Good blood, then nothing

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Since there may be many newer bowhunter reading this, I want to be clear about a few things:

1) Bowhunting, by its nature, has risks to wounding and not recovering deer. 1,000 little things need to go right for the hunter to succeed and only 1 little thing needs to go wrong for the animal to escape, or much worse for it to be wounded and not recovered. We all accept these risks when we choose to bowhunt.

2) We do everything in our power to choose equipment that matches our skills and abilities, our need for challenge, and gives us the most margin for error when things do go wrong.

3) Never intentionally take a shoulder shot. Limit your shot selection. Even when the shot distance and selection is well within our abilities, things happen in the field that our out of our control. Leave yourself a margin of safety.

4) When things go wrong, and they will, even you when do everything right sometimes, use the situation as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself, what went wrong. Should have I done something differently? If so, make changes for the future.

5) While it is disheartening to lose any deer, regardless of size sex, make every if you make every legal attempt to recover it, you've shown respect for the animal and keep in mind, even if it dies, it goes back into the cycle of life.

On one end of the spectrum we will have arrogant folks who think their shooting abilities at the range are indicative of the shots they can take in field conditions and will overreach. On the other end of the spectrum we will have bowhunter who are constantly kicking themselves in the pants for things well out of their control. The best bowhunters find the right balance in the middle.

This thread is a good post-mortem on things to think about when something goes wrong.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Crimson n' Camo

5 year old buck +
Keep in mind that there are no absolutes.....only percentages and probabilities......What often times happens in discussions like this is that you'll tell the hunter what happens with that type of hit 95% of the time and then get 4 or 5 folks who follow it up with the story about "this one time".......So understand that yes, there is a chance with any of them that you have an outlier but the odds are not in your favor with a shoulder shot like this. With this specific situation I'd also say that 3 inches of penetration is even less than the norm for shoulder shot stories.....its typically about 6-7 inches
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
With the angle of the shot, the four inches wasn’t all penetration to the center of animal.

with the arrow falling out so quickly it didn’t wedge itself in any tissue/ bone.

i think it survived, I bet u see it again.

I also suggest re evaluation of broadhead used and study anatomy to learn.

I always use the analogy of a baseball pitcher…..

once they serve up a meatball….they gotta shake it off.

batter up!

best of luck in the future

and it would be sure cool to have a good dog huh?
Great pics.
 

Wind Gypsy

5 year old buck +
I haven't seen what poundage you were shooting.If you hit the shoulder and broadhead didn't break off I don't think there is anyway the broadhead went inside the cavity or it would have broke off.It was also an expandable and while some people like them and say "I blew through both shoulders" I want to see the skinned out shoulders because I doubt if most people shoot enough KE to do that with a fixed blade let alone a expandable.Keep an eye out for him.It happens and he's right beer helps.

And what people call a shoulder varies widely. Hitting the thin part of the scapula is a different story from the thick part or the bone below the scapula.

I "blew through both shoulders" on a bull elk @ 43 yards and the arrow kept going 30 yards after exiting this Sept. Oh, I failed to mention it was just the meat of the shoulders just behind the heavy bone and hardly hit a rib. :) Regardless, I'm sold on using compact fixed heads and enough weight in the arrow to keep it under 280 FPS.
 
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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Keep in mind that there are no absolutes.....only percentages and probabilities......What often times happens in discussions like this is that you'll tell the hunter what happens with that type of hit 95% of the time and then get 4 or 5 folks who follow it up with the story about "this one time".......So understand that yes, there is a chance with any of them that you have an outlier but the odds are not in your favor with a shoulder shot like this. With this specific situation I'd also say that 3 inches of penetration is even less than the norm for shoulder shot stories.....its typically about 6-7 inches
Great points!
 

cavey

5 year old buck +
I'm sold on using compact fixed heads and enough weight in the arrow to keep it under 280 FPS.
I would second that statement ... my thoughts exactly
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I would second that statement ... my thoughts exactly

It's the old tradeoff, penetration vs exit wound size. When fixed get larger, they want to control flight and require more tuning. They have a penetration advantage. Of course, when you slow the arrow by adding weight you reduce KE which affects penetration as well. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all type answer here.
 

