The “long” day portion began at 7:30 after getting a cell phone call from my Dad relaying that he had shot and hit a deer about 15 minutes prior. It had ran off, so I told him I was going to sit up for another hour, trying to give his doe a chance to finish itself off.
Because it was Dad’s first bow shot in nearly 20 years, I could barely contain myself in the stand for the next 60 minutes. When I finally did arrive, he showed me where the deer was standing when he shot, exactly 22 steps, and by 9:00 we were looking at softball-sized puddles of blood. These continued periodically through a treeline and into the world’s largest cornfield, where after several hundred yards the softballs turned into baseballs, baseballs to golf balls, and Titleists into marbles.
By 2:00, having not seen blood for over an hour, we called off our search. And then the debating began.
We assume that he caught the deer too high or too far back. For if he had hit any vitals, wouldn’t the deer have gone down sooner? After seeing the photo below and Dad pointed out where he thought he hit the deer, we think we have our answer.
Also, were we pushing the deer too fast? Meaning, if the deer was shot at 7:15 and we didn’t start trailing until almost 9:00, did we give the deer enough time?
Last year, I shot a doe with my bow at 2:30 one afternoon and only gave it an hour. I knew I caught it low, but I was finding basketball-sized puddles, only to find out near dark that I had been bumping that deer the entire afternoon. It wasn’t until I saw it right before nightfall that I knew to back off of it. Luckily, it was cool that night and the next morning I found the doe in less than 10 minutes.
So the rest of today that’s what I’ll be thinking about: Did we push this deer too fast? If so, how long should we have waited before trailing? If any of you have a good answer for me, I’d love to hear it.