Witnessed something very strange today, still mystified over this....

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Fiftydriver, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Well, we went out early this morning to try to fill my dads deer tag. The past week had really been terrible for hunting, temps in the 60 to even 70 degree range and winds averaging in the mid 20 mph range with afternoon gusting to over 40 mph. Got to love Montana at times!!!

    Well, yesterday, the bottom fell out. Temps started at 45 degrees at 7:00 AM and by noon it was 28 degrees. By 5:00 we were in the first blizzard of the year. Still windy as heck, just 50 degrees cooler then before!!!

    Last night the wind stopped and I called my dad and we set up a time to head out and see what the fresh show would produce.

    Drove up to one of our hunting areas and just off the main road were two mule deer bucks. One a small forkie, the other was a 3 year old 4x3 with a cery large body. Dads mainly a meat hunter these days. He will certainly shoot an old buck if one shows itself but he has no problem shooting a 3 year old for fine eating, who can argue.

    Anyway, we drove around the back side and made a short stalk back to the rim and Dad made a great shot with his 7mm Rem Mag and dropped the buck with a shot to the throat patch at a hair under 200 yards. Tagged him, cleaned him and had him packed up in the truck before the sun was even up.

    We then decided to head to another area and try to fill a special draw mule deer doe tag Dad had. I also had one.

    We drove to this place, its the area that I post pictures of when I test all my rifles at long range. We parked the truck on the high flat and snuck over to the rims to see if we could see the +30 head of mulies that had been calling the area home all summer.

    After about 10 minutes of glassing the herd popped out of a draw coming up from their feeding grounds.

    They were not where we expected them and they winded us almost as soon as we say them. The lead doe took off out over the lower flat and dad was setting up on one of the big does that was still standing where we had seen them at around 200 yards.

    She also moved out before he could get a shot and we watched them as they ran out and gathered up in on the flat. A large doe had seperated herself on the right of the head and was standing perfectly broadside. I ranged her at 398 yards. The cheat sheet on dads 7mm Rem Mag listed 10.5" of drop at that range so he held a few inches over her back and the big doe buckled as his 7mm barked.

    She appeared at first to have taken a solid shot to the ribs but the more she ran the more hunched up she got in the back and she was covering some ground still. She turned slightly and we could see good blood on her right side, this was the exit. Still she was moving out with the herd and was right in the middle of the herd preventing another clean shot.

    Finally, the herd stopped after crossing a fence line. I ranged her at 608 yards. Dad said that was well out of his range and I asked him if he wanted to let her go lay up of for me to try to drop her with my 7mm AM I had along. He told me to dump her so I set up. The hold was -1.75 mils, there was no wind at all.

    At the bark of the big 7mm she simply fell on her nose and rolled over flat.

    THis is where things got interesting!!!

    We drove the truck around to get closer to where she was. It took a bit of 4x4ing but we got to within 100 yards of her. I opened the truck door to get out and she lifted her head.

    I was a bit suprised but often with a high shoulder shot they are still alive when you get up to them so I was not overly concerned. I was just going to walk over and take the top of her heart off with my knife as she laid there.

    With her back broken she would not feel anything cutting her heart. Felt that would be more humane then cutting her throat or blowing her head off with my 7mm AM!!!

    I walked calmy up to her from behind and only an ear twitched as I knelt down and drove my knife into her chest just where her heart laid.

    As soon as my knife burried all the way, her back legs went into full functional mode and she damn near took off my head as she whirled and kicked at the knife stab.

    She was up on her feet and funning full tilt dead away from us. The rifles were 100 yards back in the truck and my Dad and I could only look at each other in total amazement at what had just happened!!!

    Thing had just gone from an easy retreival to possible a seriously high chance of loosing this doe. We ran back to the truck an I grabbed my rifle and we headed back to an over look where she had dove off into a deep creek bottom. She has a protected back both directions for well over a mile.

    I had hoped the blade of my knife had hit something important and as we crossed her tracks going over the edge there was noticable blood. We glassed and luckily saw her laying in some low brush about 200 yards down the draw.

    Only reason we saw her was because she lifted her head again. We snug to within 50 yards and with her back to me I put another round in the back of her neck with my 7mm AM. Finally the tough old doe was down for good but the question remained, how did she get up in the first place.

    We replayed the shots over and over in our minds and my first impression was that I had shot high on my 608 yard shot and perhaps it was just by chance that she fell at the same time.

    Dad said not, it looked like she was definately hit so we started looking around for bullet holes and sure enough, about 3" below the top of her back directly above the shoulder was an entrance wound about 1/2" in diameter on her right shoulder and about a 3/4" exit wound on her left.

    The hit was higher then I wanted but should have easily taken out the spine?????

