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Lost buck #8463773 12/01/21 07:21 PM
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bigjoe8565 Online Content OP
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Couple weeks ago I arrowed my first deer. Decent buck and I didn’t even count his points or really look at at antlers. When I saw him I knew right away I was going to shoot. Long story short, I hit the pop up twice with my stabilizer and the deer was on high alert. Add to this this it was dead still, so the noise of hitting the blind was very loud. He gave me a shot at 27 yards and when I touched off the arrow he dropped a lot. I saw the arrow entry too high and hanging out this offside when he ran off.

I believe this may be the buck and if I’m right, how did I miss his spine? Not the best pictures, but you can clearly see pretty symmetrical marks on both sides of his body. Three of us spent 7 hours looking for the deer and covered miles. We never found the deer, blood or arrow.

I know it was a bad shot, but lesson learned about aiming lower on deer that are on high alert.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by bigjoe8565; 12/01/21 07:22 PM.
Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8463820 12/01/21 08:04 PM
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Unfortunately I've had plenty of experience at this. Your shot is just above the spine. If you would have hit the spine he would have dropped straight to the ground. Good news is he is alive and well and will probably give you another chance. I did the same thing on my buck last year but caught up to him at another stand close by two weeks later and killed him.

Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8463890 12/01/21 09:48 PM
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The spine dips down right there. You'll get another try. Don't shoot at art deer unless they are under 15 yards.


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Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8464536 12/02/21 03:46 PM
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I shot a few in that exact spot in my younger days. Hard to believe but they will heal up fine.

I had to learn to aim specifically at the heart and not the whole deer.

Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8464726 12/02/21 07:23 PM
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I have one on my wall that was shot in that place with a 243 the year before as a 1.5 year old. When I killed him a year later he was a 129" 8 point with a hole in his skin on one side and a cavity as big as my fist that was healed up to a point bigger than my fist gristle all around it but seemed healthy at 175lb 2.5 year old buck. It truely is amazing what deer are capable of surviving and doing well with.


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Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8465054 12/03/21 01:39 AM
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Great pics from everyone to learn from. I would suggest ALWAYS aim low even if not on alert. Many many videos out there on how far they drop. Getting closer helps and speed of most crossbows helps.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8465288 12/03/21 01:17 PM
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Man, I missed 3 times during thanksgiving establishing some serious doubt in my mind. Sitting in a ground blind, I had a shooter at 25 yards, mainframe 9 with about 4-5 stickers. Went to draw, buck took a step back, so I quickly over corrected and the string slapped a little piece of my jacket causing the arrow to change course and skim this buck across the back. Had to of hit the spine looking at the tip afterwards. I watched him walk off and start feeding about 150 yards away. He then went to chasing and didn’t see him again, but I could see skin flapping as he went away.
The following day, I had a sika buck come in at 25, quartered away.. let it rip and completely sailed over his back. This deer then comes back within 5 min offering another broadside shot. Guess what? Clean miss over his back again but my son was videoing this time. When we reviewed, I kid you not that this deer dropped a solid 1.5 ft just as the arrow entered the frame. No wind, quiet and still that morning. Their reaction time is mind boggling.
So many things to consider with a bow.. not only your form, but the elements too, all in the heat of the moment.

Last edited by Stevarino; 12/03/21 01:38 PM.
Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8465304 12/03/21 01:32 PM
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I froze a couple frames the best I could.. again, I’m a ground blind, 25 yards, no wind!
you can see my nock.
[Linked Image]
Deer still standing still in the next frame.
[Linked Image]
Literally as the arrow was about to make contact, in a fraction of a second that’s too small to comprehend.. look at how much brown grass you can see across his back vs the prior frame.
[Linked Image]

It appears the shot was going to be a tad high anyways, but at this point, I was just flat out mad at the situation.

Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8466200 12/04/21 01:44 PM
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So much goes into an archery kill. Sometimes things are right and clicking, it seems you can do no wrong.
Then it goes all wrong.
Figure out what you did wrong and get back at it. Leave that shot out of your mind and just focus on the next one.


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Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8466900 12/05/21 03:40 AM
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Everytime its a learning experience. Every single time!

Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8467073 12/05/21 02:59 PM
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there have been two bow shots at our place. That means we have only had to track two deer. Found the doe the next morning and hoping the Buck survived. Yep, we found blood each time.

Re: Lost buck [Re: Hudbone] #8467104 12/05/21 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
there have been two bow shots at our place. That means we have only had to track two deer. Found the doe the next morning and hoping the Buck survived. Yep, we found blood each time.

I’ve learned to speak pretty good “Hud” so I think that translates to no tracking on the rifle shots…??


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8467348 12/05/21 09:19 PM
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I have almost gotten to the point if deer are on alert i will seriously consider even shooting my crossbow…the situation would have to be perfect.

Of course when i hunt i want deer to not even know i am there. The best shot is a surprised shot the deer didn’t
know was coming and they react accordingly. On both the bucks i have shot this year the deer ran off but within minutes doe were back to the area feeding again. They had no idea, but this is bot a high pressure area either, probably plays a big part of my tactics.

We all have misses, and hits, that are not the end of the line for the deer involved. Sometimes they are and we just don’t get to recover the deer. As i told my brother recently, if you don’t want to have those issues come up, don’t hunt.

Re: Lost buck [Re: Stevarino] #8467355 12/05/21 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Stevarino
I froze a couple frames the best I could.. again, I’m a ground blind, 25 yards, no wind!
you can see my nock.
[Linked Image]
Deer still standing still in the next frame.
[Linked Image]
Literally as the arrow was about to make contact, in a fraction of a second that’s too small to comprehend.. look at how much brown grass you can see across his back vs the prior frame.
[Linked Image]

It appears the shot was going to be a tad high anyways, but at this point, I was just flat out mad at the situation.

The question is how far past the deer is that last pic? I know it seems as if its just as it is about to hit the deer, but with the view given it could be a full 7-10 yards beyond the deer by that point and have dropped even lower than it would have been. No way to tell, but cool vid clips!
I agree, that shot would have been high regardless. I always try to aim for the exit and aim for the exit in the lower third of the chest. Hunting from the ground makes this point even more important since you are withiut the natural downward inclination of a tree stand.

Having said all that (and i am sure you know all that), i would be certain that buck is the buck you hit and he will be just fine.

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 12/05/21 09:25 PM.
Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8468687 12/07/21 02:17 PM
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We call that "no mans land"-you hit right below the spine and above the lungs. Most times you won't get much blood at all and your arrow shaft will be covered with meat fiber.
The good thing is if you are going to miss, its better to miss big-and the buck recovers just fine... He'll give you another chance I'm sure!

As any experienced bowhunter will tell you, when you get a deer on high alert because he heard or saw you and you are drawn and committed to shooting-aim for the lower hairline on his chest(behind the shoulder of course). If they "jump the string" -more chances than not-you'll center punch him perfectly! The ones that get away -are the ones that don't "jump the string " at all roflmao-which is pretty rare in this cicumstance. Good luck getting him the next go'round! I'll be looking for your picture on the forum!

Re: Lost buck [Re: bigjoe8565] #8469249 12/08/21 01:20 AM
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^^ my son shot at a doe last year, similar thing where he had to wrangle around the treestand to get an angle on the shot so much he had the doe on high alert, looking right at him. He aimed just below the hairline on the chest thinking she would drop in reaction to his shot. When he released the doe stood completely stationary and the arrow grabbed a few white hairs but otherwise a clean miss low. It does happen, but i would aim there on an alert deer all day long.

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