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Shot a nice buck last night. Entry wound placement looked about perfect, but exit was low, missing the offside lung (30-35 yard shot). Fortunately, this Batchelor group was still in a very care free mood (probably didn't hurt that it was opening day & they didn't know they were being hunted, yet) & none of them really spooked. Wounded buck bounded off to 50 yards and stood there with his butt facing me. Hoped he'd go down, but no. He'd just take a step forward every few minutes. After about 40 minutes of this the buck finally turns a bit & offers a 55 yard broadside shot. Had to try and was happy to hear a solid 'thunk' when arrow got to him. This motivated him to get to the woods maybe 30 yards away & we found him maybe another 30 yards into the woods after giving him a little more time.

It's a no brainer to take another shot if you can get it. In this case the second shot hit liver & made for a good blood trail - not a hard recovery.

Of course I can't help but wonder if that 2nd shot was necessary or if that was a dead dear anyway? I can't recall ever recovering a bow shot deer that was hit in one lung & no where else.

On the other hand, this could have ended much worse - a buck can go a long ways in 40 minutes - If he doesn't feel too bad & feels like moving. Does the fact that he just stood there that long mean he simply couldn't go much further?

So anyone know about what the recovery rate is for deer who've had an arrow go thru 1 lung only?

I guess a big reason I ask is that I've hit other deer in the liver & while it kills them, it usually takes a while. But then I think I've heard others talk of liver shots being quick killers.

I suppose I'm just wondering if the 1st shot killed this buck, or the 2nd shot did or a combination of both shots?
 

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The first shot would have killed him but, in my experience, it would have took him several hours to die. You made the correct call and put a second shot in him. It's not absolutely necessary but anything could have happened. If you elected to sneak out with one shot, a coyote could have ran him and you would have never found the deer. I shot a deer 1 lung and jumped him an hour later. I got lucky and he crossed a field and tangled himself in a fence. That fence was 500-600 yards from where I initially shot him.
 

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Deer can go far on one lung no doubt. If the opertunity for a second shot presents itself always take it. There is no second guessing. Never know whay kind of damage the first shot did especially if the deer stands there after being shot and what the possibilities are. I have already put 3 arrows in the same deer.
 

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Not a great recovery rate on one lung. Maybe 60%?
Mastering shot selection should be done before attempting to execute the shot.
This learn as you earn stuff is for the ghetto folks :(
 

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In my parts I would say the recovery rate would be very low. During bow season it's hot here so leaving a deer overnight means spoiled meat since it's still hot here. People down here look as long as they can then if they can put a dog on the scent....or else they give up.
 
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I have tracked 100's of deer. One lung recovery rates are low. Especially on mature animals & even when you do get them they generally suffer a lot. A lot depends on the angle. If it's a nearly straight down shot (do not do this!) so that the arrow goes lengthways through the lung top to bottom (same with front to back) they can die fairly soon. Still not like a double lung though. Hunters fool themselves on how much pain animals can feel. Especially because of how animals are genetically programmed (only part of why actually) through natural selection not to show it like we would. I have studied pain in humans & animals for years & trust me, you did that deer a favor by putting a good second shot on him.
 

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Hit a 4 yr old buck last yr. heavy bruiser. One good lung hit. Opposite lung just back edge. He turned at my release. He made it 200!yrds. Minimal blood to follow but just enough. Deer do not feel pain like humans. I at least know for a fact their bodies do not go into shock like ours. The Ranch Fairy has a good video out about getting your broadheads super sharp. The sharpness makes a difference cutting down to the microscopic artery level
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I realize my question is hard to answer in that if the deer isn't recovered, you don't really know if it was a 1 lung shot or not - stuff happens.

For this buck I had both good & bad luck. As I mentioned above, placement of the 1st arrow was about perfect - tight behind the shoulder & about half way up the body. I have to assume the arrow hit a rib or something that caused it to nose dive instead of take the path that it should have. I can't think of another explanation for the exit being so low, since the shot angle was not sharp.

On the good luck side was the deer not making a mad dash for parts unknown. I did feel like every minute he stood there was in my favor. One more benefit of bow hunting - deer aren't stirred up yet.

Still just a bit perplexed about the 2nd shot, as he only lived a few seconds after that - again he may have only lived a bit longer either way. Guess I'll never really know.
 

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I have butchered hundreds and hundreds of deer and have always taken an interest in the internals. I always do an exam, since the early 80's.
I have seen dozens of one lung shots, months years after the fact. Deer that are one lunged and live do get killed or die but the wounds basically just shrink up real small.
I saw one deer that had everything shriveled up, nearly to the center of the frontal lobe. She had a very distinct 3 slit wound, center of the second lobe.

I shot a buck 4 hours ago that flopped over at 50 yards with a single lung but it also cut through a major artery, coming from the heart. Had I missed that one artery... Hard to tell what would have happened.


I realize my question is hard to answer in that if the deer isn't recovered, you don't really know if it was a 1 lung shot or not - stuff happens.

