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Blood Trailing help

Old 10-24-2010, 08:19 AM
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Default Blood Trailing help

I hit a 4-point this morning at 9:00. The shot was behind the right shoulder, 50 yards. I was shooting a Hornady 250 grain sabot, .50 caliber with 100 grains Hodgdon's. I have meat on the ground where the bullet exited. I have a spotty trail, for the most part, with areas of copious blood where I believe the buck stopped. At the last point there is much blood, and maybe some stomach fluid, and it is as though a Pteradactyl swooped down and picked him up! The entire trail until it disappears is roughly 30 yards lonrg. I have searched for the tiniest spot of blood in a circular pattern, emanating outward. I can't find anything more. I had two of my sons with me to help. The area is planted pines. There is much leaf litter and some understory, but it is relatively open. I can't stand the idea of losing a deer. Can anyone provide additional tracking help?
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:34 AM
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Do you have a dog or have one you can borrow? take him to were you shot him and let him get some good scent and LET HIM take up the trail. Don't pull him in the direction of the deer let him go that way on his own. If after a while he hasn't found it take him off lead and let him run around. I have found 2 deer doing this. If you do have a dog even if you find the deer next time take him out and let him track it and find it that way he knows whats going on next time (hopefully there won't be but SHtuff happens).
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jerrrrstanley View Post
Do you have a dog or have one you can borrow? take him to were you shot him and let him get some good scent and LET HIM take up the trail. Don't pull him in the direction of the deer let him go that way on his own. If after a while he hasn't found it take him off lead and let him run around. I have found 2 deer doing this. If you do have a dog even if you find the deer next time take him out and let him track it and find it that way he knows whats going on next time (hopefully there won't be but SHtuff happens).
Yeah... tried it. Although it's not necessarily a dog that's good at cold trailing. It has been successful before so we had high hopes. I think the problem is that there is so much deer sign. We're really loaded with deer here!
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:28 AM
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I have killed several deer with Hornady bullets in my Encore and for some reason I don't get much of a blood trail. I shot a doe 2 seasons ago with about 6 inches of snow on the ground. There was not one drop of blood for the first hundred yards until the deer jumped over a small creak and then it loooked like somebody had dumped buckets of blood. I think the cavity was filling up with blood and it didn't reach the bullet hole until it jumped. Both deer I killed last year with the Hornady's left no blood trail either.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:18 AM
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may have layed down and clotted up. if theres alot of blood and no access to a good dog. Id go back to the sight and pick out which way I think he went. If theres alot of good blood and by this I dont mean gut blood he shouldnt be far
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:23 AM
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Was the buck quartering towards you?

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Old 10-24-2010, 12:34 PM
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Well It seems to me that you have a dead deer by now. A bullet placed behind the shoulder with that load and range should have done the job - especially with a pass through.
You said it was planted pines and fairly open, so I'm picturing an area where a deer could not crawl under the lower branches of a tree and be concealed, right? I have found a deer that had done that once.
About the only thing you can do is keep looking, and try not to scuff the pine needles or leaves too much as you make those widening circles around where you last saw blood.
One thing to keep in mind is that a deer can abruptly change the direction of travel from one jump to the next, so it may not continue in a straight line.
I also would check more downhill, if there is a downhill there, as they often will naturally take the path of least resistance (down) if possible.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:50 PM
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Also keep in mind that many times a deer will backtrack its own footsteps and go a new direction. I've had that happen before. Start your trail over again and check to see if somewhere the blood trail splits away from the path you've already taken.

rw
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:46 PM
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Kerrdog, I hope you've found him by now. If you haven't, the backtracking idea is a good one to look into. I too hunt in north Fl and have had 2 deer do this. Also are there any palmetto clumps in the immediate vicinity? I ask b/c 3 yrs ago my father's wolfhound had his head(and body) buried in a clump and my father was literally standing on the deers rear leg before he realized it was the deer I shot the night before. We literally walked around the deer for 4 hours, in the dark, and never knew it was there. The area may look "open" but believe me, there are so many nooks they can bury themselves into. Good Luck!
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by flyinlowe View Post
I have killed several deer with Hornady bullets in my Encore and for some reason I don't get much of a blood trail. I shot a doe 2 seasons ago with about 6 inches of snow on the ground. There was not one drop of blood for the first hundred yards until the deer jumped over a small creak and then it loooked like somebody had dumped buckets of blood. I think the cavity was filling up with blood and it didn't reach the bullet hole until it jumped. Both deer I killed last year with the Hornady's left no blood trail either.
Are you still using the Hornadys? I used Maxi Hunters up til now... never had a problem. First time for the Hornady sabots.

Originally Posted by Cannonw24 View Post
may have layed down and clotted up. if theres alot of blood and no access to a good dog. Id go back to the sight and pick out which way I think he went. If theres alot of good blood and by this I dont mean gut blood he shouldnt be far
Tried doing just that. We ended up in a last ditch effort and formed a skirmish line and advanced through woods. Got nothing but chiggers!! They're real bad this year...



Originally Posted by iSnipe View Post
Was the buck quartering towards you?

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No... he was standing full broadside. Easy shot...

Originally Posted by jaybe View Post
Well It seems to me that you have a dead deer by now. A bullet placed behind the shoulder with that load and range should have done the job - especially with a pass through.
You said it was planted pines and fairly open, so I'm picturing an area where a deer could not crawl under the lower branches of a tree and be concealed, right? I have found a deer that had done that once.
About the only thing you can do is keep looking, and try not to scuff the pine needles or leaves too much as you make those widening circles around where you last saw blood.
One thing to keep in mind is that a deer can abruptly change the direction of travel from one jump to the next, so it may not continue in a straight line.
I also would check more downhill, if there is a downhill there, as they often will naturally take the path of least resistance (down) if possible.

Good Luck!
It is mostly open but there is still plenty of areas where it gets thick. There is a creek at the bottom... almost assuredly he went there, but we could not pick up any trail. My thought is that he never made it that far. Looked in all the places of concealment we could find. They sure can get themselves into some crazy places! After half a day and 4 additional helpers we called it a day. I feel sure that he is dead. The landowner thinks he is still going... but that is optimistic at best.

Originally Posted by hunt12ga View Post
Also keep in mind that many times a deer will backtrack its own footsteps and go a new direction. I've had that happen before. Start your trail over again and check to see if somewhere the blood trail splits away from the path you've already taken.

rw
My son, in my avatar, shot his first doe last year. She did exactly what you are talking about. Ironically, my buck was in the same patch of woods. His doe went through a mean patch of woods, full of briars, and died on the trail on the "other side". If I had walked around the corner of the trail I would have fell over her! But I went through the thick stuff! Thought of that...

Originally Posted by littlekid View Post
Kerrdog, I hope you've found him by now. If you haven't, the backtracking idea is a good one to look into. I too hunt in north Fl and have had 2 deer do this. Also are there any palmetto clumps in the immediate vicinity? I ask b/c 3 yrs ago my father's wolfhound had his head(and body) buried in a clump and my father was literally standing on the deers rear leg before he realized it was the deer I shot the night before. We literally walked around the deer for 4 hours, in the dark, and never knew it was there. The area may look "open" but believe me, there are so many nooks they can bury themselves into. Good Luck!
We didn't find him. This is the first deer I have ever lost with a rifle! You're right about the nooks and crannies.

Thanks, ALL, for your input. I appreciate the help.

Kerrdog
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