Author Topic: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?  (Read 4949 times)

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Offline ajbruggink

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  • Aaron Bruggink, Oostburg, WI, USA
What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« on: September 06, 2023, 07:26:04 pm »
Hey guys,

I have yet to strike a deer in any part of the shoulder with an arrow, but I thought I would ask what I should do if that ever happens to me. I'm assuming that most of the time if someone shoots a deer straight on, into the shoulder with an arrow, it's going to be wounded deer, because I'm assuming that unless you are using a very powerful bow, you're not going to get your broadhead through the shoulder blade, and then strike something vital that causes blood loss, and kills the deer. If you suspect that you struck the deer in the shoulder, what should you do? Should you wait a half-hour before attempting to track it? Should you track it right away? Should you give the deer more time before tracking? What will the blood trail be like? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Aaron

Offline PEARL DRUMS

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Re: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2023, 08:58:32 am »
I would use several choice words for my bad shot. Do the usual follow up "track job" to admonish guilt all the while knowing full well the deer is 3 miles gone and just a tad soar. Odds are high your arrow will just bounce off like you hit an oak tree.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.

Offline Pat B

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Re: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2023, 11:09:05 am »
I agree with Pearlie but I'd give the deer an hour or two. It may lay down and in that case it would stiffen up a bit. When tracking there will probably be very little blood but look closely anyway and go slow and look ahead in case the deer is laying down. You may get another chance at it if you are lucky.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2023, 02:18:12 pm »
Back a zillion years ago I took a quartering to shot on a doe, out of a tree, from about 5 yards, I was using a 45# bear Kodak Hunter bow, an aluminum arrow with a bear razor head on it. The doe dropped and spun a little, I hit her squarely in the shoulder, she ran off, the arrow stayed in her. As she ran off, I could see most of the razor head did not penetrate and was above her hair line.

No blood, no deer and I have never taken another quartering to shot since, the above-mentioned shot was 40 years ago.

Offline bradsmith2010

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Re: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2023, 02:50:43 pm »
good advice,,, follow up with best intetions,,its possibe if you hit the edge of shoulder the bone is thinner and you may have a chance to recover deer,,  lots of variables,,, always follow up best you can,,,
I hit a deer and the arrow came out so fast I thought if bounced off,, it was a fatal hit,, things are sometimes not as they appear,, especially shooting deer

Offline ssrhythm

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Re: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2023, 02:58:03 pm »
Shoulder hits come in two main varieties…
1.  Shoulder blade
2.  Humerus bone hit

Shoulder blade…depending on what part of the shoulder blade you hit, it might be good or bad.  If you hit the “spine” or thickest part, penetration will depend on KE you just hit it with.  It’s probably going to result in wounded deer that bleeds well enough to track him into the next county, but no dice.  If you hit anywhere but that spine, penetration should get broadhead into the chest cavity where it will likely break off when the shoulder blade shears the shaft when it takes off running.  This deer will die.

Shoulder Bone or Humerus Bone hit.  This is the dreaded “WHACK!” hit.  Deer drops at sound of bow firing and loads the front end…this brings the humerus (upper leg bone) up in front of the vitals area and if you hit it, you know it from the very loud and awful sound that’s not unlike smacking a 2x4 with a hammer.  Anywhere you hit that bone squarely from where it balls into the shoulder socket all the way to the elbow…you are screwed.  It’ll bleed and keep bleeding enough to track it for as long as you feel like crawling and tracking….but it’s not going to die. 

I hope you never hit anything comprising the shoulder, but if you do, if the arrow breaks off, assume you got thru the blade and into the chest and look for him till you find him or can’t look anymore.  If he runs off with your arrow after the loud CRACK of head vs bone and you don’t find arrow broken in short order, look a while to make yourself feel better, but he’s not going to die.

Offline ssrhythm

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Re: What to do if you hit a deer in the shoulder?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2023, 08:19:40 am »
And I shoulda prefaced the above post with….”This is MY experience…not a definitive guide to shoulder shots.”