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Thread: Can a Lung Shot Deer Run 400 yards?

  1. #1
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    Default Can a Lung Shot Deer Run 400 yards?

    This deer was shot at 45 yards broadside with 90gr FFG and 240 gr Hornady XTP bullets. After the shot, he turned and went back the way he came, and by the time he was out of my sight (100yds) he was trotting. He made it 400 yards through the bush and died in a bedding area. I didn't find a drop of blood on the snow until I found the deer, but there was hair on the snow where I shot him. After I found him, I could only find blood for about 30 yards tracing his tracks backward, he bled out internally.

    Shot placement is high for sure, but still in the bread basket. Just a reminder to do your homework! Tag applied immediately after the photo.

    IMG_20171110_091521.jpg

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  3. #2
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    IMHO...the 'Double Lung' is a Hail Mary shot, center of mass that does lethally/mortally wounds the deer, but then you have to wait till it kills them. If it wasn't a very damaging hit, they can go some time/distance before they die. I have shot deer straight thru the heart and the 'fight/flight' reflex still takes them sometime 50-100 yds.

    I'm not a fan of jacketed bullets for MLs. I like a soft lead bullet that flattens out like a $.50 piece, expending all the kinetic energy inside the deer.

    Congrats on the nice looking Buck, sure wish we had snow down, hopefully by the time Dec rolls around for our ML season.
    Last edited by MikePal; November 16th, 2017 at 05:58 PM.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

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    That is crazy when you can't find blood even in the snow... Nice recover job. Looks like a nice deer
    Congrats
    "Everything is easy when you know how"
    "Meat is not grown in stores"

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    No. A liver shot can.

  6. #5
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    I don't post a lot on this forum these days, and usually try to post where I feel I can help others. This post was intended to encourage hunters to go the extra mile when searching for their game.

    I have been fortunate to harvest 30+ deer over the years (this was the third for 2017) and have been fortunate to conduct necropsies on deer with some of our nations leading pathologists. I know what lungs and liver are. The liver is untouched, in my father's freezer and this deer had a hole in its lungs.

  7. #6
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    I have no doubt that the odd lung shot deer could make it that far. On a typical vitals shot (non-CNS) the reason the deer goes down is due to loss of consciousness not because it is dead. Loss of consciousness typically occurs due to a catastrophic drop in blood pressure. Depending on how the lungs are hit will determine how quickly the resulting blood loss causes unconsciousness. Even if both lungs are collapsed and the deer can't breathe at all it will still go a long way if the blood loss is not rapid. Just think of how long you can hold your breathe - say 2 minutes - so if the deer had just inhaled right before the shot it can probably travel for that long or longer if the blood loss is not too much. Best shot for blood loss is the top of the heart - take off the arteries and allow the heart to pump out of all the ruptured arteries and the blood pressure will drop to critical inside 5 or 10 seconds.

    Never had one go that far myself with the gun but I did have one go 205 yards (this was the straight line distance as measured with a range finder) on a textbook double lung pass-thru arrow shot.
    Last edited by Species8472; November 16th, 2017 at 06:56 PM.
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  8. #7
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    Congrats on the buck and finding it!

  9. #8
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    I had two bucks run 400 yards with a single lung and a heart shot. The second one cross the stream so I saw everything. No blood until it stopped running and it took about 10 steps and dropped dead.

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    nice deer congrats
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikePal View Post
    like a $.50 piece
    ... what's that?

    Obviously, yes a deer can run with a double lung. I agree, sticking with the trail regardless of blood or not, is an important lesson that everyone needs to learn. I carry a roll of marking tape just for that purpose, it is a pain going back and picking up all of pieces of tape; but if I am, it means I have found the deer. Being a bow hunter, usually in a 20' stand a number of my kills have required trailing deer by prints until I can find blood, sometimes even then it can be difficult. I make a point of tracking/trailing the deer even if I watched it go down, in my opinion it is a necessary skill and one that should be practiced. The worst was a single lung, the deer kicked and ran up the trail out of the bush into a silage stubble field then a short cut hay field, the deer had done a wide loop and died in a fence line, for what-ever reason there was not a lot of blood, trying to pick up his tracks among all the other tracks that exited the bush into field was difficult; but personally rewarding with the knowledge that I had done it.

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