There is an old timer that lives down the road from me. He has a small place for him and his wife and a Hunting Cabin on a few acres down south of us. He doesn't use the cabin much any more because his sons and their friends use it and it gets pretty crowed and noisy. Most of the places where he used to hunt have been bought up by out of towners and posted so I let him hunt on my place as do a few other neighbors. It's bow season again and he was hunting in my woods yesterday afternoon and shot a small buck with his crossbow. It was almost dark but he found his blood covered arrow and a few small spots of blood in the fresh snow. He marked the trail as darkness fell and ask if I would help him track it in the morning. We figured it would be a piece of cake.
We waited until 9:00 AM because it was bitter cold this morning. During the night a light dusting of snow fell and deer had tracked up the area so bad we couldn't figure which track were which. We couldn't find any blood other than the small specks that he had found the night before. We figured that the deer had either gone down into the swamp or up to a ridge where he could bed down and watch his back trail. Jack elected to hit the swamp and I headed for the small ridge. About half way up the ridge a came across three different trails heading to different parts of the ridge. One trail had the tracks real close together and I figured a deer that was hit bad, might leave a trail like that as he stumbled up to the ridge. I checked real close but still couldn't find any blood. The arrow was covered in blood and tallow so I figured it was a low hit and since it had gone all the way through, I really thought we should find some blood. Just below the ridge line I found the deer bedded down and dead as a doornail.
When we gutted him out we found that the arrow had nicked his heart and pierced both lungs. I took a GPS reading and found that we were only 50 yards from the stand where he was shot, so he had circled around a bit before laying down here.
The doe I got earlier this season did the same thing. Of course first she headed into the nastiest, thickest brush in the neighborhood to make me work for the kill. I got lucky though and she left a decent blood trail.