forum.

      I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

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