How long would you expect a gut shot deer to live?
my brother shot a buck sunday evening, thought he had good entrance but the exit was questionable.
the buck was quarting towards him crossing a shooting lane. got down to look, had decent blood at first, but found some gut matter shortly there after
and the blood became a thin pinkish color (stomach fluid I guess).
he backed out and continued his search Monday morning. started where he left off and after about 50 or so yards found where the buck had layed down over night (found more gut matter). a short distance later, he jumped the buck again. backed out and went back monday evening. same story. 24 hours had gone by but he jumped him again and found more gut matter. went yesterday morning and evening and this morning. found more guts and yes, he jumped and ran again. come about 5:15 later today, it will have been 3 days and is now looking close to 900 yards from where he originally shot. hunting w/ 50 cal muzzleloader.
My only advice is to shoot him when you jump him next time
I shot a doe Saturday morning with my .50 - looked to be a perfect broadside shot. The wind blew the smoke in my face, so I couldn't see which way she ran. I looked all over that place and didn't find a speck of blood. Not even where I shot her. My bro-in-law helped me look for an hour or so, and we didn't find any blood. She would have had to have jumped the creek to leave the area, but there wasn't any blood anywhere along the creekbed. I was about to give up, but I thought I'd check the ridge in front of me one more time. As was walking to the ridge via the neighbor's hay field I noticed a buzzard flying low. I watched it for a few minutes until it disappeared over the trees, then I noticed some more behind me. They were taking off and landing in the hay field, and on further inspection they were all over my doe. In less than 2 hours, 15 buzzards had eaten one eye, part of the ribs and more than a pound of one of her hams. Dang buzzards! But, if they hadn't have found her so fast I wouldn't have one in the cooler right now, so I guess I paid the buzzard tax. The neighbor hasn't cut his hay yet, and I couldn't see any sort of trail where she ran to that spot. There was no blood anywhere that I could see, and she was about 300 yards from where I shot her. It wasn't exactly a perfect broadside shot - she was quartering to me enough for me to get 1 lung, the liver, and just enough of her gut to make a mess. She bled out internally.
Super Member '07/'08 Bowhunting Contest Team Winner 2010-11 Deer Hunting Contest Winner
I'm no expert but I wouldn't think a gut shot deer would live for 3 days, but anything is possible. I've seen deer hit in the brisket on quartering forward shots that blew out the esophagus and caused gut matter to be along the blood trail. Could be it isn't gut shot at all and not in the vitals either. Good luck, I hope you get it.