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Mar 25th, 2012
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hunting/recovering in thick brush #6994878
12/13/17 06:54 PM
12/13/17 06:54 PM
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Kilgore, TX
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I've been trying to use common sense here, but maybe there's a tip i'm missing. i'm currently hunting 85 acres of very thick, almost impassible east texas forest and brush, with the exceptions being two lanes cut out by oilfield workers and an area about 30 yards squared from my stand where my feeder is set. Obviously a 1-shot clean, quick kill is the goal, but otherwise...

any tips on hunting, and more on my mind, searching for and recovering an animal...shooting a good buck that will crash into the thicket has me concerned.


__________
-bobby
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6994881
12/13/17 06:59 PM
12/13/17 06:59 PM
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Concentrate on shot placement would be the first thing I would place emphasis on.


Tired, Wired, and Uninspired
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6994906
12/13/17 07:31 PM
12/13/17 07:31 PM
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Weatherford, Texas
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If your buck runs after the shot: WAIT at least 30 min. do not push him, mark the last place you saw him (a close tree, bush or anything that stands out to you), go to where he was standing when you shot pick up the blood trail, track him slowly. Unless there is a lot of very noticable blood I point at the last place I saw blood with a stick or my finger while looking for the next blood sign. This will get you started and probably be all you need to do if your shot placement was good.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: BenBob] #6994934
12/13/17 07:53 PM
12/13/17 07:53 PM
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good ole texas
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Originally Posted By: BenBob
Concentrate on shot placement would be the first thing I would place emphasis on.


It's not how you fall, It's how you get up.
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6994935
12/13/17 07:54 PM
12/13/17 07:54 PM
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The last LF ranch in S. Texas
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I hunt in South Texas where every bush has thorns and if it doesn't have thorns it has fangs.
I shoot the deer with a high shoulder shot that drops them in their tracks.
Caliber needs to be appropriate since you are trying to hit heavy bone with enough shock and awe to disrupt their entire nervous system, as well as their main blood supply.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: Jimbo] #6994981
12/13/17 08:19 PM
12/13/17 08:19 PM
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Lewisville, TX
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Originally Posted By: Jimbo
I shoot the deer with a high shoulder shot that drops them in their tracks.
Caliber needs to be appropriate since you are trying to hit heavy bone with enough shock and awe to disrupt their entire nervous system, as well as their main blood supply.


^^ This. And use a bullet that will give you a pass through, like an Accubond or heavy for caliber bullet. And pigs, I would shoot high neck, in the neck, or head shot. These shot placements will anchor them where they stand. I never shoot pigs behind the shoulder, since they run off after being hit.



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Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6994993
12/13/17 08:33 PM
12/13/17 08:33 PM
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Burleson, Texas
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Are you bow hunting or gun hunting?

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: ChadTRG42] #6995252
12/13/17 11:47 PM
12/13/17 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Originally Posted By: Jimbo
I shoot the deer with a high shoulder shot that drops them in their tracks.
Caliber needs to be appropriate since you are trying to hit heavy bone with enough shock and awe to disrupt their entire nervous system, as well as their main blood supply.


^^ This. And use a bullet that will give you a pass through, like an Accubond or heavy for caliber bullet. And pigs, I would shoot high neck, in the neck, or head shot. These shot placements will anchor them where they stand. I never shoot pigs behind the shoulder, since they run off after being hit.

agree


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

~PMK~
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: Jimbo] #6995327
12/14/17 01:01 AM
12/14/17 01:01 AM
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Melissa, TX
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Originally Posted By: Jimbo
I hunt in South Texas where every bush has thorns and if it doesn't have thorns it has fangs.
I shoot the deer with a high shoulder shot that drops them in their tracks.
Caliber needs to be appropriate since you are trying to hit heavy bone with enough shock and awe to disrupt their entire nervous system, as well as their main blood supply.


