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PostPosted: January 11th, 2015, 10:32 pm 
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Hello all . . . I will probably write this up for the magazine, but it seems that we are a bit slow on content 'round these parts . . . let's get some discussion started. AND, I have debated about this . . . maybe it isn't suitable for the magazine; heck maybe it isn't suitable here? You guys tell me - if this presents a bad image, I will delete it. I don't think it does . . . in fact, I think we can get a very educational discussion going from some of the more experienced elk hunters among us . . . I lived it and I have a few conclusions from the saga that unfolded in Colorado last August: 1) As my dad always told me . . . sometimes I do stick my head up my @$$. 2) Fortunately, he knew my propensity for head-in-@$$ moments and so he equipped me with the mental toughness to deal with it when I have a self-inflicted head-in-@$$ scenario. 3) ELK ARE TOUGH!!!

So, I can save the details of the story for the magazine. I will spare you my longwinded exposition (kind of) and get right to the pics. Important details are that I found myself in a tree at daylight sometime between 6am and 7am in an area of known elk travel. I was carrying a great northern quiver with a strap - i.e., not a bow quiver - not sure what it is actually called. Consequently, I hung it on a bow hanger that I screwed into the tree. Elk entered my view around 10:30am. Quiver not secured adequately and a gust of wind simultaneously blew my quiver out of the tree and my head into my @$$ with elk at 60 yards. 30 completely exhilarating moments later in the midst of 50-ish elk, one elk, a bull, came into bow range - to be specific-ish, he was at 23-ish yards. There I was with my 70's B-mag bear takedown with 62# rose oak limbs and ONE arrow - a gold tip blem, with 250 grain VPA two blade - total arrow weight almost 650 grains (it's partners were being held securely by the great northern quiver 12 feet below me on the ground). Needed to make that arrow count.

. . . I did. Here are the hero pics . . . but please keep reading in the next post . . . you need to hear the consequences of my having my head up my @$$. I took the shot at 11:05am, but you will notice it is basically dark in these hero pics . . . that suggests that, well, maybe things didn't go as awesome as we would hope.

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. . . to be continued . . .

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PostPosted: January 11th, 2015, 10:56 pm 
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So, I know what you are thinking . . . "Oh, great, a gut shot. Kinney gut shot an elk and recovered it. Big freaking deal. Good for him."

. . . well, that isn't exactly right.

Upon release, I knew the shot was good. I WATCHED my ONE arrow hammer that bull right in the chest. The shot impacted the elk about three inches behind the front leg pocket I was concentrating on and disappeared - saw that arrow completely disappear into that elks chest. It was not a perfect shot - it didn't hit the hair I was focusing on, but it was pretty freaking good. It was one of those shots that you enjoy watching in a practice session. It is one of those shots that when it impacts your Mackenzie elk, you say - Yep, no brainer dead elk. One of those shots that when you mimick that 25 yard shot in your backyard every day for 8 months in preparation for this moment, you are satisfied because this shot, in your mind, led to a two minute tops type of kill.

. . . well, this did not lead to a two minute kill.

Again, I took the shot at 11:05. Upon impact, the elk turned and ran hard for 30 yards in a semi-circle, crashing wildly through downed trees, and came to a stop. He stopped at 30 yards from my tree in perfect site . . . and he didn't die. He stood there. I watched him. I knew he was going to collapse. I was exhilarated and overwhelmed, I knew that, while I would rather be putting a finishing shot on this bull with one of the arrows that lay harmlessly below me, I was about to watch my second elk crash into a pile of meat.

. . . that didn't happen. Ten minutes later, he still stood there. Other elk started moving in. Two bulls were sparring at 40 yards. Cows and calves were bedding and milling about in bow range. My bull . . . just stood there . . . he . . . just . . . stood there.

I couldn't understand it. I knew the hit was good. He was not hunching his back or flicking his tail or doing any of the things a gut shot whitetail (my closest frame of reference) would do. No, he just stood there . . motionless, alternating very occasionally from broadside to facing me to broadside to facing me. This went on from the time of the shot for the next HOUR. I could see the arrow wound. It was in a good spot, but there was very little blood coming out.

Given that I had no arrows . . . I was able to slowly hang my bow on the hook that formerly held my arrows and get out my phone for some pictures. Look close! In the first picture, look closely and you will see a dark spot behind the shoulder. That is the entrance wound. It is where I described it . . . just a few inches back of perfect. In the second picture, you see the exit wound with my actual arrow hanging out of the chest cavity!

