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Deer Tracking #8441549 11/07/21 05:18 PM
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CR322buckster Offline OP
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Had a pretty nice buck come in last night right before dark. Had a good shot at him, he jumped/kind of reared up then hit the ground on his shoulder... then got up and jumped out of the feeder pen, barely clearing the panel - you could hear him hit the panel with his rear legs. Then vanished into the bushes.... He wasn't really running fast, kind of head down, almost staggering/limping.

It was so dark we went down to the feeder pen after waiting about 10-15 minutes, and there was no blood, hair, tissue, bone, anything. Got a spotlight to look in a 20-40 yard path from where we thought he went into the bush. Decided to back out and wait till morning.

Went back this morning and couldn't pick up any blood trail. Walked everywhere - out to 200+ yards. It's fairly thick back in where he ran, so it would be a challenge no matter what.

Any advice? My guy tells me that I hit the Buck and initially thought it was a done deal. My son was with me and concurs, he thought it was a hit as well. There was no "thwack" or anything we remember though. No blood.

I am going to head back out in a little bit and resume the search. Would you guys recommend a tracking dog in this case, or just keep looking? Or maybe I missed and it the shot just scared him??

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8441566 11/07/21 05:25 PM
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If there is “no blood” then that deer was not hit. If you penetrate the hide of a deer with a high caliber bullet there is blood.

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: Walkabout] #8441597 11/07/21 06:05 PM
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Thanks, hopefully that's the case. It was strange how he reacted after the shot, like I hit him, but no evidence that I can find.

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8441863 11/07/21 11:13 PM
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Did you check the pen to see if the bullet hit the fence?

Could have caused the buck to react like that but not get a “hit”.

Other than that, i agree, if you hit there should be blood somewhere.

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8441911 11/07/21 11:39 PM
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Bowed up and staggering. He was hit. Was his tail up or down? I’d guess he was gut shot. Won’t see much blood from that sometimes. Look for partially digested grass, fluids, and corn in the pen and where he crossed the pen fence. Some say a gut shot deer will go to water, but I haven’t seen that enough to say I agree. But I did find a gut shot deer that a guy quit looking for, and I found it at a stream. I watched him shoot that deer, and it bowed up, staggered, and ran tail down. When the other guy left, I went down there and found the evidence of a gut shot. The deer went a pretty good distance after being shot, and it was in a rather straight path. Good luck.


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Re: Deer Tracking [Re: Walkabout] #8442547 11/08/21 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Walkabout
If there is “no blood” then that deer was not hit. If you penetrate the hide of a deer with a high caliber bullet there is blood.



Absolutely wrong. I've seen many circumstances where a shot (hit high and no exit) did not produce any blood. It is easy for fat and tissue to plug the entry hole. Or the hide simply cover it...if the deer had a leg forward at the hit.

Yes, its not the norm....but NO BLOOD is a reality that happens on occasion. The presence of Blood, hair, bone, tissue etc....can not (should not) be the only evidence you rely on to determine a hit.

Way too many deer are not recovered each year when hunters give up because they didn't find the above.


Last edited by flintknapper; 11/08/21 04:21 PM.

Spartans ask not...how many, but where!
Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8442566 11/08/21 04:40 PM
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Another question to ask the OP
Is what gun he was using and what bullet he was shooting. Could explain a lack of blood.


This far from the incident, there should be some buzzards circling….

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8442567 11/08/21 04:40 PM
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Walk towards water, had a lease mate shoot a deer that ran several hundred yards over and down a hill towards the water trough on the ranch. We found minimal blood and I thought he was wounded but my buddy swore it was a good hit. It was he just was a running SOB. Found him about 500 yards from the trough in waist high grass. Shot was good just lots of coagulation that prevented blood loss from his body cavity.


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Re: Deer Tracking [Re: flintknapper] #8442569 11/08/21 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by flintknapper
Originally Posted by Walkabout
If there is “no blood” then that deer was not hit. If you penetrate the hide of a deer with a high caliber bullet there is blood.



Absolutely wrong. I've seen many circumstances where a shot (hit high and no exit) did not produce any blood. It is easy for fat and tissue to plug the entry hole. Or the hide simply cover it...if the deer had a leg forward at the hit.

Yes, its not the norm....but NO BLOOD is a reality that happens on occasion. The presence of Blood, hair, bone, tissue etc....can not (should not) be the only evidence you rely on to determine a hit.

Way too many deer are not recovered each year when hunters give up because they didn't find the above.


