How to Track Deer After the Shot By RubsNScrapes.com
An important and exciting part of hunting is the tracking of the animal after the shot. Although it may not seem important to everyone, it can be the difference from recovering or not recovering your deer. Unfortunately the ground isn't always covered by snow. Tracking in freshly fallen snow is quick and easy!

1. Pay Attention

a) Make a mental note of exactly of the last place you saw the deer and the point of impact. This will allow you to easily find the arrow and the beginning of the trail. There is quite a bit of information that can be used to figure out where the arrow hit. For example, fat on the arrow or a lot of white hair may mean it was low.

b) Watch how the deer reacts. If the deer crunches up, it is likely to be a hit too far back. A deer that takes off at full sprint usually signals a solid hit in my experience.

c) Stay in your stand and listen even if you can't see the deer anymore.

2. Be Patient

a) Give the deer time to lay down. They always do.

b) If for any reason you believe that you did have a good hit, wait a few hours before going further than 10 yards past where the deer was hit. If the deer is down it will still be that way 10 hours from now.

c) Go slow following the trail. Sign can easily be covered up by an impatient tracker.

d) Be aware of the weather. Is it going to rain and wash away the blood? Is the snow going to melt?

3. Get Help

a) A second person can help you line everything up. This can be very useful when the deer was in some tall grass or an open area.

b) Two sets of eyes are better than one.

c) Another person will keep you from being impatient and making bad decisions due to your excited state of mind.

