Curmudgeon

Hair - No Blood. What happened?

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At 12:14 I pulled the trigger on a big doe at 32 yards. It is a slight up hill shot, maybe 4-5 feet in elevation higher than the blind. I couldn't visually track the bolt but it showed up in a tree right behind her, above her elbow. She doesn't flinch and trots away like normal. Deer here are used to being bumped by people - not panicked, no obvious distress. The Rage broadhead is buried vertically in the sugar maple tree 3' behind where she stood. Only the threads and half of the top blade were out of the tree. It cannot be removed. There is a fair amount of hair on the ground and some on the broadhead. There is no blood, no tissue. None on the broadhead, or the shaft, or the vanes, or along the path she took out of there. No blood.

She trotted towards a 4 acre patch of thick cover where deer go to hide, and sometimes to die. I spent 1 3/4 hours combing that cover and found nothing. I just brought my cube up to the site, put it where the deer was and shot the same bolt with the Rage practice point provided with the broadheads. It was vertically perfect and 1.5" to the right. That is consistent with how it/I shoot normally. Generally a 2-2.5" group at 30 yards.

It was dead on when I pulled the trigger on the deer. However, it's pretty clear the bolt went high. Does anyone know if the Rage practice points and the actual broadheads shoot the same? The 2 deer I previously killed with Rage broadheads were at half that distance.

I'm trying to understand the hair and no blood part. The broadhead was fully opened in the tree. If the broadhead had opened when it hit the deer, I would have seen blood and some reaction. It must have passed above the spine. Maybe it did not even cut skin. I initially thought a closed Rage might not cut hair if it skimmed a deer. I have never had an arrow or bolt pass through a deer and not have blood showing somewhere. However, I'm wondering if the broadhead - being vertical as it reached the deer - could have skimmed her back and cut hair, opening when it hit the tree. 

Any thoughts on why the bolt went high? Does my speculation on the broadhead cutting hair when it is closed make sense? Any other thoughts?

 


 

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A deer has a hell of a thick coat on its back, you can easily get just hair

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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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12 minutes ago, Curmudgeon said:

At 12:14 I pulled the trigger on a big doe at 32 yards. It is a slight up hill shot, maybe 4-5 feet in elevation higher than the blind. I couldn't visually track the bolt but it showed up in a tree right behind her, above her elbow. She doesn't flinch and trots away like normal. Deer here are used to being bumped by people - not panicked, no obvious distress. The Rage broadhead is buried vertically in the sugar maple tree 3' behind where she stood. Only the threads and half of the top blade were out of the tree. It cannot be removed. There is a fair amount of hair on the ground and some on the broadhead. There is no blood, no tissue. None on the broadhead, or the shaft, or the vanes, or along the path she took out of there. No blood.

She trotted towards a 4 acre patch of thick cover where deer go to hide, and sometimes to die. I spent 1 3/4 hours combing that cover and found nothing. I just brought my cube up to the site, put it where the deer was and shot the same bolt with the Rage practice point provided with the broadheads. It was vertically perfect and 1.5" to the right. That is consistent with how it/I shoot normally. Generally a 2-2.5" group at 30 yards.

It was dead on when I pulled the trigger on the deer. However, it's pretty clear the bolt went high. Does anyone know if the Rage practice points and the actual broadheads shoot the same? The 2 deer I previously killed with Rage broadheads were at half that distance.

I'm trying to understand the hair and no blood part. The broadhead was fully opened in the tree. If the broadhead had opened when it hit the deer, I would have seen blood and some reaction. It must have passed above the spine. Maybe it did not even cut skin. I initially thought a closed Rage might not cut hair if it skimmed a deer. I have never had an arrow or bolt pass through a deer and not have blood showing somewhere. However, I'm wondering if the broadhead - being vertical as it reached the deer - could have skimmed her back and cut hair, opening when it hit the tree. 

Any thoughts on why the bolt went high? Does my speculation on the broadhead cutting hair when it is closed make sense? Any other thoughts?

 

The one I shot at 20 yards with the crossbow and rage broadheads last year. literally went 30-40 yards and I saw no blood but had seen where he went. at that point it was gushing. my bolt had no blood or fat on it that I could see. it did feel a little greasy. it went into   the ground so fast from my view it looked like I missed. squeezed the trigger and it was in the ground behind the deer. how far was the cover she disappeared into?

Edited by Culvercreek hunt club

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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56 minutes ago, Culvercreek hunt club said:

The one I shot at 20 yards with the crossbow and rage broadheads last year. literally went 30-40 yards and I saw no blood but had seen where he went. at that point it was gushing. my bolt had no blood or fat on it that I could see. it did feel a little greasy. it went into   the ground so fast from my view it looked like I missed. squeezed the trigger and it was in the ground behind the deer. how far was the cover she disappeared into?

