Deer running after being hit?

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,855
1,244
mjcmichigan":2jywjwc1 said:
Yeah. Nothing really different to add.
Hydrostatic shock matters.

We hunt in thick stuff, so 100 yards can be a horrible track without a decent blood trail.
I was taught to shoot for the heart, but from what I’m hearing, high lung / high shoulder is an excellent choice for DRT.
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Mark,
Here is the sweet spot.


JD338
 

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mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,264
25
JD338":29zy3m58 said:
mjcmichigan":29zy3m58 said:
Yeah. Nothing really different to add.
Hydrostatic shock matters.

We hunt in thick stuff, so 100 yards can be a horrible track without a decent blood trail.
I was taught to shoot for the heart, but from what I’m hearing, high lung / high shoulder is an excellent choice for DRT.
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Mark,
Here is the sweet spot.


JD338
Thanks Jim!


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ozarkpugs

Beginner
Feb 3, 2017
85
2
Dead deer do not run , if your deer ran over 100 yards it was because you didn't kill it quickly , period . If you take out the cns they are down right there ( spine included) . If you take out both lungs they have 3 to 10 seconds before going down depending on whether hit on inhale or exhale. If you hit the heart it will probably be 100 yd dash unless the hydro pressure goes to the brain and knocks it out . A one lung shot deer may live a for hours as may a liver shot deer . Too little gun , to far for gun/ bullet used or bullet not put through both lungs are all the usual culprit . Out of the last 60 something deer we have taken on our property in the last 6 years with . 223 and 6.8 s only one ran over 50 yards and that was because I made a rushed and bad shot and only hit one lung . She made it 100 and crashed. Before we started using 6.8 all the kids started with . 223 65 grn sierra or 60 nosler Partition and out of dozens of deer we never had a deer run 100) yards .

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cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,882
207
See also, my old posts- "when they dont go down...". I have seen a few white tails drop in there tracks, hit w/ a 25-06, 7 Mag, and an antelope with of course the 250- 3000 savage. Dads 7 Mag seemed like magic as Fotis noted w/ Speer cup/ core bullets. They just seemed to fold for him. Oh and I did break the neck of a small WT, w/ a 30-30. results obvious. IMHO shot placement has more to do with it than anything. BUT... I know of and have seen WT deer cover lots of ground and refuse to stay down when hit w/ 12 ga slugs. Short of a broken neck they all have gone some where (some times a long way) or have gotten up and required another shot or multiples.
I will also espouse the theroy that if a WT "takes a breath" he can go a long way with no heart etc. I've seen them get up with broken backs and shattered shoulders and hips after being hit w/ slugs. Dont like slugs and have not seen any 357 pistol do a decent job.
Conversely, Dads biggest Muley, shot through both hips with the 7 mag. (Dad confessed to some "buck fever") went down and stayed down.

Others will have opposite experiences with the same Calibres....not sure what the answer is...CL
 

jimbires

Handloader
Aug 16, 2011
2,496
459
I'm going to say I'm 50/50 on running or dropping on a well hit whitetail . if you make a bad hit it's a given that deer is going to run , the question is how far , and hopefully there is snow on the ground . bullet construction is important . I think today to many guys get wrapped up in bonded or mono bullets that are a little to tough of a bullet for best results . I'm sure bigger calibers help with dropping them on the spot , but how big do you need for a 125pound deer . Dad and Grandpap both had one rifle each , a 30.06 . after using different bullets they settled on 180gr round nose . my did they tear things up . I looked back through a bunch of my pictures I'll post with a short description .

I had the honor of taking a young fella out hunting the last day of the 2013 season . I think it was an uncle taking him and just couldn't get him on a deer . early that day a small doe came in he took her with a well place shot , she dropped . his first deer ever . this looks to be a high shoulder shot as JD described

PC140532.JPG

got that one to a processor and I talked him into hunting more at a different place , for his buck . later in the day this one came along and he shot . it took off like he missed , I was sure he missed no reaction at all from the deer . I had him come along to look for blood . there was some but not a lot , and the blood trail never got better . followed it probably 100 yards and there it was . his first buck .

PC140542.JPG

with a heart shot . how did this deer cover that much ground ?

PC140533.JPG

I was really pushing quitting time on this one . it went 10 or 20 yards .