d) At the very least, they can mark the last sign while tracking or if you are successful, help drag the deer out of the woods.
rob - bottom line:they can get hit by a car and walk away,the boiler room (heart and lungs)
if hit correctly is your one and only best shot with minimal tracking,they are very strong and
will walk away from these secondary hit areas.
October 26, 2009
Doug - I've read several posts about people hitting a deer, tracking it to the end of the blood trail, then not finding it. The same thing happened to me a couple weeks back. But I've seen nothing about hot to find the deer, if it could be alive, how far it might travel, etc. I understand that each case is different. In my case I'm reasonably certain I inflicted a mortal wound. How long can a deer survive and travel with it's lungs torn up by an arrow? Why would a blood trail simply end? How far past that point would it be reasonable to look? Blah, blah, blah....
November 25, 2009
WesTXS - This is for those who have lost the blood trail, One thing few people realize is that when a deer lays down, it's metabolism directs blood flow to the stomach area and food digestion sets in. This lessens blood flow to the wound area and thus can diminish or eliminate external blood flow. So if the deer has bedded down, then was spooked, it is feasable that the blood trail will diminish for hundreds of yards.
December 14, 2009
Mike - Just got done tracking a deer unsuccesfully. I shot it last night at 4:50. It was a small buck that was missing one side of his antlers and had a little hitch in his step. He as obviously wounded, so i figured i would take him out. As i released the arrow he took a step, and the shot went back about 6 inches farther than expected. I had hair and blood on the broadhead and fat on the shaft. The fletchings were covered in blood. I gave it a couple of hours and walked the blood trail, for about 300 yards. I spooked it up so i decided to give it till tonight. Well a large portion of the snow melted and so did my blood trail. I found another spot about a 1/4 mile from last blood that it bedded down and bled real nice but no deer. Frustrating!!!!!!
December 14, 2009
Martin - I'm about the most ethical hunter I know. Almost all the deer I have killed, I have killed with one shot and have never had to track one. I shot one tonight and had to track it in the snow. Thank goodness there was some snow because the blood trail was not very good. This deer ran for at least a mile. It got dark before I could find it. I'll be back in the morning to look more. It is the least I can do. Wounding one up and making it suffer is not cool.
December 30, 2009
rob - ok I've been hunting whitetail in the northwest for almost 20 years deer like to crawl under bushs into blackberry thickets anywhere they think you won't go I started in 87 with a 308 Mauser took mostly heart shots now it's neck neck shots with iron sights at 50m or more don't walk up to a deer after you put a round or arrow into it keep your distance let it stop breathing on the occasion they don't die within an hour or 2 I use an old 45gov don't leave the deer over night unless you take a shot just before dark if it's getting dark trail it deer aren't migratory it'll feed in the same place in the morning just don't spook it lay down and sleep there for the night is the best way
August 09, 2010
Will - Went on my first bow hunt Oct,31 2010 got my first kill. A young buck spotted me drawing my bow back and bolted from sight. He came back about 20minutes later. I took aim and hit him in the shoulder all I saw was the flight in his side as he turned to run. He ran for 10 yards and dropped. I got down and walk up on him to find him with no arrow in him. Back tracked to find my arrow next to a tree where I shot him. No fat or hair on the arrow just blood.field dressed him and found out I hit a main artery and 1 lung due to the angle of my shot. I know you are thinking beginners luck. But I am I very good shot with my bowtec. And have done several robin hoods on my target at home. Took my buck out of central medina co. Tx.
November 02, 2010
bill - Hey guys I need some help here. I stuck a nice heavy 8 last nt around 5. He was slightly quatering to me at 20 yards. I made a good shot slipping the arrow in behind his front leg. After the shot he ran 20 yards and stopped and hunched up with his tail between the legs and his head Hung I thought he would expire. He stayed hunched up for over 5 min then proceeded to walk away extremely slow. He walked down towards a creek 40 yards away and it took him twenty min. Waited till this a.m and followed good blood till the creek then dried up. Looked for 7 hours today . how ever i couldn't find my arrow which makes me believe that it could be clotting the blood up perhaps?Anyone have advice or a explanation or similar experiences ......need advice plez........
November 02, 2010
Will - Hey Bill you should have stayed with the animal and took a second shot to end the hunt and the animals pain.and yes the arrow if still in the beast it will act like a plug and hold the blood flow internally depending if and what vanes or arteries are damaged if no vital origins where hit what kind of braudheads you are using can make I difference too
November 02, 2010
Matt - Vince, I had the same thing happen to me and I gave the deer all night to expire. I went out the next morning and didn't have much blood at first and found alot more after the deer crossed the creek. The blood trailed good and then suddenly stopped. The arrow is still in the deer. Still looking, not what to expect other than I am frustrated and dispointed. If u found ur deer let me know how far the deer went.
November 09, 2010
jim-11/9/10 - drug a scent line this am over a line of scrapes which ended 18 yds. from my tree stand.Wind was perfect out of N @ 3mph. 6:55 am heard a large animal coming up the trail,ever so slowly a large bodied buck followed the scent trail right to the my drag line and scent canisters.I had my crossbow set on my shooting rail and pulled off a text book shot,he kicked like a mule. I then waited 15 min. went back to my truck drank a thermos of coffee. I contend even when not in dought back out. 1hr. later took up trail@ first appeared to be no blood but if you looked closley @leaves you could see small spray drops which means lung hit. By following spray and general direction of travel showen by upturned leaves found the big boy about 90 yds. from the hit.I was so locked into the blood trail that I almost stepped on him.Good luck Good hunting & God Bless.
November 09, 2010
Steve - I practiced like hell this year, including from height of stand. Got off bad shot today with rage expandable (first and last time using). Hit decent 4-6 pointer in upper "ham" broadside at 20 yds. How the hell that happened I do not know. Hopped off on 3 legs for 50 yards, then stood a bit, and I THOUGHT gimped off and lay down in sight. What I thought was my deer was a log. Anyway, fair amount of blood where it stood, then drips, then walked down rural rd dripping, then big puddle on road at ~ 150-200 yds from shot, then it cut into woods. Drips hard to find/follow, but did so for another few 300 yards or so. Few blood swabs on trees at 3' or so high, few biggish puddles where lay down - went uphill all the way. then lost trail. second to last drip had dime-sized bone chip. Went back, found POS arrow - hair, blood, meat, but very little penetration, 20 feet from my shot. tried again later beating bush for an hour and nothing. the chip LOOKED serious and was maybe 40 yards from majorish bloody lay-down area. Can deer go 5-600 yards or so with femoral artery cut? Blood was bright red. WTF do I do???? figure just broke femur, but is this a kill shot? That much dripping and not buckets of blood, n=but over that distance?? must add up to a lot..., no?
November 25, 2010
pg3 - I shot a doe with rifle at 110 yds, she jump up when hit her and ran straight into thick pine tree woods, found 3 large tuffs of hair on the road, no blood, waited 30 minutes then walked down the declined road to see sign. 3 hours later went back to track found 7-8 drops of blood 40 yds into the woods, then the area went down to a bottom, found no blood at the bottom which happened to be the property line. We could not go any futher to track her, what should I have done,or do you think she also may have survived.
December 22, 2010
anon - I shot a doe with a .243 at 80 yards distance. We couldn't find her, the country here is very rough with ravines and dense cedar thickets. It was a good shot too, I always try for a double lung shot. I've shot probably a dozen deer and this is the first I've lost. There was a 3" diameter pool of blood at the place where I hit her, probably a 1/2 cup of bright red artery blood. I didn't think she'd gone very far. There was some more blood 70 yards away at a fence that was probably 5' high that she jumped! They say deer don't run up hill or jump fences if fatally wounded, but that's not true at all.