Angus 1895

5 year old buck +
Looking back as I have lowered my elevation and am hunting closer to the ground .

And I aim for center of neck , center of front leg.

My recovery rate has increased nicely.

intentionally avoiding the front leg limits your margin of error. IMO.

I also do not fancy expandable heads.

trochar tipped compact 4 me please
 
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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Looking back as I have lowered my elevation and am hunting closer to the ground .

And I aim for center of neck , center of front leg.

My recovery rate has increased nicely.

intentionally avoiding the front leg limits your margin of error. IMO.

I also do not fancy expandable heads.

trochar tipped compact 4 me please
I presume you are talking about analysis of this particular shot. For the general case, I come down exactly opposite of you. My recovery rates significantly increase as I elevate my stand (to a point) and deer are closer (to a point). I also opt for expandables.

Why?

First, I've developed good shot discipline over the years. While there is always the case something can go wrong and you can end up with an errant hit as in this threads example, but that is the exception for me, not he norm. I've shot deer out of box blinds where the floor is about 6' off the ground putting my bow about 10' off the ground. I find, that, even with a large exit wound from an expandable, I get poor blood trails even with a 20 yard broadside shot. Both entry and exit wounds are very close to the same height on the chest. It is not uncommon to have zero blood trail to follow. When I have recovered these deer, I've found that after the initial hit and first few bounds, blood just pools in the chest.

That same broadside shot, from a 20' tree stand has a much lower exit wound in the chest and blood trails are easy to follow. If I had access to a recovery dog, my answer may be different, but for me, it is about blood trail for recovery. I also prefer slightly quartering away shots but am happy to take a broadside shot.

When I say (to a point), there are limits. When you get much above 20' and deer get inside about 7 yards, the target area shrinks and chances of a single lung sot increase.

So, for the new bowhunters out there, there are lots of things to consider when choosing equipment, stand height, and shot placement. One tip I like to give new folks is to keep in mind that deer are 3 dimensional animals. When selecting shot placement it is better to think of where the shot will exit and what it will go through on the way to pick an entry point.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Angus 1895

5 year old buck +
As you increase angle of entry , you decrease penetration through vascular tissue. You also increase likely hood to not enter both lung fields. Remember the mediastinum? The lungs are separated by this connective tissues. ( low vascular).

you also increase deflection risk, and you greatly increase the amount of bone needed to penetrate.

remember arrows/bolts are not bullets they flex…….especially early in flight……so close shots at sharp angles are in my experience risky.

I think we will disagree about this deal for a long time.

Trochar tips are used in bone surgery……they don’t expand either


Regards
John
 

Wind Gypsy

5 year old buck +
It's the old tradeoff, penetration vs exit wound size. When fixed get larger, they want to control flight and require more tuning. They have a penetration advantage. Of course, when you slow the arrow by adding weight you reduce KE which affects penetration as well. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all type answer here.

My thoughts:
-In General it seems like a good mechanical head on an arrow with plenty of energy/momentum is going to leave better blood trails and do more damage than a small fixed head the majority of time but is also more prone to failing or doing funny things that could result in a lost animal where a fixed head wouldn't have. I lean towards not getting screwed on a good shot over a chance of a bigger cut saving me on a poor shot, which seems to be the crux of the whole fixed vs mechanical debate.
-Priority #1 is getting to the vitals in the first place.
-A smaller exit hole > no exit hole
-I like smaller fixed heads over the bigger cut ones because they are more forgiving of poor form and less likely to plane or steer. It seems reasonable to think they'd be more likely to keep penetrating in the same direction and less likely to deflect than something that has a wider cut
-The more recent thing that put the nail in the coffin for me was the discussion on mechanical deflections on this video:
The thought of making a good shot and being more likely to not continue penetrating through in the same direction seems like a big deal.
-Don't have to worry about blades deploying in the air, in your quiver, rattling in your quiver with fixed heads. Fixed will do better through some grass or leaves etc.

