Anatomy of a spine shot???

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by kurisu » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:37 pm

You CANNOT spine shot a deer and have it get up after. Perhaps you hit a large bone (shoulder or hip). If you, in fact, have severed the spine the deer will have no movement behind the break. If you nicked the spinal column, the fluid will eventually bleed out of the spine and it will ultimately result in death by paralisis. Too bad you texted your friend instead of finishing the job.


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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by Gwens Dilemma » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:49 pm

I spined a 8 point that got up about 3 minutes later and had real poor control of his hind legs. I was able to get another arrow in the chest and he died fast then. The first broadhead hit high on the spine and didn't actually hit the spinal cord. The broadhead was still in the upper bone, kind of a node, and the arrow was broken off when he fell down with the first shot. He also fell in 2 foot high weeds which prevented another shot. Long story short, it's easy being an arm chair quarter back when you aren't there. My first arrow hit a weed, that I couldn't see through the scope, on the way to the deer.

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by agingcrossbower » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:57 pm

That sure is a hard pill to swallow Planter. I don't think you will ever really know unless you find the deer. Best of Luck. We have all been there at one time or another. Aging

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by OkXbowHunter » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:03 pm

I once hit a small buck just below the spine with a 54 caliber muzzleloader. He dropped in his tracks, bleated wildly and thrashed around quite a bit. I turned to reload figuring he was dead and didn't know it. I even saw a large bloody spot on his side.

When I finished reloading and turned back around, he was about 150 yards running across a peanut field!! :shock: I looked the rest of the day and never found this deer.

You probably just nicked his spine on the low side. Just enough to stun him.

Saw an episode on Deer City USA this year where nearly the same thing happened. They later had trail cam pics of this deer a mile or more away. Looked like he would live to see another day. I imagine yours will also!
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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by kurisu » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:18 pm

Hey Planter,

You know what, maybe your shot caused a hematoma near the spine that interrupted the electric signal from the brain to the extremities due to pressure and swelling. Then, the broadhead wound may have allowed the animal to bleed enough to reduce the pressure from swelling resulting in reacquired mobility and the animal getting up. This may explain the temporary paralysis that you describe.

planter wrote:Thank you Kursiu.. :D You may well be right about my texting my pal prematurely but at that point I had no shot at the deer.

I exposed my soft under belly on line and of course I am getting what I deserve and am grateful for you pointing out my lapse however. :? :roll: Should you have something constructive PLEASE let me know.

I actually am quite certain I hit the spine region but question whether I need to nick or cut the spine or associated nerves to cause tempory paralysis. Is blunt trauma from lets say a baseball bat to the base of the skull not enough to cause temporary paralysis?

Like I said I blew the shot and my record is 3 deer shot and one recovered and I am hanging my head in genuine although temporary shame. :oops:

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by one shot scott » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:12 pm

I beleive thats its possible to cause a shock near the spinal colum and cause what may seem like a temporary paralysis. Dont beleive me? punch a buddy in is lower back as hard as you can and see how far he walks. Kurisu explains it better but my way is more fun :P

All kidding aside, im sorry to hear of the lost deer planter. One clue(if you could see the back end) is if the legs were moving at all. The ones I have seen that are paralysed are 100% limp.
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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by Sopchoppy » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:54 am

It does happen!!! Saw an episode of Hank Parker 3-D last week and he shot a BIG buck with a muzzleloader. The buck did a complete back flip and landed flat on his belly. While Hank was celebrating his kill, the buck got up and ran at full speed. There was blood where the deer was standing and they tracked for hours and then the next day. Never did find the deer or any buzzards. That deer lives on, for now.
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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by vixenmaster » Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:17 am

Planter, look at the spine of a deer where you peel the backstraps out. The Vertabrea stands up an inch & a half. You hit the vertabrea lodge into hit & not cut the spinal cord. You have a deer down that can't control its body fer a few min. It will bleed a good bit & it will survive unless it becomes infected & gaingreene sets in. My spelling ain't none to good but you should be able to knowed the words i tried to spell.
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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by Riflemanz » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:00 am

I would of done the same thing you did.I never get out of my tree after shooting a deer,i wait 30min.Sometimes we lose deer.
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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by vrodman » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:16 am

My cousin shot a deer this year and it had about 4" of a broken arrow under the skin that was into the lower left side of the spine, where it starts to flare out when we skinned it out. It was the end of the arrow. Never found the tip anywhere. Another guy that hunts the property next to us said that it was the same buck they filmed shooting last year. He said it also went down and they were celebrating after the shot and the deer went down to only have it spring to it's feet and never to be seen again after tracking it for hours. He may live on.
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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by maple » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:08 am


Deer are AMAZINGLY tough animals. They are far more resiliant than we mere humans. If he got up and ran after a high shot, you obviously just temporarily stunned him. I'd say, chances are he will heal.


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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by wabi » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:38 am

Never spined one, but I've always read/heard if you do - get another arrow into it as quickly as possible.
Sounds like good advice.

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by ch312 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:24 pm

planter wrote:Thank you Kurisu.. That is a good explanation. You can thwock the spine without damging the cord which is what I must have done. I actually shot this deer thinking he was 35 yards which would have been my longest shot ever but in reality he was just 30!.

He will be lucky to live with 10 inches of arrow still in him but I wish him well I do however fear the yotes will finish what I started.

SH*^ happens and we are usually to blame. :)
i'll start off by stating that last year i made a bad shot and spined a button buck. you made a bad shot, it happens to everyone sooner or later.

that said, the animal being 5 yards closer than you thought is not the reason for hitting as high as you did. there are many things that could have happened which resulted in this bad shot. arrow nicked a twig during flight, scope got bumped out of zero, you flinched, BUCK FEVER, deer may have jumped the string, etc. the fact is nobody will ever know what really happened.

hopefully others will read this and learn that you should be 100% concerned about the animal after the shot and not letting your buddies know you just shot a deer. the time spent texting could have been used for ranging the deer or even climbing down. with a spine shot you want to get down as fast as possible to dispatch the animal and to avoid things like this from happening.

as for the deer surviving or not. i'd rather see yotes get a wounded deer than infection...
Last edited by ch312 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by mitch » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:28 pm

sorry about your lost.I shoot my very first deer with a crossbow in the spine but it was only 10 yards the arrow went 3/4 in and it was dead in 1 minute dropping on the spot.I took the shot because it was very close and directly under my tree stand.

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Re: Anatomy of a spine shot???

Post by retrieverman » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:42 pm

I have neck and spine shot many deer with a rifle, and it has always been a slam dunk. That being said, I would absolutely never take a neck or spine shot with a bow or crossbow. With a rifle, the trauma of even marginal shot placement will break the neck or spine, but in my opinion, there isn't enough "shock" with a crossbow to break the neck/spine without perfect shot placement. :?

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