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My First Lost Deer

Old 11-19-2011, 09:15 PM
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Red face My First Lost Deer

This being my third season as a Deer hunter and I might add my best season ever so far,despite some frustrations and discoragements earlier this month. I have hunted for the last 4 days non stop and it has been perfect weather except for some high winds now and then. Thursday was both the best hunt of the week and the most difficult. It was a crisp cold morning,perfect and a good wind for my stand overall. A Doe caught my sent but only half heartedly blew twice,I was not about to give up and kept on guard for more activity. I decided to do a Doe bleet followed by a few grunts,I got ready looked left then right,back left then right again. I about came out of my stand ,when looking to the right the second time. There he was the Buck of this new hunters dreams! A good looking 8 pointer coming right at me the tree was between me and him he could not see me,perfect. I regained my composure and got my mind on the hopeful shot coming up not the perfect rack he was sporting. He got within 12 yards of my stand site cought a little of my scent and full stop. He slowly turned and started heading back up the path he came in on,no problem I though I have a gun this time. I let him get 30 yards out pulled the hammer back on my ML and laid my gun on a limb a perfect gun rest. He looked back once maybe twice but did not run. I took aim but wanted him to turn so I did the useual bleet,he turned left a near perfect quartering away shot. I set the cross hairs on his lung area took a breath and fired! It nearly knocked him to the ground,a solid hit. He regained his footing and took off. I thanked GOD for such a Buck and my hopes were high with the shot, I stood there shaking and so pumped about my Buck. I began packing my stuff got down cleaned my ML and waited,it was 8:45 when I hit him.Thats when I made a fatal error,I went to where I hit him and slowly looked for blood.It did not take long,blood mixed with chuncks of something grayish in color. Blood droplets from a fine mist all over the leaves,yes I thought he is hit good. Went about 40 yards from the point of impact steped into and opening and heard him take off running. Young hunters like myself,never ever go looking to soon after a shot,I only gave him half an hour not good. I backed out took all my stuff to the truck and gave him 45 minutes more and then went to the spot I bumped him but lost the blood trail. I called for help and my Nephew who has hunted for 14 years helped me take up the trail. We went another 50 yards about 150 from the tree and found a pool of very dark red blood,the liver I thought and a lung,he is a gonner. To end this story on a sad result I must say is difficult but thats the way it played out. We looked till near dark and called it a day. Came back the next and looked most of the day crawling in thickets and briar patches on all fours.I weaved through that whole area 5 times,slowly not extending my distance more than 5 feet with each pattern,no Buck. I could be wrong but I think he made it to a nearby road and crossed it not more than 200 yards away. Next time I will give him hours if not in clear sight instead of 30 minutes no matter how good I think the shot is. Sorry I took so long telling the story, but I needed to share it one last time with you who encouraged me to get back out there and hunt at a time when I thought about giving up. Some might say does this make you want to give it up,nope it fired me up. Went out Friday before searching again and had 7 Deer in front of me in 30 minutes,4 Does a button Buck and 2 more 8 pointers. I let them all walk in the hope I could find my big 8 and tag him since the 2 eights were tiny compared to him. The End for now. I'm still on the hunt for now. By the way for those interreated he was about a 130 in the head gear,not a giant but would have been mounted if found by this hunter.

Last edited by doetrain; 11-19-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:34 PM
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So long as you did everything possible to retrieve the deer.....it happens. It is and should be a sick feeling to lose a deer but sometimes you can't help it. 30-45 min should be fine, to be honest but know when to back off when you can't find him and give it some time. Most of the time, they'll run a bit and go down and waiting hours is a little bit of overkill.

Grayish material? Could be liver....if it were a gutshot, there should be a noticable odor.

If you can't find him that day, try again the next morning.

I'm sorry for your loss, though. If you hunt enough, its bound to happen. You can zero your firearm in and practice your heart out and still bump it climbing a tree of something, as an example. You can be a great shot and still pull one, get buck fever, any number of things. The main thing is to exhaust all methods and effort to recover the deer.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Horacio
So long as you did everything possible to retrieve the deer.....it happens. It is and should be a sick feeling to lose a deer but sometimes you can't help it. 30-45 min should be fine, to be honest but know when to back off when you can't find him and give it some time. Most of the time, they'll run a bit and go down and waiting hours is a little bit of overkill.

Grayish material? Could be liver....if it were a gutshot, there should be a noticable odor.

If you can't find him that day, try again the next morning.

I'm sorry for your loss, though. If you hunt enough, its bound to happen. You can zero your firearm in and practice your heart out and still bump it climbing a tree of something, as an example. You can be a great shot and still pull one, get buck fever, any number of things. The main thing is to exhaust all methods and effort to recover the deer.
I'm going back out after church today and give it one last try. The meat will be no good but I would still love to find him for the record. We had some rain last night and temps are pleasant. If I see buzzards or smell him I will zero in on that spot and hopefully find him. I will call DNR and get permission to take the antlers and tag him if I have to. If I could have found him it would have wraped up my season on a high note. Got 3 Does in the freezer. Thanks for your comments.

Last edited by doetrain; 11-20-2011 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:33 AM
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What would be nice is if You know Your Neighbors/Joining Land Owners and could get permission to continue the search further out if it did cross onto another Property?Keep searching and don't give up...I lost a very nice Big Buck a few years ago and it was because I didn't wait long enough after the shot...I thought I had hit the Buck 2 times where in fact it was hit only 1 time and I got in a hurry to retrieve it...it happens to the best of Us and if You can't see the deer actually go down its best to wait and hour or 2 before starting to look...I know it can be tough to do that but sometimes thats what it takes to keep from loosing a Deer!

I glad to hear Your not going out and shooting another Buck until You find Your first one...Your truly a Good Ethical Hunter thats trying to do the right thing!
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:53 AM
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As said above, it sounds like this buck is dead for sure. Can you get acces to the neighboring property. Even if it's just to look without carrying a gun, it may be worth it. SOunds like you did everything right initially. ANd you looked hard. Try getting access across the road.
-Jake
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:20 PM
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What caliber did you shoot it with? I usually take up tracking within 5 minutes, the only time I leave something 30 minutes is if I know the shot wasn't perfect. I would get a couple people together and do a grid search for him.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:04 PM
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More important than Caliber what bullet were you using? Please dont tell me powebelts? or ballistic tips? I got a feeling your going to though.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gator59
More important than Caliber what bullet were you using? Please dont tell me powebelts? or ballistic tips? I got a feeling your going to though.
It was a 50cal and the round was a 250gr. shockwave sabot. I asked some questions about these on the ML forum.
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