Monday, October 02, 2006

Broken arrow

"It's the sh---- part of bowhunting," Walt Lucken assured me.

That it was.

I stared at the blood-spattered wooden shaft, snapped in two, exhausted and finally ready to give in. Seven hours after shooting the young buck, it was obvious we weren't going to find him. Not today at least.

Maybe later in the season, we'll stumble across him on the Ingham County farmland we hunt, possibly during pheasant season, or during a deer drive when gun season is in. But not on this bright blue-skied day.

The warm midafternoon autumn sun was beating down on my neck as I pondered how the whitetail could run so far with a 145-grain broadhead stuck inside of its body, along with the rest of the arrow shaft. Just couldn't be so. I just thought for sure when I first found the remnant he left broken leaning up against a sapling that I would be eating backstrap later in the evening.

Losing a deer is a taboo topic but sooner or later it happens to us all who hunt the crafty ruminants. Sometimes they defy all logic, as it was in this case.

Thankfully, I had a friend along to help save me from myself.

It just came down to Walt saying, "What more can we do?" Otherwise, I might still be out there looking. Yet, he was right. We followed the blood trail to the last spot and began circling from there, following all possible routes from where the blood stopped at a two track going toward the adjoining property. We went along the creek on the other side of the two track, then double-backed behind my stand where I thought I heard dragging sounds an hour and half after the shot. Those noises are what initially caused me to climb down and begin the search. But we never found another trace of blood or clue as to which way he went.

My final assumption is the shot only hit one lung, which allowed the deer to keep on moving down the two track out of the county.

Being it was opening day, I know there should be other opportunities. However, I'm now questioning the two-bladed broadheads I was using since the blood trail petered out so quickly. So, tonight, an order went out to 3Rivers Archery for a three-blade one.

The coyotes must of enjoyed a good meal on me last night. That's all I can say now.

(For pictures and more articles like this, see


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