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1.) Bob Peck - 10/11/2016
 photo 10.10.16.BentArrow_zpsgmldbdsu.jpg

Here's the rest of the classic o'dusk thirty story.

My plot watchers and various trail cameras collectively told me my second favorite honey hole stand was where I needed to be for this brief evening hunt over the weekend.  photo 160927AA_Frame15057_zpshyjajydw.jpg

I literally climbed in the stand @ 5:00 and waited till the 7 p.m sundown.

Junior enters the shooting lane first (lower left of the frame) @ exactly 7 so I know Mom is staging somewhere nearby. I know I have maybe 15 minutes. Plenty of time to git 'er done.

Uh yeah. Close by and staging in the thick stuff 20 yards broadside directly behind me @ 25 yards is the alpha doe. Shiny coat, plump, relaxed and totally unaware and no, I'm not taking about me. :laugh: I've got plenty of time. Got the breathing under control, settled the red dot and off the arrow flies with the lighted nock (love those things) creating a light contrail to the animal.

Oooh. Ouch. Crap! That's not the sound I was expecting.

A 2X4 slapping a concrete wall is not the fleshy thud I was getting ready to process. My arrow literally falls to the ground like a leaf. Huh? That's weird. The doe rocks like a bronco vertically in the air almost wagging it's entire body while going vertical. That's weird too. Never seen that before. Off she blasts uphill and with great speed. I'm pretty sure it's a lethal hit but all the variables aren't adding up during the multiple replays in my head. There is doubt where there should be none.

Long story short is told by the picture of my arrow.

Longer story is definitely a penetrating shoulder shot but not a single drop of blood after 4 hours of grid searching and another 2 hours the following morning. No recovery.

Oddly enough (and maybe this is an age thing) I'm not choked up like I used to be when I was younger. I'm resigned to the fact I made a crappy shot, did my best to recover the animal and fairly confident the animal will suffer at the hands of my ineptness. I'm not happy about that. Who would be but a sadist which I am not. At the same time I cannot unring the bell, reverse the flight of the arrow and I can't tear myself up for days like I used to. What's done is done.

Thats my story and sadly I'm sticking to it. There will be more arrows flying and God willing, plenty of vension to donate.
2.) bluecat - 10/11/2016
Thanks for posting Bob. I know you will bring it home sooner than later.
3.) Jon - 10/11/2016
Yep, it happens to everyone eventually. You certainly can't unring the bell and if you're looking back, you can't look forward.
Go get another, or maybe even her on a different day.
Thanks for the story Bob
4.) luv2bowhunt - 10/11/2016
Sorry it didn't work out for you buddy.

I can tell it bummed you out though, the story was written in more of a choppy Northeast amateur style instead of the usual robust Faulkner-like novel I've come to expect.

After much consideration, I'm going to give it 3 stars since it did have a surprising twist but I thought the authors attempt to distance himself from emotion was a bit of a reach.:wink
5.) Bob Peck - 10/11/2016
[QUOTE=luv2bowhunt;44689]I can tell it bummed you out though, the story was written in more of a choppy Northeast amateur style instead of the usual robust Faulkner-like novel I've come to expect. [/QUOTE]

Man you're sharp! I can't get away with anything with you lingering around like hunting camp flatulence gone wrong.

To be specific it's more of a People magazine meets Michael Creighton which I've not quite perfected. It's all about brevity versus verbosity.
6.) Bob Peck - 10/11/2016
[QUOTE=Jon;44687]Go get another, or maybe even her on a different day. Thanks for the story Bob[/QUOTE]
I'll be in that same stand tomorrow morning before I go to work. I'm feeling it.

[QUOTE=bluecat;44686]Thanks for posting Bob. I know you will bring it home sooner than later.[/QUOTE]
Thanks Bluecat.

11 last year (8 bow kills) and since this may be my last year hunting this particular property I hope to at least tie my all time best (12).
7.) Swamp Fox - 10/11/2016
I guess that's a good advertisement for FMJs. I've seen carbon as well as aluminum arrows snap or fall out after shoulder shots, but I don't think I've ever seen one merely bent.

Better luck next time! :tu:
8.) DParker - 10/11/2016
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;44693]I guess that's a good advertisement for FMJs. I've seen carbon as well as aluminum arrows snap or fall out after shoulder shots, but I don't think I've ever seen one merely bent.

