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Scorpyd Orion Ravin R9
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I have been following the post by scottdavison22 in regard to him recovering his buck. I have no idea what happened based on all the info he provided, but unfortunately it doesn't look like he is going to find that deer. That is a gut wrenching feeling- I have been fortunate over the years to have only lost one-that was a doe-that feeling was terrible. I started to have that feeling this past Sunday when I was using my muzzleloader during our CWD season here in N IL. We finally got the kind of weather I had been looking for all season- super cold temps and snow. As soon as I got to my spot at 1:30 deer were already in the vicinity, but they caught a glimpse of me and bugged out. Several deer funneled through during the next hour or so. I was just looking for a mature doe, wasn't going to be picky. Nothing presented me with a clean shot. Around 3:30 I saw a big body coming off a hill to the north of me at about 200 yards. Very quickly this deer made his way directly within gun range. I took my shot at probably 60-70 yards with my Savage ML II, which has served me well (love muzzleloader hunting, everything from new in-lines to Hawkin-style percussion and flint locks). With the weather being the way it was I know I wanted one of my best with me. Took my shot and he mule kicked, ran about 60 yards, started swaying and "laid" down. He was about 120 yards from me laying down with his head up. He was not in a thicket, just laying on a hill side. I reloaded, but had no shot without moving, which would almost certainly bump him. So, I waited. As I waited deer started filing in one after another. I stopped counting once I got to 30, and it was getting dark. The cold and snow were really doing their job-these deer wanted to eat. The buck got up and slowly walked off to the West after about 30 minutes, not walking well. I was 99% sure I had made a lethal shot, but probably liver/guts. I waited until dark and then went to where he had laid down and picked up the trail there. Looked like a great blood trail for 40 yards, and I had a few inches of snow, so I had blood and tracks to follow. At about 40 yards the blood seemed to stop but the tracks went on. I found no blood but the tracks let down into a dense thicket, so I decided to back out and wait until morning, taking my chances with the hungry coyotes.

Got back out there with my neighbor and picked up the trail at the thicket- again following just tracks and no blood. Then I started thinking, "I should have found some blood based on what the trail had been looking like". So, I went back to the last place I saw blood and noticed something I hadn't noticed in the dark- the blood /another set of prints took a 90 degree turn left. I had been following the wrong trail. Found him frozen solid in the creek within 30 yards. He almost certainly died Sunday afternoon just after he walked off and I simply missed the blood/his trail taking a left. I had been following another deer's trail. Moral to the story in this case, always follow the blood if possible. There are so many deer in the area I was hunting that I was trailing another large buck's prints. He ended up being partially gut shot, but it looked like I got some lungs as well. Had a hell of a time getting him out of that partially frozen creek, but with some help from my awesome neighbor we got the job done, and were able to salvage most of the meat. This is the second largest buck (rack-wise I have ever shot). He had lost considerable weight from earlier trail cam pics chasing does, but I wasn't overly concerned with that.
 

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nice buck! and nice tracking. it happens. Glad you found that nice sucker. Good of the creek to cool the meat for you overnight! Congratulations!
 

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I have been following the post by scottdavison22 in regard to him recovering his buck. I have no idea what happened based on all the info he provided, but unfortunately it doesn't look like he is going to find that deer. That is a gut wrenching feeling- I have been fortunate over the years to have only lost one-that was a doe-that feeling was terrible. I started to have that feeling this past Sunday when I was using my muzzleloader during our CWD season here in N IL. We finally got the kind of weather I had been looking for all season- super cold temps and snow. As soon as I got to my spot at 1:30 deer were already in the vicinity, but they caught a glimpse of me and bugged out. Several deer funneled through during the next hour or so. I was just looking for a mature doe, wasn't going to be picky. Nothing presented me with a clean shot. Around 3:30 I saw a big body coming off a hill to the north of me at about 200 yards. Very quickly this deer made his way directly within gun range. I took my shot at probably 60-70 yards with my Savage ML II, which has served me well (love muzzleloader hunting, everything from new in-lines to Hawkin-style percussion and flint locks). With the weather being the way it was I know I wanted one of my best with me. Took my shot and he mule kicked, ran about 60 yards, started swaying and "laid" down. He was about 120 yards from me laying down with his head up. He was not in a thicket, just laying on a hill side. I reloaded, but had no shot without moving, which would almost certainly bump him. So, I waited. As I waited deer started filing in one after another. I stopped counting once I got to 30, and it was getting dark. The cold and snow were really doing their job-these deer wanted to eat. The buck got up and slowly walked off to the West after about 30 minutes, not walking well. I was 99% sure I had made a lethal shot, but probably liver/guts. I waited until dark and then went to where he had laid down and picked up the trail there. Looked like a great blood trail for 40 yards, and I had a few inches of snow, so I had blood and tracks to follow. At about 40 yards the blood seemed to stop but the tracks went on. I found no blood but the tracks let down into a dense thicket, so I decided to back out and wait until morning, taking my chances with the hungry coyotes.

Got back out there with my neighbor and picked up the trail at the thicket- again following just tracks and no blood. Then I started thinking, "I should have found some blood based on what the trail had been looking like". So, I went back to the last place I saw blood and noticed something I hadn't noticed in the dark- the blood /another set of prints took a 90 degree turn left. I had been following the wrong trail. Found him frozen solid in the creek within 30 yards. He almost certainly died Sunday afternoon just after he walked off and I simply missed the blood/his trail taking a left. I had been following another deer's trail. Moral to the story in this case, always follow the blood if possible. There are so many deer in the area I was hunting that I was trailing another large buck's prints. He ended up being partially gut shot, but it looked like I got some lungs as well. Had a hell of a time getting him out of that partially frozen creek, but with some help from my awesome neighbor we got the job done, and were able to salvage most of the meat. This is the second largest buck (rack-wise I have ever shot). He had lost considerable weight from earlier trail cam pics chasing does, but I wasn't overly concerned with that.
Yah, now that's what I'm talkin about! Good deer and persistent, successful recovery, great story and lesson larnt.
 