This. My 11 year old son shot a nice buck near a fence line and hit it in the shoulder with a .243. We waited a couple hours and all we found was meat with some bone fragments in it. Blood trail stopped after about 75 yds and he was never recovered. Searched for over 5 hours. This was bad placement for a .243, but I am now a little sour on the smaller bullet. Big dear need big lead.


Go ------------> elmer
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: WatersFowler] #6995339
12/14/17 01:09 AM
12/14/17 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: WatersFowler
Originally Posted By: Jimbo
I hunt in South Texas where every bush has thorns and if it doesn't have thorns it has fangs.
I shoot the deer with a high shoulder shot that drops them in their tracks.
Caliber needs to be appropriate since you are trying to hit heavy bone with enough shock and awe to disrupt their entire nervous system, as well as their main blood supply.


This. My 11 year old son shot a nice buck near a fence line and hit it in the shoulder with a .243. We waited a couple hours and all we found was meat with some bone fragments in it. Blood trail stopped after about 75 yds and he was never recovered. Searched for over 5 hours. This was bad placement for a .243, but I am now a little sour on the smaller bullet. Big dear need big lead.


The smaller the bullet diameter and the faster you push said bullet the more premium bullets pay off. Sure they are more expensive but in the cost of hunting they are a very small part for most of us.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6995358
12/14/17 01:25 AM
12/14/17 01:25 AM
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Neck shoot them and you wonít have to worry about tracking.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: agsellers04] #6996086
12/14/17 04:47 PM
12/14/17 04:47 PM
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Kilgore, TX
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Originally Posted By: agsellers04
Are you bow hunting or gun hunting?
gun for now, probably do some clearing before bow season next year


__________
-bobby
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6996166
12/14/17 05:57 PM
12/14/17 05:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
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Burleson, Texas
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Originally Posted By: bobcatt
Originally Posted By: agsellers04
Are you bow hunting or gun hunting?
gun for now, probably do some clearing before bow season next year


OK. So I hunt northeast Texas hardwood and cedar forest with thick underbrush and have always tried to keep in mind that wildlife, much like humans, tend to travel the path of least resistance. Learn those paths well. They may not necessarily be "the trail", but the animal will likely funnel via instinct to those paths. And obviously, you don't need to do this if you never lose visual. This knowledge has helped us locate more downed animals than any other knowledge. When I get off track, I go back to the last place I saw the deer and start over. Look for blood up to about 5 foot high on the brush and trees, not just on the ground. Also, after the shot, be sure to open your ears and listen very closely because the animal may tend to crash and bang off of trees and brush, thereby giving you an indication of direction of travel. It is a skill that takes time to develop but it is very useful and makes the experience more fulfilling.

Red Cloud's tip above is a good tip and goes along with what I am explaining.

I wouldn't do too much clearing or you may run out much of what is there.

Shot placement, weapon, optics, caliber, ammunition type, etc. is all largely a matter of preference no matter where you are hunting and you should have that all figured out before you leave home. Much of the advice here seems to be geared towards shot placement to drop the deer in its tracks in order to avoid losing visual which is not a poor tactic if you are confident enough in your abilities. As long as you are proficient at delivering a fatal shot that kills the animal within a 100 yard radius, you task will be far easier. In my experience, when they make it further than about 100 yards, it gets progressively to exponentially more difficult to locate a downed animal in thick cover.

Good luck to you.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6996296
12/14/17 07:25 PM
12/14/17 07:25 PM
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Bobcat, shoot enough to learn what your capabilities are. Not sure what you shoot but heavy for caliber bullets up the odds for an exit. Use those two pieces of advice to make a good shot with enough bullet.


Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: scalebuster] #6996311
12/14/17 07:35 PM
12/14/17 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: scalebuster
Neck shoot them and you won’t have to worry about tracking.