There was a slight blood trail on the other side of the fence for maybe 15 feet and then nothing. We even got two of our dogs on leashes to go and sniff the trail up, and they couldn't even follow it. We looked as far as 200 yards away with the dogs, and never found her or any more blood. Very disappointing.
December 31, 2010
chris - i shot a 6 point i called crazzy rack they went out and came back in to touch at the top.let me back up last year was my first season hunting with a cross bow. so i shot this deer about 20 minutes before dark and he was at about 15 yards and i was sitting on the ground i waited 45 minutes after the shot and began tracking with a firend he ran up hill the whole while AT 1130pm i marked the blood and went home came back next day with my dog he got right on blood trail and found my broad head and a huge pool of blood 10 yds away the deer jumps up and runs across the top of the hill through a powerline and up a steep wash out i marked the spot came back the next day looked alll over the side of the hill that he had to have run down not finding a drop of blood looked for hours on the way back to the truck i took a diffrent route he jumped up not mre then 20 feet from where i parked watched him run off marked the spot went back the next day no bow in hand (remember im a beginer) walk into to thick green briars get tiny lil drops of blood here and there deer jumps up PRobablly less then 10 yards from me stands there and then runs off i go out to the field on the other side of the briars look for blood nothing i called it quits and let crazzy rack be i assume he died some where i hope another hunter was able to harvest him i feel terrible and have been practiceing like a mad man to be a better shot and i have learned from my mistakes. would you have kept tacking him???
July 14, 2011
Aaron Maddox - i shot a deer opening morning of bow season. around 6:30am 15 yards away i hit the eight point in the shoulder. my uncle went and looked and found blood and 8in of the arrow and the blood trail ended after 100 yards with a pool of blood. what do i do?
September 16, 2011
jake - shot a doe last night around 7 with a bow. hit her she jumped . tracked her for 50yrds then blood trail stopped. what do i do?
September 29, 2011
Bobby - i shot a doe this morning about 7 am with my bow at 44 yards. when the arrow hit, it sounded like a 22 rifle. did not find arrow. Had good blood for a while and spots. back to good blood then spots. the blood was bright red. after tracking for about 700 yards lost blood trail. I am thinking i shot her in the shoulder with no penetration. also had blood high on bushes and saplings. will a deer expire on a shot like that?
October 02, 2011
Jeremy - just shot the biggest buck I've ever seen in the woods. About 20 yards out I shot my arrow into the beast. From then it fell down and was thrashing around. Then the SOB got up, ran, fell down, and kept repeating this until I lost sight of him. We tracked him for a good hour with a solid blood trail. But then, all of a sudden the blood trail stopped and we decided to call it a night. I'll be back out to look for him in the morning, any tips?
October 10, 2011
Amber - last night, i shot a nice young buck. I couldn't really tell how well the shot placement was because i got him in between the shoulder blade and the spine (i was up in a treestand). We waited an hour and went and looked for him (by then it was dark) but we couldn't find anything, no blood, no hair, not even the arrow. I went back out today and looked for him for a few hours but i couldn't find him, i did find a blood trail, but it was very dim. I don't know if i should keep searching and ask around the neighborhood, or just give it up. I feel terrible about the fact that he could be suffering out there.
October 12, 2011
Alex - Today I shot a monster 8 pointer at 25 yards with muzzy 4blades. I gave it an hour and went back to check on it, long blood trail and no buck. Spent 2 hrs looking and nothing. Gave up till morning. Tomorrow will continue my blood trail. I ve must of hit him high, as I used 30 yrd pin and he was 25 yrs. I hope to find him in the morning. cant wait.
October 17, 2011
Alex - Jeremy,
The big bucks sometimes backtrack their steps to brush you off the trail, look really really close to the last blood you seen. Usually buck will try to fool the predators, and only mature bucks do that.
October 17, 2011
Anonymous - I shot a mature buck with my crossbow. I thought I made a good shot. Waited approx 45 min when I made the shot my arrow was still in the deer as he ran off and just when he turned my arrow broke off and was laying on the ground. Which told me the other part must still be in the deer. We walked a long ways looking for the deer and never found him. I thought I made a good shot right behind the shoulder. I was way up in a tree and its like the arrow hit the other shoulder and that is why the arrow did not go all the way through? What do you think. We never found the buck and I feel awful.
October 23, 2011
Jar - I shot a Booner 2 days ago. Massive 17 pt. I waited until morning to track it because didnt want to risk kicking him up. My shot was mid torso at a downward angle with him quartering towards me. Shot entered on his left at 15 yrds. I was using a Rage broadhead. I was confident in my shot, he curled up and bolted with head down and tail tucked. The whole arrow but the back 10 inches was inside him. I tracked the blood trail the next morning for 300+ yrds with out finding the arrow. Then the blood trail just went cold and stopped. I've looked the last 2 days unsuccessfully. Any tracking ideas? Will he come back to his core area? Do you think the shot is fatal? Been losing sleep over this one! Thanks for your help!
October 24, 2011
