Lost game.

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chris4570
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Lost game.

Post by chris4570 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:44 pm

Anyone else here ever lose a game animal while hunting. I mean big game. I think with duck hunting, even the best shots will lose some.

Was out bear hunting last week with a buddy. I was using my Exocet, he was using a .303 Brit. I saw a couple but was holding out for something bigger, already got one last year. Anyways my friend shot one just with the last 45 minutes of shooting light. Waited till morning to look. Managed to find what seemed like a decent blood trail (although admittidly I've never had to trail anything, all game have dropped where they were standing). We followed and marked the spots with tape. The blood trail got thinner as we followed. Soon we were down to drops. Areas where the bear brushed up against trees, ferns, juniper bushes were the best indicators of sign. But there were areas where the bear travelled into the open on bare rock with moss and lichen, finding blood was difficult. On hands and knees, still couldn't find anything. So we had to search large perimeters of bush for sign where the bear went back into the woods. Eventually found where the bear had brushed against some pine needles, and went into a boggy swamp. We followed the tracks and what little blood we could find. Found two beds side by side where the bear had laid down, chomped on some trees out of frustration. After the beds we could not find any sign whatsoever. The distance the bear travelled was about a half mile. Up and down hills, through bogs. We discussed what to do next. The possibilities of finding the bear. What might have happened.

The theory was that the wound was a muscle wound, which bleeds a lot at first, just as we would if we sliced our finger or broke our nose, but dries up rather quickly. An animal hit in the chest would never had made it a half mile. A gut shot animal, in all likelyhood, would have never got back up after bedding down. It was very upsetting for both of us. This is not what we wanted. This is not what any respectable hunter wants to have happen to the game we pursue. We only have theories. No proof of it being this or that. We're both having difficulty sleeping. Time was somewhat of an issue. As I had to work the following day(two days after the shot). So now I am planning on making a trip back up to our hunting area this weekend. I will look as much as possible. Look for vultures or anything that might indicate the bear had died, and allow me to find out for sure. I imagine if it has died neither the meat nor the hide will be of any real value, but its just about knowing.

Any insight or personnal experiences you can relate would be appreciated. Thanks.

Woodsman
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Post by Woodsman » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:50 pm

It's happened to me with a cow moose about 20 years ago while bow hunting. It still sickens me! I trailed it for hours until the blood trail was no more. Got a gang of hunter friends together the next day...and found nothing! :cry: We all try our best....but sometimes things like this happen.
Pete

The great outdoors is where I want to be.

Red Label

Post by Red Label » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:01 pm

As long as you gave it all your best efforts, there's not much else you can do. It's bound to happen to everyone sooner or later, but as long as you made a profound effort to recover the animal, you shouldn't feel guilty. (easier said than done, I'm sure) Just curious, would a dog have helped? I know that in deer season here, dogs are illegal, but I would use one for tracking a wounded animal legal or not.

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Woody Williams
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Post by Woody Williams » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:19 pm

It sounds like you did your very best to find it. It is a sickening feeling, but as long as you did everything you and your friend could do no more can be asked.

I have found out that bear go down quite easily if hit properly. If they are not, they will go forever.
Woody Williams

We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo Possum

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Outdoorz

Lost a bear once myself...

Post by Outdoorz » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:58 pm

I was bowhunting several years ago with a compound bow and had exactly the same thing happen. I thought I had put the arrow through the chest, but after a very long laborious trailing job, with thinning blood trail we assumed that I must have put it through his front shoulder/leg area. Most assuredly, the shot hit muscle. With a broadhead, it is very likely the wound will heal but with a .30 calibre bullet, it's hard to know what the fate of the bear is/was.

Most hunters, myself included let a wounding fuel our desire to make every shot the best it can be. That's a good thing to strive for.

John

twogun
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Post by twogun » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:25 pm

If you hunt a lot, bow or gun, it's almost inevitable. Except for a few very lucky hunters, most of us have experienced it even when we seemingly do everything right. Even if our gear is perfect, we are not. It's always heartbreaking and can haunt a man for years. For the ethical hunter, it just makes him/ her practice more and try harder. I've learned more from my hunting mistakes than my successes. They're usually pretty tough lessons.

