Jack I won't even begin to express what my feelings are towards you right now.... The word file won't load on my computer and right now I hope after you shot you slipped off your stand and were stranded hanging from your safety harness all night long.
This is where hours of practice are supposed to pay off, and the bow string draws like a low pressure bungee cord.
I settle in, look through the peep and see the green twenty yard pin. Then I focus on the deer. I want to hit four inches down and four inches back from the centerline of the front leg, which should give me a double lung kill shot. I held on the spot and never felt the bow release!The sound is deafening . . . THWACK!
The arrow stops with half of its 30 inch shaft sticking out at a 45 degree angle. The buck whirls around and bolts for the fence, almost taking it down on his way over, crosses the power-lines and vanishes into the woods. I listen intently for the crashing to stop (several minutes), make a note in my head where the last sounds came from then climb down and head home for the wait. Remember, it's only a five minute walk and away from where the buck went.
One hour later my best friend, wife and daughter go in to drag the Big Ten out. At eleven PM, we all stuble back to the house without him. We found lots of blood and the arrow in the first two hundred yards, then only drops. The next two hundredyards were torture, on hands and knees spraying peroxide onto anything that could have been blood and feeling through the leaves following his unique tracks to a bed up on a side hill. We were all amazed this deer even went uphill as oftentimes they will run directly to water. This deer not only went uphill but avoided water by circling and zigzagging around it.
In this bucks bed there were only three spots of blood but one small spot seemed saturated deep into the dirt. I could see and feel where this bucks front knees pushed into the ground at one end of the bed. That was it, end of track! It was like this deer was sucked up into the sky. Saturday I called a few more friends to help comb the area, and most of us stayed out past noon. I even went back in until about five PM with no sign of blood, or stumbling tracks. Of course there were his and other deers tracks all through the area and we found lots of sign but this is where the deer live anyway.
I am not giving up on this deer as I believe He is dead from the wound inflicted by my arrow. Will the meat be any good? Probaly not and the coyote will have destroyed most of it. All I can do, as a hunter, is attempt to recover the rack and skull from this fine animal and give him a place of honor and remembrance on my wall. Between the coyotes and the crows, and hunting and trapping into the wind (smell), I am hoping to find this buck. If I don't, I still have a decent photograph and at least two hours of video of this magnificent animal.
Sometimes, even for a guide, Lady Luck determines the final card.
Its strange that he went so far. You gave him plenty of time after you shot for him to bleed out, I just can't figure why he'd move up hill. Most times they'll travel the absolute easiest route when mortality wounded. Although, they are extremely tough animals.