Exactly, I tracked a doe i shot last year 100 yards just from her hoof tracks. Shot was a little high but got lungs.

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8442572 11/08/21 04:44 PM
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Hope you find it.

I will agree that not finding blood in no way means you didn't hit it.


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Re: Deer Tracking [Re: redchevy] #8442671 11/08/21 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Hope you find it.

I will agree that not finding blood in no way means you didn't hit it.


The position of the tail is also not a reliable indication if a deer was hit or missed.

I also agree that asking the hunter what caliber and bullet weight they were shooting is a very legitimate and necessary question, given what many now consider an acceptable load for white tails.



Last edited by Texas Dan; 11/08/21 06:21 PM.

Dan

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8442678 11/08/21 06:32 PM
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We found a deer that reacted a lot like yours over a mile away floating in a tank Saturday afternoon, he shot it with a 243 and we looked for hours without a speck of blood found. Once I was informed a dead buck was in a tank we went and looked and it was the one he had shot 6 hours earlier so just because no blood was found doesn’t mean he’s not dead somewhere. If the deer acted like he was hit then odds are they were from my experience. I prefer to chunk extra large lead like 400 grains plus that way if he is hit they leave no doubt about the situation. Most will call me crazy but I’ve never been left without a doubt in a situation like your in. This buck was by best friends sons first deer and luckily he was found out of pure luck. At this point just watch for buzzards the next couple days,

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: flintknapper] #8442701 11/08/21 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by flintknapper
Originally Posted by Walkabout
If there is “no blood” then that deer was not hit. If you penetrate the hide of a deer with a high caliber bullet there is blood.



Absolutely wrong. I've seen many circumstances where a shot (hit high and no exit) did not produce any blood. It is easy for fat and tissue to plug the entry hole. Or the hide simply cover it...if the deer had a leg forward at the hit.

Yes, its not the norm....but NO BLOOD is a reality that happens on occasion. The presence of Blood, hair, bone, tissue etc....can not (should not) be the only evidence you rely on to determine a hit.

Way too many deer are not recovered each year when hunters give up because they didn't find the above.


I agree
I've seen many times where there is literally no blood to be found for the first 20-30 yards when there isn't an exit wound.

From the reaction of the deer it sure sounds like it was hit. I'm curious to know as well if the deer had his tail up or down when vacating the area.
A dog will do no good without blood or bone for him to start on and the only thing i'd recommend is taking your time and making a better search in the direction he ran.
just remember, they will often times turn off a trail and even double back towards where they were shot.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8442705 11/08/21 06:57 PM
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it can be hard looking for sign in the dark. even with a good light. plus when you're following up on a deer after the shot, it can be pretty eager and sometimes look a little faster than normal hoping to find him. I would think there should be something to find if you hit him. it can be pretty thin sometimes though and not always blood. a high powered rifle should knock off some hair or hide or something. Even on a lesser quality hit a reasonable quality bullet should eventually yield some sort of sign...even if its 10-20yds from the point of impact before you start to see it. i've always jsut had to slow down and circle back to my last sign and really look for details. get help if you can, extra set of eyes goes a long ways sometimes.


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Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8442956 11/08/21 11:03 PM
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At this point your best bet is to grid search the area. When deer have ran on marginal hits, I have seen there initial bed be anywhere from 75-400yds. If they are not spooked out of that bed, often they will die in it.

A dog would’ve been helpful in this case. They don’t need a blood or hair or other identifiers that we would use to find the animal, they help but not necessary. In put on the trail fresh, they would’ve been able to isolate the deer from the “fear scents” they would put off. Watch any predator hunting and they know from scent which animal is hurt or injured. Then they would follow the interdigital gland scent to the buck.

Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8443050 11/09/21 12:45 AM
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My neighbor called me this morning to help him recover a big doe. He has a broken rib, and dragging or lifting a doe would be agony for him. We found the doe quickly. It hadn’t gone far. The 130 gr bullet from his 6.5 CM had hit the heart/lung area and continued through the stomach. There was not a drop of blood on either side of the doe. Nasty mess inside.

Teamwork between the semi-one-armed guy (me) and the broken rib guy (him), along with some grunting and cussing, got the doe into the back of the Kubota. It was a big doe.


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Re: Deer Tracking [Re: CR322buckster] #8443123 11/09/21 01:38 AM
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Buck I shot this morning had no blood exiting his body. Just kept walking through high grass and found him.


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