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It always amazes me that a whitetail can travel so far or get away all together when you only get one lung. I just don’t get how any creature can survive when a modern broadhead cuts through one of their lungs, and they cannot call 911 and get driven to a trauma center.

Last week a good friend of mine shot a doe at about 20 yards. According to him he hit her a bit high and foreword. We waited about 4 hours and and started the track, and the first 50-60 yards lots of good bright red blood with bubbles being SPRAYED. After the first 60-65 yards the blood trail went to pin drops feet apart. Then she opened back up to easy tracking. Then she dried up again and went into a brushy area. I told my friend let her go and come back in the AM she might be dead in that thicket somewhere. So we left it. I had to work, so he went back alone. Said she dried up totally after another 40-50 yards and she never laid down. This AM I was finally off again, and I thought I’m going back in there and see if I can find her even though the meat is way past being edible. I searched high and low and not a trace of a dead deer. The wind is blowing fairly good so I got way down wind of where I thought she’d be and tried to catch a whiff of decomp. Nothing! I almost believe she is still alive and healing up. I wasn’t there to observe the shot but my friend is experienced and knows what he’s looking at most of the time. So, I believe he hit her pretty close to what he said.

I just don’t understand how they do it! This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a single lunged deer not be recovered!
 

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Join the club. I've tracked quite a few for others that were one lunged, many of which we recovered, and some that were not. Maybe the new law allowing a leashed dog to track wounded deer will aid in the recovery rate.

That's why we call it hunting, not killing.
 

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I one lunged a small doe many years ago one evening bow hunting. I couldn't find a lot of evidence that night so went back the next day, and after resorting to a grid search, I located her hundreds of yards from where I shot at the bottom of a steep valley. She looked at me, ran up almost a cliff, and then collapsed. I believe I finished her off with a knife but she didn't have much life left. The spot where I first jumped her to where she collapsed running up the hill was pink frothy lung blood. I'll never forget that.
 

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Single lung hit has gotta be bowhunting’s worst shot. Simply because it’s generally a total crap shoot. Blood looks good usually which lulls you into a false sense of security to keep tracking. By the time you realize somethings not right, you’re lucky you didn’t jump the deer before backing out.
 

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Single lung hit has gotta be bowhunting’s worst shot. Simply because it’s generally a total crap shoot. Blood looks good usually which lulls you into a false sense of security to keep tracking. By the time you realize somethings not right, you’re lucky you didn’t jump the deer before backing out.
Been there done that and agree 100% Arrow and blood trail usually look great, then all of a sudden, nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Single lung hit has gotta be bowhunting’s worst shot. Simply because it’s generally a total crap shoot. Blood looks good usually which lulls you into a false sense of security to keep tracking. By the time you realize somethings not right, you’re lucky you didn’t jump the deer before backing out.
I agree fully as well. I just don’t understand how they do it. Maybe because when only 1 lung is hit it’s usually not a solid single lung but it’s clipped. Still don’t get it though.
 

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I read a study a few years back that claimed a high % of single lung hit deer actually survive. Also, if all the blood was bright red and not pinkish and foamy the lungs weren't hit, just muscle.
 

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had my first single lung experience last year with a buck. It's amazing how strong they are and ability to survive.

included a pic of what looked like great blood. was lighter in color and had more bubbles when I initially found it. the pic was taken when I took up the trail again a few hours later after I believe I bumped him initially.

Had good blood for a while and tracked for 500 yards that eventually went down to single drops every 5 to 10 yards and then nothing. Around every corner I was sure I was gonna see him laying there dead A rain storm then moved in. I spent the next two days grid searching the entire area and put on miles looking, but nothing.

Learned my lesson the hard way. will always wait longer to take up the trail next time!
 

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That looks like muscle hit not lung. Lung normally pinker and think foamy. Deer blood can get bubbles from different things as a deer bleeds. Human can also survive with one lung so can animals
 

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Some will argue but the absolute best thing you can do with a single lung hit or muscle hit deer is PUSH IT. HARD.

Wild animals are purpose built. Like was said, they can't get to an emergency room. Mother nature takes care of her own. They clot and heal and are very Hardy and resilient critters. Anything in the chest or forward needs pushed. You need to keep the wound open...keep their adrenaline up and blood pumping till it dies or you can get a follow up shot. Giving a single lung or muscle hit "time to die" is actually giving them time to heal.