    We cleaned her out and packed her up and headed home, still in the dark as to what had really happened. Dads shot, by the way, landed a bit low but still five ribs in front of her last rib. The liver was totally split in half and her diaphram was ripped badly. THe shot was low enough not to damage the lungs but with that solid liver hit, she was dead on her feet, we just did not know how long it would take her to decide she was done so that is why I shot.

    I just had to know what the heck had happened. I started wondering if the bullet holes in her shoulder were somehow a result of my last killing shot when she was on the ground???

    To find out when we got home I decided I had to skin her out just to find out for sure what had happened. What we found was exactly what we had thought. Solid hit high in the shoulder. We were shooting down at them so at the angle and shooting hit, the shot may have JUST hit over the spine, shocked it enough to drop her but it did totally destroy the top of the offside shoulder before exiting.

    I was still not convinced this was not somehow a result of the killing shot at 50 yards so I continued skinning until I can to a bullet hole at the base of her skull, exactly where it should have been.

    So, Appearently, this doe took a high shoulder hit which basically destroyed the top of the offside shoulder and how it did not totally destroy the spine is behond me.

    All I can figure is that the spinal cord was shocked enough at the shot to put her on the ground and then my knife going into her chest brought the pain sensation back and she decided to get the hell out of there.

    Strangest thing I have ever seen in my life seeing a high shoulder hit animal respond like that.

    Have any of you witnessed anything like this with a high shoulder hit???

    Anyway, good news is we got her and I tagged her since I was the one that finished her off. Besides, that way dad can still hunt with us with his doe tag!!!

    Good Shooting, Strange day!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  2. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    Did you get your knife back?

    I shot a doe with my 45-70 loaded up with 300gr Hornady JHPs at 2520 fps. The shot took out two vertebrae and both shoulder blades. When I walked up to the deer, she almost got up on all fours. She made it about 15 yards before I could draw my Glock and put a couple 40s in her head and neck. I have no clue how she did it, but she did. The spinal cord was still intact, but damaged enough that her coordination(?) was impaired. I upset a couple other foks hunting that evening with my barrage of pistol fire, but I was not going to let her get away or out of sight for that matter.
     

  3. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Kirby ,

    Yes , I have seen this on a whitetail doe . Same everything as your exp. There is a place that is a bit too high and a bit too low . You found that place and I have as well .

    Enough energy to shock the animal and put it down , but as the cross section ( of the animal ) is getting smaller rapidly up there I think the bullet does not have sufficient time nor encounters sufficient mass to expand enought to do terminal damage to the spine .

    Just my 1 cents worth , Jim B.
     
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Does Roy ever have a good story like this one. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Re: Witnessed something very strange today, still mystified over this.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Does Roy ever have a good story like this one. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeh, but I'm not saying nothin'. I was only 16 at the time, I was alone, and I got the buck but came back the next day to get the knife. My shot was closer to the briskit than the spine. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif
     
  6. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, sounds like one tough doe!
     
  7. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Re: Witnessed something very strange today, still mystified over this.

    I have a nice little scar on my face from getting kicked by a “dead” deer. This was a yearling buck that got hit by a logging truck going at least 70 mph. The little guy must have gone over 20’ in the air as he cleared the top of the truck after encountering the grill &amp; smashing the windshield. I stopped to see if the driver was ok after he had smoked the tires and nearly jack knifed his rig. Walking back to my truck I decided to drag the carcass off to the roadside, but when I squatted down and touched him, all hell broke loose! I got a bloody lip and a cut cheek from his hooves and he ran off like I’d busted him from his bed. Go figure, it seems that each animal has its own nervous sensitivity, some drop like a popped balloon and some seem immortal.

    Anyway Kirby, I guess you’ve proven to be dangerous to game at all ranges, from knife blade distance to 2500 yards. Montana isn’t a safe place to be legal game. Will we be seeing a line of APS knives in the near future? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    Dave
     
  8. pvanwyk

    pvanwyk Active Member

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    Kirby,
    some animals have just got a lot more heart than others. My experience was with a Blesbuck (120 pound antelope). He was an old male that wasn't going to make the winter. Typically these animals are fairly skittish and run at the slightest hint of danger.

    He was standing in an open patch of grass. The idea was to drive up close, shoot him in the head, gut and load him, and then get on with the rest of the hunt. Everything went to plan, and he dropped at the shot. Leaving all the guns in the car the three of us walked up to him. About 5 yards away he jumped up spun around a couple of times, obviously dazed, saw us, put his horns down and came at us.

    A friend grabbed his horns, and I tackled him from the side, bringing him down, holding his legs. Out came a couple of blunt knives, and his throat was eventually cut. After a minute or two, he stopped struggling and we stood up. No sooner had we stood than he jumped up again and came straight for us. The whole procedure was again enacted. Everyone piling on top until he eventually bled out.

    Needless to say I was covered from top to toe in blood. The wife sure got a scare when I walked into the house. I have a new found respect for small antelope. Most die at the most marginal of shots, a few others have a lot of heart, and don't know when to give up.