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Had the same thing happen to me with a buck about ten years ago.
Made what looked like a great show from my ground blind with my excal micro 335 and a slick trick head.
It was getting dark and I followed the track for about 75 yards or so and then nothing.
I came back the next morning and sat for a few hours living the shot over in my head.
I went back to last blood and then back tracked on both sides of the trail.
That crafty bugger had back tracked about twenty yards and then gave a big jump off the trail. On this new trail, he went about two hundred yards and I found him piled up.....
Meat was hood and tasty.
Snow Carnivore Dog breed Dog Fawn
 

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Scorpyd Orion Ravin R9
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had the same thing happen to me with a buck about ten years ago.
Made what looked like a great show from my ground blind with my excal micro 335 and a slick trick head.
It was getting dark and I followed the track for about 75 yards or so and then nothing.
I came back the next morning and sat for a few hours living the shot over in my head.
I went back to last blood and then back tracked on both sides of the trail.
That crafty bugger had back tracked about twenty yards and then gave a big jump off the trail. On this new trail, he went about two hundred yards and I found him piled up.....
Meat was hood and tasty. View attachment 215714
I am yet to have one backtrack on me, that would have been crazy difficult to figure out where he went of the main trail. I have had to resort to grid searching a number of times, which is tedious but if done correctly will usually result in finding one's deer.
 

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Good solid buck, congratulations! Good tracking job too. They can be pretty crafty in their escape sometimes.

In my experience, a deer that takes off on a low to the ground, frantic death scramble runs a pretty straight line. If they walk or trot out of sight or if they go a short distance, bed, then walk away, be especially watchful while tracking. They know they are hurt. The evade and elude mode has kicked in and they will likely back track or change direction, maybe several times.
 

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I have tracked several deer over the years that back tracked and then went in another direction. I always go back now if I lose the blood trail to check for a back track if the deer was bleeding fairly steadily and it suddenly just stops. One that my brother had shot back tracked about 20 yards and launched himself into a blow down tree and was buried under limbs where he died. Luckily I spotted a speck of blood on a leaf beside the blow down so we checked it out and found him. Another had back tracked and jumped in a creek and was under an over hanging bank. That one almost did not get found.
 

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It is fairly common that arrow hit deer will do some weird things just before collapsing. As Robertyb said, if your tracking and the blood mysteriously stops, especially if there is no indication of the deer standing for awhile causing a puddle of blood, be suspicious.
 

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I have been following the post by scottdavison22 in regard to him recovering his buck. I have no idea what happened based on all the info he provided, but unfortunately it doesn't look like he is going to find that deer. That is a gut wrenching feeling- I have been fortunate over the years to have only lost one-that was a doe-that feeling was terrible. I started to have that feeling this past Sunday when I was using my muzzleloader during our CWD season here in N IL. We finally got the kind of weather I had been looking for all season- super cold temps and snow. As soon as I got to my spot at 1:30 deer were already in the vicinity, but they caught a glimpse of me and bugged out. Several deer funneled through during the next hour or so. I was just looking for a mature doe, wasn't going to be picky. Nothing presented me with a clean shot. Around 3:30 I saw a big body coming off a hill to the north of me at about 200 yards. Very quickly this deer made his way directly within gun range. I took my shot at probably 60-70 yards with my Savage ML II, which has served me well (love muzzleloader hunting, everything from new in-lines to Hawkin-style percussion and flint locks). With the weather being the way it was I know I wanted one of my best with me. Took my shot and he mule kicked, ran about 60 yards, started swaying and "laid" down. He was about 120 yards from me laying down with his head up. He was not in a thicket, just laying on a hill side. I reloaded, but had no shot without moving, which would almost certainly bump him. So, I waited. As I waited deer started filing in one after another. I stopped counting once I got to 30, and it was getting dark. The cold and snow were really doing their job-these deer wanted to eat. The buck got up and slowly walked off to the West after about 30 minutes, not walking well. I was 99% sure I had made a lethal shot, but probably liver/guts. I waited until dark and then went to where he had laid down and picked up the trail there. Looked like a great blood trail for 40 yards, and I had a few inches of snow, so I had blood and tracks to follow. At about 40 yards the blood seemed to stop but the tracks went on. I found no blood but the tracks let down into a dense thicket, so I decided to back out and wait until morning, taking my chances with the hungry coyotes.

Got back out there with my neighbor and picked up the trail at the thicket- again following just tracks and no blood. Then I started thinking, "I should have found some blood based on what the trail had been looking like". So, I went back to the last place I saw blood and noticed something I hadn't noticed in the dark- the blood /another set of prints took a 90 degree turn left. I had been following the wrong trail. Found him frozen solid in the creek within 30 yards. He almost certainly died Sunday afternoon just after he walked off and I simply missed the blood/his trail taking a left. I had been following another deer's trail. Moral to the story in this case, always follow the blood if possible. There are so many deer in the area I was hunting that I was trailing another large buck's prints. He ended up being partially gut shot, but it looked like I got some lungs as well. Had a hell of a time getting him out of that partially frozen creek, but with some help from my awesome neighbor we got the job done, and were able to salvage most of the meat. This is the second largest buck (rack-wise I have ever shot). He had lost considerable weight from earlier trail cam pics chasing does, but I wasn't overly concerned with that.
Nice Buck deer!
They do that; instinct is my take on it. They live by their nose; scent. They instinctively try to lose the preditor by mingling with another deers scent trail.
 
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