PA310333.JPG

he came through chasing a doe . I put it behind the shoulder , it came out the neck . I've never had one spray blood like this one did . probably went 20 or 30 yards

PC101882.JPG

I thought I put a good hit on this one . it reacted with a jump and kick , and took off . I knew where it was standing at the shot , so I go looking . I couldn't find nothing . I knew I had to have hit it by the way it reacted . I follow in the direction it ran , a few steps and found a couple hairs . I go back out get my rifle and pack then I found a few hairs at the shot . I start tracking heavy kick marks in the leaves . I'm just kind of circling around and I realize a certain way I'd go I could smell a rutting buck . I followed my nose and found him . probably went 100 - 125 yards . never found a drop of blood . the heart was shredded . body cavity full of blood . I was really lucky to have found him .

PA310254.JPG
 

Electron

Beginner
Jan 21, 2019
62
0
I always prefer two holes for tracking purposes (innie & outie). If conditions aren't great for tracking (rain or last light) a neck shot on the point of the shoulder always anchors them. Neck roasts are in questionable condition but I've never tracked or lost a white tail...yet!

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jimbires

Handloader
Aug 16, 2011
2,496
459
this one was walking about straight away from me . I held back on it and put the bullet out through the off side front shoulder . it went 20 or 30 yards .

PA300246.JPG



I can't explain why some run the way they do , other than just a tough will to live .
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,626
1,305
Great stuff guys. Thank you!

Good discussion. One of the things I like so much about this website is that folks tend to stay polite and respectful to others here.

Guy
 

ozarkpugs

Beginner
Feb 3, 2017
85
2
jimbires":6bauaqpu said:
I'm going to say I'm 50/50 on running or dropping on a well hit whitetail . if you make a bad hit it's a given that deer is going to run , the question is how far , and hopefully there is snow on the ground . bullet construction is important . I think today to many guys get wrapped up in bonded or mono bullets that are a little to tough of a bullet for best results . I'm sure bigger calibers help with dropping them on the spot , but how big do you need for a 125pound deer . Dad and Grandpap both had one rifle each , a 30.06 . after using different bullets they settled on 180gr round nose . my did they tear things up . I looked back through a bunch of my pictures I'll post with a short description .

I had the honor of taking a young fella out hunting the last day of the 2013 season . I think it was an uncle taking him and just couldn't get him on a deer . early that day a small doe came in he took her with a well place shot , she dropped . his first deer ever . this looks to be a high shoulder shot as JD described

View attachment 5

got that one to a processor and I talked him into hunting more at a different place , for his buck . later in the day this one came along and he shot . it took off like he missed , I was sure he missed no reaction at all from the deer . I had him come along to look for blood . there was some but not a lot , and the blood trail never got better . followed it probably 100 yards and there it was . his first buck .

View attachment 4

with a heart shot . how did this deer cover that much ground ?

View attachment 3

I was really pushing quitting time on this one . it went 10 or 20 yards .

View attachment 2

he came through chasing a doe . I put it behind the shoulder , it came out the neck . I've never had one spray blood like this one did . probably went 20 or 30 yards

View attachment 1

I thought I put a good hit on this one . it reacted with a jump and kick , and took off . I knew where it was standing at the shot , so I go looking . I couldn't find nothing . I knew I had to have hit it by the way it reacted . I follow in the direction it ran , a few steps and found a couple hairs . I go back out get my rifle and pack then I found a few hairs at the shot . I start tracking heavy kick marks in the leaves . I'm just kind of circling around and I realize a certain way I'd go I could smell a rutting buck . I followed my nose and found him . probably went 100 - 125 yards . never found a drop of blood . the heart was shredded . body cavity full of blood . I was really lucky to have found him .

Kinda hard for the heart to pump blood to follow when shredded . Always best to get above the heart and take out both lungs if you need a blood trail .

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seokladuckin

Beginner
Mar 21, 2021
198
2
Did bullet test one day , 7mm 08. Killed one deer 130 Speer , one 140 AccuBond.

Both shot exactly same spot , exactly same trail and yardage.

130 Speer 25 feet dead

140 AccuBond just under 300 yards , fair blood trail but 300 yards.

Hell go figure,

It's not size of the deer in the fight ..

It's the size of the fight in the deer...

