The deer that wouldn’t die....

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by YZ-80, Aug 12, 2019.


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  1. YZ-80

    YZ-80 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been in this game for quite some time now but on a couple of occasions I’ve been truly amazed by the will to live a whitetail deer can exhibit. Several years back, I was hunting a farm with my friend and 8 deer materialized around dusk from the tree line about 200 yards out. I trained my rifle on one of the adult does and dropped her instantly. I got another one in my scope square in the neck at about 80 yards and down she went. We got out of the blind and I noticed that the second deer was still moving a bit on the ground, so I figured I’d field dress the first one and the other would surely expire in the 10 minutes necessary to perform the task. No such luck. So, I did what I hate to have to do and put another .25-06 round through the thoracic cavity from about 20 yards and jettisoned the oppiset shoulder. The deer did not die. I had to repeat the process 2 minutes later, and destroyed the other shoulder. 5 agonizing minutes later, the animal finally expired.

    We are not allowed to carry side arms in MD and I can’t bring myself to kill the deer with a knife, so I guess I had no choice. There wasn’t much left by the time it was over.

    Anybody else have a similar story to share where, even though you knew you had a solid shot on the animal it just ended up taking alot more than you bargained for to seal the deal? Why do you think it happened that way?
     
  2. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

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    Why didn't you just shoot it in the neck....or head....not the shoulders....
     
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  3. tmmcampbell

    tmmcampbell Well-Known Member

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    My first bow kill was in 1977. I shot a mule deer doe behind our house. The deer ran about 600 yards and went down in a rye field. I took a couple of lines to be able to find it and drove around the field. I found the doe laying down in a cut section of the field.

    I had never field dressed a deer but remembered how “dangerous” their hoofs can be from hunter safety class. This deer was still breathing so I backed my pickup up to the deer to shoot it from the back of the pickup for safety. I shot 9 more arrows into her chest. She was still breathing. I had a double bit axe in the truck so after about 5 minutes of watching her breath I snuck up behind her and cut her throat with the axe. She then started breathing through the cut in her neck. I went a little berserk and cut her head off and flung it about 20 yards away. I then looked to see if she was still breathing. At this point I expected she still was. Lucky for me the axe did the job.

    Since I had never cleaned a deer before I went and woke my dad up to help me. We drove up to the deer and I will never forget the look he gave me. Lol the deer did slightly look like an overgrown porcupine sans head.

    This is the only animal I have ever regreted killing. In fact I still regret it. Anything that wants to live that bad I do not want to kill. It did eat well but that was one tough animal.
     
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  4. just country

    just country Well-Known Member

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    morning, the will to live is born in every living creature.
    taking the life of any creature is a feat itself.
    I hunt for sunrises, food and the enjoyment of
    watching wildlife. I kill coyotes and varmint
    to let the food sources survive.
    I fish for the 10lb. bass I have yet to catch.
    I hunt and fish for the enjoyment god's nature.
    justme gbot tum
     
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  5. PredatorSlayer

    PredatorSlayer Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in, and spent most of my life in mule deer and elk country. I have had the chance to hunt whitetails a few times and I feel like they are tougher than Mule deer or elk. Those suckers can be hard to kill.
     
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  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    When I was very young, and hunted with 22 LRs we were taught to cut their throats as soon as we could to finish them off. we always head shot them and sometimes they did not die right away. Once it saved my bacon because the deer was only unconscious (The bullet had glanced of her skull and just knocked her out.

    Bow hunting many years proved this to be a good practice at times, but most of the time it was not necessary.

    With the proper rifle cartridge it is seldom necessary but a good method If the animal has not left this world and needs to be relieved of its pain.

    Even with perfect shots/hits, sometimes they just don't want to go. so extra steps must be taken.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  7. YZ-80

    YZ-80 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I had already shot it in the neck, so I figured the best way to finish the job was to put one through the boiler room (the chest behind the shoulder) where the textbook kill zone is on a whitetail. But as you probably know, it’s common to obliterate the exit side shoulder with this kind of shot, depending upon the angle. In any case, the whole affair was a freakin’ nightmare!
     
  8. YZ-80

    YZ-80 Well-Known Member

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    OMG! That tops my horror story! That will give you deer hunting PTSD for sure!
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    The reason for cutting their throat is two fold. first it doesn't ruin any meat and it helps to bleed the game making it more palatable.

    It is common practice when butchering hogs or other animals for resale.

    Sometimes the heart keeps pumping even though the animal is brain dead and it aids in removing excess blood, and speeds up the ending. Sounds gruesome to some but it is very humane and improves the quality of the meat.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. entoptics

    entoptics Well-Known Member

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    I shot a whitetail buck broadside with a 200 gr Sierra Game King running about 2950 fps out of my 300WM at 350 yds. The thing leapt into the air 3 feet, slammed back to the ground DRT...Then it got up and ran off... He was clearly hurt, and on three legs, but we gave chase across the wide open wheat field, as there was a highway and private land (angry owner type) not far in the direction he was traveling.

    I finally got a chance for a kneeling 250 yd shot, steeply quartering away on the opposite side of the first shot. Instant lights out this time.

    When we inspected, he only had three holes in him. The 2nd shot hit him pretty well in the center of the vitals on the left side, angled forwards through him and exited on the right side at the base of the neck.

    The first shot entered a little high, but well within the kill zone on the right side behind the shoulder. 200 gr 300WM and no exit wound?!? I thought the SGK had somehow failed spectacularly. We gutted the deer, and looked high and low for the bullet. Nothing. No fragments, no nothing.

    This is the crazy part. When we skinned him, we realized the hole on the left side was blown outward, ribs broke out, blood under the skin, lots of blood on the outside hair, etc. In other words, an exit wound. We came to the conclusion that the 2nd shot had entered the exit wound from the 1st shot!

    Anyway, related to the "won't die" part of the thread. That sucker soaked up 200 grains and ~2600 ftlbs. The top 3rd of the lungs were trashed, and there was a golf ball sized hole clean through, and he still managed to run 300 yds with a dislocated shoulder on three legs. Though it was only a couple minutes between shots, and the 1st shot was "good" by most measures, I still felt pretty terrible for the extra suffering.
     
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  11. Johnslam

    Johnslam Active Member

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    That’s what is so fascinating about ballistics. By all measures, a 300 win mag should drop them in their tracts. But then, you’ll see 243s sending 80 grains downrange and dropping em.

    Life is wicked that way.
     
  12. LVJ76

    LVJ76 Well-Known Member

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    I hit a coues deer at around 300 yds with 130gr Nosler Partition on the front shoulder, it ran close to 400 yds on 3 legs and under thick brush so was unable to fire another shot until he got to a clearing around 400yds away, he slowed down and I hit him in the neck as he was coming out behind a small oak tree and down he went.

    The whole shoulder was blown along with the heart and lungs, and still went almost 400 yds. These little deer are the toughest animals I have encountered. I've seen several run off after well placed shots and run for a couple hundred yards and needing a second shot in some cases.
     
  13. YZ-80

    YZ-80 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve knocked deer completely over with a .243 at 150-200 yards, DRT. Then I’ve had to shoot them multiple times with more “ powerful” guns. Weird.
     
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  14. LVJ76

    LVJ76 Well-Known Member

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    You would think the 300WM would hit them like a hammer, but they are tough critters