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I shot the biggest deer of my life last Saturday 12/6/08. I shot him at 50 yards with a .50 cal muzzleloader. I found a decent blood trail about 10 yards from the point of impact. Out of fear of jumping the deer, I waited until Sunday to track the deer. I returned Sunday a tracked the deer for about 100 to 150 yards before losing the trail. I have returned several times, but am having no luck finding the deer. I think I hit the deer in the upper back below the spine. Can this be a fatal shot? Every day at lunch I watch the mountain where I shot the buck for buzzards but have not seen any flying. How long does it take for buzzards to show up? What do you guys think I should next?
 

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Its been a full week. If you haven't found him then you have a good chance that the wound was muscle only and no vitals. I would push the thickest lowest stuff you can find with water close by. I would think the ravens would be on him by now if it was a fatal shot.
 

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For the future find in your area a few guys with tracking dogs. Most areas have trackers that you can give a call too that will help you. They all seem to belong to some type of club so find one and most times you can find them all. Check with your state laws because some do not allow it.
 

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If the temps in your area are warm enough you will be able to sniff him out after a week. Just work well down wind of your hunting area and see if you can pick up the smell.

I would also agree that you may not have a fatal hit. A muscle hit will do what you describe and bleed good for a while and then trail off to nothing.
 
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