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Not 1 Trace of blood

#1
The neibor told me a decent buck was entering my woods on the far side around 8 every morning
I figured it was the big 10 point I was looking for

So I put up a tree stand covering the entrance trails last Monday

Well Monday AM I was waiting

I passed on 2 med doe's and 3 yearlings at first light

Well just after 8 , here comes a buck , part of the rack broken off
Probely originaly a 10 point , but probely 7 or 8 points left
Not a problem , as I am a meat hunter

It is walking down a trail straight to my right
55 yds away ( I checked the day I put up the stand )

As it would have been a tough shot right handed , I switched the 44 mag Redhawlk into my left hand
Cocked it and waited for it to clear a dead fall

When it cleared the dead fall I put the red dot just behind the shoulder and pulled the trigger
Boom , it bucked and ran into the thick part of the woods , pretty sure I here it crash into something and then silence
The shot looked good , maybe a touch higher than perfict
But below the top of the onside lung angleing down through the off side lung
Exiting just behind the off shoulder , if not clipping it on exit

I figured a dead deer , not much stands up to a good soild hit from my 44 loads

I get down ,walk over and look where it was standing
On the ground , far side of the trail , hair and a small chunk of meat & fat , but no blood

I wait a while and start down the trail where I saw it run
Where it first went past some bush , a little fat on the branchs
After another 30 or so feet I see a few hairs and a chunk of fat on the brush knee high
But still no blood

The trail leads into the heart of deer beeding heaven
20+ acres of overgrown logged out , so thick you can't walk 20' standing up tangle
With another 20 acers of reverting CPR land that is covered with waist+ high weeds , brush , blackberry and rose patchs

I searched almost all day yesterday , I only found a few more cut hairs 20' after the last hair/fat
Then nothing

I could have probely walked within 20' of it and not seen it in all the thick cover
But over the years I have tracked 10+ deer into there and recovered every one by following the blood trail

Only thing I can think of
This buck was Way fat and the thick layer of fat plugged the exit wound

Just had to vent
Never lost a deer that I thought was well hit before
And have never seen a deer that was even hit decent , not leave a blood trail

It rained all last night and today
But I will look again , after hunting in the AM

John
 

jagermeister

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#3
Dang that sucks, man... sorry to hear about that. I have a hard time believing that the wound was plugged by fat, though. A couple things: First off, I've never seen a wound to the chest/lung area get plugged by fat. Second, usually at this time of year, following the rut, most bucks are pretty lean as they have burned a lot of fat reserves from chasing does around.

I'm not saying that it isn't possible, but it's just not a very high probability, in my opinion. What color was the hair that you found? Light brown or dark brown? It kind of sounds like a wound to the brisket area to me.

Again, sorry to hear about you losing a deer, man. Everyone that deer hunts knows this kind of thing will eventually happen, but it still doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
 

formerbowhunter1023

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#5
I have a hard time believing that the wound was plugged by fat, though. A couple things: First off, I've never seen a wound to the chest/lung area get plugged by fat. .
I have. But it takes a steeper angle than you would get at 55 yards. A buddy of mine shot a doe a few years ago at 3 steps from 25' up a hickory tree. The arrow exited just above the line where the white and brown hair meets. He was shooting a Piston Point broadhead that failed to open and as a result, it pulled a golf ball sized piece of fat through the hole on exit, totally plugging the hole. We would never have found that deer if it had not been for a few good guesses on my part. The only blood we found was in the first bed where she must have dislodged the fat momentarily. However once she started moving again, she stopped bleeding.

I agree that higher up the chest cavity, especially on a rutted up buck, it most likely would not happen. I'm willing to bet the hit on this buck was lower than expected or thought. If indeed it was fat, it would have to come from the brisket area and despite being rutted out, I would think an older buck would have enough fat to clog a .44 caliber hole.

Sucks to hear that John. Never a good feeling to lose a deer...
 

RedCloud

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#8
Would a dog help at this point? Or has too much time elapsed?
I'm going to say that it's been too long for a dog to pick it up by now. I would also think any scent that was laid down was washed out with the rain shortly after the shot as well. If you get down wind of it today you should be able to smell him if he is dead other then that the best thing to use now is the vultures and yote tracks.

Good luck with the search today. I hope ya find him.
 

hickslawns

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#9
Wow! Sorry to hear about it John. Handgun hunting in my opinion is very tough. I tried it last year with similar results. I found my deer, but I honestly don't know that I made a mortal shot. I think I wounded the deer and the yotes finished it off. I still feel horrible about it today. I would never consider a handgun shot with my weak hand. That is me. You know what you are capable of, so I won't pass judgement in this department. I just know I personally do not have the skills to do it. Good luck finding him!
 

jagermeister

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#10
Would a dog help at this point? Or has too much time elapsed?
Hard to say I think... probably depends on the dog. My uncle has a wirehaired dachshund that is strictly a tracking dog. He's told me that she can still track a deer after a heavy rain... the blood's washed out but the scent is still there, apparently. I know it rained a shit ton around here, though, so I'd say it'd have to be a damn good dog to find a wounded deer at this point.
 

cotty16

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#11
My guess is brisket shot as well. I hit a nice 8 pointer one year with a bow. Nice pass through, but the arrow just had white goo on it. All fat and white hair. However, my entire hit was low so it bled pretty good for awhile until it clotted up.
Two weeks later a kid shot it on a drive. I saw them dragging the buck out and I checked it over. Sure enough, there was a n entrance wound and exit wound in the brisket.

I'd venture to say your deer lived. By the way, my buck bucked and kicked as well. I thought it was a good hit at first. Our stories kind of match up.
 
#13
Yea

Last night I found it ....or what little was left after the Yote's had their fill

45- 50 yds from where I last saw it
In a thick area off the trail I searched
Waist to head high grass , now matted down from the yotes

It probley went less than 75 yds


I could see the exit hole , it was mid lung height
And from the fat I saw , this thing was a lard ball

Not the big 10 point I have been looking for
The rack wasn't broken , just malformed on one side


While I may not be able to tag this buck
I will probely not shoot another buck this year

As this was the buck I shot .....even if it never made it to the freezer

John
 

"J"

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#17
Sorry it didn't work out in your favor John, but like the others said at least you did find it... Too bad it wasn't before the yotes... I've had a few workout that way over the years and it's the part of hunting that sucks, but it is still part of it... Good luck on the rest of your season...
 

jagermeister

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#18
That's a shame that it was kind of a waste, but at least you found it and know what the end result really was. The ones that you never find usually leave more of a pit in your stomach I think, since you never know for sure what happened to them. Sorry for doubting you on the lung hit... I wasn't trying to be a jerk about it... just seemed odd to me. But then again, I've never shot one with a .44 either. Did you happen to take any pictures of him?
 

hickslawns

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#20
Same results with my 44mag deer last year. Just frustrating. Sorry to hear it, but glad you found it. I guess it is better to know you put a good shot on it and THEN the yotes got it. I honestly did not put a good shot on mine. I think the yotes finished mine off. Makes me feel bad to this day that the deer suffered due to my poor shot. Not much condolences, but another way to look at it for you.