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Well, the dreaded happened to me this morning. Hunting from the ground, has a hot doe with a buck tending her at 25 yards. Doe moved through the opening and then the buck followed but he was quartering away harder than anticipated. I shot and thought I saw the arrow hit right behind the elbow and anticipated a heart hit. Doe spooked and then stood there looking in the direction he went before meandering off in the opposite direction. About 5 minutes later I look up and see the buck I just shot coming back with another buck prodding him along. He had a slight limp and was moving too fast for another shot but was moving pretty good. I was dumbfounded but I waited another 20 minutes and then slowly made my way to where it shot him at. I saw a spray of red on his right side for two bounds and then saw the arrow laying there. It only had blood about 14” up the shaft and the broad head was gone. Not broken off but gone, like it ripped the threads right out of the insert. My heart sank a little more. The spray was pretty good and then I saw where he had stopped and stood there and saw a puddle of blood with bubbles all through it. It looked good but after what I just witnesses I started think that maybe it was a one lung hit. So I sat down and started researching single lung hit deer my phone for about an hour and then decided to slowly work my way over to where I last saw him and peek down the hill to see if he was there. The blood was less of a spray bow and more of a drip and splatter. I got to the edge of the ridge and saw him stand up about 100 yards away and then bound over a creek and into some thick brush. With my binos I could see two beds with blood in them about 5 feet apart and figured he must be hurting pretty bad so I backed out. (Note that there was about 5” of snow here in NW PA today). I backed off and waited 2 more hours and then picked up the track again and once he hit the brush he bedded down again then moved about 20 yards and bedded again and then another 20 and bedded again. I came to a gap in the brush and looked up and there he was facing straight away from me about 20 yards away and I had no shot. He looked for a second and then took off, bounding over logs and crashing through the brush. I know faced the dilemma the I didn’t want to face. It was still snowing pretty steady and the blood trail was pretty light at this point so I was concerned that if I backed off again that it would get covered up and I’d never find him. So I slowly pushed on, hoping to get a follow up shot on him. He headed into ever thicker stuff and I was hoping that I would spot him at any minute. But he went all the way through that without bedding again and then back into the open woods and along an old pasture. I found another bed on the field edge in the golden rod. He then went back into the open woods again and started taking long, heavy bounds and the spray of blood returned. He went up another slight ridge and bedded again and then kept going another 100 yards before bedding again and then another 50 yards and then I spotted him bedded at 80 yards and prepared to just sit and watch him to see what he did. I was only there a minute when he got up and went down into a dip and out of sight. I snuck up there hoping to catch him there to get another shot off but he was gone and had already gone over the next ridge. He was almost all the way back to where I had originally saw him bedded and heading into the thick stuff again. The snow was really coming down by then and I pressed on and found one more bed with blood in it and then his track became mixed up with a bunch of other ones and I ran out of blood. So I gave up. I hated doing it but I had nothing else to go on.

So what do you guys think? I keep playing the shot back in my mind and am wondering if I managed to tuck it behind the shoulder but at enough of an angle that I missed the lungs and just hit brisket meat. The bubbly blood really throws me off though as I was sure I had hit at least one lung.

Here’s a pic of the puddle of blood.
 

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How much time elapsed from when you first hit him to when you last saw him?

I think you may have just clipped a lung. For him to have bedded that many times in rapid succession he is hurt real bad, he is going to be dead in there somewhere. IMHO. He was only going a short distance after you jumped him. Which means. He should only be a short distance away from where you last saw him, dead. I would go back in the morning and do some circles and grid search.

Once you get an arrow in a deer a 20 yard going away shot is a good one, if that's all you can get.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How much time elapsed from when you first hit him to when you last saw him?

I think you may have just clipped a lung. For him to have bedded that many times in rapid succession he is hurt real bad, he is going to be dead in there somewhere. IMHO. He was only going a short distance after you jumped him. Which means. He should only be a short distance away from where you last saw him, dead. I would go back in the morning and do some circles and grid search.

Once you get an arrow in a deer a 20 yard going away shot is a good one, if that's all you can get.
About 6 hours
 

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Go back to where you stopped and continue to track, you will most likely find him. Never give up. I once shot a deer that dropped like a rock, got back up and ran down and across a ravine. There were pieces of lung on the ground with a lot of blood where the deer went down. I lost the trail and backtracked and tracked for an hour and then gave up. About two hours later I decided that the deer had to be dead based on the evidence where I shot her, I started all over again to track the blood trail and discovered where she had turned and changed directions that I missed the first time and 40 yards further I found her stone dead and she had a hole through her heart. Never under estimate the tenacity of a whitetail deer to live.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
But here’s the kicker. According to my phone’s health data tracker, he went about 3 miles in 6 hours and was still alive...
 

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Man BB, I'm as puzzled as you are; with that puddle of blood I don't see how he made it all that time, definitely a pump house hit of some kind . In any case, I agree with whelen and big brownie... he's gotta be dead by morning, keep searching and I have all faith you'll find him.
 

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Never had any fatally hit deer that wasn't pushed travel 3 miles. Sounds like you pushed some but 3 miles is a long way if a fatal hit?? Doesn't sound promising to me. Best of luck if you go back to search.
 

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I went back and looked at the pic of the blood....if I saw that, I’d be calling Mrs Brownie to get a skillet hot for a upcoming heart and liver dinner. Very puzzling, how it traveled that much distance.
 

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I just reread your post again. Going to be tough to find if it snowed on top of the dead deer. I guess it depends how much snow you got after you left the trail.
 

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But here’s the kicker. According to my phone’s health data tracker, he went about 3 miles in 6 hours and was still alive...
I would doubt that phone info. My cell phone when I use google map gives me ridiculous times for travailing very short distances. That blood tells me you have a dead deer and you missed a turn on the trail.
 

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Never had any fatally hit deer that wasn't pushed travel 3 miles. Sounds like you pushed some but 3 miles is a long way if a fatal hit?? Doesn't sound promising to me. Best of luck if you go back to search.
That was the dilemma. It was snowing pretty good and I didn’t want the trail to get covered. But I agree that a deer going that far doesn’t seem fatal but the bubbles in the blood perplex me.
 

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There are dog services throughout Pa now that may help. I have read some really great stories of guys who had a last ditch effort and they found them for the guys and gals...
 

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I think you hit in front of the lungs in the brisket. But do not lose hope because I think he will eventually die, just not sure when. Go back in tomorrow where you lost sight of him and start a grid search. Hopefully you will find him dead, but don't be surprised if he's still alive but in really bad shape. My buck last year was very similar. I found him alive the next day but in bad shape. A gaping hole in their brisket is a lot of trauma. If you did get one lung which is possible he should be dead by tomorrow. Good luck.
 

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It’s dead, we had a contest at work to see who walked further in a shift a back tender or a wonder operator they used their phones to track diistance the back tender walked 1.5 miles in a 12 hr shift the winder operator walked 17.75 miles. The rub is winder operator only moved 7 feet at a time he put his phone on a rotation table eveytime a tool of tp finished wrapping it counted as walking time they only move 4.75 inches at a time so believe anything that doesn’t show a track oh yea dead deer.
 

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Don’t blame you for tracking with the snow, but it’s usually worth the risk to back out. Made that mistake before with a single lung. Even then it’s a crap shoot. They can live a long time on single lung.
 

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I think once you got the first arrow in them you shoot again if presented a shot opportunity. Even if it’s not ideal.
 
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