Jar - Located my deer! Still alive however... He was curled up next to a spring on the property I shot him on. He ran about 75 yrds at a decent pace the stopped on the field edge for a minute then hobbled off into the woods. He looked like he was hurting pretty bad. Do I give him a few days? or set up a stalk with some of my friends?! Appreciate thoughts, the above information to Jeremy from Alex prooved to help me too! Thanks.
October 27, 2011
Rich - I shot a deer just before dusk, could nt find it until this morning. Temps over night down to 2
37degrees. Is butchering recommended with this time frame?
November 05, 2011
Ricky - i shot a buck and doe. other day and it was with a 243. i shot'em behind the shoulders. the buck i shot 2x. thought i had miss the first. but i waited and followed the blood trail i walked over 5 akers. blood stop and i couldn't find them... anny tips?? should i start shootin them int he neck perhaps?
November 06, 2011
Jake - I shot a buck yesterday night at 6 pm and I let it lay all night and we went out to look for it at 9 am today and we found a blood trail and tracked it for about a half mile and then the blood trail just ended. There were large amounts of blood and we also found 2 pieces of bone. DO you think we will find it? Any tips? It is my first deer so I really want to find it! Thanks!
November 06, 2011
Micky - I just hit a good buck. I hit him high just under the spine. Fat and meat on the arrow but no blood. Is this a fatal shot?
November 08, 2011
Chase - i shot a nice 8 pt last night around 4:30pm. it was 20 yrds right beside me, i shot with my muzzleloader. after the smoke cleared it was laying there, dropped it in its tracks, as i thought. my uncle waits about ten minutes then gets down to check it out. as soon as he started headed my way the buck gets up and runs to the creek bottom. one ity bity droplet of blood. never found the deer, like i said it dropped and got back up after laying there 10 minutes and no blood. How is that possible?
November 08, 2011
tony - Shot a doe last week of October. After searching for hours no blood no arron nothing. When I shot her she jump away like bothing happened and she blew too. The fawn that was with her took off with the bucks that were 100 yards away. Very said. Tonight while Rifle hunting I found my arrow with white hair on it and fat the arrown was in the field turned around facing where I shot from. Any ideas on this one. Thanks
November 10, 2011
buckhunter - shot a nice buck the other evening. arrow was deflected and hit him in the back leg. made a loud crack and ran about 30 yds then just walked away. let him go for the night (16hrs) and went back with help the next morning. Found 1/2 my arrow, broken no blood on it. Searched several hunred yds in all directions for about eight hrs but found absolutly no sign at all. Could I have done anything different, could he survive this hit?
November 14, 2011
jihad realtree - i shot a world record buckdeer 382.7 pt with a rocket launcher last night about 4:20pm est with a waning moon on the neighbors property. i waited 4 seconds before approaching the shot spot. i found very little blood there, but a few peices of venison burger hanging from nearby tree branches. after tracking for 20 yds i found about 80 lbs of burger...how do i find the rest of the meat and the peices of shattered antlers?
November 17, 2011
Greg - Shot a very nice 8 point square in the shoulder. The deer ran off with my arrow still embeded in his right shoulder. I waited 40 minutes to regain my composure then called ina friend. We followed the deers blood path for about 75 yards then came across my arrow with the broadhead blades broken off and the head bent over. Blood was everywhere, as we continued to track following a dereasing blood track, then finally the blood stopped. The blood was bright red so a lung shot was assumed. We looked for the next three hours with no luck. If I only hit one lung, how long before the deer expires? and how far should I look from the last blood sighting? I cannot let this one go unfound. Any suggestions?
November 19, 2011
bowhunter2012 - i shot a nice 8 point and it fell and rolled over on its back after the shot and it got up and could hardly walk right without falling over. my dad and i searched for 3 hours that night. blood started to be little specs after blood spots the size of my hand. the first half of the arrow is broke inside the deer also. what should i have done?
November 19, 2011
Greg - I am reading alot of "need help" trust me, I am one that needs the help. No one is offer advice,
November 19, 2011
John - I shot a doe quartering to me at twenty yards with a rage two blade broadhead i heard the arrow hit and watched the deer run off with my arrow sticking half out of her i eased out and went to the house ate and gave it a hour or two and went back to track it with some help from a friend and his german shepard we left the dog in the truck and started following her trail she tore the ground up running out of the field but we could not find any blood hair or any sign that the deer was wounded we looked in every direction for fourty yards or so in a sixteen year old clearcut and couldnt find anything so we got the dog out and he took us right to the deer i learned when i hit her i cut her heart in half i was on the ground so why didnt i have a blood trail?
November 20, 2011
John - my shot went in just infront of her right shoulder and exited just behind her left shoulder i just dont understand why i had no blood trail any input would be helpful
November 20, 2011
Patrick - Sometimes the blood trail will stop due to the organs blocking the hole and the rest of the bleeding continues internally. I tracked my buck for a mile and a half and another 80 yards without a blood trail. Follow the momentum huff prints and broken shrubs or idea of running path.
November 22, 2011
Patrick - Deer can survive many hits... Doesn't mean you just give up on the tracking. I have a buddy that has a 3 legged deer in his back yard time to time. So thats an example that they can take a good hit.
November 22, 2011