Better luck next time! :tu:[/QUOTE]

The best part is now he can shoot it around corners and get those deer that always refuse to come out from behind the trees they're feeding near.
9.) Bob Peck - 10/11/2016
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;44693]I guess that's a good advertisement for FMJs. I've seen carbon as well as aluminum arrows snap or fall out after shoulder shots, but I don't think I've ever seen one merely bent. [/QUOTE]This one definitely snapped. Based on the remaining length of arrow I'd estimate the broadhead and maybe 1" of the arrow (or less) is still in the animal so obviously not an impressive amount of penetration. For those that might care or wonder, the broadhead was a 100 grain Rage 2-blade.
10.) BULLZ-i - 10/11/2016
G R I M R E A P E R S !
11.) billy b - 10/12/2016
Bob, years ago (not eons as some of you will say) a friend shot what he called a "deer of a lifetime", he hit it square in the shoulder, the first step the deer took broke off the aluminum shaft even with the back of the insert, he came to camp with the arrow with no blood on it. We gave it a few hours and several people went back to the scene of the crime, after scouring the complete area we found no blood, not a drop. Fast forward to the next year, I was hunting in a draw below camp on a Sunday morning when a really nice 11 point came in, there were several deer there with him and it took me a while to get all eyes on something else so I could draw, finally it happened & I got the shot, bad shot, I hit him about mid body & he took off. I gave him a couple of hours before looking for blood and about 200 yards into the trail we jumped him up. we went back to camp & after a couple more hours we went back & got on the trail. We found sign for about 200 more yards & it disappeared, we were left to just searching for him. after about an hour one of the guys found him dead in his bed in the middle if 3 cedar trees that formed a perfect hidden bed, there was hair matted on the ground he had spent so much time in it, I've never seen another bed like it. Well, I was glad we found it, he had gone about a half mile from where I hit him and the arrow went thru his liver. The deer had a bigger than normal body & walked and acted completely normal, This was the biggest deer by far that I had ever killed & it netted 158" net. Now that brings us to why I told you this story, on the way home I dropped him off at my favorite processor to be butchered, a week later when I picked him up he handed me a rag with something in it, I unwrapped it and there was a broad head screwed into an insert with about 3/4" of aluminum arrow glued to the insert. My friend that I mentioned earlier worked for me at a Chevy dealership, the next day I called him to my office and told him to bring the broken arrow that he kept in the top of his tool box, he did I when I handed him the broad head he couldn't believe it, it was a perfect fit. As I write this I keep looking up at the deer, he's mounted in my trophy room. What all this means, you might see the deer again.:wink
12.) Hunter - 10/12/2016
They are amazing animals
13.) Jon - 10/12/2016
Touching on Billy's story, I had a very similar thing happen but I was on the Bob end, not the Billy end.....
I shot a gorgeous palmated 10pt from the ground, the deer was standing broadside, quartering away. The arrow stuck in him and I watched the lighted nock bounce away still in him for at least 350yds until the deer ducked into the woods. I let him go for the night and went back the next day. Got on blood immediately, found my arrow within 30yds of where he went into the woods and then fairly shortly after that, the blood stopped. Me and a friend searched for 3 hours and found nothing.
A month later on opening day of shotgun season, my buddy shot the same buck. He called me from across the farm and I went to help recover him. The green ooze coming out of his neck was very stinky, it was left from an arrow exit wound. The protruding bump in his shoulder was a slug stuck in the bone from prior year and then when he had it butchered, there was a broadhead stuck in the opposite shoulder. This poor guy was shot 3x and was acting as normal as any other deer. They certainly have a will to live.
14.) Alex - 10/12/2016
If only you had someone that can actually spot blood on the ground. :P

Next time, give me a call. It's only 6 hrs there, 1 to hike in, find the deer, process it and get back on the road and then just 6 hrs back.

Seriously, sorry for the turn of events.
You can't tell me though that somewhere in those first few hours you weren't wishing for a NE Indian to magically appear.
15.) Jon - 10/12/2016
Alex, are you saying he's blood blind?
16.) Alex - 10/12/2016
[QUOTE=Jon;44725]Alex, are you saying he's blood blind?[/QUOTE]
hahah.. no

blood fuzzy maybe.

fortunately, his shots are usually spot on so he doesnt have to track much.
17.) Bob Peck - 10/12/2016
[QUOTE=Alex;44714]If only you had someone that can actually spot blood on the ground.[/QUOTE]

I have had to survive for many years now without my favorite northeast Indian. In fact, it's been many years of solo hunting which I can't say I'm enjoying all that much anymore. There's something to that brotherhood effect hunting with good friends. I am not the blood trailer he and his brother are. Just not meant to be but that doesn't mean I haven't improved. Oddly enough the older I get the more patient I get and the more attentive I get to focusing on the impact and the path the deer takes after the shot. Lighted nocks help tremendously with this.

