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  • #31
    Any chance you might hit the neighboring property after daylight?
    Without permission, I would leave all firearms at home, plenty of orange and just you and the girl.
    Desperation to recover a downed deer would drive me to extremes.

    Comment


    • #32
      Woke up exhausted, still trying to figure it all out. I did take a pic of he first spot of blood shown here.

      286BA305-890A-4C61-A8C3-87CF21C373E2.jpeg

      About six feet away was another spot that was just a bit heavier. Nothing for the 75 yards or so leading to it and just drops for over 200 after. It never appeared to stop again. This stuff looked pretty sticky, definitely not gut shot, but after that the drops were a thinner consistency. You could tell by the travel direction it was bleeding out of the left side only and it never appeared to be blowing spray out of its mouth. Maybe I’m being overly hopeful but I’m still thinking no mans land or possibly too far forward. From my own experience with a .243 I know they’ll sometimes go a bit even well hit but nothing like this. Possibly bad bullet performance but I very much doubt it and I know the gun is on. Where the trail ended at the line is only another 100 yards or so from a county road. My suspicion is this deer was headed across to the next ridge over.

      Hopefully he’ll show back up on camera but that’s expecting a bit much. I can’t imagine he’ll want to come back near that spot.

      This really sucks.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
        Any chance you might hit the neighboring property after daylight?
        Without permission, I would leave all firearms at home, plenty of orange and just you and the girl.
        Desperation to recover a downed deer would drive me to extremes.
        This is what I’m struggling with. We were getting just enough to keep going until we hit the line. We did look for awhile past where it crossed but couldn’t pick the trail back up. Like I mentioned above it’s not far to the road, you can see traffic in spots through the trees. In my experience for a positive outcome the farther you track the better the trail gets. That wasn’t happening at all.

        Comment


        • #34
          I'm so so very sorry. Wish I were there in person to bolster you guys spirits. I will share a couple thoughts if I may. If you're not in the mood believe me I understand. The 2 larger blood spots. Any chance he laid down there? I'm actually thinking the opposite of you. I believe she may, may mind you, hit low and just either forward or back from the leg where it first joins the body. The forward and back motion of the leg runningwould move folds of skin back over the wound. How I would proceed as of now. Go to where you last saw blood and cut 90 degrees left and right and work a semi circle back to the direction he was heading. Hurt deer many times take a hard turn when wanting to bed down. They often do it out of instinct in their normal day to day. If no luck I would walk the shoulder of the road, though usually they turn from them when they're hurt but retaining their faculties.
          Remember things always look clearer in the daylight and a positive attitude goes a long long way. Exhaust the search and then look a little more to erase "what ifs" from your mind. Just my 2cents.

          Comment


          • #35
            I think dewman has a great idea....but I do understand your reluctance to cross the property line.
            Tough call.
            If nothing else, go to where you think he crossed onto the neighbor. Glass hard and long. Maybe you might spot him.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by dewman View Post
              I'm so so very sorry. Wish I were there in person to bolster you guys spirits. I will share a couple thoughts if I may. If you're not in the mood believe me I understand. The 2 larger blood spots. Any chance he laid down there? I'm actually thinking the opposite of you. I believe she may, may mind you, hit low and just either forward or back from the leg where it first joins the body. The forward and back motion of the leg runningwould move folds of skin back over the wound. How I would proceed as of now. Go to where you last saw blood and cut 90 degrees left and right and work a semi circle back to the direction he was heading. Hurt deer many times take a hard turn when wanting to bed down. They often do it out of instinct in their normal day to day. If no luck I would walk the shoulder of the road, though usually they turn from them when they're hurt but retaining their faculties.
              Remember things always look clearer in the daylight and a positive attitude goes a long long way. Exhaust the search and then look a little more to erase "what ifs" from your mind. Just my 2cents.
              All input welcomed Dewman, even honest criticism.

              You may very well be right on shot placement, the thing I can’t figure out is the lack of an exit. I’m quite certain it wasn’t a direct hit in the shoulder from the way it took off on all four legs. There’s no indication of a gut shot either. Once we figured out the path taken it was very obvious he was bleeding on the left side only.

              I forgot to mention, just after we first entered the woods my daughter did see a flag out in front of us. I was looking down for blood so didn’t see it. She wasn’t exactly certain where when I asked and at the time I wasn’t sure it was even the same deer. In hindsight I’m thinking he’d been standing there trying to figure out what had happened, it was about the distance where they often stop after a sprint. This would have been 10-15 minutes after the shot. None of the ferns were flattened over so I don’t believe he laid down. Him taking off would explain the distance before we picked up the trail again. From those two spots until regular drops started was about 50 yards with only a couple found in between. After that he appeared to be on a steady walk with the drops being 8-12 feet apart on average. Nowhere did it appear he was struggling or exhaling blood. Once he was out of the ferns all blood was on the ground, nothing high up anywhere.