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Image

. . . again . . . to be continued . . . the story is far from over . . .

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PostPosted: January 11th, 2015, 11:35 pm 
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Congrats on getting the elk. Waiting on more of the story.


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PostPosted: January 11th, 2015, 11:35 pm 
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. . . and so it went. He stood there. Other elk did other elk things, but none came closer to me than he was. He remained the closest to me elk of the bunch. As you can see in the pictures, I could see the hit. I could see that there wasn't much bleeding. I could see that it wasn't gut shot. Sure as heck looked in front of the liver to me . . . but it couldn't be. Time passed and it hit that moment where I had to accept that it was NOT a lung shot. I said to myself, "OK, so that's a liver hit. It has to be a liver hit. It is dreadful that I can't make this end quicker for him, but if it were a whitetail it would die in an hour." I knew it would have to end soon. At 12:30, the bull laid down. I thought, "OK, liver hit. It is almost over."

. . . NOPE.

He laid there. Alert.

Image

Image

1:00 pm came. I could see he was getting sick. With my binoculars, I could see that he was slobbering. His head remained up and alert, but there seemed to be an inordinate amount of slobber. I could not see blood in the slobber. There was blood on his nose, but it appeared to be a cut from the initial flee, NOT blood blowing out of the nose from the lungs.

At 1:30, I had to face an unfortunate reality. Not only was it not a typical lung shot, it was also not a typical liver hit, I did not puncture the diaphragm. I was clearly heading into uncharted territory and one way or another I was going to learn something new on the Uncomphagre Plateau.

At 2:00, as the realization that I was in a very difficult situation set in, an awful thing happened. A hunter entered my field of few. The other 49-ish elk had moved on. And the hunter was stalking through the woods in my direction. Perhaps, he had seen elk and was moving on him. Hard to tell, but he was coming my way with a wounded elk bedded between the two of us. When he got to 60 yards, my bull stood up. The bull was focused on the hunter. The hunter could not have been more than 40 yards from the bull - probably a chip shot for the machine-bow he carried. I realized that this was going to end one of two ways - great outcome or worst possible outcome. On the positive side, this guy was going to see the sick elk before it spooked and put a good shot on him to end the nightmare I caused. OR, as it was becoming more probable with each step he took, he was not going to see my bull and the hurt bull would run into a new time zone. What happened next was shocking. Inexplicably, the hunter stopped. He turned around, and went away. Simple as that . . . he was gone . . . he didn't see the bull, he didn't spook the bull, he just turned around and moments later he was gone. Were it not for the fact that the bull had seen him too, I would have thought him a mirage.

. . . and there the bull stood again. At 3:00pm, he laid down again. Same spot. In the last four hours, that bull had not taken a single step. It had laid down twice in the same spot and stood up once, but never did it take a single step.

After 3:00pm things started to get mentally difficult. I remember as a child, my dad used to tell me a story about a gut shot buck that he hit in the morning that he had to watch die over a period of hours because he could not get a follow-up shot to him. I once had a situation, where I hit a small buck at about 3:00pm too far back; he laid down behind a log where I could not make a follow-up shot. At about 9:00pm, well after dark, I heard it get up and sneak away. I made my quiet escape in the darkness and recovered that buck 30 yards from where I last heard it. Consequently, I was not unfamiliar with situations where a hunter is held hostage by a bad shot and slowly dying animal. But, this was somewhat different. I was over 4 hours and counting with an elk at 30 yards and arrows 10 feet below me.

This was a psychologically draining scenario. I was tired. I had been in that tree since before dark. I knew that my only chance at recovery was to just allow it to happen. I had to wait him out. I had to get tough and wait. I had to pee . . . bad . . . but I was afraid to. My butt was severly asleep either from the narrow treestand seat or the discomfort of having my head in it for so long. The cause was unclear. But alas, I waited. I passed the time soul searching - Deep treestand thoughts and forever to be "classified" conversations "with" my father. I thought of my wife and kids, and of course I thought a lot about that bull - apologizing to him for my mistake.

At 4:30, this happened . . .

Image

Image

It was interesting. He approached from almost downwind. I believe that he winded me and the bull. And, I believe that he could see my bull. I believe that he could smell me, but he could not see me and was relaxed by the presence of the other bull and he just peacefully browsed his way through unaware of the drama that was being played out in his presence.

. . . more to come . . .