In regards to arrow weight, i'm not on the crazy high arrow weight/FOC train. I said "enough weight to keep speed under 280 FPS" for a couple of reasons:
1. It seems generally accepted that tuning becomes more difficult and arrow flight more critical of form when you start getting faster than that.
2. 260-280 FPS seems to offer sufficiently flat trajectory for most common hunting ranges

-Bows are quieter with heavier arrows which seems important with Schizophrenic houdini whitetails
-Bows are more efficient with heavier arrows. They typically don't lose significant KE as you get heavier/slower but does result in notable increases in momentum which is supposed to have a better correlation with penetration
-In the mid 60# draw range with bows more on the "forgiving/comfort" spectrum than the "speed bow" spectrum, this puts me in the 440-480ish total arrow weight range


I'm no archery expert - these are just the conclusions I've come to after too much time researching. I'm also biased by a focus on archery hunting elk rather than whitetails.
 
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Angus 1895

5 year old buck +
I went to a lecture by a retired Post Office employee that harvested a lot of big bears grizzly, browns, polar etc. he had some kind of “ record” about the number variety etc.

He shot a combo arrow. He put a smaller diameter into a bigger diameter arrow to increase mass. Sectional density. SD.

Reducing weight increases velocity, increased velocity decreases the need for exact yardage if the ballistic coefficient of the two arrows are the same.

However increased velocity in arrows get closer and closer to dry firing the weapon. Plus flex in the arrow general increases making accurate groups more difficult.

A very important aspect of accuracy that I have found significant improvements in archery is the release/ trigger.

I found a release that allowed me and my two bows to group to sixty with a whisker biscuit. Previous to that 45 yards was about it.

With my recurve I switched to hair covered glove from cow hide. HUGE!

Cross bow……the trigger needs to break clean.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
As you increase angle of entry , you decrease penetration through vascular tissue. You also increase likely hood to not enter both lung fields. Remember the mediastinum? The lungs are separated by this connective tissues. ( low vascular).

you also increase deflection risk, and you greatly increase the amount of bone needed to penetrate.

remember arrows/bolts are not bullets they flex…….especially early in flight……so close shots at sharp angles are in my experience risky.

I think we will disagree about this deal for a long time.

Trochar tips are used in bone surgery……they don’t expand either


Regards
John
It is fine that we disagree on balance. I don't disagree with any of thee points. However, I've never hit a deer in the chest cavity and not killed it from any stand regardless of height. I have hit many deer with good shots in the chest, killing them, but having difficulty or not recovering them because of the lack of blood trail. I simply weigh having a good blood trail heavier as that has been much more of a practical issue for me than wounding deer with a good shot. In general, I take shots mostly inside 25 yards at good angles well within my capability and that of the equipment. I can certainly see how folks that take shots that have more risk may weigh other factors heavier.

One more consideration is probably the size of the game. Our deer are more like large dogs compared to deer in some mid-west states.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
My thoughts:
-In General it seems like a good mechanical head on an arrow with plenty of energy/momentum is going to leave better blood trails and do more damage than a small fixed head the majority of time but is also more prone to failing or doing funny things that could result in a lost animal where a fixed head wouldn't have. I lean towards not getting screwed on a good shot over a chance of a bigger cut saving me on a poor shot, which seems to be the crux of the whole fixed vs mechanical debate.
-Priority #1 is getting to the vitals in the first place.
-A smaller exit hole > no exit hole
-I like smaller fixed heads over the bigger cut ones because they are more forgiving of poor form and less likely to plane or steer. It seems reasonable to think they'd be more likely to keep penetrating in the same direction and less likely to deflect than something that has a wider cut
-The more recent thing that put the nail in the coffin for me was the discussion on mechanical deflections on this video:
The thought of making a good shot and being more likely to not continue penetrating through in the same direction seems like a big deal.
-Don't have to worry about blades deploying in the air, in your quiver, rattling in your quiver with fixed heads. Fixed will do better through some grass or leaves etc.

