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I know this is a topic that most hunters don't like to talk about but it is something that has been making me sick all season. The last week of October I took a 15 yard shot at an 8 point monster (in my book). When I got down from my stand I found my arrow. It had no blood, some fat and hair. My father and I looked for blood for what felt like hours but was probably an hour. I went back the next day to look for blood, we came up with nothing. My question is how do you get over the fact that you have caused this animal pain and have no way of knowing whether it has died or is fine with just a flesh wound laughing at you off in the distance.
 

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You don't....I had a bow shot like that in 1966 and still remember it like it was yesterday....just promised myself that it wouldn't happen again...
 

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If your arrow had fat on it and no blood it wasn't a killing shot. I know your feeling. I practice, practice and practice and preach. Just so I or no friends go thru what your going thru. I went thru it about 10 years ago. Terrible shi11y feeling.
 

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your shot wasn't fatal obviously. the white tail is a magnificient animal who is one tough survivor. there are many hunters who have taken deer with buckshot, slugs and broadheads found under their hide. Like the previous post stated, you can relive the missed shot years later and it still feels like it just happend. And it sucks even now. As a responsible hunter you relive your shot and try to identify your mistake and build on it. Whether that may involve putting some more arrows in your target or resighting your gun. Its what you do after the missed shot that defines you as a hunter. Keep on hunting and sooner or later you will have another opportunity to make up for the missed shot!
 

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Part of bowhunting. The goods news is that:
1. You'll work hard at reducing odds of it happening again, it makes you a better hunter.
2. 90% of arrow wounded deer survive.

Anyone who hasn't wounded one, probably hasn't hunted as many years as those of us who have.
 

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same thing happened to me this year on a doe. i think i hit the void between the spine and vitals. My guess is you did too and both deer are still walking..
 

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Second time out for Bow season this year I missed a 6 point, I shot low at 15 yards. The next morning I shot a monster 8 in the front shoulder and watch him limp away, tracked the blood for 150yrds and then it just stopped bleeding.

Next weekend out seen the same monster 8 I hit in the shoulder walk through but stayed out of range, I was glad to see he was still alive but disappointed about his wound. About an hour later I had the biggest deer of my life walk in front of me about 15 yards and I shot low again only grazing his underside as he walked away.
You can only imagine my frustration at this point so I decided to take a shot at my target at home with the broad head on only to find out it was right on.

So now the only thing left is the possibility that this one branch I thought was clear of my shooting area is causing some redirection of my arrow flight upon leaving the bow.
 

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I feel your pain. I messed up on a ~120" 8 point last year on Nov. 1. The arrow had fat and some blood, but not "good blood" so I knew the shot missed the mark. I was calm and the shot felt good, but as it turned out I pushed it a touch. Anyway, we looked for almost 3 hours that night, never found a spec of blood. Went out the next morning with my Llewellin Setter, and she found blood in about .35 seconds. Called my buddy and we started to track again. Two days and about 6.5 miles of zigzagging later (based on GPS track) and we never found it. I was devastated, and I'm still upset about it today. Imagine my surprise when on Nov. 5, the buck showed up on my trail cam, at the exact same spot that I had shot him. Turned out I hit him in the neck, and he was fine. Only bummer was that he got shot opening morning by a neighbor when he came in chasing a doe.

As long as you're confident that you tried your best to find the deer, about the only thing you can do at this point is hope he made/makes it and know that you did everything you could to recover him.
 

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Second time out for Bow season this year I missed a 6 point, I shot low at 15 yards. The next morning I shot a monster 8 in the front shoulder and watch him limp away, tracked the blood for 150yrds and then it just stopped bleeding.

Next weekend out seen the same monster 8 I hit in the shoulder walk through but stayed out of range, I was glad to see he was still alive but disappointed about his wound. About an hour later I had the biggest deer of my life walk in front of me about 15 yards and I shot low again only grazing his underside as he walked away.
You can only imagine my frustration at this point so I decided to take a shot at my target at home with the broad head on only to find out it was right on.

So now the only thing left is the possibility that this one branch I thought was clear of my shooting area is causing some redirection of my arrow flight upon leaving the bow.
....you forgot one other thing, that could be left....

You may have buck fever!!
 
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