I've heard this a lot but respectfully disagree. I don't neck shoot, but I've helped buddies track neck shot deer and not recover them. A bullet can go through the neck without hitting spine or killing the animal. And, in that event, it's probably not going to even slow them down substantially like a broken shoulder.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6996464
12/14/17 09:19 PM
12/14/17 09:19 PM
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i hunt in the thicket of east texas and agree with much of the advice above. One thing I do when trailing is I take a hand held GPS with me and the tracks feature on. I also set waypoints at blood spots if needed. Its really easy to get turned around out there esp after dark. If you dont have a gps you can use bright colored survey ribbon to mark blood locations or leave a bread crumb trail as you go. These tools can also give you an idea which way the animal is running if you start to lose the trail etc. I always use my gps and carry the rinbon in my back pocket if needed

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: agsellers04] #6996469
12/14/17 09:22 PM
12/14/17 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: agsellers04
Originally Posted By: bobcatt
Originally Posted By: agsellers04
Are you bow hunting or gun hunting?
gun for now, probably do some clearing before bow season next year


OK. So I hunt northeast Texas hardwood and cedar forest with thick underbrush and have always tried to keep in mind that wildlife, much like humans, tend to travel the path of least resistance. Learn those paths well. They may not necessarily be "the trail", but the animal will likely funnel via instinct to those paths. And obviously, you don't need to do this if you never lose visual. This knowledge has helped us locate more downed animals than any other knowledge. When I get off track, I go back to the last place I saw the deer and start over. Look for blood up to about 5 foot high on the brush and trees, not just on the ground. Also, after the shot, be sure to open your ears and listen very closely because the animal may tend to crash and bang off of trees and brush, thereby giving you an indication of direction of travel. It is a skill that takes time to develop but it is very useful and makes the experience more fulfilling.

Red Cloud's tip above is a good tip and goes along with what I am explaining.

I wouldn't do too much clearing or you may run out much of what is there.

Shot placement, weapon, optics, caliber, ammunition type, etc. is all largely a matter of preference no matter where you are hunting and you should have that all figured out before you leave home. Much of the advice here seems to be geared towards shot placement to drop the deer in its tracks in order to avoid losing visual which is not a poor tactic if you are confident enough in your abilities. As long as you are proficient at delivering a fatal shot that kills the animal within a 100 yard radius, you task will be far easier. In my experience, when they make it further than about 100 yards, it gets progressively to exponentially more difficult to locate a downed animal in thick cover.

Good luck to you.


Great post. Thereís no one answer or magical cure. Everythingís important.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6996480
12/14/17 09:30 PM
12/14/17 09:30 PM
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Garland, TX
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Lungs are a big enough organ to nail vs shoulder imo, without air they will drop typically within the 100 yard radius or less. This is what I heard and have only shot the 1 buck but that was also my experience. I agree with Ernest, neck is a crap shoot and risk the animal suffering unnecessarily and/or potentially not finding them. dang I can't wait to head out tomorrow after work. Reading all these posts and seeing pics is really getting me more excited. Plus being out away from the city is ALWAYS a plus!

Last edited by ifearnodeer; 12/14/17 09:31 PM.

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Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6996503
12/14/17 09:49 PM
12/14/17 09:49 PM
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Posts: 23
Richmond, TX
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Get some underground utility flag markers and marking tape. Place the flags at the blood on the ground and mark blood on trees with the tape. This will help you keep the path so you do not get turned around or lose the last known location. Same as doing the way-points as mentioned above but these you can visibly see.


If found, please return to stand or boat.
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: WatersFowler] #6996608
12/14/17 10:51 PM
12/14/17 10:51 PM
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Lubbock, TX
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Originally Posted By: WatersFowler
Originally Posted By: Jimbo
I hunt in South Texas where every bush has thorns and if it doesn't have thorns it has fangs.
I shoot the deer with a high shoulder shot that drops them in their tracks.
Caliber needs to be appropriate since you are trying to hit heavy bone with enough shock and awe to disrupt their entire nervous system, as well as their main blood supply.


