Question about deer returning to spot after being shot at.

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by gnu, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Let me explain a situation and then I would appreciate some feedback.

    First, Sunday eve I was hunting a 5 acre soybean food plot, which happens to be the only standing agricultural food source for 3 square miles. It was 0 degrees and wind chill was somewhere between 25 and 35 below zero. I was in my ground blind at 3:00pm, which lies adjacent to the south section of soy beans, 50 yds from the west border.

    At 4:57pm I notice 1 deer (it did not have antlers but I swear it was a buck) about 100yds to the Northwest of me in the soys eating then 5 minutes later I have 4 bucks come out of the woods and get into the soys approximately where the doe /buck was, one of the bucks was the deer I have been waiting for all season long (a 150”10 point, which I have multiple pictures of), so I decide I’m going to take this deer when an opportunity presents itself. He stands to where I could only catch a glimpse of his back when he has his head down in the soy beans due to him being on a downward side of a slope. The other deer start moseying towards the south but he remains in the same location.

    Fast forward, I have 3 minutes before legal shoot time expires he has made a little progress towards me with almost ¾ of his body exposed to me. He is quartering away from me (pointed to the southwest). Mind you, my hand has been on my gun, exposed to the air since I first seen the deer at 5:00pm, now it is 5:10, so my fingers are burning at this point and I decide I can’t wait any longer. I put him at 70 yds, put my cross hair on his left shoulder, ¾ quarter of the way down his body, which again was slightly quartering away. I am shooting my 50 caliber TC, 100 grain pyrodex pellets, with 295gr XTP bullet. At 60 yards I was 2 inches high a 1” to the left when sighting in.

    I shoot, smoke starts to clear and I see the deer make an abrupt 45 degree turn, and then he disappears, the other deer run back to where he was running, which I believe is the same spot they came out at. I immediately back out of my blind with my Kawasaki mule, which I hunt out of because I’m paraplegic. Make a beeline to the spot I shot him at. No blood or hair. I look back into the woods and ¾ quarter of the way through I see all deer running through. I decide to start looking for blood…nothing.

    I drive back into the woods scan the woods and look for blood… nothing. Go back out in the field and look for blood, nothing. I can’t believe I didn’t hit that animal but no evidence of blood or hair and searching to about 200yds from the point of impact. I am really frustrated at this point. The deer I have waited all season for finally shows up and I get impatient and make a poor decision to shoot.

    My question is, will he come back after being spooked like that, and for that matter will the other deer?

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    #1 gnu, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2008
  2. With all the posts I read around here about apparrent misses that lead to deer, I would say get help and keep searching. He won't come back if he is dead. The other deer will be back if you are on the only available food source.

  3. If he's that big hes probably not young.
    If he's not young he's probably been shot at before.
    They don't get big by making mistakes.

    I wouldn't think he'd come back IF he's still alive.

    I learned the hard way this season to double-triple-quadruple check to make abosultely CERTAIN you missed though.

    Being disabled may make it a little more difficult but take a friend or 2 if you need.

    Here's my story and it sounds rather similar...
  4. GNU, where do you live? I'm sure someone on the site would be willing to help you take a look to be sure you missed.