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PostPosted: January 11th, 2015, 11:38 pm 
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I can't wait for the rest of the story.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 12:11 am 
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5:00pm - Came. I had been in the tree nearly 10 hours. I think I peed somewhere around this time, although I don't recall doing so, but I know that I did and the bull was not affected. Over time, the bull continued to get sicker. His head seemed to still be up, but I thought it may have been resting on a log. His eyes would close for some time, but then open for some time. The arrow was still in him. At no time did he make any attempt to remove it although he could have easily done so.

After all of the difficult and tiring time that had passed. I started to think tactically. The bull was weaker now. I knew that if I was to do anything, I needed to do it before dark. As the afternoon passed, I became increasingly colder. I had no water, and I ate the apple that I brought with me hours ago. I thought, well, I have a caribiner and a rope. The bull is weaker. Just maybe I could fish my arrows up the tree. I knew that getting out of that tree was not an option.

I rigged my fishing line. Slowly lowered it, keeping close eye on the bull who was facing me. The bull seemed not to notice. First try. Caribiner contacts metal rod on great northern quiver. NOISE. Bull remained bedded. One more try . . . CONNECTION. I couldn't believe it. Part of me thought this was just going to be an exercise of desperation yielding no results - just a thing to keep me occupied. But, alas, on only my second try, I had a secure hook up. I slowly started hauling the quiver up the tree.

This proved to be too much even for the sick bull. He stood up. I quickened the pace. He started to move. Arrows were up, back on the stupid hook, put an arrow on the bow and the bull was standing at 45 yards.

Drew . . . hit anchor . . . released . . . watched a beautiful looking arrow sail over its back . . . the bull moved to 50 yards . . . next arrow away, I saw it hit low in the neck - maybe cut hair or a superficial wound. The bull moved to 60 yards, then 70. I could see him standing broadside at 70. I had one arrow left. I decided that since he was not moving, and since I just missed him at 40, I should conserve my last sharp broadhead.

After about 45 minutes, at 6:30, he laid down at 70 yards. And for the first time, in nearly 7 hours I could not make visual contact with the bull. I noticed another thing too - he didn't peacefully lay down. He sort of fell over on his side, but it was clearly not a 'falling over dead' type of fall but it was not a healthy or peaceful fall. I waited 15 more minutes.

Without him in sight, the situation felt considerably more uncontrollable and desperate. My thought was that I should wait until dark and sneak out of there. In the private conversations in my mind, sneaking out under the cover of darkness is what my dad demanded me to do. BUT, I didn't do that, exactly. You know, the hold head up the @$$ thing.

At 6:45, I quietly and slowly climbed out of that tree. I thought, "Well, I know that bull is about 70-80 yards away. I can probably sneak over to his original bed to asses the sign. I did. Not much blood. I looked up and I could see my two arrows from the two misses. I thought, well, I can probably quietly get to the one that grazed him. Maybe I should check it. I did.

At this point, I estimate, I was probably 40 yards from the bull, although I could not see it. The sign on that arrow confirmed my suspicions - just cut some hair. So, I thought, "OK, nothing more I can do now; I need to get out of here."

. . . and then I heard something. I distinctly heard gurgling. I heard, without a doubt, labored breathing coming from the direction of the bull.

. . . I contemplated options. Ultimately, I decided, my probability of recovery is uncertain no matter what. The only things I knew for sure were that he was close - not moving - trouble breathing - I was there - I had shooting light . . . and one arrow . . .

I stalked. I saw the bull when I got to 30 yards. He was not responsive to my presence, but very much still alive. I closed to 20 and had a clear view of his chest. And at approximately, 7pm and after the only satisfactory arrow of the day was released, the bull went his last 30 yards and was dead.

Whew! Man! Holy cow! Unbelievable! What just happened? How did that happen? A roller coaster of emotions. Highs and lows. Perhaps the most psychologically difficult hunt of my life had come to a close with a dead bull in my hands.

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 12:25 am 
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So, what happened? How did this happen? I have contemplated this question since that day. You can clearly see the shot placement in those pictures. Not perfect (obviously), but clearly it doesn't suck either. Autopsy revealed that both the entrance and exit wounds were between the 7th and 8th ribs counting from the back. I did not find a cut in the liver and I thought I found a cut in the lungs, but I didn't inspect the organs particularly closely. I was tired and had a lot of work to do, afterall.

My only explanation is that perhaps it was a very weak lung shot. In the very bottom of the lungs. The lungs did not collapse and there clearly was not an artery cut. Rather, the lungs slowly filled with blood throughout the day.