When I'm frustrated and ready to give up Bob Foulkrod's words haunt me. "Don't give up. When all else fails do a grid search."

Wish you were here brother.
18.) Bob Peck - 10/12/2016
[QUOTE=billy b;44708]What all this means, you might see the deer again.:wink[/QUOTE]Since I don't believe in luck (good or bad) but choose to believe that things happen exactly the way they're supposed to I'm going with your story being part of a bigger story that the Creator wants us to learn. Maybe the message is "no matter how bad you think you have it someone else has it worse" or maybe it's "if a deer can summon the will to survive after all that hardship we can get through a bad day or seemingly insurmountable odds". I guess we never know exactly what the message is but we can ponder.

This probably isn't going to come out right but ... a deer is not a golf ball but there's a comparison to be made. We should work harder and longer to recover an animal especially if our hands are the ones that put them in life/death peril but like a golf ball, there comes a time to give up the search and move on. That's how I felt about this deer.

I'm not trying to say I'm callous or dispassionate. I'm not. I'm trying to say I'm disappointed all that practice resulted in a crappy shot which as Jon says "happens to all of us". There's no unforeseen twig to blame it on. I had a clear view and a chip shot. This is all on me and I accept that. I cannot control whether that deer lives or dies at this point. That's in the hands of someone much greater than I!
19.) billy b - 10/12/2016
I was just trying to relay the message that as you know, deer are very hearty, they also have a strong will to live, I no doubt assume you did your best on the shot and the recovery, all hope is not lost (or shouldn't be) you very well may get reacquainted with that buck again next year, hopefully you will. I agree with your second paragraph, the "give up" decision is a hard one for all of us but I was not insinuating that you did not search properly, that is your call & the last thing I would ever do is second guess it.
20.) BULLZ-i - 10/12/2016


21.) luv2bowhunt - 10/13/2016
I'm just glad Bob showed up, so Alex would show up. Always good to know there [B]IS[/B] a man we're not supposed to pay attention to behind the curtain.

My experience is bowhunters spend way more time and energy trying to recover their deer than gun hunters do. I cover a lot of miles on PA public land before, during, and especially after the seasons. I may have found 1 or 2 dead deer that were wounded in archery season in my entire life. I have found literally dozens and dozens that were wounded and not recovered in gun season. Even found some that had very obvious blood trails leading up to them.

We try to do everything in our power to prevent it from happening, but it happens. I've done a grid search for a couple days, looked for buzzards, brought the dogs along, tried everything.

At some point on a deer like that, you have to call it quits. Like Trump should have done months ago.
22.) Jon - 10/13/2016
Luv2, you live in Pa where the goobers are rampant. Of course you find blood trails that end with a dead deer, most of the Pa guys I know shoot and if it doesn't fall in sight, it was a miss.
23.) BULLZ-i - 10/14/2016
24.) luv2bowhunt - 10/14/2016
luv2 hate Hillary. luv2 hate Trump. luv2 hate politics and politics on this site. luv2 loose is screwed.

Chill out and get prepared for the big storm coming your way. Life as you know it may never be the same.:wave:
25.) Swamp Fox - 10/14/2016


There's a party going on in the Presidential Sack Race thread. You're invited. Just sayin'. :-)

Not sure the hunters who take it up bow or crossbow primarily to get a jump on gun season can be counted on to give a trail the effort it often needs. This type makes up the vast majority of adults new to the sport that I meet, and I think this is the primary marketing target, all the now-obligatory cuddles for kids and women duly noted.

This type often expects too much of the broadhead and knows too little about why an arrow-shot critter is not the same as a gun-shot critter. Moreover, they may or may not have any tracking skills at all, LOL. Or maybe not LOL. Maybe IWBFIIWSS: It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Sad. (Dibs)

I'm not saying they can't learn, or that some are not better than what I'm describing from the get-go. But just because you shoot broadheads at animals doesn't mean you're in the same league as the guys we call bowhunters, who will spend every reasonable effort to recover.

And that's the truth...