Will Deer Come Back After Killing One?

Author: Jacob Smith
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I’ve had the opportunity to see how other deer react to dead deer because I’ve shot a lot of does over the years. I’ve gained some knowledge about how long you must wait before using the stand once more for hunting. So, will deer come back after killing one?

When they come across a dead deer, they occasionally exhibit some initial concern, but soon curiosity takes the place of fear. In fact, they sometimes get so enquiring that the dead deer acts as a draw. To urge other does to provide a shot as they enter the field, my friend will even pull a dead doe 25 yards upwind from his blind or treestand.

Naturally, this only works where there are a lot of deer and where hunters need to exert a lot of pressure to keep the population in check. Adult bucks don’t seem to be this observant. I am going to try to answer this question in more details in this article.

Will deer come back after killing one?

Naturally, they do. These are creatures. They only associate a gunshot’s loud sounds with something else, such as a tree falling. Deer have been observed turning around and coming back to investigate why one of the deer they were with had fallen.

Although even that would be unlikely, I guess if they had been hurt by the shot they might have put it together. As long as there is enough food, deer tend to stay in the same geographical area. From one year to the next, people frequently recall the locations of their meals.

A deer will probably live her entire life within a mile of her place of birth while the bucks will roam over a considerably wider region. (Read also: Do deer travel the same path every day?)

After you shot one, they occasionally won’t even try to flee. You might scare away deer from the area for some time if you make a big deal out of taking them out, leaving your scent all over, etc.

On the backside of a 150-acre family property, in a small clearing, I once shot and killed a spike buck. A juvenile 6-pointer came through and sprinted past me, perhaps not more than 30 feet away, as I was skinning the buck.

The following day in the same spot, I saw the same 6-point buck. Over the past 100 years or more, I estimate that my family alone has killed upwards of 100 deer on that farm and other properties. They return repeatedly.

Will deer come back after one is shot?

A mature buck will return to the spot where he was injured, that much is true. A buck might not move in during the day for a long depending on where it happened, possibly in an open feeding plot or field, but he is not leaving his home area.

Can you hunt the same spot after killing a deer?

You can swiftly return to hunting from the stand as long as you have a successful method for recovering the deer you shoot. The trick is to limit the recovery to a single, stealthy attempt. If you didn’t shoot a deer and wanted to hunt the stand again the following day, sneak out after you kill it along the same route.

Will my deer come back?

Deer that have been startled will go back to where they were sleeping, but when they do so will depend on how scared they were by the disturbance. They’ll probably come back sooner if they can’t identify the threat than if they could see or smell you.

Do deer go back to the same spot?

The same buck will return to the same locations year after year. He will employ the same scratches and trails. And each year, he will perform all of these tasks around the same times, frequently down to the same day and occasionally the same hour!

Do deer know when another deer dies?

Although there isn’t enough data on the subject to be certain, observant observers have noticed behavior in deer that suggests a sense of loss after the loss of a member of their herd.

Does a dead deer scare away other deer?

Undoubtedly, deer won’t ignore a recently slain carcass. I’ve shot a lot of does, and the ones that were lying there dead never harmed the living ones. When he entered the lodge after sniffing a hot doe I had shot about fifteen minutes earlier, I also killed my greatest buck.

Is the hunt over when a deer blows?

Absolutely not. Other deer may occasionally seem uneasy around it, or they may not even seem to mind. However, it might be aggravating when you encounter a doe that prefers to only stand there and blow for a good ten minutes before departing.

Will deer come back after they blow?

Deer that have been disturbed will return to their bedding area, but the timing of their return will depend on how scared they were by the incident. They’ll probably come back faster if they can’t find the threat than if they can see or smell you.


Deer will, in fact, return to the area. In reality, it’s normal for deer to flee after being hit by a shot while anticipating your giving chase and turning back around your flank. I’ve killed a lot of deer by bumping them, then waiting until they come back.

A few weeks back, I killed one in front of three other deer. They started sniffing about the dead site the very next day and continued to eat nearby.

Last night, I also shot a deer down ten yards from where I was standing and feeding (Read also: How should a downed deer be approached?). After about 5 minutes of going inside to grab my draw and field dressing supplies, 6 deer had already returned to my feed, with the dead deer lying about 15 yards away. When it comes to that stuff, they don’t care too much. Even after I killed the one with my bow, two merely looked up and resumed eating without missing a beat.

An expert in deer hunting with 10 years of experience in the field and woods. Certified as a hunter by the State of California. I created Deer Hunting Life as my personal blog to share my experience and tips on deer hunting.