I have to face some hard facts to live with. The broadhead mattered here. I know how to sharpen heads and I know what sharp is. Every one of these arrows cut hair off of my legs the previous evening in camp when I touched them up. Those VPAs are hard though. As difficult as it is to admit, I have to think that my broadhead must not have been quite as sharp as we prefer. I have to take accountability for that. I am not sure why - I thought they were sharp - as I said, I touched them up the previous evening - I have to accept that, this time, I did a poor job at that. While it is not the head's fault, this caused me to lose confidence in this particular head, so I can no longer use them (this was my first time using them).

Or, maybe the broadhead was fine. Afterall, I checked the SOBs. Maybe it is just the case that the perfect storm occurred and I had a very rare lung hit, and elk are just that big and that tough. Maybe this would have happened with any head - the lungs just took that long to fill and collapse.

. . . I don't know . . . I can never know . . .

Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Any similar elk sagas out there where it took this long to die? Again, NOT a gut shot. This was a chest cavity hit and the bull did not die until a follow-up heart shot 8 hours later. They are amazing, mysterious, and most of all TOUGH animals.

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 12:37 am 
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I thought I was going to have to call, wake you up, and get you outta bed to finish this story!

My first Columbian blacktail had a similar hit, not lung, no gut, acted like a liver hit yet I couldn't find an actual cut on the liver. Is there an angle where that can even happen? I had a slightly less passive pursuit and recovery.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 8:38 am 
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Such a quality post, Ted. Many thanks! Adds value to the org and I think the kind of piece that begs discussion, which makes it more appropriate for the site than the mag imho.

Good stuff!


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 8:47 am 
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The only way to know exactly what happened here would have been via a slow and painstaking examination/dissection of the internal organs. My experience has been that there's a belief that any arrow carrying a sharp broadhead which penetrates the chest completely will result in a quick kill. It usually works that way, but not automatically. The anatomy affected by the arrow is what matters. It's the reason a guy gets 2 bullets in the chest and survives, while another takes one in the gut and dies on the scene. If that broadhead doesn't cut a major vessel you won't have major hemorrhage and sudden shock to drop the animal. If atmospheric air enters the chest you will have lung collapse (pneumothorax) but only to the areas that air can reach. If the wound gets plugged with any tissue then air will not enter. You can theoretically AND realistically shoot through both lungs without cutting a major vessel (though rare) and if the lungs do not completely collapse, the animal can respire (air) and continue to live. Slower internal bleeding and other damage may bring death over time, but that's not certain either. Perfect (looking) hits don't mean perfect results, and this is the most common reason why guys see a great looking shot turn into a heartbreaking trail leading to no animal that they can find.

Conversely, who hasn't hit an animal with a less-than-desirable shot...felt sick and assumed it would go badly...only to have the animal die in under a minute or so? I've seen that happen many times. It's all due to the factors of anatomy, arrow placement, blade alignment (luck), angles...moon and tide. We always want to think that 1+1 = 2, but sometimes it adds up to zero.

Ted...hell of story and very compelling read! I was there in your head the entire time, and yeah...it was strangely damp and dark a few times. Congrats on making it happen. I love this kind of stuff.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 9:44 am 
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Ted, I was riveted to every word throughout your story of the day. I have never shot an elk so take that for what its worth. I have seen quit a few whitetails hit in similar spot as well as high over lungs that live for a day or longer. With your arrow still stuck in the holes that didn't help anything. The helps in coagulation and keeps the blood from flowing. This situation has nothing to do with the type of broadhead. On all those deer that were slightly misshit there were many different heads used.

Don't beat yourself up, I am very impressed with your stamina to stay put and let the events take its course. The time you stayed definitely was the key factor in his recovery.

Great bull by the way and congrats on a successful hunt.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 10:00 am 
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Good story. Things don't always go perfectly as we would prefer. Had a similar situation one year with a small buck that I shot too high in Illinois. Clipped the very top of one lung. Shot the deer in the morning and then watched it all day long bedded with its head up. Found it 100 yards away the next morning. Looks like you played a bad situation right.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 11:48 am 
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Good story and congratulations on the elk recovery.

B.T.W., it sounds like you could rent out that tree stand. It was in a good spot.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 12:03 pm 
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Great Story Ted... Thanks for sharing it. You did a great job putting us in the moment. You certainly brought back some memories of a similar circumstance: extended hours in a tree stand, self doubt, mind searching for the right decision, anxiety, etc. Yep, it's all coming back.

Your mental toughness won the day... GREAT JOB... GREAT STORY!

