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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think went wrong here? 27 yards, quartering away, shot with a crossbow and mechanical broadhead. 3 to 5 inches of penetration, found entire arrow within 50 yards. Asking for a friend :censored: (Pictures taken with cell phone thru binoculors.)

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I can only assume the angle was greater than it appeared or deflected off a rib outwards towards the shoulder instead of inward.
Odd about that parental info on the first pic?
 

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Amazingly tough animals. You would think with 3-5 inches of penetration the deer should be dead. The minimum you would think would be the deer would suffocate due to the vacuum in the chest area being broken. One of my son's first X-bow kills had a healed broadhead wound in the chest about 3" above my son's fatal shot. I noticed when we field dressed the deer the lungs were not normal and adhered to the chest wall. They are tough critters.
 

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I wonder the severity of the angle of the deer....shot from ground? Treestand? Uphill or downhill?

Also, a mechanical that didnt open or a partial open...hit a rib and skipped or slid into the meat or under the hide...then the deer ran off and it backed out of the entry.

Any blood? What did the broadhead look like? Was it a new broadhead or a reused one?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The quartering away angle wasn't extreme but more quartering than broadside. About the angle you'd want. It was shot from a treestand 22' high. No blood was ever found on the ground. The arrow was found 50 yards from the shot. There was a smear of blood and hair on it 3 to 5 inches up. The mechanical blades were still closed and there was no blood on the broodhead. The broadhead was new. The crossbow was new shooting in the 350 FPS range. The buck was hit the last night of archery season. The pictures were taken last weekend. Very perplexing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can only assume the angle was greater than it appeared or deflected off a rib outwards towards the shoulder instead of inward.
Odd about that parental info on the first pic?
Something freaky like that must of happened. Maybe glanced off a rib and then skipped it into the shoulder??? The arrow didn't stay in him long. Never saw that parental warning before either.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
seems to be a reasonable guess! is this one with personal history?
Unfortunately...yes. This was the capper to my fantabulous 2020 archery season. I shot him at last light on the last day of the season. This is a 130" buck. At the time, I thought I made a good hit on him but looking at the wound it was just a tic high. I still think it should've killed him though. I've been keeping tabs on him and he has a very slight limp that's barely noticible. He's a liitle thin but he's going to definitely survive. I'm thinking along the lines of what others have said. Maybe the blades didn't deploy and I skipped it into the shoulder. I'm really at a loss on this one. Never seen anything like it before.
 

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Unfortunately...yes. This was the capper to my fantabulous 2020 archery season. I shot him at last light on the last day of the season. This is a 130" buck. At the time, I thought I made a good hit on him but looking at the wound it was just a tic high. I still think it should've killed him though. I've been keeping tabs on him and he has a very slight limp that's barely noticible. He's a liitle thin but he's going to definitely survive. I'm thinking along the lines of what others have said. Maybe the blades didn't deploy and I skipped it into the shoulder. I'm really at a loss on this one. Never seen anything like it before.
I would think that his slight limp brings the skip into the shoulder therory into play.
 

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Did you notice and do you remember if the on side leg was forward or back at the shot?
 

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If the leg was back, the type of head may not have significantly mattered. However, imo this is just another example of where fixed blades are better than mechanicals as you are less likely to get deflections. Especially with those single bevels you have been playing with, your heavy setups likely wouldn't have even slowed down.
 

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Another thing to concider, without being able to prove it, is that that deer was ducking. That hole in the hide is solidly below any bones, but on a deer that's ducking the hole in the hide is not the same place as when that picture was taken on a relaxed deer.

Regardless, you now have closure on that particular buck. Still some u answered questions, but he's still alive and pretty healthy, that's gotta make that ordeal easier to swallow.👍
 

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That's a legit theory YD.Also,depending on how far the deer was,22ft can be a pretty steep angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some pretty good points that I hadn't considered guys. In all honesty, it was the last night of the season and almost dark. I'm not exactly certain of all the deers positioning details but I wouldn't have taken the shot if I didn't think everything was good go. At 27 yards if the deer ducked or stightly moved, the light was low enough that I didn't catch it. I remember it did the classic mule kick and my initial thought was that I killed it. In fact, there was no doubt in my mind. 2020 was my archery season to forget. It had been nearly 30 years since I lost an animal, and I ended up losing two in the same year. I'm fortunate (and very happy) they both survived. Got my groove back in the firearm and season and killed 4 with the bow. Lets hope that's all out of my system for another 30 years.
 

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Kevlar?

Shot location looks good. I've had something similar happen like that twice. First one was quartering more than I thought and hit a rib. Only one lung. He was shot 2 days later with my arrow still in him. Fixed blade but I was shooting lower poundage so not as much penetration. Second one happened not quite at full draw and hit the release. Location was perfect but only 3 inches of penetration. Watched him walk off and found the arrow after 50 yards. Was the bolt firmly locked at full draw?
 

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I shot one years ago very similar shot scenario, 20 yds, quartering away, 20 ft high, 70# bow with thunderheads on heavy aluminum arrow. Hit him "perfect" I see the arrow disappear and blood flying on the first jump. He runs in a circle and stops at 70 yds, stands for a couple minutes, then beds down head up. After 10 minutes he can't hold his head up but is stil alive and I'm pretty confused. Ten more minutes he rolls over all 4 feet in the air, shivers, the slowly sinks to the ground, dead. I'm kinda' puzzled but it's getting dark so I go grab him and drag him out to the edge of the feild, then go get the truck. Gutted him by the headlines and didn't look to hard but didn't see a hole in the lungs. Back at the barn, I hang him and look closer to see exactly what happened. That arrow did hit perfectly right in the pocket, but instead of going thru the ribs into the lungs, it slipped along the ribs, slid under the leg, and exited on the same side at the base of the neck cutting his juglar(?). That's why I saw the arrow disappear and blood flying immediately. If that arrow hadn't cut the juglar when it exited I doubt I'd have recovered that buck. What my eyes saw wasn't exactly what happened, and I think that pretty common, especially in low light and when things are happening quickly.
 

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Instead of mechanical not deploying or partially deploying, any chance you caught a twig or branch on the shot?

Hit (and open) one side of that mech and it might not want to penetrate too well, and kinda "slide" up in there and not go as deep as you might think. It might want to hit and sorta pole-vault or otherwise not drive in like it would if it hits the deer and then opens as designed.
 
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