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Can't Find Him...

jjmbird23

New Member
I shot a buck tonight and have been looking for a couple hours but have not found any blood nor the arrow yet. I hit him either just a little bit high or possibly in the shoulder. I watched him run away through a field for about 50-60 yards with the arrow sticking out of the right side of him before he disappeared into some thickets. Is it possible that the arrow has not come out yet and that is why I can't find any blood? And what is usually the case when something like this happens? Does he live? or die without there being much blood? All I know is it is one of the worst feelings in the world...regardless I'll be out at daylight looking some more. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

THA4

A Few Steps Ahead Of You
Re: Need Some Help

you're right about this, it is the worst feeling in the world!

I think the best thing you can do is back out and wait till daylight.

start replaying things in your mind,
-how much of the arrow was sticking out?
-Was the arrow flopping around as he ran off?


I hope you can get on him!

Good Luck!!!!
 

buck1979

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

Absolutly, if theres even a hint of doubt, back out! With a marginal shot, or one lung, he can live for hours, and pushed thats enough time for him to dang near make it up to my neck of the woods. if you broke open his body cavity, hes a dead jumper. A great blood trail is nice, but no blood with the arrow in doesnt mean much. I agree with Muddy, I think the key for you is how much penetration did you get. if its in 5 inches hes dead. A little highs allright as long as your under the spine. Good luck man, its hard stuff.
 
Re: Need Some Help

On these things your best friend is the cold.. That will keep a deer in the dumps, but are weather is'nt cold right now... probably a 95% chance you will find him tomorro regaurdless.... good luck
 

sureshot

The Hunt Never Ends....
Re: Need Some Help

Your situtation sounds very similiar to the buck that I harvested last year. I had a higher hit, and upon getting down from my stand found very minimal blood. In fact, only one drop of blood was found.

I decided to back out until the next morning, and it paid off. My hunting buddy and I found my buck about 150 yards from my treestand. The hit was high, and the arrow penetrated the top of one lung before hitting the opposite shoulder (no exit hole).

We still found him, and I think you will too. Just look hard in the morning, and bring a few friends along to help. I'm sure you'll find your whitetail in the morning.

Keep us posted and good luck!
 

BOWSTRING

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

Check the nearest trail by where you shot him and follow that. They seem to usually hit a trail after they get him and haul butt. Good luck hope you find him.
 

JakeWym

Arrow Chucker
Re: Need Some Help

These are all great tips...most importantly, don't give up. Good luck, hope to see him in the harvest forum.
 

bumpbottom

Member
Re: Need Some Help

If you can't find him, ( good chance you will), make sure you check around the closest water source to where you shot him. Found a couple that way that would have been lost. Good luck! By what you said I think you got a good hit but high takes a lot of time for them to fill up and start dropping sign.
 

Iowabowtech

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

If you start out 100% bloodless today, go to the last place you saw him and then procede to any bedding area that's in the direction he was headed. Otherwise just look for areas that are a little thicker and nastier than the rest. Finally, check along any nearby crick banks.
 

Daver

PMA Member
Re: Need Some Help

Another scenario that I experienced just last week where there was no blood trail, but a very dead deer about 75 yards away is...a high point of entry and an exit hole that was plugged.

As the deer ran past me I could clearly see the fletching of my arrow sticking out of the "top" of the deer and I then found my arrow about 25 yards from where the deer was shot. This meant that I had a pass through of sorts, more of a "pull through" if you will. I shot this deer at a fairly steep angle as she was only about 8 yards from the tree and right about the time I released she was sensing something was wrong and had just started to whirl around to get out of there, etc.

At any rate, I never found a drop of blood, but I walked the main trail about 50 yards on up from where I found the arrow and saw her laying dead right in the trail. I rolled her over and there was some fleshy/fatty tissue that was sticking out of exit wound which was very low on her body. This "plug" stopped any blood flow on the exterior of the animal. I can tell you that when I field dressed her she had plenty of blood inside the body cavity though. I think the fletching may have "caught" inside on the way through and pulled a plug of sorts on through.

