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Old 09-09-2019, 07:49 PM
xxclaro xxclaro is offline
 
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Default Can't figure out what went wrong....

I had a baffling and rather upsetting occurrence last week, and I'd love to hear some thoughts on what might have happened.

I had snuck within 40 yards of a bull elk. He finally cleared the bush he was in and was broadside to me, and perhaps a few yards to my right, so a very slight quartering away shot. I took the shot, and watched my lighted nock home in. At the moment of contact, the light shot to the left, going up high and landing about 30 yards to the left of the elk. I figured I must have hit an unseen branch or something, but it made a pretty loud smack. The elk ran probably 70-80 yards, then stopped momentarily. I got bino's on him, as did my partner, and both saw blood on his chest right behind the front leg about halfway up....perfect, I thought, musta been a passthrough that just looked odd. He moved off into the bush.

So, went to retrieve the glowing arrow and found it was just the nock. I went over to where he went in and found a small drop of blood, about 100-150 yards from the point of shooting. We walked back to camp for knives and lights, which was almost 2 hours round trip. Began blood trailing, and it was very slow going. Bblood was restricted to leaves that brushed against him at chest height, one side only. We trailed for several hours, and blood drips/smears were often 10-15 yards apart. We finally lost the trail altogether and decided to try again in the morning.

Back at it next morning, we finally found a couple more drops and managed to add a few hundred yards more trail, till we were down to the barest wisp of blood wipes on the odd leaf. Lost trail again, and kept searching till the rain started. No magpies or ravens present. Went back next 2 days, looking for birds and checking places I thought he might have went. Nothing. I'm baffled as to what could have happened. It's a 475gr arrow at about 290fps with a Magnus Stinger Buzzcut 125gr. I was pretty devastated and it's still eating at me a bit. Any idea of what could have happened? All in all we trailed him for a good long way, he never stopped or lay down, and I've probably bled more off a shaving cut! I just can't figure it out.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:12 PM
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Could the shot have been high? There is a cavity above the lung and below the backbone, or could you have hit the front leg? That could stop an arrow and blow the nock off.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:33 PM
NCC NCC is offline
 
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My guess is that you hit the shoulder blade, the arrow stopped suddenly, and the nock kept going. I donít think the arrow could have had enough momentum to continue in an upwards trajectory after passing through an elk.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:37 PM
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Did you ever recover the arrow during the track? If not I would say you hit the should blade right at the "T". Even during broadhead test with no flesh present you only get 2-3 inches of penetration through that bone. The lack of blood was probably due to the arrow still being in the hole.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:31 PM
xxclaro xxclaro is offline
 
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I've considered the possibility that I hit the shoulder, but the blood spot was back and down from the shoulder blade from what I saw, and my partner concurred. I've shot arrows into bone and solid objects before, and the nock does indeed often fly out but almost always it pops out back in the direction the arrow came from. This nock travelled almost directly parallel to the elk..he was going across left to right, the nock ended up about 30 yard to to the left of him and almost directly in line with his travel. Almost like the arrow hit him sideways, flinging the nock out. I've never seen one fly that far from bone impact either. Still, it is indeed a possibility that I did hit the shoulder. I would have expected the arrow to break off as he entered the bush, and I looked hard, but no luck.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:00 PM
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The loud smack is bone, so is the nock flying off. If you are that confident in where you saw blood, Iíd guess you hit a rib dead center, or the elbow.

Arrow could have travelled outside the ribcage, and most likely stayed in the hole, which makes blood trailing very difficult. Could also be stuck in a good double lung shot that didnít connect with an artery, and with the arrow in place didnít cause a pneumothorax. Had that one happen to a mulie doe and the damn thing went several km over 3 hours (and that one was a pass through).

Other possibility is the arrow broke up on contact. Less likely at 40 but strange things happen.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:05 PM
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You hammered the leg or scapula...a nock behaves the way it did when it hits something hard, like bone.

This is a shoulder blade hit



Bad shot left, good shot right



Tough to penetrate



LC
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:32 AM
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What kind of lighted nock are you running? I had a nockturnal break off on the shot last year. Made it look like a good shot but really the nock just broke off and bounced off the deer. Arrow was in the snow with no blood. This year Iím not trusting them, plain white Easton x nocks for me this year
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:42 AM
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Touched shoulder.....too bad.....did that on a moose once.....felt sick to my stomach for a long time....
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58thecat View Post
Touched shoulder.....too bad.....did that on a moose once.....felt sick to my stomach for a long time....
Wasnt really ready to share yet but this happened to me on opening weekend. Long 60+ yard shot that I should have known better then to take. Made a loud pop! Shoulder. No penetration. Gave him lots of time just in case but I knew. Blood trail dried up after 200 yards. Hate myself for it. Even came back the next day to be sure. Same thing, no crows or ravins. Moose is nowhere. Sickening
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:58 AM
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Considering everything that you have stated, I would agree with what is being said, the arrow hit solid bone, whether it is the elbow, a rib or the shoulder. Were you using a mechanical broadhead or fixed? a malfunctioned mechanical may leave you with a small blood trail as well. I feel for you, it s a horrible feeling but if its in the elks shoulder blade, he will likely survive and is probably chasing the girls right now.
Maybe head back to the same area and see if you can call in a limping elk...
Best of luck the rest of the season.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:20 PM
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Buddy did that to a moose a few years ago. Shot him 3 days later. Wound was damn near healed.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:59 PM
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saw the same thing happen on a buddies bull moose few years ago...your nock flew out sideways cause the arrow changed direction violently when it struck the shoulder blade.

