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Welcome aboard, and glad you scored! Lot of good info, and as others have said, trestand hunting is not the same as ground hunting, a 15" ladder stand for that mater is not the same placement a 30" climber shot is!

I learned to aim for the exit, not the entrance the higher I went! I also found inside 25 or 30 yards to aim low with a bow, because where I hunted the dear were known to drop at any sound!

But until I started hunting from the ground, I never realized how much shot placement meant for good blood trails! In the air my lung shots always exited low, this meant it took little bleeding for blood to find the hole from the exit, and "walla" blood trail!

Then when I started the ground hunting, with the same broadheads, I started killing deer with most of them giving poor blood trails. I also started aiming higher where I wanted the arrow to enter and new with my much faster setup, the drop from the deer would not come into play like my 154fps compound would. But when I found my deer, most dropping in sight or slightly out of sight, they were plum full of blood, making field dressing a lot messier!

I learn like other old timers, high hits on the ground are not the same as high hits in the air. It takes a lot of blood to fill the diagram before it finds them high holes to get out! Always remember when that arrow hits, draw a straight line from you to the other side, and you will see how much blood it will take before you see all the leaking!

I also hit one once that busted me at 30 yards coming at me, when he threw that neck up I knew it was now or never and let the shot go, hit right behind the ear, clear thru the neck cut the top of the lung and exited with one of the 3 blades on the 1 1/8" VPA just slice the bottom of the spine and going into the other side hind quarter, blew the hip joint into pieces and came to rest against the hide on that hind quarter!

The arrow never exited, but I had more blood that any deer I ever shot with any weapon, only because I cut a main artery in the neck and it sprayed blood like a water hose sprays water! That is just the way hunting goes! If 1 1/9" will do that, it aint the boltcutter, it was just how the arrow came out and what it hit coming thru!
 

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Yep, glad you found your deer. Sorry if I didn’t say that before. I had a fairly small doe ( last day of a lousy season when all 3 sons were still at home) run over 125 yards after having lung tissue blown out into a deadfall 20 yards behind her. It’s a crap shoot, to a degree. 17 years ago, I shot a doe quartering away with my Bowtech. Saw exactly where she left the field. Even found some deery fluid in her steps. Thought I heard her crash. Didn’t find any blood at all. It was a tiny property, and I was afraid to push her onto the neighbor’s place, where they were not receptive to hunting. I backed out and went back the next morning. Still found no blood, but got in my stand and tried to remember where I heard the last noise. Walked to that place, and there she was. There were a few little drops of blood within 5 feet of where she layed. Something had gnawed on her hind legs, but most of the meat was ok. Learned a lesson about shot placement for sure, and I really dislike hunting small properties with problem neighbors. I know there are opportunities for really good bucks that way, but it just isn’t worth it to me. YMMV
 

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Well it could have just been the type of bullet used. The 308 is a great cartridge and a heck of a caliber.
Could have been that traveling 3/4s of the way through the thick body of a large buck the bullet did its job and expended all its energy inside the body. No blood trail because the guts covered the entry hole up but I watched it run for almost 100 yards and knew where it was headed so no problem finding it. It surprised me though as I have never not had a rifle shot deer bleed before and rarely have one run so far.
 

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As the posts have said on high hits. Almost every B-head made will do the job on killing. They maynot be great accuracy. I have just a few years killing tick toters, aim low about one third above the bottom on chest. I like to hit tight behind the front leg. They will sure give you a blood trail
 
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Before I knew better, I figured all double lung hits were the same. Then I hit a buck high through the lungs. Buck had either seen of smelled me and was very motivated to get out of there. Never found a drop of blood. Didn't find him until a couple months later. He had gone way further than I would have ever guessed a double lunged deer could. But I had seen the arrow entry and exit spots.

Last year I had a buck at maybe 10 yards quartering away a little. Another double lunger, but the arrow hit the near side lung high & back and centered the off side lung. The buck didn't go more than about 125 yards. I watched him for at least an hour after the hit and heard him making noises for another half hour after that, until dark. Found him the next morning easily, without ever needing to look for blood.

The main take a way for me though was - hit a lung high & back and that deer can live for a couple hours at least.

Can't say I understand it all, but apparently some lung hits result in a partially usable lung and a deer that can live surprisingly long as well as go further than you'd think possible.

My most recent buck was another double lunger with a nice low exit. He probably didn't make it 60 yards with one of those blood trails about anybody could follow. Certainly nice when it goes that way - but sometimes it doesn't!
 

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Could have been that traveling 3/4s of the way through the thick body of a large buck the bullet did its job and expended all its energy inside the body. No blood trail because the guts covered the entry hole up but I watched it run for almost 100 yards and knew where it was headed so no problem finding it. It surprised me though as I have never not had a rifle shot deer bleed before and rarely have one run so far.
Pretty buck and good story!
 

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I always recommend looking closely at the guts during gutting to see what the arrow actually hit vice where it went in and exited. I do this on all my kills. I learn a lot about shot angles and how my BH performed.
 

