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First Shot or Last Shot


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My deer hunting bud sent me a text of a blood trail they were following after one of their party hit a deer this morning.

He just called and told me as they were tracking the blood they watched a guy walk up to the downed deer step right in front of Tom and shoot it in the hind quarter. Then (I can't call him a hunter) he claimed the deer.

WTH!

When I was young and learning this deer hunting game we were taught who ever hit it first it was their deer.  

Back in the late 90's I was hunting with my dad and wounded a deer. As we were following the blood trail we heard a shot in front of us. When we got there a guy was standing over my now dead deer.

When we approached he told us when he saw the deer he knew it was messed up so he shot it.

Then he congratulated me on my deer.

I know in different parts of the country there are different unpublished rules.

How about your deer woods? First shot or killing shot? Who claims the deer?

Thanks for letting me rant. I feel better now. :)

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timberdoodletime
Same thing happened to me. Buddy shot a big nine pointer. First deer ever. Trailing a blood trail that Ray Charles could have followed when i hear a gun shot just in front of me. Father and son (25yrs old) had clearly shot the deer laying on the ground in the back of the neck. When confronted they put up a big stink that they thought it got hit by a car or something. REALLY did you not just hear 3 shots 10mins ago 100yrds from you. The tension grew and i left them with the deer. If it was a small deer this would not have happened but since it was a big buck they were fighting tooth and nail for it. Come to find out one of my friends knew these people and told a whole different story and even had the buck mounted and put up on there wall.    :glare:
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Hunters are more often than not their own worst enemies.  I've ran into jerks like that.  

I've also ran into people that were total strangers who helped my drag out deer for no reason other than to help out.  They refused money, deer meat, a case of beer, etc... all they would accept was a thank you.

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When I was young and learning this deer hunting game we were taught who ever hit it first it was their deer.  

I know in different parts of the country there are different unpublished rules.

How about your deer woods? First shot or killing shot? Who claims the deer?

This topic is fresh in the mind, as our rifle season always opens on Nov 15, which is this Sunday. Wolverine deer hunters consider it a Holy Day of Obligation (St Antlers day ) Sorry.  :blush:

We go by whoever makes the "first killing shot". A good deer round put through the boiler room (ie heart, lung, liver zone) will rarely go far, usually less than 50 yds, but might just make it off of the property you are hunting. Then some "fence sitter" may shoot it anywhere and claim it.  :down: Then you have to call for a CO to come settle the dispute. Could get ugly before its over.

We try very hard to be ethical sportsmen and expect others to be the same too.

NB

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Ethically I'd say it is the first shot. Legally it's probably the second.

Yup this.  

The game laws would promote downing wounded game.   But.... putting it down and claiming are different topics.

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Doing deer drives I see a single deer getting shot by multiple hunters quite a bit.  Our rule of thumb is that if the group decides that the deer would have been easily recovered had it not been shot a second time, then the first hunter gets the deer.  We've had lively debates but never any hard feelings.

I've never had anyone claim a deer I shot first, especially a stranger, so I don't know how that would go down.  I don't have a trophy deer so if they were trying to take my first trophy I'd be pretty upset and probably wouldn't just walk away.

I myself could never take a strangers deer.  It wouldn't matter if it was big or not.  The only plus to a big deer in my book is the trophy aspect.  Other than trophy status, they are too heavy to drag out to the woods without a heart attack and they don't taste as good as smaller deer.  Personally, I'd prefer two 100 lb does to any one 175lb buck that didn't have a nice rack.

So mercy shooting someone's wounded trophy buck and fighting them for it just wouldn't make any kind of sense in my book.  It would never feel like MY trophy.   I'd much rather just give the first hunter a fist bump and help him gut and drag and take a few pics with his phone for him.

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Thank you for your replies.

I hate to give up on a wounded deer. One deer particular stands out.

We were in NY for the early October muzzleloader season. One of our hunters wounded a deer. The blood trail turned invisible and the attitude of the group leaned towards the deer not being hit well and surviving.