I typically know where my arrow hit. My rule now is fine cage forward, they get about as much time as it takes me to get my stand packed up.



Couple Halloween's back I had a freak hit. Not sure what happened. Like 6-8ft high and less than 10yd shot. He was going to town on a scrape. I released and as he ran by I was sick. Half the arrow sticking out in FRONT of the near shoulder. Maybe slightly angling toward the chest. No idea what happened...he either made a sudden movement or I hit an "invisible twig".

Long story short, I gave him a couple hours. Packed up, hiked out, gathered 2 buddies and good lights. Followed blood for a couple hundred yards.

Pretty much lost the trail.

We stand in the field talking a few minutes before we call it. Buddy is shinning around the field. I said "that's a waste of time...I hiked out through here...were parked here...we've been standing here talking.."

Not 125yds away he's laying there. Head swaying side to side all woozy looking.

I said "well...I will come tag him in the morning and that field is being plowed under so I can drive right to him..."


Come back in the morning and he's not there. Dumbfounded. I honestly thought someone spotting came by and stole him after we left.

Long story short 3 beds, crossed a road and several hundred yards of pin drops, he was gone.





Nearly a month later I got pics of him. Cursor is on the entry hole....


Absolutely convinced that had I chased him off that first bed int he field that night, he would have collapsed. He was hurt bad and not looking well. He did wanna get up...he let us shine him and carry a loud conversation not very far from him...he laid there and healed up. Regained energy and left probably right before sunrise.
 

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Years ago I hit a 7 pt, he was quartering to me. I didn't wait till he turned for a better shot. Anyway after he took off and got out of sight I got down and found good blood. I followed it for awhile and it went to just spots. I backed out and went home and called a buddy. We tracked for prolly a mile, just finding spotty blood every now and then. The blood trail went right to a pretty big creek. It was now bout 11:00, I told my buddy I didn't come this far to give up now so I waded across the creek. It was about my hip deep. I got to the other side and walked the bank for awhile trying to see where he came out. I found nothing. Got back home bout 1 am. I knew the farm I thought he crossed over to, so I called the farmer the next day to see if he would mind me lookin for my deer. The farmer walked with me for a B.S session while I looked for my deer. We were about a couple hundred yards from where I thought I was the night before and there he was stone dead. I flipped him over to see where the shot was. The farmer couldn't believe the deer went that far because of where the shot was. It looked really good but it only took out 1 lung. Now I wait for a better shot, not gunna make that mistake again...
 

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Two years ago I had a very similar situation to the one that Mauser describes.

Buck walked under my stand and I hit hit a little forward...the boy and I thought I had a brisket hit.

The deer ran across the hollow about a 100 yards and laid down. My first instinct was to quietly climb down and sneak over for a f/u shot, but years of "Give them time" in my head swayed my opinion.

Sat until dark watching him through the binoculars. Head swaying back and forth.

I quietly got down and went down to the house, met the boy and grabbed a few flashlights. Now it had been at least 3 hours. Quietly went back up the hill in the dark, fully expecting to see him dead in the bed......but he was gone.

Tracked sparse blood for most of the next morning, but never saw him again.

Hindsight being 20 20, the f/u shot try right after the initial hit would have been my best option.
 

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Some will argue but the absolute best thing you can do with a single lung hit or muscle hit deer is PUSH IT. HARD.

Wild animals are purpose built. Like was said, they can't get to an emergency room. Mother nature takes care of her own. They clot and heal and are very Hardy and resilient critters. Anything in the chest or forward needs pushed. You need to keep the wound open...keep their adrenaline up and blood pumping till it dies or you can get a follow up shot. Giving a single lung or muscle hit "time to die" is actually giving them time to heal.


I typically know where my arrow hit. My rule now is fine cage forward, they get about as much time as it takes me to get my stand packed up.



Couple Halloween's back I had a freak hit. Not sure what happened. Like 6-8ft high and less than 10yd shot. He was going to town on a scrape. I released and as he ran by I was sick. Half the arrow sticking out in FRONT of the near shoulder. Maybe slightly angling toward the chest. No idea what happened...he either made a sudden movement or I hit an "invisible twig".

Long story short, I gave him a couple hours. Packed up, hiked out, gathered 2 buddies and good lights. Followed blood for a couple hundred yards.

Pretty much lost the trail.

