First day shot, and a question - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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First day shot, and a question

The last day of bow season, my dad text and said the big one just winded him, following 5 doe. So I headed up to the gamelands a few hours later and walked below him hoping to push the deer back his way. A long shot but worth a try as it was the last day. It was about a 2.5 mile walk to do what I thought may push the deer correctly, and get any others around the ridge on their feet. In doing so, I came across a place I'd had never been, one I've been close to, but never stepped foot on, maybe an acre. It was one of those places in the big woods, where you enter and say this is it. This is a spot that I'll add to the list to check every year, and if there's a big one in the area, he'll use this area. There were rubs as big as my leg, headed both directions, scrapes everywhere. Laurel 25 feet high, brush chest high, a series of flats off a point, and gushing spring on top(strange), and two escape routes into impenetrable laurel.

Needless to say I was fired up. My dad is getting older, starting to lose his sharpness and maybe desire a bit, and I wanted to see him get this buck. I was in this buck's home, and surely he would show in the daylight at some point in rifle. I was hoping he was with doe elsewhere but did end up jumping a single deer while there. So I headed to Field & Stream in Altoona to pick up 2 double ladder stands. The next Sunday was 20-30 mph winds, with gusts in the 40s. Perfect for hanging a stand, maybe for tree tipping too, but a good day to hang a stand. A west wind too, perfect for our approach. So 3 of us did the walk, put the stand up and got out of there. GPS track says 1.6 miles, but it's an easy walk.

So I asked my dad if he was going to wait for this buck to show or take the first opportunity at a nice one. Of course he said first nice one, as he said I'm not sure how many years I have left. I explained to him that, we're in this bucks wheelhouse, and you may never have another chance at a buck of this age. He didn't mind, but I'm thinking in the my mind, that all the evidence I've seen in the area surrounding this area leads me to believe the other bucks are staying out of this immediate spot. They are bedding on the fringes, and maybe giving this guy his space? I hoped anyway.

First morning at the parking lot, there were 8 trucks at 5:15, not surprising, it's a huge area, so we're not too concerned. No flashing lights on the way in, so we are good. All set up, a perfect WNW 10-15 mph wind. NW and W would have been good, but WNW is perfect as it wraps around the point but we're 75 yards downwind so our scent should not wrap and carry on WNW. Daylight comes followed by a few shots in the area but nothing close. At 9:45 I notice this opening on the point that I thought, that looks like a spot a deer might cross, so I start focusing on it, probably more glazing over at this point, and under my nose I see an ear about 40 yards. Dad get your gun (he used to say that to me, my how times have changed). It was quite difficult to pick this deer out but she eventually stepped out. She was very cautious and head-bobbed about 10 times, just watching us. After a 20 minute stare down, she did a 5 yard J hook, and disappeared. One hour passes with us not seeing anything, or being able to move much, assuming the doe bedded. At 10:40, I see a deer pass thru the previous opening I was focusing on, thought I saw antlers but it disappeared quickly. 30 seconds later, here comes a nice one down off the point, presumably following the doe's trail. Dad's got the gun up on the shooting rail. The buck comes straight for us. He turned his head sideways to get thru the laurel. Oh my.. oh my. At 50 yards, he turned quartering to, then moved his back legs toward us, almost completely broadside. You kiddin'? Dad centered the crosshairs, and squeezed. The buck jumped about an 8 foot laurel bush and stood there, then another jump and looked around. Two more high hops and the buck disappeared. 2 minutes later two doe came running up to our right. Maybe the buck jumped them or the shot got them moving. I got down 20 minutes later and checked the area, got 2" white hair, 2 pieces had brown tips. Where the deer landed on his second jump, there was 1/4" white hair. We looked around for a bit, and were able to follow his tracks for about 15 yards. We expanded the search to about 100 yards and found nothing. The laurel is so thick, you'd be hard pressed to find a deer without a blood trail to follow. A perfect plan where everything followed the script, but the end result is empty.

Dad shot his gun again today. 4 holes within an inch at 50 yards. I was actually hoping the gun was off.

My question is, has anyone ever shot a deer and had it bound and stop and go like this from a good hit? Also, deer that did not bleed with a shot from a rifle? All but one I shot with a rifle that didn't immediately fall, ran hard, and bled. I've seen Dad shoot running deer at 100 yards, but I'm at a loss with this one. I guess what is bothering me, is that small chance the deer is dead. We did what we could in terms of searching, and based on the reaction of the deer and the white hair, we think the bullet shaved the deer low. Thoughts?

Rub pic and hair pic attached.
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It's a good spot. Just not today.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 11:35 AM
tdd
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Just found a doe last night that was shot with a 243 at about 100-125 yards and didn't leave a single drop of blood, nor a single hair, till she died 30-40 yards from the shot. That shot was angled nearly straight at the shooter...a very steep quartering on angle.