Jaclyn - I need help. I shot a nice whitetail yesterday around 4:00. While I was tracking there was bright red and bubbly blood along its path and there was a point where there wasn't a break in the line of blood on the trail. I thought for sure this deer would be dead very quickly. The deer would lay behind thick bushes and trees so I couldn't see it and I spooked it up 3 times before deciding to let it die over night. This morning however, I spooked it up again about 25 yards from the last time I saw it and it took off. By now the deer was barely bleeding and there is no snow to track it. I need to find this deer because it is dying or is dead. I searched from 7 this morning till dark and still nothing more than random droplets of blood. What's the next thing I should do?
November 27, 2011
white - i shot at a deer yesterday it was standing on a hill turned broadside i had the cross heirs on it. after i shot it ran towards me stumbling over everything all i found was two specks of blood then nothing.
December 02, 2011
Clay - I've been bowhunting 20+ years, and during that time I've been lucky to take more than my share of whitetails. But I've also lost a few too, and have tried to learn from those mistakes. I've lost some that I thought were 2x lung hits, and I've made some miraculous recoveries too. I just wanted to respond to all of these questions with the points that come to mind. In no particular order:
1. For your best blood trail, you need an entrance wound and an exit wound. No matter where you hit the deer, if the arrow stays inside it, your blood trail will be slim, and more prone to petering out, even on a good hit.
2. For bowhunters, quartering away shots are great. But quartering to shots should never, ever be taken. Your odds of either sticking in the shoulder and not penetrating to the vitals, or deflecting off the shoulder blade if you pull even an inch or two in windage, and therefore hitting in the gut/off ham increase. Neither of these are good. Ever. As hunters, we owe it to the deer to decide to take the best shot that we can. Expandables, especially Rages, are very effective on broadside and slight qtr away shots, but they are downright unethical to use on quartering to shots. Just be patient, most likely the deer will present a better shot, or if you don't get a shot, then you're empty handed, but the deer is still alive and well to hunt another day. If you take a quartering to shot, there are probably 50/50 odds that you'll still be empty handed, but the deer will die eventually from the wound.
3. We've all heard stories, some true, about deer surviving shoulder hits, or being killed a year later with broadhead in their one lung... but GENERALLY SPEAKING, any deer hit inside the body cavity is going to die as a result of the wound, or as a result of predators like coyotes tracking it down. Shoulder hit deer will die within about 6-8 days. Gut shot deer, unless you get a good vein, can live 24-36 hours before sepsis sets in. They'll be very sick, but they can still run. A solid liver hit deer will bed within 50-100yds, and will lay there until they die, 30 minutes - 2 hours. If you jump them, they'll go to the next closest cover, and bed again. Gut shot deer can go and go and go.
4. The key mistakes I keep reading are not giving the deer enough time, and jumping a deer multiple times. If you're gun hunting, it's not AS critical... but if your only weapon with you is a bow, you should not keep tracking once you jump the deer. If you find several beds close to each other, then chances are you are pushing the deer. BACK OUT, BACK OUT, BACK OUT. Then come back 12-24 hours later, and quietly either track blood, or do grid searches around #1 water, and #2 cover. Watch for buzzards. If they see a deer acting abnormally (bedded in an unusual area, head on ground, they'll circle it and watch it until they can get a whiff of it.) Go to where you know deer bed naturally.
5. The only caveat to not pushing a deer is a muscle hit, like a leg hit (mix of dark and white hair, blood spray, bone fragments.) That deer will need to be pushed to keep blood flowing from the wound. Get a buddy, loop ahead of the deer, and let someone try to push it quietly by you.
6. If a deer drops from a rifle/muzzeloader shot, watch it closely to see if its chest is rising (breathing.) If it's obviously a spine shot, put another round in it. If after a minute or so it hasn't stopped breathing, put another round in it. The ballistic shock wave from a bullet will often paralyze a deer temporarily, especially if you hit a flat bone like the shoulder blade or a rib. Then after laying there for a few minutes, they can recover their wits, get back on their feet, and move to a secure area, making it harder to find them since you obviously didn't hit heart/lung, since they were still breathing more than a minute later. There's no shame in an anchoring shot... would you rather be the guy who shows up back at camp with a deer with two holes in it, or the guy who shows up with a sad story of a wounded deer and an empty freezer?
7. On a quartering away shot, especially a bow shot, or if the deers front leg is either way forward or back on a broadside shot, then it is very common for skin to cover the entrance and/or exit hole, and the blood will pool inside the deer. If it's running, you'll find spray or splatter every 10-20 yards, as the deer runs. So don't give up.
8. When tracking, CONSTANTLY glass ahead of your, above, below, etc. A very wounded deer will often let you get within a few yards of it before it jumps up. If you're focused on the ground, you won't see it until it's too late to get a shot. Look ahead carefully every step you take. If you see a brush pile, look at it and try to pick out an antler, ear, eye ball, hoof, etc. Also a severely hit deer tends to go into an almost catatonic state like shock, and they don't detect you as easily until you are on top of them. Be quiet and discreet... don't take too many people, and don't just trounce all over the woods.

