If I'm hunting out of a tree, the bolt is usually right there in the ground. I have shot a few off the ground though, like this year. I never did find my bolt this year, but my buck was walking along some high goldenrod and in that stuffs where it went...
Bolts have a bad habit of going under the leave's 'n stuff once set to flight. Even under what you may consider "ordinary" packed earth. This year mine did a pass-thru at heart level (I've been on the ground for ten years now) the bolt went about ten yards and the fletchings were glinting from the sun.
On ground shots.....with a complete miss (who me?) it's very rare for me to locate the bolt.
Thanks for some feedback. I double lunged a nice 8pt in a cut corn field from the ground and couldnt find the bolt. I am going to break out a metal detector to find it. I would rather not leave it in the field if i can help it.
Ground shots with bolts are puzzling. Usually about 10 yards past the deer on level ground, but a lot depends on how much meat and fat are involved. A complete zip though without meeting a rib may send that baby way out there. If the terrain slopes downhill behind that deer all bets are off. I hate shooting uphill as well. That bolt can sail a country mile.
My daughter shot a doe a few years ago from a ground blind . The doe was 8 yards and the lighted nock on the bolt looked like a Roman candle going about 50 yards I’ve found every bolt including the one she missed the other night and it went almost 100 yards. If your not using lighted nocks you should consider it.
This is the one that was about 100 yards. I took a pic of it for memories.
I will also be invested in those lighted nocks. Two days ago, I shot a 8 pointer at 4:00 pm that was broadside with my new ravin at 26 yards using my 30 yard pin out of a tree stand. I think my shot hit the deer high. I found my bolt about 10 to 15 Yards sticking up in the dirt. My arrow had blood up to the vanes and the rage broadhead had brown hair.
After the shot the deer kicked out its back feet and ran about 50 yards and stopped. After about 40 seconds it just walked off.
i then backed off trying to track the deer because it was getting dark. I went back out yesterday morning with my two buddies But unfortunately it snowed overnight and we were unable to find the-deer. I'm going to survey the area today while my other buddies are on stand.