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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PA Dutch Country
hunting near deep water
When hunting near water, how likely is it for a deer that is shot to run toward deep water that it would need to swim through? They know the area; if they typically swim across there when spooked, will they swim if wounded/dying? I'm trying to evaluate some spots I hunt. Now that I use a climber fairly often, I have a nagging worry of killing a deer and having it float past while I'm trying to scramble down and shed my harness.
Last year I shot a big old doe after she crossed a creek. No fawns with her. Shot was with inline, 75 yards, feet still wet right near the bank, looked/felt like a good hit, and she immediately ran up the bank and out of sight where it is thick with briars. After crossing, I was never positive exactly where she mounted up the bank; blood/hair from the hit was in the water so no help there. After maybe 15 minutes of worry a grid search paid off; one shoulder was destroyed, one lung was hit, but she was still hanging on for a coup de grace. Big old doe, no teeth left, 42 lb of burger plus the neck, even minus one shoulder. Biggest doe I have killed. I felt bad having to shoot her a second time.
Now I am thinking, IF I had seen that deer on my side of the river, and shot it, would it have tried to cross and died mid way across? How common is it for a hit deer to try to cross it can ford? How about water it needs to swim?
I shot another doe with grown up fawns near a wide creek after they had crossed. This one was with crossbow and was a double lung, maybe 8 yards out and 9 yards down, I held really low...she ran full out for 5-6 seconds up along the trail parallel to creek, and then right turn and 12 feet down the bank toward the creek. The fawns followed. I was sure I heard her crash and thrash. I could see a deer stand in the creek and look back, then bounded off across. I was confident the doe was dead, but not sure where. I got down and found the bolt and spitfire destroyed by the rocks; followed the huge blood trail, watched the water as well for her to float by, but found her piled up behind a big log, right before the creek bank. Double lung, 7 seconds, seems about right. But what if that 7 seconds put her in the middle of the flowing creek?
Has anyone lost a deer this way?