Arrow likely travelled a bit between the scapula and leg muscle.

non lethal hit IMO
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:18 PM
JDK71 JDK71 is offline
 
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the last three white tail deer I have shot in my area have had arrow holes low in the belly and one had an arrow head in the hide
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:10 PM
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People gotta realize that itís a BOW and if you canít get close enough to Hit where you should then donít take the Effin shot. Actually the same applies to rifle hunters too. Every year thereís a thread like this.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgarychef View Post
People gotta realize that itís a BOW and if you canít get close enough to Hit where you should then donít take the Effin shot. Actually the same applies to rifle hunters too. Every year thereís a thread like this.
Lol Mr. perfect shot over here...Iím guessing youíve never made a bad shot before?
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgarychef View Post
People gotta realize that itís a BOW and if you canít get close enough to Hit where you should then donít take the Effin shot. Actually the same applies to rifle hunters too. Every year thereís a thread like this.
Even though some might be offended by calgarychefís post itís actually good advice. Itís not about ego or being perfect itís about increasing your odds of a clean kill and recovery. A hunter should be honest with their limits and stick within them

No I am not perfect I made mistakes and that is why I know he is giving good advice
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Even though some might be offended by calgarychefís post itís actually good advice. Itís not about ego or being perfect itís about increasing your odds of a clean kill and recovery. A hunter should be honest with their limits and stick within them

No I am not perfect I made mistakes and that is why I know he is giving good advice
Of course it makes sense but I believe the original poster made the shot at an elk at 40 yards thatís not a long shot for a compound bow hunter at all.
But for a Trad hunter then yes thatís to far. Nothing against trad guys but They ARE far from perfect.

Truth be told some people are great shots with rifle or bow on targets but put a live animal in front of them.... not so much. Then you have your key board experts - never miss, never have an unseen branch deflect arrow or Bullet, never misjudged a-range estimate LOL.

No matter what Murphyís law does exist.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:50 PM
xxclaro xxclaro is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgarychef View Post
People gotta realize that itís a BOW and if you canít get close enough to Hit where you should then donít take the Effin shot. Actually the same applies to rifle hunters too. Every year thereís a thread like this.
I agree,get close enough to make a shot you know you can make. I am confident in making a 40 yard shot, I shoot to 70 yards regularly, although I wouldn't take that shot on unwounded game. Like I said, the blood spot on the bull was, in my and a witness's opinion, in a good spot, the spot I was aiming at. In the future I will endeavour to shoot further back, just in case.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by K45 View Post
Of course it makes sense but I believe the original poster made the shot at an elk at 40 yards thatís not a long shot for a compound bow hunter at all.
But for a Trad hunter then yes thatís to far. Nothing against trad guys but They ARE far from perfect.

Truth be told some people are great shots with rifle or bow on targets but put a live animal in front of them.... not so much. Then you have your key board experts - never miss, never have an unseen branch deflect arrow or Bullet, never misjudged a-range estimate LOL.

No matter what Murphyís law does exist.
You hit the nail on the head---I bear guided, for many years--Clients good on targets.A bear comes in they miss---Now get this--average shot 25-30 m.This happens many times during the season.Many never admit it but I always look for brass around our stationary 18ft tree stands.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Even though some might be offended by calgarychefís post itís actually good advice. Itís not about ego or being perfect itís about increasing your odds of a clean kill and recovery. A hunter should be honest with their limits and stick within them

No I am not perfect I made mistakes and that is why I know he is giving good advice
Good advice but if you hunt long enough even perfect situations get messed up.

And you stand there asking yourself lots of questions and cover many miles too...
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:58 AM
calgarychef calgarychef is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
Even though some might be offended by calgarychefís post itís actually good advice. Itís not about ego or being perfect itís about increasing your odds of a clean kill and recovery. A hunter should be honest with their limits and stick within them

No I am not perfect I made mistakes and that is why I know he is giving good advice

I knew I would offend some people with that statement. Sorry if it hurt anyoneís precious feelings but itís the way it is. My biggest beef is actually talking about this in a public forum. The antis use this stuff against us all the time and Iíll bet itís been copied and pasted onto some granola munchers forum already.