              If the buck stayed on our property I’d be all over up there. Problem is at this point we’d most likely be looking at an antler recovery only. Coyotes were yipping while we we were looking. Different direction but still. It was also in the 50’s overnight. On top of that the neighbors have always been good about staying on their side. I’ve only met them a few times, last being a couple years ago. The father has had the place for 40 some years, he and his family do hunt the place. He has to be in his eighties now so I’m not exactly sure who really runs the place. I’d rather not mess things up with them under the circumstances. Again, it would be very different if there was a better indication the buck was hit harder than it appears.

              Comment


              • #37
                Firstbubba's idea of no guns, wearing orange, would satisfy any reasonable persons notion you were merely tracking and not actively hunting. Heck, they may even help. True the meat is history but it's not about the antlers it's about removing the "what ifs" from your head asap. 👍
                Be sure to tell your daughter it happens to ALL of us. Well maybe not Dakotaman, (he kills stuff by shooting close to them, velocity don't you know)but the rest of us. Even with big magnums. Stay strong, stay safe.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Yeah, been a lot of hugs last night and this morning.

                  My daughter and I just got home from trying to contact the neighbors but no one is around. I’m going to take FB’s suggestion and head up with the binos shortly. Where he crossed was next to a 3’ diameter hemlock blowdown so it will be easy to find the spot. I’m not expecting much because on the other side it quickly turns into decades old overgrown pasture that’s super thick. Good place for a hurt deer to lay up for sure. On the plus side this buck is very recognizable so if he’s still going we should know if we get a look somehow.

                  My wife and sister-in-law are taking the kids to a concert this evening and have to leave at 2:00. Other than me going up this afternoon we’ll leave things be until tomorrow evening.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Best of luck, fitch270. Maybe....just maybe, you'll be able to spot something.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      “If you don’t know where ta start, start at da beginin “

                      I’m at the bottom of the meadow right now and just found this about tens yards below where we started looking. Nothing else, no chunks and no blood. Low hit, was actually spread out in three small tuffs, looks cut, no hide, hoping it’s a good sign he wasn’t hurt bad

                      E18A63AA-7648-43EF-969E-EDCACE951758.jpeg

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        I nicked a branch and shaved one low. Blood all over for 50 yards and then drops and nothing.
                        2 weeks later my cuz shot him opening of gun, big bald spot healed up a couple inches below the heart LOL.


                        Comment


                        • #42
                          I'd say a "graze".
                          Either:
                          a) "good" bad sign - deer not hurt badly
                          or
                          b) a "bad" good sign - no deer

                          Either way, better luck next time.
                          You gotta get back on the horse. 😉

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Things certainly do look different in bright sunlight.

                            After finding the hair I walked the path he took. Last night we were fanned out until getting the direction he was taking, it took most of the time finding the first few drops past the spot he stood. Once we got going it wasn’t near as bad, we just had to go slow and not stomp everything. Obstacles meant having to slow up and guess his most likely course. Looking back at the line and then the terrain ahead solved that most of the time. We missed picking up a couple pieces of flagging tape last night so I know I was on the right track just now, turns out he was basically straight on a little used trail the entire time. Easy walking in good daylight. I walked right to where he crossed and sure enough couldn’t see much. I hung out about 10 minutes listening for crows and such figuring they’d definitely be on a carcass. It’s in the 70’s now, buzzards are even still around but it was totally still. Blood spots are totally dried out and not visible.

                            I overestimated the distance by a bit. Not surprised, going slow in the dark makes it feel like you’ve covered more ground than you really did. I’m 6’0” and counted 217 long paces from the crossing back to where he stood bleeding and 292 to the impact spot. Once back there I found a little more white hair a couple yards up hill, much of it cut short and no sign of flesh or bone.

                            Not sure what else I can do at this point. The good thing is finding the hair gives me the impression that Dewman has the right idea. The shot angle down hill is fairly steep, if she hit him low behind the front leg the bullet likely might not have entered his chest at all. There’s a strong possibility she really did just graze him.

                            Took some other pictures, I’ll post them up just for reference.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              From where he was standing at the shot back to the shack. He was just on the edge of the clover, not actually in it where I initially thought. Really wish I saw the hair last night.

                              C28D9FA4-CADE-424B-9A29-BCF12A6B4EEA.jpeg

                              Edit: You may have to enlarge it to see but the shack is in the upper left hand corner of the green just to the left of the center small tree with yellow leaves on it.
                              Last edited by fitch270; 10-10-2021, 03:11 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                What the bloody spot from last night looks like now.

                                51BFE204-CC1F-4FDB-9E25-A2DCA12A2993.jpeg

                                Comment

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