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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here we go again the first one of the year,I hit a buck tonight at 34 yards the shot was a touch high and when the deer turned and ran I saw my arrow about 6 inches from the fetching being in the deer. I watched the buck run about 70 yards and lost him.my buddy was about 150 yards from me and never heard him running towards him so I'm hoping he layer down before him.i looked for blood at the we're I shot him but it was getting dark so I decided to back out.i also noticed my arrow was angled down so I know I had to get at least 1 lung.can anyone please give me some advice I'm sick to my stomach worrying about the buck.first time I have ever had to do this in 14 years of bowhunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's amazing how I have shot 9 bucks so far with the bow and since I knew the shot was a touch high I instantly went into panic mode.its crazy how when your nerves get the best of me I am starting to panic on thinking was I looking in the spot or will I be able to remember where I last saw him.im sick about this
 

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First thing's first, relax. It's a crappy feeling and a lot of us have been there. Getting all strung out about it won't solve anything.

That said, I'd let him lay overnight and have the search party ready to go at first light. In my experience, a high shot either means he's already dead, or he'll live. I'd guess if it's angled down, you're probably right about catching the lung. I'm guessing if you didn't bump him getting out of there, you'll find him near where you last saw him in the morning.

Good luck, and post pictures when you find him.
 

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What was his body language/physical reaction?

If you're 6" from the fletch, you've got at least half the arrow in there, and since it didn't pass through, my GUESS is you hit bone either coming or going.....meaning you hit shoulder on the way in or leg bone on the way out.

You have sufficient penetration to hit both lungs if the placement was right. If the shot wasn't far back, you're only worry is if you were high enough to pass over the near lung. That's hard to say, but at 34 yards, that'd have to be one seriously steep shot to make that kind of angle.

So my strong suspicion is you were a tad farther front than you wanted and you went through the shoulder blade. You've got enough penetration, and the good news is that you can't hit the shoulder blade solidly AND go over the lungs, so you're likely in a good spot with your placement.

My biggest worry is your weather. If it rained there like it did here, you won't have blood to follow. It has been pouring off and on all day here. I didn't even go out, but we've been able to hunt for two weeks here already, so I've been out a fair few times, and I was happy to let it rest today.

Anyway, don't get after it till you have solid light, bring A friend, not an army, and work slowly and carefully.

If I had to bet on an outcome, it's that you find him dead within 200 yards of where you last saw him.
 

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tdd said:
So my strong suspicion is you were a tad farther front than you wanted and you went through the shoulder blade. You've got enough penetration, and the good news is that you can't hit the shoulder blade solidly AND go over the lungs, so you're likely in a good spot with your placement.
I've got to disagree with you.
The majority of the shoulder blade sits high and forward of the lungs. It is more than likely if he tagged the shoulder blades he completely missed the vitals, especially at 34 yards where the angle of the angle flattens out.

If you are up in the shoulder blade area, your only real chance of killing that deer is by hitting the spinal cord and paralyzing him.
 

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I'm embarrassed to admit I've been here a couple times. Even had a post like this 2 years back. The confusion I have experienced and seen From others between a very high lung hit and a hit above the spine is terrible....I'm leaning towards this scenario.... The fact that the shot was 34 yards adds even more discrepancy to the mix. Either way I'm hoping we get to see some pictures by the end of the day
 

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Fairchild #17 said:
tdd said:
So my strong suspicion is you were a tad farther front than you wanted and you went through the shoulder blade. You've got enough penetration, and the good news is that you can't hit the shoulder blade solidly AND go over the lungs, so you're likely in a good spot with your placement.
I've got to disagree with you.
The majority of the shoulder blade sits high and forward of the lungs. It is more than likely if he tagged the shoulder blades he completely missed the vitals, especially at 34 yards where the angle of the angle flattens out.

If you are up in the shoulder blade area, your only real chance of killing that deer is by hitting the spinal cord and paralyzing him.
I typed a post in reply and it vanished, so I'll try this again.

I've made two major assumptions:

1- The spine wasn't hit (or the deer would be down)

2- That the OP's arrows are NOT super short. He describes the penetration as his fletches beinng 6" from the deer. So I'm gonna guess he's got a solid 11-12" of penetration, probably more. I'm assuming 4" fletch (plus 6" would be 10"), plus an inch for fletch to nock, so 11" out of the deer. That means even a 22" shaft (not much longer than a crossbow bolt) would have 11" of penetration, not counting the broadhead. A 28" shaft would have 17" of penetration. So my assumption is that he has enough penetration to go well past the mid-line and into the other side of the deer's body...i.e. not so shallow as to only reach on lung.

Now, given the OP states that there is a visible downward angle to the shot and the arrow in the deer reflects this, my view on this is that it would be VERY difficult to hit the shoulder blade solidly enough to halt penetration, yet miss the spine. And even if he did that somehow, with that much penetration, I just can't see how he didn't, in the least, hit the far lung. To me, that's the worst-case scenario for him. A one-lung hit is not a slam dunk in the least.

But with that much penetration and the shot being described "a little high," I am seeing this as a muc bigger chance his shot went through to the lungs than missing totally above everything. There is not a lot of shoulder ABOVE the spine. The scapula gets heavy and thick where it's going forward of the lungs, too, so I would be surprised to see that much penetration through the heavy "shank" of the scapula at 34 yards (stated shot distance). To blow through it readily, you need the thinner, flatter rear-most part.

I'm just seeing to many parts to this that don't add up for hitting above or in front of the lungs.

That's based on my own bowhunting experiences and butchering of a fair amount of whitetails.
 

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It's possible he hit the lower part of shoulder blade. While not as thick as upper. It still is hard to penetrate.
Check the sticky from janIE on anotomy. It's a long video, but worth it.
With the shot described by op. I think that deer is down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well guys I just got home.we looked for 9 solid hours. Every thicket every deer trail and grid everything to our best ability. It rained so hard here in my area from 6 am to 7 am .we found my arrow a good 200 yards from where he was shot obviously no blood on the arrow from all the rain but when I screwed the broad head off it had some tissue on it. Tissue as in it look like muscle to me.very disappointed about the whole thing makes me feel like not even wanting to go again knowing I may have killed one.i would like to thank all of you for your post on trying to help me out through this. I hope you all have a great and successful rest of the year. Thanks again guys
 

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Hey feel confident it's all muscle! You may see him again with a nice big ole scar on his back.

You did the right thing tracking and should have some good fortune coming you way for following up!

Shoot some arrows tomorrow to regain some confidence and get back out there!!
 

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The only thing you can do is go back in and grid search- OR- Tomorrow morning or Tuesday morning- get to where you found the arrow before daylight and sit. Then listen for the crows to start circling the location of the deer. If you don't here a lot of ruckus or see circling, your deer could very well be alive.
 

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Muscle in the broadhead threads doesn't mean that's ALL you hit, but it could that you hit above the spine and never hit the spine, either.

Having gone that far with no deer doesn't bode well for a fatal hit, although a one-lunger can go a long, long way.

I wouldn't say for sure he survived, but it is certainly very possible that he did/will.

A friend of mine shot a real nice buck a few years back, and we jumped it the next day. The dang thing almost ran me over, actually. We saw the wound, right where you'd think you'd want to hit one, but it didn't get in....maybe his leg was back at the time, I don't know.

Anyway, he went back to the same spot and a few days later, he shot the same deer again. This time he hit it farther back and we still had a project to find it, but we did find it. Healing wound on the shoulder and all.
 
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