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would a dead deer float?

Old 11-09-2005, 10:10 AM
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Default would a dead deer float?

hi..shot a deer monday am. it jumped down a steep bank to rocks at the rivers edge. after waiting 1/2 hour we went to get it. blood at where i hit it...blood all over the rocks at the rivers edge...but no deer. we searched the 20 acre woods for rest of day all day yesterday. no blood or tracks coming out of water on other side of river ( about 30 ft wide) but very deep.
would the deer sink if it died on the rocks and slipped into the water?
thanks for any ideas ...anyone witha similar experience? am going to see if it has floated up tommorow...
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:09 PM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

Yes they do, I used to hunt strip mine land and because the ground was so impassable we would float the deer across the lake to the small boat landings. We could back to truck up to the deer and lift it in alot easier.
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

i have walked a creek before feeling for deer a friend had shot, found sticks limbs and whatever, but we also found the deer, not sure when they sink and when they float but i can assure you they will sink for a time, i have seen it twice....

BTW welcome to the forums, flyby and johne
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

Deer will float. We find atleast one each year floating inthestock tanks on the ranch. We've also shot deer and had them run into the water, they have always floated.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:02 PM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

Remember that things float only in they are lighter than th water they would displace. Things that would float on a deer are fat and it's lungs(if they don't have a hole and blood in them), and things that won't: everything else.

So, was it a fat deer? not big bodied, fat! Are it's lungs intact or in small pieces in his chest surrounded by blood? A good way to figure that up is was the blood on the bank bright red? If so your deer was quickly dieing and probably died while swimming and then sank because it's lungs had to air in them to help keep him afloat.

He may float to the top tomorrow or the day after if he hasn't become waterlogged due to the bullet hole. If he does, do not puncture his skin!!! The only reason he came to the top is because the decay of his flesh is producing gas causing him to float. I'd advise just checking him in and then if you want the antlers to cut them off and dispose of the carcass.
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:03 PM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

i really dont see how they can float when hit with a bullet......i put some holes in deer.....atleast an inch hole in and out usually....when things fill with water they sink.....i know fat and such floats.....but theres a good chance the deer would fill with water....how deep is it?? able to look in it easily?? good luck
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:15 PM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

I can't answer whether a freshly killed deer will float. Just as some humans would and some would not, I believe that would depend on the specific deer.

I can tell that every deer will float short after death for a period of time. This is due to the microbial action within its digestive system. Even after the deer is dead microbes still break down the food in its stomach.A by-product of this process is of course various gases. These gases will build in the stomach creating a balloning effect that will cause the deer to float.
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:31 PM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

Theres not too much water around here in the winter that ain't frozen, but I've never had a problem dragging them across ice or snow.

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Old 11-10-2005, 08:08 AM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

I would venture to say yes. A few years back i was on a blood trail of a bull elk i had arrowed when the trail led down to the river where we found the bull floating in the middle. We gave him close to 2 hours b4 we tracked him so he couldn't have been in there for that long of a period. I do alot of beaver hunting here in the spring and usually the beavers will float in the water when dead for some period of time. I have had beavers sink and came back the next day to find that the rose to the surface. I know beavers are dif from a deer but it might be a suggestion to keep checking the body of water for a few days. Meat won't be any good by that time but you would have an explanation as to what happened.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: would a dead deer float?

I have found deer that ran into a river down river because of the current and they usually are floating or caught up on some logs or other debris.
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