We stand in the field talking a few minutes before we call it. Buddy is shinning around the field. I said "that's a waste of time...I hiked out through here...were parked here...we've been standing here talking.."

Not 125yds away he's laying there. Head swaying side to side all woozy looking.

I said "well...I will come tag him in the morning and that field is being plowed under so I can drive right to him..."


Come back in the morning and he's not there. Dumbfounded. I honestly thought someone spotting came by and stole him after we left.

Long story short 3 beds, crossed a road and several hundred yards of pin drops, he was gone.





Nearly a month later I got pics of him. Cursor is on the entry hole....


Absolutely convinced that had I chased him off that first bed int he field that night, he would have collapsed. He was hurt bad and not looking well. He did wanna get up...he let us shine him and carry a loud conversation not very far from him...he laid there and healed up. Regained energy and left probably right before sunrise.
A non fatal hit is a non fatal hit.It would be a very rare situation that chasing a wounded deer is more prudent than giving one time.
 

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I’ve found that most of the time a one lung hit also involves other organs. Depending on the elevation and angle, many shots through one lung also shred the liver, and exit through the stomach. They’re not going far if that’s the case.
 

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...

A non fatal hit is a non fatal hit.It would be a very rare situation that chasing a wounded deer is more prudent than giving one time.
Infrequent, maybe, but I wouldn't say "rare."

https://www.outdoorlife.com/busted-10-myths-about-blood-trailing-deer/

http://editiondigital.net/publication/?i=449369&article_id=2920927&view=articleBrowser#{%22issue_id%22:449369,%22view%22:%22articleBrowser%22,%22article_id%22:%222920927%22}

Deer blood does clot faster than humans, as well.
Ever notice even after a relatively quick recovery and you start to dress the deer in the field, many times the blood in the deer's body cavity has already started to congeal?
 

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Justgrad, pretty good read on the link! Explains what I was attempting to.



Like I said, some will argue my "new" mindset...after seeing that buck, I have little doubt I would have tagged him had I kept on him. I knew where the hit was. Week g how weak and hurt he looked, I am fairly certain had I chased him, he wouldn't have went far. He looked very weak. A bit more blood loss would have done that...and unless he pulled the grizztrick out, it was likely still in him...which would have done more damage as he was chased.


The most important thing is knowing where you hit and what was likely impacted. Liver or deeper, I'm checking the weather and devising a plan and waiting. A solid but hit is likely bedding within 200yds of the shot and if not disturbed, he's dying there.

Not a completely freak thing where chasing a deer is the best option...I can think of a couple tracks I've been on where I think it could have been to the hunters benefit. A little graze or a shot high in the back... probably not. Those tend to quit bleeding fairly quickly and not enough of anything is cut to do enough bleeding. Like mine in the neck, or a solid shoulder hit, single lung etc, I think chasing is the best bet.

You also have to consider if you have the land to chase a deer. They are going to cover some ground.


Tracking is a judgment thing. Typically backing out is the best course of action.
 

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I’ve found that most of the time a one lung hit also involves other organs. Depending on the elevation and angle, many shots through one lung also shred the liver, and exit through the stomach. They’re not going far if that’s the case.
I shot a nice doe on Friday evening from the ground that at the time I thought was quartering towards me slightly. I hit back further than I wanted but took out the liver and top of the intestines. She only went 40 yards so yes a liver shot will drop them in quick order. It apparently was at a more of an quartering towards me angle than I had thought.

Stetam
 

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one time, i hit a deer in the front leg, below the shoulder but above the first joint. i tried a quartering away shot, i didnt know it at the time but the the arrow went thru the top portion of the front leg and never went into the chest, just thru the leg.


plenty of blood, until it bedded, then sparse blood until we jumped it, then lots of blood. we decided to push it to keep it bleeding. we recovered that deer in a few hours. when we saw where i hit it we couldnt believe it. if we didnt push it, it most likely would have lived.
 
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I had a straight down shot on a doe a long time back, that I felt was a good hit, but, and it's a guess, only one lung.

The deer bolted, ran into the field, and doubled back on it's own trail. Decided to track in the morning, since the shot happened five minutes before the end of legal shooting time. I passed two guys on the way out, and made the mistake of telling them I stuck one, and would be back in the morning.

In morning, I picked up the trail, and followed it right to the gut pile.....last time I made that mistake!
 
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