Good luck on finding this one!!
 

jjmbird23

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

Thanks for all the advice fellas, I appreciate it. Unfortunately I've been out all morning and did not find an arrow, blood, or buck. I looked all through the thickets and there were beds everywhere, none of them which had any sign of blood or anything. I also followed the creek bank for quite awhile on both sides. But from what I hearing from most of you guys, this deer should be dead, so I may go out this afternoon and look some more. I just don't know where else to look unless he happened to cross the road. Thanks again
 

AIRASSAULT

PMA Member
Re: Need Some Help

Hey Jared... That sucks man. It happens to the best of us! Keep your chin up. You still have the whole rut ahead of you. I have a friend back home that shot a deer with his bow and they couldn't find him after having a pretty decent blood trail. During shotgun season, they ended up shooting the same deer and half of the arrow was still in the body cavity of the deer and was broke off on the outside. Also, I believe it was Thomas that once told me how him or someone else he knew made a liver shot on a deer and it lived for like a whole day because they jumped him. They did evetually find him. So, there is a huge possibility that he will survive.
 

jjmbird23

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

Yea I'm definitely lookin forward to comin back to Iowa to hunt next weekend since this was just an opporunity I had to hunt down at school in St Louis on some public land
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Re: Need Some Help

Get some buddies to go out (college? Offer a couple cases of beer!) and do some major grid searching. If you could get 6 guys and space right, you could cover every ounce of ground in about 3 hours where the buck "COULD" be. Water and random really thick spots. Most of my buddies that didn't find a dead buck find them in the SPRING and realize they walked right by him, they always seem to find the thick little random spot to die at. Good luck and keep plugging away.
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
Re: Need Some Help

Experienced the same thing as Daver a few years back with the exit hole being plugged with fatty tissue, deer was dead 100yds away but the only sign of blood was at the point of the arrow. Other than that nothin. Deer was full to the brim when I opened him up.

Kratz
 

bumpbottom

Member
Re: Need Some Help

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sligh1</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Get some buddies to go out (college? Offer a couple cases of beer!) and do some major grid searching. If you could get 6 guys and space right, you could cover every ounce of ground in about 3 hours where the buck "COULD" be. Water and random really thick spots. Most of my buddies that didn't find a dead buck find them in the SPRING and realize they walked right by him, they always seem to find the thick little random spot to die at. Good luck and keep plugging away. </div></div>
Great advice Sligh.
A couple more things to try.... last place you saw him, start doing circles 10 yds, 20 yds, 30yds. I take a roll of toilet paper with me as well just incase you find blood.If you do look for the most obvious escape route and check closely for sign.If you find more sign put another piece of toilet paper. This will show the direction the animal was heading and help you to find where to look next. Deer will ussually run a straight fast or slightly curved line until they start getting disoriented. From what you said about the hit, look high on the brush for sign ( tall grass/ weeds brush and cattails... notso much on the ground. you also might notice the weeds bent down with no other sign. Try spraying a little peroxide where you thing there might be sign that you cant find ( peroxide will bubble on blood). Watch for birds in the area ( crow and turkey buzzards if they are around) good chance they might show where it is. last resort.... in Michigan some folks have tracking dogs it is legal if you don't take a bow/ firearm with you when you are searching. I don't know if this is legal in IA, but a good dog will find deer scent even if there is no sign around. Seen them find deer very quickly when nothing was obvious to us humans
 

IowaBow

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

Iowabowtech gives the same advice i'd give.

Helped a buddy a week ago with a nice buck, similar scenario as you describe.

Left him over night, came back the next morning with very minimal blood, luckily he went into a standing corn field and the high hit blood rubbed off on every corn stalk he went by, without that I think we would have been hard pressed to find him as by the time we jumped him the next morning, we were an honest 3/4 of a mile away from where he was initially hit.

When we jumped him then he could barely move, could only walk and could not run, he moved off into a thicket and laid down in a creek in the middle of it and let us walk up on him after that, took another shot and he was done.

Good luck, high hits with minimal penetration are about as hard as it gets, but I do think 90% of the time if you've gotten one lung they are going down eventually.
 
R

ReleaseHunter

Guest
Re: Need Some Help

This does suck, but everyone has given great tips. I will add one more that worked for me with the same scenario...BLOODHOUNDS! Call your local DNR officer or someone you might nknow that has good bloodhounds! Get them to where you arrowed this deer and take them in the direction the deer went. You will probably find that you have overlooked it in some brush. Good luck to ya.
 

IowaBow

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

Last I heard using dogs is illegal, has this changed cause I would love to hear that it has.
 

IowaBow

New Member
Re: Need Some Help

JJ

This is about the best graphic i've found on the net, use it all the time teaching my kids.

http://www.rubsnscrapes.com/Articles/deer_shot_placement_anatomy.php

Looking at that where do you think you hit him?

You can see the "void" many people talk about at the top 1/3 of the shoulder blade, going through there at an even angle and you just hit bone, blade then spine and is non fatal.

Looking at that if you think you're in at least one lung he should be down, findable I don't know but he's going down.

Good luck sir i've lost 2 in 10 yrs to high shoulder hits and know what a sick feeling it is.
 
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