Has anyone experienced this? I hiked into a great spot that was loaded with cow's the day before. I had cow's all around me. I even had a calf spinning in circles kicking his heels while his mother walked up and bedded 10 yards from me. Amongst all the commotion I heard several locater bugles. I was starting to think it was a person, but the seconds bugle was closer so I answered back. I waited and no response, within 15 minutes above me a bull lets out a lip ball, with chuckles and this sounded like a very mature bull. I bugled back and chuckled 8-10 times. (Keep in mind this is my first Elk) So with his cow's all around me, and the thermal's in my face, I look up and all I see is RACK coming down the mountain. He is coming right at me. When he is 80 yards away I let out two cow calls which I could hardly get out. I was behind a giant cedar tree, 5ft in diameter. So he walks in facing me at 25-30 yards, and just stands there looking at my decoy. After a 2min. standoff he turns completely broadside and I decide to draw behind the tree. (He can't see a thing) I anchor the bow, step to the side of the tree and both my 20 and 30 yard pins are totally in the kill zone, I release the arrow and drill him, but maybe only a couple inches high of perfect, big whack and he turns and run's. As he runs I notice the arrow only penetrated 15-18"????? I was expecting a complete pass thru. Without extending the story anymore, I found the arrow up 70 yards with the broadhead snapped off about 3" up. When I shot he ran about 60 yards in a semicircle the way he came and went to a walk. I bugled at him and cow called, and he just walked off. I was expecting him to be dead within 150 yards. I waited 1 hour, which was a killer, then "still hunted" up the trail. When I had gone 250 yards up the mountain, with descent blood, and it had been an hour and 45 minutes at that point, I backed out quietly. I waited for a nonhunting friend to show up and we went back, now it had been 4 -5 hours. We followed the blood which eventually went to small drops for 1/3 of a mile until almost dark, when a downpour started. Needless to say I am sick to my stomach.Any idea's from any veteran Elk slayer's???? (BTW This was a big bull, in fact when I saw it I couldn't believe it could be my first possible kill)
I neglected to mention. I was shooting a 436 grain carbon arrow,(Gold Tip Pro Hunter), @ 76 pounds, probably going 290 F.P.S.
I'm not a bow hunter but man I feel for ya. Great story but I would say you must have hit bone or something like that. Good luck! I hope you can get the answers your looking for
What broadhead were you shooting?
Slick Trick Magnum 1 1/8"
Originally Posted by huskyhunter
Without seeing the point of impact it could be tough to say, but what if's could be provided. However, first, sorry for the loss. Fortunately/unfortunately I have lost only one animal and I was sick to my stomach so I know how you feel.
It defintely sounds like bone......or possibly dull broadheads. I take extreme caution with my broadheads to ensure that the blades do not get nicked or dulled and I resharpen all of my blades from the factory and often resharpen if I think a blade soemhow may have been dulled.
I feel for you. If it makes you feel better, pretty much every bow hunter has gone through this agony, and it sounds like you did the right things.
I think this might not be about broad head failure; It sounds like ("big whack") you hit bone (rib or shoulder blade) on the way in. No broad head out there can help you retain energy if you have to bust bone, especially on an elk.
Was their bubbles in the blood on your arrow? Will you get a chance to go back into the area and look for it again?
If you got 15-18" of penetration, you probably hit far shoulder, possibly with a bit of arrow bounce-back. Maybe you only caught one lung. Get as many buddies as you can and go canvas the area, listening for crows or magpies as you go. Best of luck to you.
If you only got one lung this bull can live a long time they are tuff. My Uncle had a similiar incident 20 years ago. We blood trailed him over 2 miles. He shot him with a bow only got one lung. We found him bedded he jumped to his feet very much alive (5 hours later). One of the guys in our group was muzz hunting and put him down. I feel for you man, just stay after him maybe you can get his rack & do a european mount. Good Luck, don't be to hard on yourself it happens to us all. Anyone that has hunted very long will unfortunately go through the same expierence.
On the hoof, his chest cavity is about 24-30 inches wide. At a minimum, you should have perforated one lung. The broadhead was also still doing damage internally. Was he going downhill?
I tracked a bull for my friend who nicked the top of a lung and got liver with a crossbow. We found the bull 800 yards away by way the crow flies about 24 hours after he shot the bull and it rained heavy over night. I noticed that this bull was not going downhill at all, but he did stay on a well established game trail that was on a steep side-slope. There were three clearings where the game trails totally disappeared as the animals fanned out in the clear cut. I held the same elevation as I crossed the clearings and then looked for the game trail(s) to resume about 10~15 feet into the timber. I flagged the game trails above and below of the elevation I crossed the clearings at. I literally was on my hands and knees at the start of these flagged game trails to look for tracks, blood, hair, disturbed ground, whatever.
I finally found a speck on some deadfall that had been washed away except where the curve of the deadfall protected it from the rain. I checked another deadfall and rolled it over slightly. The blood had washed off of the exposed surface of the wood and collected/dried in pine needles that were crusted to the bottom of the deadfall. I knew I was on the right game trail.
I had my buddy (the shooter) walk behind me with his bear gun and spray drawn. I was intently focused on the game trail and looking for pine needles on the forest floor that looked out of place. About thirty minutes after finding blood on the underside of deadfall, I rounded a conifer on my hands and knees and came eye to eye with a stone dead six point bull. I just about peed, it startled me so bad.
I feel for you. If it has been more than a day or two, start watching for birds. I lost a whitetail that I tracked for over a mile and she must have got a blood transfusion somewhere along the way.
Edited to add picture of the needle in a haystack.