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This archery season was not the best, had a shot a about 15 yards was almost dark was trying a fixed 4 blade , she was standing side ways I saw the lighted nock hit her, there was a big crashing noise like she was rolling down the bank, only two drops blood then nothing. No arrow just don’t get it. Bothers me !!
 

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It should. If it didn’t you would have no business being in the woods.
That said, stuff happens and it happens to all of us. Don’t beat yourself up over it, just learn something from the episode and move on.
 

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The longer you hunt, the more you will experience strange events. Shots that seem perfect end up with long blood trails. Deer hit but not recovered. It will happen. I think I read somewhere that 15% of deer shot are not recovered. Of that, about 50% will live on. That's just the way it is.
 

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Kelowna, (aka, KTown) BC./ Swat!!! :)
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I hear your pain, man. Bin there also. I can tell you respect the game though! I loose sleep over this stuff, it bothers me so much.
These critters are just so tough, stuff just happens like this. The ****** buck I lost a couple years ago, just simply ducked as the arrow came. So it hit way to high, and off he went! Next year, I'm pretty sure I saw him alive and healthy!
My butcher says he's found quite a few broadheads/bullets stuck in game that have scare tissue grown around them to seal them off...and the critter was just live'n on! I'm looking into a good broadhead that could come back out in this case, so they heal better....
 

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Ya do the best you can and that is all you can do. It bothers the heck outa me when things go wrong but I know I do the best I can at making a shot and the right decisions. I tell myself,,life goes on. There will be more deer. I have posted this before,,and I am more concerned with this brain eating disease that has no cure and is spreading. This may end deer hunting as we have known it. Hope not...
 

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The broadhead I was using was a leading blade type, I really believe if it would of been a rage like a trypan the out come would of been different ! U said about the brain eating disease, I had a aunt in the 90s that had mad cows disease and it killed her very fast !! A very bad way to die
 

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This archery season was not the best, had a shot a about 15 yards was almost dark was trying a fixed 4 blade , she was standing side ways I saw the lighted nock hit her, there was a big crashing noise like she was rolling down the bank, only two drops blood then nothing. No arrow just don’t get it. Bothers me !!
We all hate this. It may help to realize that some deer survive, and the rest, well, nothing is wasted in the woods...
 

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Sad to hear about your Aunt. They say there are 300 deaths a year due to a form of mad cow and no one is sure how it is contracted? Scary and little in the news about it. The large cut broadheads have their bad stories too. Best broad heads and best shots can fail sometimes. Deer are tough. I have seen some pictures of does with easily seen holes right in their sides yet walking around fine, again,,You can only do the best you can. When the outcome is less than perfect, Access things you might have done different and change next time. If there are none, chalk it up to fate, and press ahead.
 

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The thing about prion diseases like mad cow is that you get it by eating diseased brain tissue. Mad cow gets spread because the manner some slaughter houses kill the cows ruptures the skull and blows brain tissue into the lungs and other tissues. You can control a lot of the risk by how you kill and butcher the animal so hunting will probably remain a viable sport even as the disease spreads. The book "The Coming Plague" has a lot of good (though somewhat dated) information on prions and related diseases.

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Not to criticize....but I usually don't sit until completely dark. When it starts getting dark enough to not be able to see the deer clearly I usually go ahead and get down before letting one get in too close when there will only be a marginal shot. That said, even with good light Ive lost deer too. Anybody that has shot enough of them has lost a few. It happens.
 

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Not to criticize....but I usually don't sit until completely dark. When it starts getting dark enough to not be able to see the deer clearly I usually go ahead and get down before letting one get in too close when there will only be a marginal shot. That said, even with good light Ive lost deer too. Anybody that has shot enough of them has lost a few. It happens.
This happened to me this year. My son & I looked for 4 hours and he had his dog. We found some blood but could not find the deer. I know this happens some time BUT it still makes me feel bad. Good luck to everyone for the rest of this hinting season. Pic of pass through BEE.
 