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HodgemanAK

Beginner
Oct 23, 2020
197
78
jimbires":ssrsr6vt said:
bullet construction is important . I think today to many guys get wrapped up in bonded or mono bullets that are a little to tough of a bullet for best results .

Jim, I think this is a really valuable part of the conversation. When doing control work many years ago, I used the 125gr Winchester Silvertip- the old version, in a 30-06. That bullet is very soft and the MV was pretty darn high. I picked it because I didn't want pass throughs or ricochets since we were mostly shooting on small farms in low light.

That load turned deer off faster than anything I've seen. The wound channel was ghastly, like a grenade went off in the chest, and it wouldn't be my first choice for filling the freezer. But it knocked deer over so reliably and regularly, I ended up buying a case of the stuff when they discontinue it.

I also think that the opposite is true, lots of folks out there now shooting bonded and monos at deer that are really meant for much bigger critters than 100 pound whitetails. A buddy in California's condor zone had a few rough years when he switched to copper. He reported long tracking jobs and slow, sloppy kills until he dialed back the weight and upped the MV.
 

jimbires

Handloader
Aug 16, 2011
2,496
459
HodgemanAK":yoxzxoab said:
jimbires":yoxzxoab said:
bullet construction is important . I think today to many guys get wrapped up in bonded or mono bullets that are a little to tough of a bullet for best results .

Jim, I think this is a really valuable part of the conversation. When doing control work many years ago, I used the 125gr Winchester Silvertip- the old version, in a 30-06. That bullet is very soft and the MV was pretty darn high. I picked it because I didn't want pass throughs or ricochets since we were mostly shooting on small farms in low light.

That load turned deer off faster than anything I've seen. The wound channel was ghastly, like a grenade went off in the chest, and it wouldn't be my first choice for filling the freezer. But it knocked deer over so reliably and regularly, I ended up buying a case of the stuff when they discontinue it.

I also think that the opposite is true, lots of folks out there now shooting bonded and monos at deer that are really meant for much bigger critters than 100 pound whitetails. A buddy in California's condor zone had a few rough years when he switched to copper. He reported long tracking jobs and slow, sloppy kills until he dialed back the weight and upped the MV.



I had really bad results on a whitetail using a mono copper bullet from my 7 rem mag .


Dad had a couple boxes of 30.06 silvertip ammo , I don't know the weight bullet . he said not to use that for deer hunting , but I can't remember why . maybe it was to much meat damage ?
 

seokladuckin

Beginner
Mar 21, 2021
198
2
jimbires":kjx5gz2p said:
HodgemanAK":kjx5gz2p said:
jimbires":kjx5gz2p said:
bullet construction is important . I think today to many guys get wrapped up in bonded or mono bullets that are a little to tough of a bullet for best results .

Jim, I think this is a really valuable part of the conversation. When doing control work many years ago, I used the 125gr Winchester Silvertip- the old version, in a 30-06. That bullet is very soft and the MV was pretty darn high. I picked it because I didn't want pass throughs or ricochets since we were mostly shooting on small farms in low light.

That load turned deer off faster than anything I've seen. The wound channel was ghastly, like a grenade went off in the chest, and it wouldn't be my first choice for filling the freezer. But it knocked deer over so reliably and regularly, I ended up buying a case of the stuff when they discontinue it.

I also think that the opposite is true, lots of folks out there now shooting bonded and monos at deer that are really meant for much bigger critters than 100 pound whitetails. A buddy in California's condor zone had a few rough years when he switched to copper. He reported long tracking jobs and slow, sloppy kills until he dialed back the weight and upped the MV.



I had really bad results on a whitetail using a mono copper bullet from my 7 rem mag .


Dad had a couple boxes of 30.06 silvertip ammo , I don't know the weight bullet . he said not to use that for deer hunting , but I can't remember why . maybe it was to much meat damage ?
I tried a trophy bonded bearclaw in a 22-250 one time. Tried double lung shot at 125 yards .

Liked to never found doe .

But you can shoot them in the heart with 55 grain ballistic tip DRT

The most killing thing that amazingly kills is my Xbow with swacker broadheads that cut 2.5 inch .

Double lung shot looks like a violent murder scene, run ~ 60 yards max. I've killed ~75 deer with it. 2 of the heaviest bucks also .