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My Brothers missed buck

Post by Mighty Mooser » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:29 pm

A buck came out in front of his stand chasing a doe, and he blew the bleat call to make him stop. Not having practiced enough he shot the first arrow over its back, It jumped the string. The deer then circled around to sniff the arrow in the field, while he reloaded. All excited by this time knowing he had just shot over its back he lowered a little bit, but forgot the deer was out 10 more yards sniffing the arrow. He shoots under. They say the third arrow is the charm, as the deer circles to smell the new arrow in the grass. He reloads again and the 10 pointer decides to let him have another shot. He makes no mistake this time a drives the arrow home and it is in at least 8 inches and the deer runs under the tree stand with the arrow bouncing off of the trees. I get a phone call from his cell shortly after and we track from 6:00 pm till 1:00 in the morning in the pitch black. Lots of blood, until we got to a creek bed that was 2 1/2 to 3 feet deep. The Deer laid in the cold water and mud on the river bank until we were approching, and then it took off. On the other side of the creek one speck of blood, and then nothing. We tracked another half day from that pont on with a dog on a leash, until we gave up. He figures by the angle of the arrow it was stuck into the brisket. He now target practices his yardages more now, as he still pictures that trophy on the wall. I am truly amazed every time I track a deer or moose for their will to live!!!!! Happy hunting :oops:
When you whack them you better stack them!!!

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wabi
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Post by wabi » Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:02 pm

Sometimes it hapens. As long as you give recovery your best effort, it's just something you have to accept. It may just have been a minor wound, and it may recover. If it doesn't, well it won't really go to waste, some critters will have a feast. That's why I'm so careful about shot placement, I hate to track, and I sure hate to feed the 'possums & buzzards.
wabi
wabi

Guest

Post by Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:31 pm

We are speaking of Black Bears, correct?
And unlike Deer or Moose, tracking wounded Black Bear is different.
Firstly and due to the location of a Bears vital organs, you cannot, i repeat, you cannot take the same line of fire as on Deer or Moose.
A Black Bears vital are about 5" forward of center at about midline.
Where these two imaganary lines intersect is the optimal shot placement.
Therefore aim at that point which would seem like a gut shot on a deer or moose.
Secondly, due to a Bears thick hide, it will take considerably longer for blood to start spilling from the entry/exit hole.
However, the blood soaked hide will leave a good blood trail as it walks past and rubs against saplings, trees etc. Do look at ground level for blood but don't forget the saplings etc at about your knee height.
Thirdly, Bears have a great deal of lard/fat which will plug the entry/exit hole.
Fourthly, Bears have been known to plug the entry/exit hole with mud.
Fifthly, a double lung hit will cause a Bear to bleed from the nose. Look for blood on leaves at a bears nose level.
Sixth, after the shot and approx. 10 seconds later, listen for the death moan. If you don't hear it, silently remain in your stand for an additional 30 minutes and vacate the area. Return the next morning to start your tracking....remember, find the arrow first.
Seventh, after the shot and approx. 10 seconds later, listen for the death moan. If you do hear it, make a mental note of the direction of the moan. Remain silent in your stand for an additional 30 minutes. Assuming enough light is remaining, go find your arrow.
If sufficient light is not remaining, vacate the area and return in the morning to begin your tracking.

Of the last 27 Ontario Bears i've shot with bow and arrow, it was only the very first one that was not recovered.
I continue to follow this procedure and have not since experienced the heart break a lost animal causes on one's spirit.

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Woody Williams
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Post by Woody Williams » Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:36 pm

Who is the "guest" above????
Woody Williams

We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo Possum

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LoneWolf
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Post by LoneWolf » Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:28 pm

As the others say, you gave it your best at trying to recover the animal...

Here is some good information on bear anatomy and shot placement on bear.
http://www.nbef.org/pdfs/bearshotplacement.pdf
Ontario Trophy Bucks

Red Label

Post by Red Label » Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 pm

Guest,

If you have bow killed 27 bears you have a lot to offer here.

The anatomy link LoneWolf posted shows the vitals exactly where I would expect them, and the same place as on a deer. I'm curious as to why you hold so far back on them.

Mike

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Woody Williams
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Post by Woody Williams » Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:01 pm

Red Label wrote:Guest,

If you have bow killed 27 bears you have a lot to offer here.

The anatomy link LoneWolf posted shows the vitals exactly where I would expect them, and the same place as on a deer. I'm curious as to why you hold so far back on them.

Mike

BEAR - http://www.nbef.org/pdfs/bearshotplacement.pdf

DEER - http://home.mn.rr.com/deerfever/Anatomy.html
Woody Williams

We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo Possum

Hunting in Indiana at [size=84][color=Red][b][url=http://huntingindiana.proboards52.com]HUNT-INDIANA[/url][/b][/color][/size]

Guest

Post by Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:03 pm

I've never hunted bruins, but I do eat em'. Tastes like the dark meat on a pork rib roast. Yum!
Regarding vitals on critters, from chipmunks to bear I think a shot tight behind the shoulder or elbow will do the trick.
Last edited by Guest on Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LoneWolf
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Post by LoneWolf » Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:10 pm

Carl from Vermont wrote: Regarding vitals on critters, from chipmunks to bear I think a shot tight behind the shoulder or elbow will do the trick.
I agree.... moose, deer, bear, shoot for the same spot...
Ontario Trophy Bucks

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