Sorry if I sound like I'm preaching to anyone reading this... I have committed all of these mistakes multiple times in my 20+ years bowhunting. It would be great if they all ran 40 yards and piled up, but they don't. We get excited (that's why we hunt!) and sometimes we don't make the best decisions or shots. I completely understand that! Just know your equipment, stay within your capability (shot distance), decide when to take the best shot for your equipment, watch the deer's reaction to the shot, mark where you see them, and give them plenty of time. I killed a nice 8pt four weeks ago, but nearly lost him because I thought I heard him crash 50 yds from my stand, and pursued him too quick. He had just bedded down. I backed out, then went back 14 hours later and recovered him (liver hit, thought I had gotten back of lungs.) So I promise I'm not being self-righteous and blaming folks for losing deer... I have done it all, but have learned from it, and been reminded of it again this year. But once I jumped him the first time, I backed out and went back the next morning to recover a 238 pound 8 pt, my best ever. Good hunting!
December 02, 2011
alan - guys i need help i shot a 6 point buck this morning an i never really had any problems with my shots the deer would allways go down no more the 10 yards i use a 7mm rem mag an never shoot pass a 100 yards.. i shot the buck freehand at about 60 yard i know my shot was good so i got up at ran to the place where i shot him to finish him off but he was not there i looked a round an found about a hand full of hair but no blood an the bullet did not exit in 1 piece i know because there was lots of pins behind him an there was a small piece of fragment on a tree that was where i found the hair so i look about 20 yard arrowed for blood an nothing so i decided to wait 30 mins then start looking anyways after about 3h an about a 5houdred yard walk after his foot-prince nothing me an my dad looked an looked an nothing this has never happen.. we did find a hair about 50 yard from where i shot him... i am a Marine Corps Scout Sniper an have yet to miss a animal i have shot at.. allways have had clean kills so please dont give me any bull!!
December 03, 2011
Chris - I have a crazy story that proves just how tough these deer are, especially during the rut. On Nov. 12th I filmed my old man shoot a good 130\" ten point we knew too well from a half dozen trail cam encounters. The shot was far back and the arrow had dark blood that smelled to me like a liver hit. We decided not to track the buck that night. 16 hours later we were on the blood trail. We tracked decent blood for about 150 yards to the first sign of the buck bedded down. We couldn\'t find blood after that bed. 3 of us combed the thick swamp for 4.5 hours and even found an old dead doe. The next day I headed out with an ex police K9 turned deer tracker and his trainer / tracker. We searched the swamp and surrounding area for 4 hours. The dog sniffed up the dead doe I found and another old deer carcass.