Amazing


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HodgemanAK

Beginner
Oct 23, 2020
197
78
jimbires":1i34fvsp said:
Dad had a couple boxes of 30.06 silvertip ammo , I don't know the weight bullet . he said not to use that for deer hunting , but I can't remember why . maybe it was to much meat damage ?

That'd be a good bet. I don't have the numbers handy, but it's triple digits, and I never got an exit wound. That bullet would just come unglued in the lungs and basically disintegrate. It turned everything in the vitals to soup and I'm sure there were lead fragments everywhere.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,855
1,244
As I recall, the old style Silver Tip with the aluminum cap was to delay expansion and promote penetration. The 30-06 180 gr ST was designed for game bigger than deer.
I thought you guys might enjoy seeing an old box of Silver Tips and the price tag.

JD338
 

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truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,908
240
Bring back old memories with the Silver tips in a 30-06.
My Dad carried one 150gr Silver tip in the chamber with 180gr core locks in the magazine for back up should he miss or need a second shot.
There was always a large exit hole in deer he shot and lots of meat damage.
 

Cleveland48

Handloader
Jul 28, 2015
1,925
35
JD338":2zwpervl said:
As I recall, the old style Silver Tip with the aluminum cap was to delay expansion and promote penetration. The 30-06 180 gr ST was designed for game bigger than deer.
I thought you guys might enjoy seeing an old box of Silver Tips and the price tag.

JD338
That was actually my favorite bullet in the 270 win. I always used the 130 grain. I can’t remember when they stopped making them, I’m thinking it was the early 2000’s when I could no longer find them. The 150 grain silvertip 30/06 was very popular for deer here in MS when I was growing up also.


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rjm158

Handloader
Oct 15, 2009
543
34
The best performing cartridge I, along with family and friends, have used for whitetails has been the 25-06. They are normally loaded with 100 BTs or 110 ABs and have established a reputation for DRTs a majority of the time.

As has been stated, proper shot placement is also key. I cannot readily recall any going over a few feet except one a friend hit too far back and it only went 20ish yards.

Ron

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ozarkpugs

Beginner
Feb 3, 2017
85
2
jimbires":2l7hswx0 said:
HodgemanAK":2l7hswx0 said:
jimbires":2l7hswx0 said:
bullet construction is important . I think today to many guys get wrapped up in bonded or mono bullets that are a little to tough of a bullet for best results .

Jim, I think this is a really valuable part of the conversation. When doing control work many years ago, I used the 125gr Winchester Silvertip- the old version, in a 30-06. That bullet is very soft and the MV was pretty darn high. I picked it because I didn't want pass throughs or ricochets since we were mostly shooting on small farms in low light.

That load turned deer off faster than anything I've seen. The wound channel was ghastly, like a grenade went off in the chest, and it wouldn't be my first choice for filling the freezer. But it knocked deer over so reliably and regularly, I ended up buying a case of the stuff when they discontinue it.

I also think that the opposite is true, lots of folks out there now shooting bonded and monos at deer that are really meant for much bigger critters than 100 pound whitetails. A buddy in California's condor zone had a few rough years when he switched to copper. He reported long tracking jobs and slow, sloppy kills until he dialed back the weight and upped the MV.



I had really bad results on a whitetail using a mono copper bullet from my 7 rem mag .


Dad had a couple boxes of 30.06 silvertip ammo , I don't know the weight bullet . he said not to use that for deer hunting , but I can't remember why . maybe it was to much meat damage ?
My first experience with mono was not good . Barnes bullet works or it doesn't and you don't know which until you shoot it . A gentleman who was unhappy with Barnes and others performance out of the 6.8spc designed and manufactured cavity back bullets . I have shot them in 6.8 spc . 223 and . 300 and the performance is the best over every bullet I've tried in the past 50 years of loading . They will expand almost triple diameter on a ground hog but still hold together length ways through a big buck . They expand reliably down to 1400 fps .

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jimbires

Handloader
Aug 16, 2011
2,496
459
JD , that's the box I remember . $5.80 barely covers the cost of the 20 primers today . HA a lot of the old paper shotgun shells , and ammo they didn't want to use , was mine to shoot up when I first started .


Guy , excellent topic . I thought this one had the potential to go sideways in a hurry .
 
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