When in Doubt

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Esquire, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Esquire

    Esquire

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    Back out!
    Hey All -
    Just wanted to post this quick reminder after the weekend experience I had at camp with my 14 year old son. Saturday eve, he shot a 6pt around 6:15pm. From my perspective and the sound of thud, shot looked good. Just before dark, we got down and found the bolt covered in good blood. No blood on trail until about 30 yards later. It was not the amount of blood I was hoping to see, so we made the call to go back in the morning. That decision usually doesn't allow for a good night of sleep, but especially for a Dad hoping for nothing but good news for his kid who puts in the time and effort to receive only good results.

    Woke up yesterday and got on the trail where I last saw blood. Again, not ideal blood, but it was consistently sporadic. There were a couple of times that we lost blood for 5 to 10 minutes, but were able to pick it back up. This tough animal covered some ground for sure. The thought of having to call off the track was starting to creep in as the deer was heading towards neighboring property that we do not have permission to enter.

    About 2 hours after beginning the track and with about 80 yards left until the property line, I look up and see his buck laying in front of me. We share a big hug and a sigh of relief and he runs to put his hands on him. He was still somewhat warm and steaming when he was cut open. No way we recover that deer had we not backed out.

    We read a lot of experiences on this site, and the best hunters will all agree to back out if there is any doubt. This approach along with persistence and respect for the animal to stay on the blood while taking it slow was a great learning experience for a 14 year old.

    For those wondering, the shot was a little low, but still pretty decent. Two years in a row he has put a 6pt in the freezer! Very proud Dad.
     
  2. Wild Thing

    Wild Thing

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    Congrats on making the right call Esquire. Sometimes....especially for a youngster...patience enough to wait it out is hard to come by. A great learning experience for your son.

    Congrats to both of you on a successful hunt.
     

  3. Bowhunt

    Bowhunt

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    It is not just youngsters... I was guilty of this when I was less experienced as well. I think people sometimes need to see the success of waiting for it to sink in. Learning that dead is dead and waiting 30mins vs 4 hours(or more) will never decrease the likelihood of recovery, but can greatly increase it. Reading sign and being strong willed enough to say let’s wait is an important virtue.
     
  4. sniper

    sniper

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    Very nice job by Dad and kid. Congrats


    Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
     
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  5. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    Great work. Always the hardest thing to do is back out. The adrenaline a lot of times is still flowing and doesn't allow us to make great decisions.
     
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  6. Joe Archer

    Joe Archer Staff Member Mods

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    Congrats to both you and your son!
    <----<<<
     
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  7. Skibum

    Skibum Premium Member

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    Great job and great lesson for your son and for all of us. I cringe when I think back to my early days when the conventional wisdom was wait 30 minutes and go.
     
  8. DM90

    DM90

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    I had a very similar experience this weekend. Shot a 6 point at 9 am. Deer was quartering away and I heard the tell tale sound of a good hit. A small amount of blood at the impact site with no arrow and then drops here and there for the first 100 yards or so before it stopped completely on the neighbors property (which we did have permission to track on). We decided to back out and give it some more time and contact a tracking dog. During the process of calling the tracker the neighbor called and said he found it dead under one of his stands. The deer had an entry hole and an exit hole but we never did find the arrow. I was hunting in a small tree only about 10 feet off of the ground in my saddle, so the shot angle was pretty flat. This made the blood pool in the cavity and have a hard time escaping. From the time I shot the deer until we found it was about 8 hours. With temperatures the way they have been it was fine to wait that long. I think the only time you can run into issues waiting is when its really warm out. Congrats to your son on the buck. Patience pays off!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  9. Esquire

    Esquire

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    Congrats to you as well DM90
     
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  10. Sasquatch Lives

    Sasquatch Lives

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    It's the hardest thing to do but the right thing to do. I lost a great buck early in my career by pursuing too quickly. He was bedded less than 100 from the shot and jumped up and was never seen again until my buddy found his remains a long ways off in the spring. No doubt in my mind if I had backed out until morning we would have found him in that first bed.

    Bowhunting, unless I hear him crash, I wait til morning usually. I never bowhunt an evening if I have to work the next day because of this. Unless I still have a sick day or two left of course!
     
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  11. Flight of the arrow

    Flight of the arrow Premium Member

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    Congrats to you and your son, glad you guys made the right call and the hunt end on a high note ! Sure would have been nice to see a picture of the young man and his deer.....just sayin !
    Flight
     
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  12. PWood

    PWood

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    Congratulations to your son on harvesting a nice buck. Glad the recovery went well for you too.
    I did the same thing once. Made what I believed was a good hit on a buck just before dark. The buck kicked and ran off about 40yds., stopped, looked around for a minute then walked off out of sight. I waited about 20 minutes and went over to the shot sight. By then it was getting dark out. I found no blood, no arrow. I looked down the trail in the direction the deer headed and again, no blood. Based on that and the reaction of the buck I decided to back out until morning. In hindsight I probably should have only waited a couple of hours.
    We started tracking at first light and found the buck about 80yds. from where I last saw him. Too bad the coyotes beat me to it.
    [​IMG]

    We were able to get 13lbs. of meat from neck and front quarters. The coyotes got more than twice that.