Now, 6 days after my dad put an arrow clear through the abdomen of that 3.5 year old buck a lease partner of mine had an encounter with the same buck. He even confirmed him being the same buck from the freeze frame stills I sent out from the video from 6 days prior. The buck was by himself and came busting out of the cover grunting at the does in the field. He came out in the same spot he did the night my old man shot him. My lease partner shot and thought he missed. He looked for blood and found none.

Now fast forward two more weeks. I was out on a morning hunt with fresh snow and sitting in the same tree I was with my dad in the night he shot the buck. I saw some crows land and feed on something on the south edge of our lease. I couldn\'t make out the carcass from my perch so after the sit I got down and walked over to it. There laying next to the ditch was the buck. He was in the very spot that my lease partner said he walked off to. I thought \"he hit him after all\". Upon inspection of the deer to see where he had been hit I found no bullet hole... he did miss him. The buck died from the arrow my dad put through him 6 days later probably just hours after my lease partner missed him! I even skinned the deer to be sure I wasn\'t missing anything. Nope, no bullet hole. I had to call my lease partner out to see for himself. At that point I gutted the deer to further inspect what killed him.

My dad was shooting a fixed three blade - G5 Montec 100 grain and the shot went straight through the guts exactly halfway up the deer. There was a 8\" long 1/2\" deep slice along the edge of the liver from one blade of the broadhead.

