Strange blood trail, feedbk?
Well bad luck finally reared it's ugly head on me yesterday, and I lost my 1st buck ever. Wanted to get some feedbk from others as to what they think may have happened as none of my camp guys had ever experienced anything like it in 50+ yrs of hunting.
Basically, half hour after opening light I had a decent buck step out about 100 yards down in the bottom behind my stand//ridge. Guns dead on at 100, no worries about the distance. The deer was standing broadside, I had a good hold on the stand railing, shot appeared to be clear of debris, and the shot felt good. While looking thru the scope, after pulling the trigger I saw what looked like something just shattered/flew right in front of the deer. Deer runs off into the thick stuff, no chance for follow up shot. At first, my heart sunk as I feared I may have hit a little branch a foot in front of the deer and that's what I saw "shatter" thru my scope but at this pt I didn't know for sure.
I waited 30 minutes, climbed down and found the impact spot. No visible blood short of a little piece of flesh on one piece of hair, but there was hair EVERYWHERE. I'm talking, I coulda covered an entire cat w/ the amnt of hair right there at the hit pt, hair appeared to be light brown. Now I'm thinking, with that much hair perhaps that's what I saw "poof" in the air at the deer. I've never seen so much hair an impact site ever.
I started tracking in the direction the deer went very slow, still no blood after 20 yards. I find a few more pieces of hair, see where it crossed the 1st stream. Carefully poke around a little bit then decide to back out since I can't find blood yet and I'm colorblind. It's way early, lots of time yet and I have 2 guys on their way to my spot in 30 minutes to start a drive, no need to rush things.
We meet, go thru what happened, pick up the trail. About 40 yards from impact spot, other side of stream we begin to find little spots of blood (size of pinky nail) about every 1-2 feet. 30 yards further in the thick stuff we see a good sized pool of blood (size of laptop) w/ lots of bubbles and frothy stuff. We feel better about the chances of recovery and resume the trail, taking it slow. We saw where it had crossed another stream, now 100 yards from impact, pass a guy in stand who saw the deer in the direction we went and continued.
Long story short, we tracked that blood for 1.5 miles, blood was steady drops every 1-2 feet, at times would pick up a little, then slow down to usual 1-2 feet, just never increased like you want to see it. We never jumped the deer, no indication it was running, it never layed down, just kept going deeper and deeper into nastier ground. When we saw blood on lil' trees, it wasn't as high as you'd hope it was but wasn't terrible.
It's been a long night for me, sick over the whole thing. We gave it everything we had before losing the blood trail. We did grid searches, from last pt of blood, no dice. It was moving thru really thick stuff, up/down hillsides, across streams, roads, etc. There was no sign that deer was stopping.
After discussing the events, we believe it to have been a deflected branch into the neck. Anyone have any similar experience or be able to provide some feedbk?
I live to hunt....and hunt to live!