I've found that while I'll find white on almost any deer hair, body hair will show a lot of mixed grey/brown, where belly/tail hair is thick, wiry, and mostly or all white. That hair looks to me like belly hair.

A shot very, very low would make a deer possibly act like you observed. Possibly. There are no absolutes.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 01:03 PM
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Ive had had a buck do that. Was trying to poke a shot through a hole in the brush. All I can figure is the bullet hit a twig and deflected down under him. I know I did not hit his as this same buck came through the same way following a doe about an hour and a half later. Before he stepped out into a good opening he looked straight at me knowing something shot at him earlier from this direction. Didn't matter he stepped out and I killed him. (The power of a woman did him in). Wasn't any other marks on him from earlier.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 01:18 PM
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I just found my son's buck yesterday without a single drop of blood. 35 yard shot from a 7mm-08 using 120 grain nosler ballistic tips. Quartering away shot in behind the last rib and the bullet was just under the hide tight to the front left shoulder. Deer ran away like nothing was wrong. I was able to follow a few scuffed up leaves and was about ready to call it a miss when I scanned ahead with binoculars and saw him laying in the leaves. It is possible yours was hit and not bleed at all. I know I will be switching to a different bullet as I am a fan of having two holes in deer.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 01:40 PM
tdd
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What speed did you run that 120BT?

My daughter shot her first buck with the same bullet from her 7WSM that I'd loaded own to about 2300fps. 60 yard shot, exact opposite angle of your son's shot...deer ran about 50 yards and piled up in a field, so no tracking required. I found the jacket under the hide on at the back of the ribs and the entrance was right on the front edge of the near shoulder.

Her buck yesterday was shot with a 140gr Partition. I can't say the 120BT did a poor job, but the Partition does make me feel a little better. Even at the 2600 I'm running it for her, it did great at 125 yards on her buck.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 02:10 PM
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I had that happen with a .270 with 2 does one morning about 10 years back. I mistakenly grabbed 130 grain ammo from the safe in the AM instead of the normal 150 grain ammo BTSP I shoot. I don't remember if the 130 grain ammo was BTSP or not?

A few more doe followed shot at one of them the same thing. Deer I run off...there is snow mind you so I go walk over the 30 yards to where I shot and I see nothing. A little hair and that is it, while I am looking around 2 more doe come at me at about 50 yards. I shoot again. Same thing deer run off in the same direction as the other. I was puzzled...I immediately start tracking the deer by tracks in the fresh snow, no blood but I figured I am going to catch up with them in the new valley over.

I make it about 100 yards or so just over the top of the ridge from there I shot and there is a dead doe. I think....who shot this? It's still warm! What the ---- is going on here. Gets better I look another 25 or 50 yards ahead...there is another one dead. Yea....I shot both of them. Fortunately my father was with me a bit off, we each tagged one and were done.

What happened? When we butchered them it looked like the slug didn't expand at all. My guess at that close range and shooting a lighter grain slug were factors. It looked like there was a straw size hole through the deer. I tracked them back and there was a few spots after closer investigation that there was a few drops of blood....I got to tell you we are talking like eraser size, if there wasn't snow you never would have found them.

I'd go give it another look.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 02:41 PM
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I had one last year that did the same thing. Mine was a clean miss with a hair cut. I missed low and found where the slug went into the ground beyond the deer. We looked and looked but no deer or blood.

I know it doesnt help but I missed last year and the doe was walking across an open field. There was no excuse except well I missed. Same may have happened here. But you never know.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 08:42 PM
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I tried ballistic tips years ago and went back to my Nosler Accubonds. I really like two holes in my deer and the
accubonds do that well. Not saying Ballistic Tips don't do the job, just seen many that don't leave a good blood trail. Shot a buck Monday and the 7mm08 140 grain Accubond bored a silver dollar sized hole through his lungs. Quite a blood trail and a very short tracking job.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlyle531 View Post
I tried ballistic tips years ago and went back to my Nosler Accubonds. I really like two holes in my deer and the
accubonds do that well. Not saying Ballistic Tips don't do the job, just seen many that don't leave a good blood trail. Shot a buck Monday and the 7mm08 140 grain Accubond bored a silver dollar sized hole through his lungs. Quite a blood trail and a very short tracking job.
I feel like the only guy that has good luck with Nosler Ballistic tips. I run 165gr in my .300 mag and always have had two holes and deer that didn't go very far. Shots from 30 yards to 300 yielded the same results. I have had to learn to stay way from the front shoulder because if I accidentally hit it, both shoulders are destroyed along with a lot of the meat in that area.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 09:59 AM
tdd
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I've seem 140's in the 7mm bore and 165's in the 30 work well. I've had decent results with a 150 in my 270, but actually was underwhelmed with the wound channels, believe it or not.

I've also seen a 120 in a 7mm give shaky performance to my taste. I moved that rifle to a Partition and haven't looked back.
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