I didn't give up and followed a "likely" trail I thought a wounded deer may travel.

Long story short I jumped the deer and shot it. I got on the radio and told Big Mike to come get his deer.

Even though they had given up, in my mind it was still his deer. Glad I didn't have to drag it out of there too. They didn't call him Big Mike for nothing. :)

I sent a text to my buddy and asked if they got the guys name or his plate #. He said no. I texted back, told him he s_cked and I was going to steal his car.

He got the point.

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Years ago.. my dad shot a deer, ran across to the next property and a family friend (wayne) shot it and my dad said well, you killed it, your deer.  Still family friend of probably over 50+ years.

Few years ago, neighbor's property kid shoots at a buck on our land, my uncle clearly in the line of site and between him and the buck (up a hill and in a stand thankfully.  Kid has the brass to come onto our land and track the deer.  My dad tells the kid that this property line is as far as he goes.  Kid doesn't ask the neighboring property for permission and keeps following a deer he poorly shot. (didn't know he basically shot right towards his youngest brother.)

Said family friend sees this deer on his property hit in the leg so he pulls up and drops it with a good shot and tags and dresses the deer.  Tells the kid he shot the deer in this spot, and I shot it right here killing it.  Kid goes home, gets his dad.  His dad tresspasses, drives right to the stand and berates Wayne.  Wayne calls his son and asks him what he thinks he should do his son said to tell him to get off his land, not his deer.  The dad got put in his place, son got put in his place and Wayne has a nice 12pt buck on his wall now.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Depends on the situation IMO who gets the deer.  All depends on the circumstances.

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First killing shot is the rule.  If you shoot a deer in the leg and I end up killing it IF you are decent about it and dont want to start a war I would have no problem giving it to you.  Come with a Attitude and it is a different story all together.

I have over the year put down a lot of deer for other hunters and they all have tagged the deer afterwards.  They all were decent and friendly and appreciated that my actions kept them from having to track it for a long ways.

I have had to leave deer in the woods after gutting them so I could go back to my vehicle and get the cart to carry them out on.  The wheeled cart is so much easier then dragging a deer.   I only had one issue with someone that decided that it was their deer not mine.  A quick call was made to the Game Warden who met up with us.  The other person had already tagged the deer and was sure that he would get it.  It was easy to prove him wrong when the Game Warden pulled a business card of mine out of the deer's mouth.  I never leave a deer in the woods without placing a card in it that only I know about and has my name on it.  I got my deer the other guy got a ticket.

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That's funnys. I shot one that kept going, it ran across a road, hunters driving around seen it and went and killed it while I was tracking, they shot a bunch of bullets. When I caught up to them, there was no way they were giving that buck to me, it was full of holes and they were proud of it, my buddy and I walked home. :angry:
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First killing shot is the rule.  If you shoot a deer in the leg and I end up killing it IF you are decent about it and dont want to start a war I would have no problem giving it to you.  Come with a Attitude and it is a different story all together.

Thank You, Gary.

We do the same, and in fact, have cooperative tracking agreements with all of our neighbors.  Have helped many over the years.

The "First Shot" in a deer in the guts or hind hock doesn't deserve anything, except scorn and tag soup. Its total B.S. suspect.gif

NB

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Kansas Big Dog
I'm just glad I don't hunt in the same situation as it appears most do. These fenceline boundaries, neighbors, etc just seems like a headache

Yep.

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I'm just glad I don't hunt in the same situation as it appears most do. These fenceline boundaries, neighbors, etc just seems like a headache

Welcome to NY ! :D

To the original question .When I took the hunter safety course in NJ in 1978 I remember the instructor stating that it was the final shot that puts the deer down that gets the deer.

I later read this some where : with firearm it's last shot & with archery it's first arrow.

For me if a wounded deer stumbled past & I croaked it and another hunter showed up tracking that deer I would be happy to give them the deer. I wouldn't care how big the rack was. Just would seem like the correct thing to do.

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