My thoughts...donít take bad shots...get closer or at least close enough to make a very good shot. Take some stories to your grave.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:13 AM
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What looks like a good spot can often be shoulder blade depending on the location of the leg at time of impact. From personal experience, I would say you Hit shoulder. I did it myself last year on a Bull,same with a Buddy. It is exactly as described.

My bull was back with his harem in 2 hrs on my cams. My buddies bull, it was a uphill shot. he hit shoulder blade and as I was calling was very close to the bull. I distinctly remember his arrow spinning thru the air after impact. I belive his arrow hit shoulder and flung over the bulls back and thru the air. Crazy things happen sometimes.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxclaro View Post
I agree,get close enough to make a shot you know you can make. I am confident in making a 40 yard shot, I shoot to 70 yards regularly, although I wouldn't take that shot on unwounded game. Like I said, the blood spot on the bull was, in my and a witness's opinion, in a good spot, the spot I was aiming at. In the future I will endeavour to shoot further back, just in case.
Never aim above midline on an elk or moose, strive for 1/3-1/2up the chest cavity 3-4 inches behind the front leg. Itís money. The picture of the elk I posted above was the result of a ďmis-dialedĒ sight at closer range (under 20). Even at that distance the thick bottom of a shoulder blade stopped the arrow dead. I still have the shoulder blade with the broadhead in it as a reminder to do better.

LC
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:10 AM
xxclaro xxclaro is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgarychef View Post
I knew I would offend some people with that statement. Sorry if it hurt anyoneís precious feelings but itís the way it is. My biggest beef is actually talking about this in a public forum. The antis use this stuff against us all the time and Iíll bet itís been copied and pasted onto some granola munchers forum already.

My thoughts...donít take bad shots...get closer or at least close enough to make a very good shot. Take some stories to your grave.
The anti's hate us anyway, pretending we get instant kills on 100% of our shots is pointless. I'd rather talk about it here, get thoughts from guys with lots of experience and hopefully learn stuff. Next time I get an opportunity I'll remember those shoulder blade pics and stay low and back, just in case. You say your not afraid to offend fellow hunters, but you fear offending the already offended anti's? To hell with that. If we can't talk real world stuff hear then might as well shut'er down.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxclaro View Post
The anti's hate us anyway, pretending we get instant kills on 100% of our shots is pointless. I'd rather talk about it here, get thoughts from guys with lots of experience and hopefully learn stuff. Next time I get an opportunity I'll remember those shoulder blade pics and stay low and back, just in case. You say your not afraid to offend fellow hunters, but you fear offending the already offended anti's? To hell with that. If we can't talk real world stuff hear then might as well shut'er down.
exactly!
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxclaro View Post
I agree,get close enough to make a shot you know you can make. I am confident in making a 40 yard shot, I shoot to 70 yards regularly, although I wouldn't take that shot on unwounded game. Like I said, the blood spot on the bull was, in my and a witness's opinion, in a good spot, the spot I was aiming at. In the future I will endeavour to shoot further back, just in case.
Perhaps a better mantra would be to endeavour to shoot only when the front leg is positioned forward.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:41 PM
xxclaro xxclaro is offline
 
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Not a bad idea either, but in this case it was, at least at the moment of the shot. If I had it to do over, I'd have take the shot a minute earlier. He was broadside with his head and part of his shoulder obscured by bush, but there was plenty of lung area visible. I wanted to make sure he was clear though so I put my bino's on him one more time to check for possible twigs in the way, and by the time I put them down he had turned around and started moving to the right. I have to remind myself that the lung area on them is quite large, no need to crowd the shoulder. Also, those things can move fast! Had a shot once at similar range where the elk dropped and spun on a dime like a whitetail, arrow sailing clean over his back.I knew in theory they could do it, but seeing it happen and realizing just how quick they are opened my eyes to sticking to shots where the elk is relaxed and not on edge, looking to bolt.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:51 PM
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Welcome to bowhunting
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:50 PM
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Back in 1995 I shot a buck with bow at last light and didn't see my arrow hit, but everything felt right. I found blood when I started tracking, and lost it within a couple hundred yards. When back the next day and then for four more days in a row looking for birds. I gave up and gave the place a couple weeks to settle down. The first time back out bow hunting, rattled in the exact same buck I shot three weeks earlier. This time my shot was perfect. I was so interested to find out that my arrow three weeks earlier had gone some how, below the spine just in front of his shoulder, but never hit his Oesophagus, arteries, or throat. Who would have thought that was possible? I was using a fixed blade broad head called a Satellite, so maybe that had something to do with it. Other than where the broad head pulled in some hair, the wound was healed up perfectly.

Stay positive that that elk is maybe on the hoof and some lucky hunter will find a broad head in his bull elk's shoulder when he is butchering it one day. I hope it is you.
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