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While at work one evening, I was dispatched to remove a doe that was struck by a vehicle off the roadway. I walked up to the doe, its eyes were open, and didn't appear to have chest compressions. I grabbed it's hind legs and began removing it. During

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  • While at work one evening, I was dispatched to remove a doe that was struck by a vehicle off the roadway. I walked up to the doe, its eyes were open, and didn't appear to have chest compressions. I grabbed it's hind legs and began removing it. During

    While at work one evening, I was dispatched to remove a doe that was struck by a vehicle off the roadway. I walked up to the doe, its eyes were open, and didn't appear to have chest compressions. I grabbed it's hind legs and began removing it. During the process it let out an enormous bleat and scared the you know what out of me. My question is, how do you figure out after you find your deer is down if it truly is "down"? I don't want to walk up on a monster buck and poke it and think everything is ok then wind up with an antler in my gut. I know this seems like a rookie question, and honestly, any deer I've got I assume I've had excellent shot placement, but besides the poke it with your rifle, I really don't know.

  • #2
    I touch the eye with the muzzle of my rifle. I also wait a few minutes before walking up to them keeping watch for any movement. That's about it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DSMbirddog View Post
      I touch the eye with the muzzle of my rifle. I also wait a few minutes before walking up to them keeping watch for any movement. That's about it.
      eye poke is the true way if its still alive auto reflex will make it open or blink involuntary reflex if its alive it has to react even if unconscious

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DSMbirddog View Post
        I touch the eye with the muzzle of my rifle. I also wait a few minutes before walking up to them keeping watch for any movement. That's about it.
        eye poke is the true way if its still alive auto reflex will make it open or blink involuntary reflex if its alive it has to react even if unconscious

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        • #5
          Only the eye poke will tell for sure.

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          • #6
            Agreed, while standing on the backside of the animal touch the eye with the muzzle or arrow tip. I still remain wary as I proceed because one time after touching the eye and moving the buck into position for field dressing he came back to life with me holding an antler in one hand and knife in the other. I quickly slipped the knife into his heart and let go of the antler. He went down for good. He'd been hit in the neck bone with a 20ga. slug apparently he just unconscious.

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            • #7
              The antlers aren't all you need to be afraid of...I've been kicked by a doe before, and it had enough strength to cut my skin through multiple layers. Don't walk up to it right away. Poke the eye like others said. If you are afraid it might be alive stay at a distance and just watch it for 5-10 mins.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JM View Post
                The antlers aren't all you need to be afraid of...I've been kicked by a doe before, and it had enough strength to cut my skin through multiple layers. Don't walk up to it right away. Poke the eye like others said. If you are afraid it might be alive stay at a distance and just watch it for 5-10 mins.
                Yep, take your time walking up to a down deer.

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                • #9
                  Friend got a buck last year, and I walked over a half hour later to help clean it. It had dropped where he shot it, and hadn't budged since, but as we looked at it we saw no sign of a bullet (entrance or exit). Poked it and all that, and it was fairly convincing it was dead, but without seeing a trace of blood or a bullet hole (we flipped it over and checked both sides), I cut the throat just to make sure nothing was coming back to life on us.

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                  • #10
                    While standing behind the animal, poke it in the eye with your gun barrel or an arrow or a stick if you're bowhunting. I do this with any deer I'm not 100% positive is dead.

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