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shot a about 15 yards was almost dark was trying a fixed 4 blade , she was standing side ways I saw the lighted nock hit her, there was a big crashing noise like she was rolling down the bank,
First, the 10-point on the left was recovered after two-day track with bloodhound. It was expensive. --it happens! There are hundreds of years of experience in tracking on the forum, but we can't help much without data. "The devil is in the details." What is the analysis of your setup and shot. Broadhead? How sharp? How fast? How heavy? Position: ground? elevated? Clear path to deer or intervening brush? What was reaction to being hit: straight ahead donkey kick or wheel off at a sharp angle? Did you identify and mark the site of impact? How much time spent looking for evidence at sight of impact: hoof prints and direction, hair and tissue, blood? Shooting at dark requires a daylight LED flashlight to find blood. Two drops of blood how far from impact? Crash how far from impact? How long after shot did you start track? How soon did you quit that night? Did you recruit more eyes? Did you look for more evidence of impact next morning? Arrows can take strange paths leaving a deer. I have found arrows hours after recovering the deer within 15 yards of the impact site slung off 90 degrees from its expected path. Find the nearest blood or scent tracking dog club and see if they will come to your location. Expect to pay $50+ for travel and an additional $100 if you recover. The cost can be quite an incentive to look harder. Give it your best shot; you'll sleep better.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No sure why I took the shot, maybe frustrated with the way the season was going. Not gonna be that stupid again real soon, I shot a turkey almost in the exact spot earlier that evening, I could see the deer pretty clearly, two of us looked for several hours that night, at the shot I just sat down for quite awhile, next day at first light I was back at it for 3 or 4 hours area very hilly just couldn’t walk any more !!
 

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And it could be you did nothing wrong. There are always the variables of: A) did deer move at last second & B) small limbs/vegetation that can deflect an arrow, but that you can't really see - until after the shot or broad daylight.

I have taken shots in low light conditions, found dry arrows and wondered how in the heck that didn't work. Come back the next day and see that there was plenty of small limbs in the way to deflect an arrow.

It is easy to have that happen in good light conditions. I have certainly trimmed too much around stand sights & can confirm deer don't like that much.

Regardless, it always sucks to loose one - especially when you never know what really happened? Did deer make it?

I arrowed a good buck a few weeks ago. It was my first shot at a good buck with the bow, since 2017. He was quartering to me some, but I knew I could put that arrow right behind his shoulder & kill him.

Another thing about hunters, at least as it pertains to hunting, is we are optimists! You have to be in order to keep doing the same think over & over & expect to have different/better results. I choose to disregard the normal definition of that & call it 'Optimism' instead.

I think it's only natural that some of that optimism will bleed over into the shots we take.

The buck from a few weeks back, rocketed up a hill after the arrow hit him. He sure moved like an animal that wasn't going to die soon. Within seconds, the doubt comes. Did I hit him an inch or two forward, shoulder only and not get vitals? Idiot!, why didn't you wait for him to get broadside! The more I thought about it & replayed it in my mind, it sure did seem like there was a lot of arrow sticking out when he ran and it probably hit too far forward. Searched a lot to find just a couple very small drips of blood, no arrow & no dead buck. We even had a little snow at that time - didn't matter.

Hunting a stand near there a few days later and a few does come by. Then a small buck following them grunting. Then a nicer buck following, grunting as well. Hey, is that buck limping? Too far & thick for a shot in that direction. But with the binoculars, I was able to see a good buck that I'd seen before in that area. With the limp, I'm confident it was the same buck I'd hit. Of course he didn't show me that side that had the arrow in it, but it was enough to convince me. And he was doing normal buck stuff, seemingly without a care in the world except for a bit of a limp. Pretty sure he make it (at least until gun season).

In hind site, no I shouldn't have taken the shot. If I could go back & not take the shot, I'd like to think I'd wait for more broadside.

But then there is always the optimist in me who knows if I execute this just right, the buck won't go very far.........

Now I'm not advocating taking bad shots. In 20 + years of flinging arrows, I think the shot at that buck was my first (& hopefully only) shot at a deer quartering to me.

But deer hunting is exciting and many times you've only got a couple seconds to decide, shoot or pass.

Combine that with the old adage of "take the first good shot you get (that may be your only shot)" and a little optimism - and sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes you get unlucky on good shots. Other times, shots that could have been bad, end well.

100% of shots not taken result in a deer you didn't wound/not find. But the other side of that coin is, 100% of shots not taken result in a deer you don't take home with you!
 

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The broadhead I was using was a leading blade type, I really believe if it would of been a rage like a trypan the out come would of been different ! U said about the brain eating disease, I had a aunt in the 90s that had mad cows disease and it killed her very fast !! A very bad way to die
The type of broadhead is not as inportin as shot placement.

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I had my moment last year. Had a good blood trail then the trail disappeared after 60 yards. Came back the next morning, no luck. It happens.
 
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