Lost a Hind today


Distinguished Member
Hello Everyone.

I was out today, nice and early, within 5 mins I was onto a Red Hind, no calf to be seen. She was only 70m ish away so I lined up and took a neck shot, she dropped on the spot :lol: . Happy as Larry :lol:.........

When I went up to her, she was still kicking a little, her neck was under her body and she was on her back in a rut, as this was unsuitable for a second shot, I placed my rifle down, got my knife out to dispatch her by severing the arteries at the base of the neck. Just as I got the knife out, she kicked hard and got on her feet and ran, I had no time to get a "Stop" shot off.....


I am absolutley devistated by this, I know that there is a Hind out there, hopefully dead now, but if not, seriously wounded. She has been shot and died for no reason now. This has been playing on me all day now, I am really down knowing this. I do hope it was an adrenalin run that got her up, and she went down soon after.

I have in the past paralised deer with a neck shot and had to dispatch with a knife or second shot, I thought that this was the same, due to the position of her neck under her.

I do not want critasisim on neck shots or the ethics behind it, I do not have to take neck shots to reduce meat damage for the dealer, I just thought that I would share my feelings about this, I have not had a runner before that did not go down within 10m and was not found.

A Gutted TJ.


Site Staff
Well TJ dispite what some folk put on this site :rolleyes: if you have done enough of it eventually you will get a day like you have had, although its not nice.

Trouble with neck shots especially on a Red is that if you do not hit the spine, you will sometimes temporarily paralise the animal, which will eventually get up and run off, and unless you have just skimmed the top of the neck, it will go down somwhere eventually and die.

I know this is not what you want to hear, and for those that say it has never ever happened to me. Well get out there and stalk enough and it will happen one day.

This is where a good dog and or handgun comes in handy. And I know many on here will say why take a handgun. Well now you know why, especially if you are with clients on Sika stags, because these deer carry a shot more than any other deer.

TJ where did it run to after it got up, knowing your ground well also helps.

Fair play to you for putting it on the site, brave man, many on here would not for fear of the unwelcome and unconstructive responses we get from time to time. If it was yesterday, see if you can source someone local with a good hound to trail it tomorrow.

If I lived near to you I would come up with the dog and help you, but its a bit of a jaunt from here. Pm me if you need any more help.

All the best mate.


Distinguished Member
The Hind ran into a wood, well, when I say wood, to look at it, it is inpenatrable...unless you get down on your hands and knees, it amazes me than any animal as large as a Hind could get through it with relative ease. I tried as best as I could to follow, but I could have been with in 2m of it laying there and not seen it.

Hindsight is always a good thing, I have gone over it 1000 times in my head what I should have done different.

Cheers for a genuine reply, as I said I don't want an ethics slagging.



Well-Known Member
I have serious mixed feelings about your post TJ. One of my main objectives in stalking deer is the quick and humane dispatch of the quarry.
Sorry mate but your suffering and that deer is suffering through your choice of shot.

Having said that, despite your best efforts everybody can end up loosing a wounded beast. I have been there and it is not nice. I have spent hours trailing small spots of blood but all well spent if I can locate the beast.

Was there a blood trail to follow?

I agree with Sikamalc find somebody with a good hound.


Well-Known Member
dont beat yourself up too much, yes its bad, yes you wish you had done things differently but by feeling this way you are showing you have respect for the beast. Some may not be too bothered about wounding an animal.


Well-Known Member
this happens to the best and the worst of us
today you learn't a valuable lesson
as she was on her back and thrashing about , a shot through the ribs would of secured her , but next time , before thinking about the knife if they are moving about a bit, as a finish with a knife could be a dangerous position to put yourself in, wait a little next time just to see what goes on
sounds like you clipped her along the top of the neck
might even survive
but keep hold of your rifle and be prepared to take a texas heart shot type follow up shot
that feeling of loosing one ain't good is it, plenty others reading this are going through or hav been in the same boat, that i can promise you
been through it myself
that's why i now hav a dog for deer and doing the dog days ,
take care


Well-Known Member
"I do not want critasisim on neck shots or the ethics behind it, I do not have to take neck shots to reduce meat damage for the dealer, I just thought that I would share my feelings about this, I have not had a runner before that did not go down within 10m and was not found. "


Having found out for yourself that the neck shot is NOT a perfect solution - has it altered your viewpoint at all?

Do you think you will use it more or less often in future?

Rgds Ian

The Mole

Well-Known Member
Been there TJ - in my case a small roe buck which leapt to its feet after collapsing and lying still for about 5 minutes while I watched it from a high seat convinced it was dead. Then it simply bounded up and ran - no chance to get a second shot away. We searched the ground with 2 good dogs that night and again the next morning - minimal blood, no bone fragments, no trace of the animal.