For this buck I had both good & bad luck. As I mentioned above, placement of the 1st arrow was about perfect - tight behind the shoulder & about half way up the body. I have to assume the arrow hit a rib or something that caused it to nose dive instead of take the path that it should have. I can't think of another explanation for the exit being so low, since the shot angle was not sharp.

On the good luck side was the deer not making a mad dash for parts unknown. I did feel like every minute he stood there was in my favor. One more benefit of bow hunting - deer aren't stirred up yet.

Still just a bit perplexed about the 2nd shot, as he only lived a few seconds after that - again he may have only lived a bit longer either way. Guess I'll never really know.
 
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Hit a 4 yr old buck last yr. heavy bruiser. One good lung hit. Opposite lung just back edge. He turned at my release. He made it 200!yrds. Minimal blood to follow but just enough. Deer do not feel pain like humans. I at least know for a fact their bodies do not go into shock like ours. The Ranch Fairy has a good video out about getting your broadheads super sharp. The sharpness makes a difference cutting down to the microscopic artery level
Deer & other animals are capable of feeling excruciating pain far worse than what any of us will likely ever be unfortunate enough to feel. We just make the mistake of expecting them to show it the way we think they should & when we think they should. I have studied pain in animals (& people) for over 20 years. Going over a lot of scientific research papers, talking to doctors, etc. I even talked to a research scientist from a nearby experimental lab that did animal experimentation. She said animals (specifically mammals but also other types of animals too) can feel horrific pain that few humans will ever even be able to comprehend because people will never experience enough pain to know how bad it can be. That is part of why they use animals for many of their experiments. She said they are taught how to read animals so they can see & understand their pain level & that once you learn to see it you wonder how in the world you never noticed before. She said people naturally want to focus on the differences so they don't see it but if the public ever understood what animals can really feel & experience both physically & emotionally they would put a stop to all the experimentation. She had a lot more to say than I have room for here. Not much point in going into it any more. Most of my fellow hunters won't believe it anyway because they don't want to potentially feel bad & have any of their enjoyment affected.

...Still just a bit perplexed about the 2nd shot, as he only lived a few seconds after that - again he may have only lived a bit longer either way. Guess I'll never really know.
Hard to tell. Where you hit the liver can make a big difference. There is a major artery in there. Hit the right spot in the liver & they can go down real quick. Hit the wrong spot & it might take 6 hours.
 

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Well I am not certain of the Science of pain. But I am certain animals have a much higher tolerance to it. One memorable buck I hit squarely through both lungs broadside. He ran up a hill for 20 yards and then stood looking around as if not sure what had happened. He then began to walk in a normal deer fashion as if nothing had happened. Suddenly he collapsed dead. I assure you. If I had been shot through both lungs with a Crossbow my reaction would have been different! This is not meant to mean we should not do our best to cause as little suffering as possible when taking game with weapons. I still feel personal angst when my arrow hits a deer. Even after over a hundred taken inmy meat gathering
 

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From what you’ve described, that second shot was absolutely necessary. Even when it appears I’ve made a good shot, the animal‘s reaction is usually a better indicator of what really happened. Would he have died from the initial shot? Who knows, but he was on his feet for quite some time after the shot. Would you have recovered him? Maybe, but I doubt it.

In my experience liver shots are always lethal. If the animal isn’t pushed they’re almost always recovered. A liver hit immediately releases all kinds of enzymes and toxins into the bloodstream making the animal feel horribly sick. It won’t go far before laying down, but it may take a while to die.
 

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Well I am not certain of the Science of pain. But I am certain animals have a much higher tolerance to it. One memorable buck I hit squarely through both lungs broadside. He ran up a hill for 20 yards and then stood looking around as if not sure what had happened. He then began to walk in a normal deer fashion as if nothing had happened. Suddenly he collapsed dead. I assure you. If I had been shot through both lungs with a Crossbow my reaction would have been different! This is not meant to mean we should not do our best to cause as little suffering as possible when taking game with weapons. I still feel personal angst when my arrow hits a deer. Even after over a hundred taken inmy meat gathering
They are definitely not as wimpy as we are. That doesn't mean it still doesn't hurt a lot but they don't know what's going on or what happened & don't know what else to do other than go forward. Although they are individuals like we are & may have had different life experiences so one may react differently than another. It can depend on exactly where you hit them in the lungs etc & what nerves are cut, but in general they are genetically programmed through natural selection not to show weakness. Plus they also learn as they get older that showing weakness is a bad thing. All they know is that they suddenly felt sharp pain & it still hurts. They don't go to school or get taught a lot by their parents so they understand very little & are confused as to what just happened. They are not going to react the way we would due to their lack of knowledge & different instincts. Plus unless we experience what they are feeling most of us can only theorize how we would react. I used to think deer don't feel pain like we do. Then one time I seen trail cam video of a doe that collapsed in front of the camera & it showed she was so exhausted she could no longer run or even get up. The video showed her desperately struggling to get up as the coyotes started to eat her alive. They ripped chunks out of her rear & ripped her guts out as she slowly died while being eaten alive. You could see she cried out (probably "bawled") in pain & probably fear a couple times but not near what I expected. I figured if I were her the pain would be so bad that as an animal I would be spinning in circles basically screaming or making a bunch of noise of some sort until I was dead & this helped reinforce that I was right that deer don't feel as much pain as we do. Then one day years later something really bad happened to me that reminded me of what happened to that deer. It was so bad the pain filled my entire body & overwhelmed my nervous system. I couldn't move & was barely able to utter the two words I managed to get out & certainly not loud enough for anybody to hear unless they had been about a foot or two from my mouth. It was a horrible experience but it taught me that just because we think we know how we would react doesn't mean we are right unless we experience what they do. I didn't realize until then that it could be so bad that you couldn't even move at all. That you couldn't even cry out in pain.
 