My old man has already come to grips with the fact that he wounded the buck. I haven\'t told him yet that I found him. The old man is gonna get one hell of a Christmas surprise this year!
December 05, 2011
Andy - I shot a doe today (last day of the PA rifle season) with my 30-30, ended up following her blood trail for over A MILE before it just disappeared. The trail disappeared into snow, too, so I guess the lying-down coagulation mechanism is true. Extremely frustrating - would have been my first deer and I was really striving for a quick humane kill. Funny side story about the hunt itself - she and a fellow doe trotted up on my Dad and I setting up our group's lunch fire. Sat all morning in a perfect spot only to have two does wander into our lunch spot. Crazy.
December 10, 2011
The Spoon - Thank you so very much for all the input on this page. I let fly an arrow that I am sure found its mark and the doe bolted 30 yards then stopped to look back. I waited and listened to hear her loop me then I lost her. I know to let them have time but this shot was taken just as it got dark after the first snow (The deer walked right up to me) I aimed in Broadside just at the shoulder blade. I never saw a drop of blood but I could see the fresh tracks. There was a funnel where the deer passed through a hole in the fence and thats where I lost the trail. I didn\'t find my arrow until 2 weeks later after looking for that and the deer everyday. I had hoped that I missed the deer all together though I don\'t see how. I will look where I see the crows as i saw a group of them today. I really hope I just missed.
December 24, 2011
jeff T - I shot a nice buck at dusk 2 nights ago with my cross bow, he was 1/4 to me and shot a little behind the shoulder low. found arrow next day with white and brown fur directly behind wheir he was standing. I found a few drops of blood about 75 yards away grid searched the area no more blood. My freind who has been hunting for years says I gut shot it look by water its been two days I have seaarched for days and miles no luck. Any idea on how I can find him.Even took the dog to look but nothing.
January 09, 2012
aaron - Shot a big 8 probably 17 or 18 wide with a 30 06, found decent blood for the first 80 -100 yards then it became very faint for the next 60 or so then picked backed up again, after about a mile of following a very faint blood trail through a cypress swamp it jus dissappeared I hated to give up but I looked til about midnight for any kind of sign and nothing, such a horrible feeling but this is the first time losin one, horrible feeling you don't see em like that everyday in deep south louisiana but jus gotta learn the hard way I guess
January 22, 2012
deerslayer - use grim reaper broadheads never lose a blood trail again, shot a doe this morning hit a little back, followed what looked like buckets of blood being dumped out, 50 yards there she layed grave yard dead, love it when you can see blood from 10 yards away
October 07, 2012
deerslayer - use grim reaper broadheads never lose a blood trail again, shot a doe this morning hit a little back, followed what looked like buckets of blood being dumped out, 50 yards there she layed grave yard dead, love it when you can see blood from 10 yards away
October 07, 2012
jimbo - Shot a moNster buck in 2003 on opening day with a 270 bolt action with 170 grain solver tip ammo. From the seated position I shot the bruiser through the boiler room, got both lungs I believe. The gun cracked and the deer dropped and laid still for 5 minutes. Started walking toward him and he got up and left the field with massive blood loss and ran bleeding like a stick hog for 1,000 yards uphill and he stopped bled a huge Puddle and tore out 5-6 muffin sized mouthfuls of moss from a moss covered rock and plugged the coffee cup sized crater that was behind his shoulder and then he dissappeared into the deep missouri woods. I looked for him with help for three days and never found him. All I wound up with was a handful of lungs,rib bones, and more blood than I've ever seen.
December 17, 2013
jimbo - I've hunted for over 30 years, shot and killed more deer than small pOx killed humans and have used just about every device that's legal to hunt deer and I've shot them in every spOt that you can imagine and still I will say they are some tough, smart and very resilient animals that can crawl,swim,hide, sneak and make eventhe best of hunters scratch their head from time to time. You just need to keep on hunting and look for them after you hit them until you exhaust all possibilities of finding them. I once looked for a mortally wounded nine point and found his head and spine by the help from a buzzard. Coyotes had eaten the whole deer in 48 hours. So if you are looking for a deer you've hit, all you may find is what's left after the critters are done. I know that unfortunately I've lost my share of deer even after shooting them in the neck, lungs and heart region, its their will to live and survive that can make them do amazing things.
December 17, 2013
jimbo - I hit a big buck this season in the neck with a rifle at 25 yards. He ran up a steep hill for forty yards staggered did a figure eight stopped bled profusely fell down then got up fell down again and then got up tucked his tail and made a 3000 yard circle and bedded up three times he bled a lot but after bedding all night in the snow his trail became harder to follow and after 11 hours it became impossible to distinguish from other deer trails. I don't know if he lived or died and I don't know what else I couldve done to get him.
December 17, 2013
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