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The first year I shot 2" swhackers the deer bled all over the place and all dropped within sight. The next year there were HARD blood trails to find and the deer ran 100 yards and more. It aint the heads. Rather where they hit. Always aim at a deer visualizing where the broadhead exits and you will have much better bloodtrails. Congrats on your buck.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Dear Camp Gang:

Wow. Thanks for all the thoughts and comments. I have learned a lot.

First I need to clear up a couple of things. This was my first deer WITH A CROSSBOW, but not my first deer. I've taken them with shot guns slug, a 44 mag hand gun, a muzzle loader and a compound bow. In all of those instances I've only had two blood trail problems. First was a very thin blood trail from a 44 mag shot and second was no blood trail also from a 44 mag. I'd have sworn I made a good hit but . . . not so.

The exit wound on this deer was just about opposite of the entrance wound. High and behind the shoulder. I almost shot him when he was facing me straight on, in the lower chest but thought better of it. Or maybe that would have been better??

This most current deer was from a ground blind. I've shot one from the same ground blind last year but that was with a 12 ga slug. That one piled up about ten yards into the woods. The guy whose land I hunt is a good buddy and he has let me put tree stands all over the place. With his permission I am building more ground blinds as I get older. Gotta love friends like that.

I know shot placement counts, but nonetheless, I think I'll look into a bigger cut expandable broad head. I know from experience (shooting turkeys in the chest) that the thin bladed expandable may lose some blades.

Okay. Wow. Thanks again for all the help. Love this forum. I spend a lot of time at "The Firing Line" a firearms forum under the same moniker (Prof Young) so . . . .

Will let you know how it goes with the cross bow.

Life is good.
Prof Young
 

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The exit wound on this deer was just about opposite of the entrance wound. High and behind the shoulder. I almost shot him when he was facing me straight on, in the lower chest but thought better of it. Or maybe that would have been better??

I know shot placement counts, but nonetheless, I think I'll look into a bigger cut expandable broad head. I know from experience (shooting turkeys in the chest) that the thin bladed expandable may lose some blades.
Prof... Welcome to camp. I've read back through the thread and seen no mention of HAIR. That BH should be shaving sharp and leave clumps of hair at entrance and exit. If it's dull, hair is pushed aside and the blade pushes its way through soft lung tissue. Remember how hard it was to stop a razor cut when you first started shaving and had a hot date waiting. A ragged cut clots up quicker because of the tissue damage at the site, but the razor cut is a thin slice. If you aim at the heart, you can expect more blood on the ground sooner and still expect a double lung hit. It's tough to get to the heart without going through both lungs. Hair color at the heart level may have some white, particularly on the exit which may be lower than entrance. A deer that ducks the string will most likely give you darker hair. A close look at anatomy suggests that the heart and shoulder (Joint) are about the same level. A slight quarter to or quarter away shot at the heart may break the shoulder on the near side or far side, respectively. (Note: System ate this reply last night. Couldn't find it to finish. Lost train of thought.) Anyway, if you don't get hair, you're shooting dull broadheads and if you intend to shoot above the heart, you're more likely to see less blood.
 

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Hope I'm doing this right. Just joined this forum today. Introduced myself on the "newbee" page.

Anyway I shoot an Excalibur Axiom. The thing is designed so that as long as you use 150 grain broad-heads, once you have the cross hairs sighted at 20 yards, each reticule on down is ten more yards. So I use 150 grain broad-heads.

Just two days ago I took my first deer, eight pointer, with the crossbow. Nailed him with a great shot just behind the top of his shoulder. Bolt passed through with a double lung shot. Now here is what freaked me out. There was NO BLOOD TRAIL! And trust me, I scoured that field. If there was a blood trail I'd have found it. In fact, when I found him there was no blood on the ground there either. I was shooting a fixed blade broad-head that is 1.25 inches at the widest. Took me until the next day to find him and that was a major serendipity. How normal is it to have no blood trail with that narrow of a broad-head.

I'm guessing I need to switch broad-heads.

Life is good.
Prof Young
I wouldn't feel bad about your experience. I was with my buddy doing an AM hunt, when he shot a nice 10 point buck at 40 yards with a Vengeance Ten Point Crossbow pushing the bolt 418fps with a Double Cross NAP Broadhead. It was a through & through double lung shot. No blood where he stood, but the bolt was thoroughly coated with the deer's blood. It was some 50 yards before we found a penpoint spot of blood. Had it been a PM hunt we would have most likely lost the buck. After the first blood we would circle around it until we found another dot of blood. And so it went through two ravines and foothills. Finally, we spotted him laying dead against a fence line some 200 yards from where he had been shot. Opening him up, his lungs were full of blood, but the 2" wounds on either side had, for the most part, been sealed up by his layer of fat. When it comes to broadheads, it would appear it is all shot placement. Had it been a lower lung shot, perhaps his blood trail would have been much easier to follow.
 
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