150 yards to the cover. I just went on a wider search before dark circling around the hill scanning with binoculars. Nothing. If the bolt passed through below the spine, how far could she possibly go?

As far as human error, I have a tripod in the blind I use as a rest. It has a chunk of dense foam on top. I doubt it was me.

Edited by Curmudgeon

 

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2 minutes ago, Curmudgeon said:

150 yards to the cover. I just went on a wider search before dark circling around the hill scanning with binoculars. Nothing. If the bolt passed through below the spine, how far could she possibly go?

High entry and exit holes suck. I would still have thought you would have seen some form of blood in that distance even with that hit. was there anything on the arrow? fat or anything?


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Sorry to hear this. I know that feel.

The only advice I do have, and by God I stress it, is to get some lighted nocks for your bolts. Makes a ton of difference and really minimizes the amount of second guessing that happens when things don't work the way they should. Lighted nocks on my Xbow do shoot about 1" consistently to the left of the same bolt without the lighted nock so I adjust that on my scope when zeroing.

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20 minutes ago, Culvercreek hunt club said:

High entry and exit holes suck. I would still have thought you would have seen some form of blood in that distance even with that hit. was there anything on the arrow? fat or anything?

Nothing on the arrow. Clean as a whistle. I just felt it.  No grease. Nothing.


 

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Did you hear any sort of impact noise before the arrow hit the tree?

Bolt stuck in the tree at about the height of her elbow, tells me perhaps you shaved off some belly hair? Was the hair you found all white?Including the tips?

If you hit below the spine, you would have heard two separate impacts. And you'd definitely have some fat residue on the arrow.

If she just got a close shave, she will be fine. 

I don't use Rage heads, so can't help you on them. But do use a two blade mechanical head. The one side could have opened to shave hair. But just the chisel tip is enough to shave hair on a close hit without deploying the blades.

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30 minutes ago, grampy said:

Did you hear any sort of impact noise before the arrow hit the tree?

Bolt stuck in the tree at about the height of her elbow, tells me perhaps you shaved off some belly hair? Was the hair you found all white?Including the tips?

If you hit below the spine, you would have heard two separate impacts. And you'd definitely have some fat residue on the arrow.

If she just got a close shave, she will be fine. 

I don't use Rage heads, so can't help you on them. But do use a two blade mechanical head. The one side could have opened to shave hair. But just the chisel tip is enough to shave hair on a close hit without deploying the blades.

Grampy,

The bolt was not at elbow height. What I wrote was confusing. Visually, from the blind it was aligned left to right with her elbow. Expressed differently, my view put it above her back even laterally with her elbow. Hair was all dark from high on the deer.  

No noise that I could detect but the tree impact but it is hard to recall in hindsight. The deer being 3' in front of tree would make those sounds very close.

I think I've seen the impact in the past. Maybe just changes in the hair. 

She ran off like I chased her out of the garden. I'm hoping that is an indication shaved her back.

NYtracker - I'm entertaining all possibilities. 

 

 

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The rage broad heads I use in my crossbow have two razor blades on the leading edge and 2 expandable  blades. The leading blades are more than sharp enough to cut hair .

I dont  understand  how the arrow can be stuck vertical in a tree. 

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11 minutes ago, Nytracker said:

The rage broad heads I use in my crossbow have two razor blades on the leading edge and 2 expandable  blades. The leading blades are more than sharp enough to cut hair .

I dont  understand  how the arrow can be stuck vertical in a tree. 

The broadhead was oriented vertically, not the arrow. That may matter if the expandable blade on the bottom of the head cut hair as it passed over the back. I think there was too much hair for just those small leading blades. I do admit to not giving them much thought. 


 

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The broadhead was oriented vertically, not the arrow. That may matter if the expandable blade on the bottom of the head cut hair as it passed over the back. I think there was too much hair for just those small leading blades. I do admit to not giving them much thought. 

Not sure of the cause but it sure sounds like you shaved it. Even when Moog hit his with the rages on Sunday. It was through at bottom of spine and just barely poked out. There were two visible clumps of hair from the impact side. The hair is laid back in a deer. Those big blades cut and the hair it passed through dropped in chunks. Some short and some long but all together. If you hair was scattered behind the deer I am betting it was a graze. It is likely that the arrow was spinning to some degree but at that close distance I agree that he unexpanded would easily cut hair off.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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3 minutes ago, Culvercreek hunt club said:


Not sure of the cause but it sure sounds like you shaved it. Even when Moog hit his with the rages on Sunday. It was through at bottom of spine and just barely poked out. There were two visible clumps of hair from the impact side. The hair is laid back in a deer. Those big blades cut and the hair it passed through dropped in chunks. Some short and some long but all together. If you hair was scattered behind the deer I am betting it was a graze. It is likely that the arrow was spinning to some degree but at that close distance I agree that he unexpanded would easily cut hair off.