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Are you sure you are not an animal rights activist? Here is another story. First deer I shot on my new property was also hit mid body. It bolted for a short distance and stopped. Looked around. Began walking away with even a tail wag as if nothing had happened. I was dumbfounded. I thought I’d made a good hit. Found it a few yards farther stone dead. I am sure animals feel pain. They are equipped tougher for the tough environment they have to survive in. The videos of predators tearing prey apart while alive are horrendous. Which proves that hunters that send a projectile through game resulting in death quickly, usually death in seconds is a much more merciful end to life. As we as respectful humans should all seek.
 

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Are you sure you are not an animal rights activist? Here is another story. First deer I shot on my new property was also hit mid body. It bolted for a short distance and stopped. Looked around. Began walking away with even a tail wag as if nothing had happened. I was dumbfounded. I thought I’d made a good hit. Found it a few yards farther stone dead. I am sure animals feel pain. They are equipped tougher for the tough environment they have to survive in. The videos of predators tearing prey apart while alive are horrendous. Which proves that hunters that send a projectile through game resulting in death quickly, usually death in seconds is a much more merciful end to life. As we as respectful humans should all seek.
I'm just well educated on the subject & completely honest with myself. Most hunters I have talked to can't consider that animals feel pain like we do for a second because they don't want it to be true. So there is no way they are going to spend all the hours necessary to understand what animals feel physically & to understand animals psychologically enough to understand why they might react the way they do. I agree with you that a well placed shot is much better than if they die by a predator. That & overpopulation is why I hunt. It has to be done. It still sucks for them & I'm sure it doesn't feel very quick to them but all we can do is be very careful to make a good shot & pass on anything less than perfect a shot opportunity. It takes away some of the excitement because I feel for them but knowing what I do & actually feeling for them has dramatically reduced my buck fever by calming me down when needed.
 

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Shot a nice buck last night. Entry wound placement looked about perfect, but exit was low, missing the offside lung (30-35 yard shot). Fortunately, this Batchelor group was still in a very care free mood (probably didn't hurt that it was opening day & they didn't know they were being hunted, yet) & none of them really spooked. Wounded buck bounded off to 50 yards and stood there with his butt facing me. Hoped he'd go down, but no. He'd just take a step forward every few minutes. After about 40 minutes of this the buck finally turns a bit & offers a 55 yard broadside shot. Had to try and was happy to hear a solid 'thunk' when arrow got to him. This motivated him to get to the woods maybe 30 yards away & we found him maybe another 30 yards into the woods after giving him a little more time.

It's a no brainer to take another shot if you can get it. In this case the second shot hit liver & made for a good blood trail - not a hard recovery.

Of course I can't help but wonder if that 2nd shot was necessary or if that was a dead dear anyway? I can't recall ever recovering a bow shot deer that was hit in one lung & no where else.

On the other hand, this could have ended much worse - a buck can go a long ways in 40 minutes - If he doesn't feel too bad & feels like moving. Does the fact that he just stood there that long mean he simply couldn't go much further?

So anyone know about what the recovery rate is for deer who've had an arrow go thru 1 lung only?

I guess a big reason I ask is that I've hit other deer in the liver & while it kills them, it usually takes a while. But then I think I've heard others talk of liver shots being quick killers.

I suppose I'm just wondering if the 1st shot killed this buck, or the 2nd shot did or a combination of both shots?
I posted a pic of the buck I killed yesterday evening. He ran close to 100 yds with one lung exploded and a cut in his heart. (I shoulda done a better autopsy.) Found him pretty easy but they're incredible animals. Your deer would have died for sure but I'd have whacked him again too. As for liver shots, they're IMO 100% kill too but sometimes the blood clots and or fills the body cavity and you loose the trail. Trailed one couple hundred yards once just walking and following blood with ease. Then, it just stopped. Picked up the trail again couple hundred yards across a picked bean field. Few drops, then nothing. Never did recover that deer. Like being kicked in the gut.
 

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It all depends on the blood loss. Sounds like a low hit, so it could have been a long track.
FWIW, I've been doing life with one lung for the last five years. It tells on you, and in a hurry. Even if you wouldn't have found him and he survived the hit, he probably wouldn't survive his hard life for long
I don't recall only a single lung hit. so no first first person for your question.
 
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