Enjoying some old posts the other day when I came across this gem:
Hope the original poster, gon4elk, won't mind. I wanted to add my own story and encourage other too as well. One of the things I took from the original thread is not only what tough animals elk (and other ungulates) are, but also the importance of shot placement. I know the ideal shot is hard to come by, but for me personally I gained a renewed desire to take only a shot deserving of my quarry.
My story is from just a few years back while hunting elk in western WY. One of the guys in camp shot a nice 5x5, and as we cleaned him out discovered that he had previously been shot by an archery hunter. There was no broadhead or fletchings, just about 12-14 inches of shaft left right under and perpendicular to the spine. It had been healed over with a very tough layer of callous but from what we could tell hadn't adversely affected the bull in any way. Luckily we had the presence of mind to get a quick photo, even though the weather was terrible and we were in some nasty country (imagine that).
To add a similar story, a few years ago a friend and I were hunting elk in CO and he shot a small bull during the first rifle season (early October). While we were skinning it out we found a fairly large pus filled pocket just above the spine right over the shoulder (between the vertical bones on top of the vertebrae). The entry and exit wound were scabbed over and appeared to be healing. From the looks of it, it appeared be a round entry and exit hole, so we figured it was from a muzzleloader that was about a month earlier. It looked like the shot just missed the spine and the vertebrae (within a 1/4" either way, so up until that point it had survived a near disabling shot.
Cool photos. It would seem to me that a whole lot would have to go wrong for a broad head to end up in an eye socket...
My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
You are so right Fink. We have some guy that is taking a straight on bow shot at an elk and shoots his eye out. There is a whole lot wrong with that picture in itself! You notice I did not refer to the person as a hunter! There are a lot of wounded animals caused by poor shots taken with a bow. I was just thankful that I was able to take the majestic elk out of his misery! He hangs proudly on my wall .
Well lets keep in mind. There are more guys out using archery equipment to hunt with than there are guys out that know how to use their archery equipment to hunt with.
Being able to load, pull back and fire a bow is not the same as knowing how to shoot a bow. On top of that, humans tend to not get how our frontal lobes work. Adrenalin causes the frontal lobe to shut down. That is why when under stress we often don't remember what happened.
A sane hunter will often do stupid stuff when buck fever kicks in and take shots that don't make sense.
I hunt because......