The deer did a 180, going back the way it came. The hair was in an area about 10" in diameter and not noticably organized. Some was short, some long. That could happen in either case. I'm not experienced at shaving deer but figured the quick turn could have affected its distribution. 

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Pics of the hair ? Hair off the top of the back has distinct dark tips. A pic or description would def help to figure out where you hit her.

Also, she may have ducked the bolt. My dad has skinned 2 so far with the xbow because he's taking 30+ yard shots and WILL NOT change his methods of aiming double lungs. All xbow shots should be aimed at the heart. Not sure where you had the crosshairs but I'd recommend always aiming for the heart, no matter what distance.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk

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This does sound high back, well above the spine and maybe not even cutting any skin.   That range is just right for her to hear your crossbow release it's energy and drop down enough to take the bolt over the back, especially on an uphill shot.   I was afraid that might have happened to me on last Saturday's buck, when the blood petered out on a "false lead" and I could not find him for about a half hour of grid-searching a small thicket that I thought he must have died in.  I heard what sounded like a crash in there, but it must have been another deer.  I followed very good blood for about 50 yards before turning into that thicket, but no more once inside of it.   When I could not find him, I thought a high back wound might have stopped bleeding and he might be ok and long gone (as I am fairly certain your doe is).  Fortunately, I went back to the "real" blood trail and continued the pursuit.     

When he fast-walked off after taking the bolt, he made a short move towards the small thicket, then turned away and disappeared behind it.  I thought he went into it, but it turned out that he did not.  He actually made it about a hundred yards farther, across an open field, and about 5 feet into a much larger thicket.   

The difference was, my shot was from 7 feet in the air and from a 20 yard range  The closer range and downward angle did not give him time to "duck" the shot,  and it did pass below the spine.  When I got back on the "real" blood-trail, I found him in short order.  

Tree-guys advice about aiming low is a good idea to help avoid those high-back, string-jump issues, especially when you are hunting from the ground.    

Edited by wolc123

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make sure you spin check every arrow. and you should shoot every hunting arrow with the actual broad head you hunt with at least once. i number my arrows and heads. 

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9 hours ago, TreeGuy said:

Pics of the hair ? Hair off the top of the back has distinct dark tips. A pic or description would def help to figure out where you hit her.

Also, she may have ducked the bolt. My dad has skinned 2 so far with the xbow because he's taking 30+ yard shots and WILL NOT change his methods of aiming double lungs. All xbow shots should be aimed at the heart. Not sure where you had the crosshairs but I'd recommend always aiming for the heart, no matter what distance.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
 

Yes, black tips on the hair. Very helpful. I can't remember deer hair at that detail. Maybe I should keep a skin around for reference.

Next 30 yard shot I'll aim lower. Thanks.

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8 hours ago, Hock3y24 said:

make sure you spin check every arrow. and you should shoot every hunting arrow with the actual broad head you hunt with at least once. i number my arrows and heads. 

How do I spin check the bolts? Great idea on testing with the actual head. How do I do that with a Rage?

I've patterned every one of them and always hunt with the one that is most consistent.  

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1 hour ago, Curmudgeon said:

How do I spin check the bolts? Great idea on testing with the actual head. How do I do that with a Rage?

I've patterned every one of them and always hunt with the one that is most consistent.  

I am sure there are far more high tech options but I use what I have. On my work bench I crack open the jaws on my vise about an 1/8 of an inch  and lay the arrow in the opening that it makes. Something as simple as a cardboard box is placed at the broadhead tip and I push the arrow forward to just pierce the paper skin of the box. Pull the arrow back and spin it while it is still in contact with the vise jaws. if you see a wobble and the  point on the cardboard there is an issue. I typically check it in 3 places along the length of the arrow that way but you might need a new pierced spot each time you  slide it forward to check a different spot becasue of surface variations.  If it maintains the same spot on the box while you spin it, it's ok. I will say the tops of my vise jaws are machined and smooth. I have seen many other options to do this to. 

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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Hi Curmudgeon.  Sorry to hear about your miss.  Sounds like you grazed over the top.  As far as why your bolt went so high, is there any chance it grazed the blind?  I'm only asking because, a couple of years ago, I decided to use the top of my popup blind as a rest to shoot at a nice 8pt.  Had a clear view through the scope.  But, with over/under scope mounts, the barrel was a couple of inches lower than the scope and was actually blocked by the blind.  Of course, I missed the deer, but shot the living hell out of the blind.

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2 hours ago, Curmudgeon said:

How do I spin check the bolts? Great idea on testing with the actual head. How do I do that with a Rage?

I've patterned every one of them and always hunt with the one that is most consistent.  

Buy extra shock collars and shoot them, I just spin mine like a dreidel and look for any wobble. 

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