    By the way. The head shot just grazed him, knocking him down.

    Paul
     
  9. Dan B

    Dan B Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Kirby ,

    Yes , I have seen this on a whitetail doe . Same everything as your exp. There is a place that is a bit too high and a bit too low . You found that place and I have as well .

    Enough energy to shock the animal and put it down , but as the cross section ( of the animal ) is getting smaller rapidly up there I think the bullet does not have sufficient time nor encounters sufficient mass to expand enought to do terminal damage to the spine .

    Just my 1 cents worth , Jim B.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Just as Jim said...I too have seen this happen on at least three whitetail doe. My grandfather gets a little excited when a shot oppurtunity is presented and will sometime pull the shot a little high. On the those three instances, each deer dropped like a rock, flopped a little and lay there. When he approached to close range, each deer jumped up. looked around and took off like it had a jet tied to its arse while leaving a very scant blood trail (if any at all).
     
  10. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Re: Witnessed something very strange today, still mystified over this.

    I have seen some very tenacious white tails down here. I shot an old buck one year that didn't have much of a rack and was about at the end of the line. He came down a hill straight to me and I really didn't decide to shoot till he got right on top of me, thinking he was a young deer. Well as he passed me I simply put the round right at the base of his head and shot. Needless to say the 243 I was using did a decent number on the neck bones and such. When he hit the ground his feet were pointing one way and his head was looking the other. I waited a while then heard my Uncle coming around on the other side of the wood patch, so I got up and dragged him out to the edge of the woods to be loaded up. Well a few minutes later, I heard something and turned around to find him up on his hind legs trying to get his front end under him. I was completely amazed to say the least. I cut the juglars and held him down till it was over for good. After that I decided that bullet are much eaiser and quicker.

    We also had to help another hunter find a buck one year behind our place. After hitting the trail we did end up finding him and he was still alive and tried to get up. The fellow had shot the thing some 3/4 of a mile back through the woods from us, and he went about that much more from where we started in on his trail. The shot was with a 257 Wetherby at about 50 yds using 100gr Partitions, and for the most part took out the top of the lungs and a small portion of the heart. When we dressed it out there was almost no blood in the cavity, and the meat was so pale it was weird looking. Still don't know how the deer made it that far, nor why it was still going when we found it. Just glad we found it as it was a great 10 point.
     
  11. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I was hunting wiht a buddy one time when he thumped a doe at 40yds with a 50cal muzzleloader and the 250gr Barnes Expander bullets. she dropped to the shot and then took off into the brush. we were both amazed as the shot looked great but we took off after her and found her hiding in a cedar tree. The next shot she took was with the muzzle 2 feet from her and she still took off and ran straight up a steep hill, Yes we do have hills in Oklahoma. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    After skinning her we found the first shot had shattered 3 vertebrae and lodged itself inbetween two more vertebrae, how she was able to stand I have no idea. Tough old broad and she wasnt done yet, when we were putting her in the truck she slipped and flipped over giving my buddy a mouth full of stomach blood!!! he was sick for the next week!!!


    Sometimes those old girls just dont wanna give up the ghost


    good shooting
    steve
     
  12. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Witnessed something very strange today, still mystified over this.

    The buck that I took at 618 yards this year did pretty much the same thing. 168g VLD impacted about 4" above the shoulder. Funny thing is, that buck ran about 50-75 yards and was still very alive. I had to finish it in the neck as well. I dont see how that buck went anywhere with that shot placement. Upon skinning, my entrance was indeeed high above the shoulder, the exit was about 2" in diameter above the shoulder. This should have anchored the buck IMO, but it didn't. Must have been one tough little buck is all I got to say.
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Thanks for all your replies, glad to hear I am not the only one nearly dispatched by a "dead" big game animal!!!

    The knife, well, it never left my hand. I had a pretty good grip on it as I was expecting some movement, just not the hind legs coming up and whisping by my ear!!!

    I think I will stick to rifles instead of knives. I think I am more comfortable being more then an inch or two away from big game animals when I try to talk them into giving up the ghost!!

    Speaking of ghost, happy Halloween!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  14. longgunshooter

    longgunshooter Well-Known Member

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    similar thing happened to my father &amp; i years ago. he had just put a buck down hard. tumbleing end over end to the bottom of the ravine we were pushing, getting wrapped up in a cedar tree on the way down. upon getting to the deer he handed me his rifle (i was too young to hunt at the time) so he could start the cleaning process. no sooner had he touched the buck on the chest and, "flying hooves aplenty!" knocked his hat off. i hurriedly chaimbered a round and put it in its head before it could get out of the tangle... my first deer /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif at the autopsy /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gifit was later revealed that the shot had duplicated yours exactly. should have been plenty of damage to kill him at the very least shut his nervous system down but, wow was that ever a surprise. for now on every animal that is "dead" gets a few stones tossed its way first!