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 1:32 pm 
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Great story Ted. That sure had to be a long nerve wracking day. Congrats on wrapping it up.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 3:56 pm 
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Way to stay strong. My opinion by looking at your picts you only hit one lung. I think with the elevation and angle of arrow travel I think you missed the off side lung. Elk are tough, they have a will to live. An elk was killed around my home town with a wood shaft through both lungs. All healed up and was doing fine until killed years later. Heard of stories of elk with parts of arrows in the livers. My wife shot an elk further back than your hit but it was much higher and she shot out both lungs, bull died shortly. Congratulations on the recovery.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 5:32 pm 
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Great thoughts - thanks to all. One lung is possible, but I do think he was dying. Ultimately I sped that process up slightly, but he was in his final hours when I finished him. That twenty yard finisher was a nerve wracking shot to take. He was watching me do it and hadn't the will to get up. Personally, I think I hit both lungs and I had a situation like Kevin described. Honestly, I think the broadhead was pretty sharp, but a dull blade that maybe slid across blood vessels without cutting, I figured could have caused it. I don't know - maybe one lung though. Maybe just the one in a million, perfect storm, where the arrow can get through the chest without cutting much. Who knows. I do know this though - I wouldn't have been in that situation if my arrow was just a few inches to the right. Very small margins for error with huge consequences in this thing we do.

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 5:54 pm 
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WOW WOW!, Man what a story. Congrats Ted. I have to say like Chief Dan George said in the Outlaw Josey Wales movie. You Endeavored To Persevere, and it certainly paid off. True PBS all the way. Thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 7:43 pm 
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Excellent story and stamina.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 8:03 pm 
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Heck of a story Ted, way to hang tough!


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 8:07 pm 
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Great story!

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 8:28 pm 
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not the exactly the same scenario but I shot a wildebeest in much the same manner. The arrow hit right in the pocket and I was sure he was dead on his feet. Not so lucky. He actually lasted 12 hours before he died. Upon dissecting the following day, I could only find cuts in one lung from the broadhead (3 blade woodsman). The only thing I could figure was the arrow hit right as the lungs were empty so that it just missed the offside lung. I was approximately 12 feet of the ground in a treestand. In looking at your entrance and exit locations I think you nailed it, the perfect storm. Probably one in a million shot.
Image

Way to hang in there Ted, no doubt the majority of hunters would not have recovered this elk. We all second guess ourselves, especially when things like this happen. Congrats on a fine elk and appreciate you taking the time to share the story with us. KTE

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 9:50 pm 
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Amazing story Ted,

I doubt that many men would have strung together enough correct decisions to achieve the outcome you had.

Hunting is something we do because we are fortunate enough not to have had it bread out of us. Try as we might, there are no 100% guarantee's for the perfect kill shot. Too many chaotic variables exist for us to escape marginal hits, or in your case what looks like a good hit but some bad luck in how the arrow wove it's way through the chest. A hundred arrows could hit that same spot and not had the same result you had.

What's important is how you handled what you saw after the shot. Al things considered, I think the most remarkable thing about the hunt is how you controlled the only thing you could control and that was your patience.

Congratulations on your elk hunt. You've demonstrated a fine lesson in bow hunting.
Thanks for a great and compelling story.


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PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 11:49 pm 
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I agree with Olin. I would guess you got the bottom of the near lung. The entrance hole would be good if you were level with the bull, but from a treestand it probably should be about six inches higher. I like to keep the arrow at least mid body on the vertical if you shoot them behind the shoulder, and higher up the farther back you go. Rob's picture shows it pretty well. You can hit them mid body, fore and aft, right under the back and get the back of the lungs.

One of the bulls we killed this year had a small, thin three blade head imbedded in a rib bone inside the lung cavity. Two of the blades were bent down, and it looked like it had been in there a year. The only entrance scar we found looked to be a frontal shot. It was really a small, poor broadhead that I don't think would even be legal to use in this state.


Good story and pictures.


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PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 12:46 am 
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Mark, I am sure you are correct. Not disputing you; I did want to point out though that the bull was on the uphill side of my tree at the time and the shot was only at a slight downward angle. You can see in the pics the arrow entrance and exit were mostly level (although I do wish both were just a bit higher). If you look at the pics of the bigger bull (particularly the second pic). My bull was about half way in between at more or less that line, so I had only a slight angle.

Good theories though ... 1) one lung - perhaps most probable, 2) magic pocket - slipped through chest cavity at that one in a million spot and just didn't cut a lot, 3) broadhead not sharp enough.