    I was just reading the thread on muzzy shot deer where a lot of hunters thought they missed initially only to find they had not. I'd get some help and take another good look.
  5. There is always a chance he will come back but it will probably be after the season is over. If possible I would hunt the same area but it wouldn't hurt to hunt from a different location if possible. This way if the deer comes back he wouldn't be wise to where you are located. Best of luck!
  6. If you know that you and the gun can hit where you aim, than that only leads to one thing, A hit deer.
    I have taken sevral deer this year with my 270 and did not find any sign at the hit location that they where hit. But each one of those deer died and I recovered all.
    First one was a buck was talking to my buddy on the radio while doing a look and telling him time to head back to the range, that I must of miss this deer no hair or blood any where to be found. At that point he let me in on a secret. The buck had ran directly to him and fell 10 feet beside him.
    shot hit both lungs and liver entrance hole was low but no blood.
    Next day I shot a doe and same thing happens no blood around me but buddy had her run by him. get over to his stand and he tells me the deer stopped beside a pine tree. go over to it blood and bone all over the place. and deer 25 yards ahead. Found out I hit her facing me and took out the front shoulder and every organ. with this I had 4 holes in the deer.
    So after this year I am a strong believer in having faith in myself and gun. And if I pull the trigger I will have a dead deer. Just might take a little work on my side.
  7. Please let us know if you would like a few more sets of eyes to do a grid search for this deer. I am available if you are in the Grand Rapids area and I know that many other people on this board would be more than willing to help you possibly obtain your Christmas present. A thorough search including every square foot for the first 200 yards in the direction of travel might completly change your season.
  8. All of the above is great advice - you need to find a way to search the area exhaustively. It could reap huge dividends!
  9. Thank you for your thoughts and keep them coming. For those of you offering your eyes to help me possibly find it, thank you for the offering. I have some freinds that have offered me to help but it won't be until friday in the AM. After reading several posts on this site, I am convinced that I must go back.

    What if I did hit it and it died, considering the extreme cold tempratures up until this point, and Wednesday it's suppose to get to 34 degrees, and Thursday its suppose to only get up to 32 degrees, if I do find it will the meat still be good by friday?

    My thoughts: 1. A week ago I thoroughly cleaned my muzzle loader by breaking it down completely, including from the stock, but I did not and do not take the scope off the barrel through the cleaning process. The only error I think I could have had when I shot at the deer was that when I put the muzzle loader back together it did not go back the same as when I sighted it in. I did not think that it would have affected the sighting of my scope but this is the only thing I think could have happened to throw the sighting off.
    2. I shoot off of gun rails, so I had a nice steady shot, so I don't think an error was made in this step.
    3. Took my time and squeezed the tigger, so I don't think an error was made here.
    4. Missed judged distance, thought it was 70yds whenin fact it was 100-110yds, possible error.
    #9 gnu, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  10. Please keep us updated if you go and look for the deer again. Personally I wouldn't eat the meat after it had sat for that long. Even though it's been cold the whole time the guts would have tainted the meat by now. There is also a good chance that animals have gotten to it. It's still best to find it even if it ends up being wasted meat. It would be good to know what really happend. Best of luck!
  11. You best get moving with the storm on the way:sad:
  12. The bullet was probably still rising at 100 yards. If you were aiming 2/3 the way down you probably hit 1/2 the way down, a couple inches higher than you'd expect.??

    You should have waited at least a half hour before going to look for blood and hair. Next time wait, no matter what, especially on a quad.

    Definitely get some folks to help you comb the area.

    Even if you hit him he will most likely be back along w' his croneys, unless he's dead, then only his croneys will be back.

    I shot a doe on Nov. 15th, it got away. On Nov. 28th I shot the same doe again in the same exact spot and recovered it. The deer was so close on the 15th that my bullet went low and just grazed her.
    2 days after shooting her the second time and tracking/ disturbing the woods for a good 1/4 mile I saw two more, and more after that.
    I'm sure it depends on the area but given the time of year they are getting pretty set on locations.

    Not only will they return to the same spot after being shot at, but they will return after being shot.
  13. My thoughts: 1. A week ago I thoroughly cleaned my muzzle loader by breaking it down completely, including from the stock, but I did not and do not take the scope off the barrel through the cleaning process.

    I just did the same thing last week ,went out that same night and missed a nice 8 point at 75 yards. Shot my gun the next day at a target 100 yards away and was 2 feet high. I will never take my barrel off my stock in season ever again.
  14. bucksnbows

    bucksnbows Banned

    You are one hardcore hunter to have been out in that nasty wheather sunday. I hope you figure out what happened. Its nice to be able to confirm a miss as well as a kill.
  15. In this situation I would Look hard for the deer. Shoot the gun to check it. Then set up as far off the field in the direction they came from the next time you hunt. They may come back, but could hang up in the cover off the field until dark.
    #15 xtrema312, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015

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