This. My 11 year old son shot a nice buck near a fence line and hit it in the shoulder with a .243. We waited a couple hours and all we found was meat with some bone fragments in it. Blood trail stopped after about 75 yds and he was never recovered. Searched for over 5 hours. This was bad placement for a .243, but I am now a little sour on the smaller bullet. Big dear need big lead.


I'd be curious as to which .243 bullet he used. I've killed a lot of deer with a .243. IMO it's not the caliber that's marginal, it's the shot placement. Bone/meat sounds like leg or brisket, not shoulder.




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Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6996662
12/14/17 11:23 PM
12/14/17 11:23 PM
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The last LF ranch in S. Texas
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Light fast bullets and a high shoulder shot is a marginal choice, with poor shot placement. You have to have a bullet heavy enough to shatter and drive through the bone, and not come apart on contact, and a missed shot placement is bad no matter what you are using.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6997119
12/15/17 04:47 AM
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I hunt in a very similar situation to the op. Thick brush in east texas with small shooting lanes. I shoot a 270 with 130 grain core loc. My theory has always been that I donít want to take the chance of losing a deer in the brush. My approach has always been to blow out a shoulder to limit their movement. Iíd rather turn part of a shoulder steak into hamburger rather than spend half the night tracking a wounded deer and not finding them. While Iíve not been hunting all that many years, using the shoulder shot, so far none of my deer have gone more than 10 yards. The first deer I ever shot was a mule deer in Wyoming.... I tried to save some meat and hit behind the shoulder ...... it ran 150 yards with almost no blood, swam a river and drowned before it got to the other shore. Luckily I was with someone with good eyes that saw it run. We spent half the night driving to the other side of the river and dragging it out of the water, then hauling it 500 yards uphill to the truck. That was the last time I tried to save meat. Since then, shoulder shots have all been drt. I aim for the middle of the shoulder and it reduces the chance Iíll miss. These shots always seem to hit the heart.

Iím now training my Labrador to track.....just in case.

Last edited by HS2; 12/15/17 04:49 AM.
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6997317
12/15/17 02:00 PM
12/15/17 02:00 PM
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Bobcat, there are lots of us that hunt the thickets in texas. You either:

A) use something that will give you an exit. Make a good shot. .Trail it into the thicket and drag it out.
B) drop it where it stands
C) let it walk

Option B requires the hunter to up his game. He must refine his marksmanship and anatomical understanding of his quarry. Including their range of motion. Different shot placement dictates different levels of knowledge and skill, as well as patience. I wouldn't pay much attention to the naysayers. There is always going to be the segment that wants to use their capabilities to make blanket statements about what others should do. Then use examples of wounded animals to fuel their logic. Most wounded animals are not the result of shot selection. They are the result of a shooter attempting a shot they can not routinely execute.

For sure you are going to have to learn how to get through a thicket. The rifleman with the right combination of patience and prowess won't have to fight the thicket nearly as often.


Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6997398
12/15/17 02:52 PM
12/15/17 02:52 PM
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Bright white toilet paper. Thatís what you mark blood spots with when trailing. Easy to see and removed by a little rain. As light fails, a flashlight shows the TP even better, so you can follow your inbound trail back when outbound.

As for where to shoot the deer or hogs, do what you believe in. Sometimes they are going to run no matter what you do. Hogs are the toughest, and if you donít get pass through you wonít get much of a blood trail, so use a tough bullet. I will remain a lung shooter on deer. Blow up the lungs and they wonít go far, and without lungs they die every time. And, you have a generous target size, unlike head shots. Further, Iím of the opinion that lung shot deer run less often and less far than heart shot deer. Years of research (mine) suggest that.

Re: hunting/recovering in thick brush [Re: bobcatt] #6997558
12/15/17 04:36 PM
12/15/17 04:36 PM
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Lots of good info in previous post. Just wanted to add when looking for blood don't just look on ground, look for smeared blood on vegetation. Also, 20 and 12 gauge slugs are great when hunting thick brush.

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