And, mark, amazing about the broadhead you found. They are so freaking tough!

.... I have often wondered what would have happened had I not dropped my quiver. I likely would have taken a poor angle follow up shot, to get another set of holes in him. Maybe that would have killed him or maybe he would have been onto the next mountain with no bloodtrail. So, while I had some misfortune and while I did make some boneheaded mistakes; I also had a tremendous amount of good fortune. Had that bull fled out of site, I probably would have taken up the trail after an hour. Had that hunter taken, perhaps, one more step, the bull would have left.

...... I guess, in the end, that bull was meant to provide my daughters with breakfast tomorrow morning (elk omelets or elkolets, as they are called here, have been common fare the last few weeks). I will never know exactly what happened, but I appreciate you all helping us learn as much as we can from this situation.

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PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 8:02 am 
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What an incredible story! Full of lessons for any of us that attempt to shoot animals with arrows. A far better shot than many I have made that had better results. Some degree of luck, good or bad, is always a factor in our hunts.

I'm not buying the dull Broadhead theory though. Sharp is critical of course, but it shaved hair the night before. It should have been easily up to the task of cutting any soft tissue in its path. I'm guessing just incredibly unlucky location. A fraction of an inch higher or more forward or even further back would likely have had much different results. A quarter turn on the rotation of the Broadhead during flight would have cut differently. You were that close to perfection, and you would have been thinking about what a great shot you made.

The real answer will never really be known. When we release an arrow sometimes strange stuff happens. What is important is knowing what to do after the shot, and that is where you shined. As others have said, most hunters would probably not have recovered that bull. I wonder about myself had I been sitting in your stand. But if I ever find myself in a similar situation I sure hope that this story pops into my mind and that I handle it as well as you did.

Congratulations on a fine bull!


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PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 8:30 am 
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Very interesting hunt, what incredibly bad luck with the dropped quiver and seemingly good shot not working as expected. But from then on, you had some better luck and made some good decisions. I guess I am not the only one who apologized to the animal once it was all over. The agonizing and self-doubting process probably makes us better hunters.

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PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 9:20 am 
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This story reminds me of:

My first bull moose took a double-lung shot from a 2 blade at 12 yards broadside. He bolted about 40 yards and then simply stood for almost 30 seconds before doing a massive sideways crash into the Yukon tundra.

My first Alaska bull took an 18 yard double-lunger which hit forward of what I would prefer. He ran ahead about 40-50 yards, pulled up short...and went lights-out immediately. He died so quick there wasn't even a bubble of blood on his nose. We figured it was likely a severed aorta or major pulmonary artery that put him down so fast.

My last bull took a clean double-lung shot at 6 yards. The arrow crashed through him and into the birch trees behind. He ran and I could see steam belching from both sides of his boiler. "Go down!....GO DOWN!"....and he did after loping about 350 yards and spinning like a PBR bull trying to throw a rider. Go figure that one.

We prefer science, rationality and odds over luck. The truth is that anatomy is inconsistent, as are so many other things when the broadhead bites. If we all just knew how much luck was involved (missed a huge vessel by 1/4") we might have a different philosophy on our shots.


Last edited by Kevin Dill on January 13th, 2015, 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 10:17 am 
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This is my first post here, and I just wanted to tell you thanks for posting this. There is a lot to learn from this thread.


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PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 11:06 am 
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Thank you Austin.

Kevin - you are correct about being lucky.

Check this one out. This is the autopsy from a buck I killed a few years ago. 5 yard shot - extreme treestand angle. Upon impact the buck ran hard for 40 yards. Stopped and stood for something like a minute. Then slowly WALKED away out of sight. Left my field of view at about 70 yards. I found him dead the next morning at 100 yards. Heart shot. Longest I have ever seen a heart shot deer live (probably lived 5 or so minutes - next morning recovery). I was shooting a Magnus I. One of the 1.5 inch suckers. My shot sucked. Fortunately, the broadhead must have went through the chest cavity vertically, just barely clipping the bottom tip of the heart. I got lucky that day - 99% of the time, that buck would have lived to see another day. Note in the pic where I put the arrow through the wound how little of the shaft is inside the chest cavity. I didn't deserve that buck on such a poor 5 yard shot . . . but I will take luck any day.

Entrance Wound
Image

Exit Wound
Image

Arrow through wound after skinning
Image

Image

Here's the crazy one - look how much of the shaft is inside the chest cavity
Image

Here's the heart . . . it is a real good thing I was shooting a BIG broadhead and it went through vertically
Image

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