Please help.....

Jesnoc

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Jul 28, 2015
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This is an attempt to solicit help not criticism. Yesterday morning I shot uphill at a really nice 5x5 mulie. The deer was approximately 175yds. uphill, quartered towards me. I was shooting a .308. When I shot, the deer did three violent backwards cartwheels down the drainage. All of the sudden it stood up and slowly crested the ridge. I had no shot at all from where he stood back up to where he created. I waited 20 minutes to sneak up and check the opposite side of the ridge where he had gone. No deer. Went back to the sight of the shoot and found a patch of white hair and a tiny bit of blood, no blood trail at all though. I backed out and waited a few hours and went back in and combed the area. No signs of the deer anywhere. Any thought or suggestions? Thanks so much. I didn't sleep last night
 

Muskeez

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My experiences are only with whitetails, but if they get knocked off their feet it's always been some sort of spine shot or high shoulder/spine shot. If yours was able to climb up over a ridge, you likely did not get both shoulders. I have had this happen when hitting just the top of the spine, the bones that stick up from the vertebrae, with just a bow, knocked em off their feet and get up and run away to never be seen again. Sadly all you probably can do is a body search again for the day today, then watch for scavenger birds after that. Sorry to hear of your situation. It sux! but it happens.
 

VAspeedgoat

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If it were a whitetail with the same circumstances I would say you shot off to the side of the neck but not at a vital like the jugular. Or possibly under him. On a mule deer, I cant say where white hair would come from exactly but it may fit the scenario. A grazing shot on the neck area or under a brisket may shock them into a tumble but have no lasting effects. When he crested the hill how was he moving? This would tell me more than anything usually. You can kinda tell how hard or how little he was shot. It also may help rule out a gut shot. Good luck.
 

JLS

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I bet you didn't sleep well. It's a shitty feeling and I can fully empathize. BTDT.

Go back and look more. That deer is dead somewhere. It's really easy to walk by them when you're amped up and stressed out trying to find your critter. I've walked right by a cow elk before in my haste to find the animal.
 

RobG

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I don't know about a gut shot... the belly hair is the only thing white and you'd have to hit from underneath so it seems unlikely. If you grazed the rump you'd get white hair and a little bit of blood. I think it would bleed a lot if you hit it well in the rump. Maybe the inside of the leg? I don't remember if they are white.

The throat hair of a whitetail is gray with white tips. It's probably the same with a mulie.
 

RobG

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Boy, after looking at pictures, the inside of the leg is the only place I can see white hair with a quartering towards shot. Just a little blood would mean you just grazed it.
 

Mthuntinfool

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Noxon Mt
I agree with RobG, did the buck look like it was favoring a leg at all when you last saw it? It is possible that you either grazed it or possibly broke a front leg... That might explain why you were unable to find it. If you are able to, I would get back to the area and keep looking, and glass every deer you see, you might spot him again.
I had a similar situation with a whitetail doe during archery season a few years ago. Perfect stalk, 30 yard shot, but as I released a blast of wind pushed my arrow off the mark and I hit her in the neck. Missed all the arteries and spine apparently. I spent a rough sleepless night and looked for her the next day. Found it grazing with the rest of the herd, and a spot of dried blood on her neck.
Anyway, hope you find him, good luck
 

Nate Mode

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I saw something similar happen a few years back while hunting whitetails. My friend shot and knocked a bruiser down and then it got right back up and trotted off. As we searched diligently for quite some time.. a speck of blood and a clump of white hair were all we could find. We concluded he hit low right on the brisket.
 

Jesnoc

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Jul 28, 2015
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I guess it's time to sleep now, after an exhaustive 8 hours search, I found no birds or sign of that deer. A real crappy feeling, but I can truly say that I made every attempt to recover that deer. I can only hope that it survives. I guess it's time to go shoot the rifle in the morning to reassure myself that it was me not the rifle and regain confidence and then get back on another bruiser. Thanks to all that replied.
 

twsnow18

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The color of the hair isn't a great indicator since he rolled a few times. Bummer to hear for sure, I think you'll sleep decent if you did your due diligence.
 

zachthebowhunter

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I had this happen with my mule deer from last year. First shot was 500 yards and we didn't take into account the wind and my bullet drifted left and just hardly caught his spine. Enough to knock him down but he was able to get up and bound off like he wasn't even hit. I ended up running into him and his does bedded in the timber and take the fatal shot then at 60. There was a two inch hole in his skin on his back right above the butt. Enough energy to knock down but not fatal. Hope you can find him!
 

devon deer

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If it hit the guts the deer would have hunched up, slowly walked away and lay down somewhere nearby.
The reaction you describe, and my money is on this, is a low brisket shot, i have seen it more than once.
I would say don't beat yourself up, they can, and do recover from it.
Cheers
Richard
 

sbhooper

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If it was quartering to you, you raked a shot across the shoulder and did not get lungs. Mulies are not that tough. If you got inside the ribs, you would have gotten him. My guess is he will be a three-legged deer next year unless all your shot did was scratch him.

A buddy of mine had his kid out here hunting near my house last year. They rattled in a huge white-tailed buck to about 30 yards. The only shot they had in the trees was quartering to them. The kid flattened the buck. After they got down from the tree, the deer stumbled to its feet and took off never to be seen again. They had good blood for a bit and the deer was packing a shoulder, but I told them that chances are, they only got the shoulder.

Stuff happens. Don't beat yourself up.
 
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