Like you, I was absolutely gutted but learned from the experience and am very wary of neck shot animals which collapse to the shot - but I'll still do it if the occasion demands. On the positive side, if you've creased the neck but caused no real bone damage it will probably recover. Serous damage to the vertebrae is more likely to be more permanently disabling.

Respect for an honest post and clear respect for your quarry. As Sikamalc says, it happens, so don't let it get to you.


Well-Known Member

I am sorry to say that I have seen this happen more than once before with neck shots, even with a dog by my side I always try for a heart/lung shot. ;)

Don't beat yourself up about it, but live and learn.

Sorry that you have had to go though this.

Best rgds



Well-Known Member

I shot a roe square in the sholder in the summer and it dropped. Walked up to the spot.........gone. Found it a week later 50m from where it dropped in the tall grass go figure. It happens. Learn an move on, it aint my place to judge so I won't.



Well-Known Member
Hi TJ,
by a quirk of fate Sunday morning I missed my first ever deer. I had no dog (wife had my 4x4, the only car for the dog). I scoured the ground and hope, unless I missed it, there was no blood or hair. I'm therefore as certain as I can be that I missed clean. Still an awfull feeling, as but for the grace of God I would be feeling as you do now. I have to head shoot, if I did not I would very rarely do so through choice. As others have often said, if you shoot enough deer, eventually this will happen. I shall be checking everything, scope, mounts etc before I take another shot at live quarry with that rifle. Having read your post I guess you will be doing the same. Chin up mate, I would be far more concerned if you DIDN'T feel bad.


Well-Known Member
If the hind was directly facing you or facing away it sounds like you have hit muscle in the side of the neck, the shock would have been enough to drop it temporarily, with luck it has sustained a flesh wound and with no flies about it hopefully will recover, if you had taken a few mills off the spine it wouldnt have got up again.

Most of us who have shot a lot of deer have probably lost one at some time, and you do feel gutted, but next time one is still moving after you've shot it, give it another without hesitation, but I guess you've already made that decision.

Just a small point, it sounds like its a good job you did'nt get to stick your knife in that beast, she could, and probably would of, have kicked your head clean off, dont do it, shoot it again.


Well-Known Member
We all make mistake's TJ but not many of us have the guts to go public with them.

You have shown a lot of guts and a lot of heart today.

Tomorrow go and look again and I hope you find her, if not move on and carry on.



Well-Known Member
I agree entirely with Max and buck52

A while back I had to help pick up a darted red hind. She was not fully out and started to thrash about when touched. I remember her kick out at me and watched as her hoof just missed my neck. Shall never forget that and am unlikely to get too close to one again. Unless I know its dead.


Well-Known Member
Honest post as allways,. Like Max said ,have another look.Then move on mate, you have done what you can and have learnt valuable lessons.
Get back in the saddle.


Well-Known Member

Feel your pain mate. I had an attack of over confidence in the autumn and took a neck shot I probably never should of.(not that I'm suggesting yours was) Thankfully I did find my deer but that stomach wrenching, sick to your boots feeling when it sods off is not to be envied. Speedy return to the saddle in order I suspect.


Well-Known Member
this a interesting post by tj ,its a very typical scenario of a spine ,neck shot gone wrong .the hind was lost and thats always a sore point with fellow stalkers . a dog should be brought to the spot as soon as you can .not much more can be done only look out for vermin in the area for the next few weeks ..i neck shoot most if not all hinds i cull but i use suitable cals for the job 110 gr v max or 130 gr ballistic tips in the 270 or 70gr 90gr ballistic tips in the 243 for close work ,but the 90 grs can pass through with out expanding at time s .its hard to hit bone all the time on a sika calf so a explosive round is the key .before you neck shoot learn your placement points .tj did not mention the cal and bullet he was using as a point of interest .


Well-Known Member
take my hat of to you for your honesty.

It happens , 1 point I'd make is don't be shy of where you shoot a wounded deer , even a shot in a hind leg or gut will slow it down enough for another shot.
Unfortunatly the only way to experience dealing with wounded animals is to "deal with wounded animals" , I wish I had less of it [too many clients and pressure for numbers]

My only advice is to learn from it and blank it out of your mind for the next shot.

I'll pm you my mob. no. , if you ever need a hand give me a call, Im afraid I'm a bit light on dogs at the moment, but me old dog will still have a go.


Well-Known Member

this is unfortunately one of these things that happens. It is not good wondering what has happened to the animal, but what is done is done and it is best to move on. This happens to most stalkers that are out often enough.

The animal is probably still alive with only a grazed neck, but only you will know this depending on the position of the hind.

Put it to the back of your mind and go and enjoy your next day out. :D