In regards to arrow weight, i'm not on the crazy high arrow weight/FOC train. I said "enough weight to keep speed under 280 FPS" for a couple of reasons:
1. It seems generally accepted that tuning becomes more difficult and arrow flight more critical of form when you start getting faster than that.
2. 260-280 FPS seems to offer sufficiently flat trajectory for most common hunting ranges

-Bows are quieter with heavier arrows which seems important with Schizophrenic houdini whitetails
-Bows are more efficient with heavier arrows. They typically don't lose significant KE as you get heavier/slower but does result in notable increases in momentum which is supposed to have a better correlation with penetration
-In the mid 60# draw range with bows more on the "forgiving/comfort" spectrum than the "speed bow" spectrum, this puts me in the 440-480ish total arrow weight range


I'm no archery expert - these are just the conclusions I've come to after too much time researching. I'm also biased by a focus on archery hunting elk rather than whitetails.

I don't think energy or momentum have any factor in blood trail for a well placed shot. I have never had an arrow not provide complete penetration through the chest even hitting ribs on both sides. The factors I see in blood trail are three (no particular order):

1) The configuration of the exit wound. Flaps created by 3 blade (or more) leave better blood and are harder to close than the slit made by 2 blade.

2) The size of the exit wound. As long as you get full penetration, larger is better.

3) The height on the chest of the exit wound. Perhaps the most important.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I went to a lecture by a retired Post Office employee that harvested a lot of big bears grizzly, browns, polar etc. he had some kind of “ record” about the number variety etc.

He shot a combo arrow. He put a smaller diameter into a bigger diameter arrow to increase mass. Sectional density. SD.

Reducing weight increases velocity, increased velocity decreases the need for exact yardage if the ballistic coefficient of the two arrows are the same.

However increased velocity in arrows get closer and closer to dry firing the weapon. Plus flex in the arrow general increases making accurate groups more difficult.

A very important aspect of accuracy that I have found significant improvements in archery is the release/ trigger.

I found a release that allowed me and my two bows to group to sixty with a whisker biscuit. Previous to that 45 yards was about it.

With my recurve I switched to hair covered glove from cow hide. HUGE!

Cross bow……the trigger needs to break clean.

Yes, I think the equation for large game is quite different than for whitetail.
 

Angus 1895

5 year old buck +
WOW……

ok here we go.

IF…..it is a good thing if you want to find a deer after you shot it is to enter if not exclusively penetrate the thoracic cavity…..both sides.

AND….. 65 to 70 % of that cavity is medial to the front leg.

PERHAPS …….Setting your arrow to penetrate the front leg allows you 300% more target area. And might be a good idea.

I think the sticking point is blood trail……If I do my job and get it done…they live and flee for about 3 seconds.

Not to hard to find really, where I hunt.

I think a dog would be a really good idea for back east.

Out west I don’t blood trail much,they usually pile up before they get out of view. In the Midwest I usually hunt in snow.

IMO any compromise to decrease penetration , in hopes of increasing more external blood loss….is a poor decision.

IMO choosing an aiming point where an area of your normal grouping , does not involve the thoracic cavity, is also not advised.
 
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S.T.Fanatic

5 year old buck +
My son and I both shot bucks with the G5 M3 broadheads this year. Solid steel and small diameter. Both of us blasted right through them without a single nick in the broadhead and after cleaning them up and comparing them to un shot broad heads, you couldn't tell the difference. We will both continue to use these heads.
 

Angus 1895

5 year old buck +
My son and I both shot bucks with the G5 M3 broadheads this year. Solid steel and small diameter. Both of us blasted right through them without a single nick in the broadhead and after cleaning them up and comparing them to un shot broad heads, you couldn't tell the difference. We will both continue to use these heads.
I think they are most excellent.

Do you think they need resharpining?
 

Wind Gypsy

5 year old buck +
I don't think energy or momentum have any factor in blood trail for a well placed shot. I have never had an arrow not provide complete penetration through the chest even hitting ribs on both sides.
Maybe you really are just shooting tiny deer but there's a whole bunch of people who would beg to differ. I've seen a ton of videos of deer running off with half the arrow hanging out the entry side without hitting heavy bone.

Plenty of examples in this video but start at 12:45 and there's a good example of a mechanical head not doing the job.
 
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