Short answer, no.

I’ve had several bad experiences with does and bucks I’ve shot at last light and, fearing a marginal hit, left overnight. I won’t do it now if the nighttime temperature is 40 or above, which it almost always is in early archery season in most places.

And 40 degrees is marginal. I believe you need the night air to dip down into the 20s or cooler to have hope of salvaging good, tasty meat from a deer that has lain on the ground, guts in, for 10 to 12 hours or more.

To leave a wounded buck or not all night is the most agonizing dilemma that I hope you are not forced to deal with this archery season. But if you are…

Go back to your truck, relax for a few minutes and replay the shot in your mind. Regroup. Call a couple of experienced hunting buddies (no more than 2) and tell them to bring powerful lights.

Head out slowly on the trail, pick up the blood and try your best to find the deer. Look most of the night if you have to. If your shot placement was great to marginal, most of the time you’ll find that deer. Gut and cool it as fast as you can and you’ll end up with 50 or 60 pounds of delicious boned meat to show for it.