Monday night a good friend called to say he had made a bad hit on a big buck. The buck was broadside at about 25 yards and he saw the arrow hit about the last rib. He waited an hour, then quietly snuck out of his stand.
We waited another hour but were forced to start tracking due to the threat of rain. We started on the trail about 7:00PM. My 8 year old was along to assist.
The arrow was completely slimed but within about 20 yards we had good, bright blood that was easy to follow. I was confused as the arrow clearly showed a gut shot but I had never seen this much blood from a gut shot. It was obviously NOT liver blood either. I confirmed with Troy that the deer was perfectly broadside. The location of the arrow to the stand, and the trail the deer was on all seemed to indicate that the deer was broadside or very close to it.
Anyway, the trail was easy to follow as far as blood goes. However, that buck lead us through every thicket and hell hole on that property. He finally jumped the fence right into the yard of the old lady that owns the place. He walked right out her driveway and across a state highway. By now it is about 8:30 PM. Directly across the highway is a wood sign for Jubilee State Park. We folloowed teh blood trail across the street. Low and behold, that old buck was bedded right behind that sign, right on a busy highway! He jumped and ran towards the park.
The sky was now clear so we decided to back off for the night. Bowhunting is allowed in the park, but we not really sure where the park property started.
The next morning, we found the park manager, who was very helpful. He told us the area where we jumped the buck near the sign is actually township property and that the park property actually started within 30 yards of there. When the buck jumped and ran, he went right towards the park boundary.
We picked up the trail where the buck had been bedded. After a heavy frost that night, it was not easy, but we stayed on it. Within 30 yards, he actually cut into a private yard. We knocked on the door but there was no answer. Since there was an archery target in the back yard, we assummed the owner would understand. A quick call back to the park manager confirmed that "he's a good guy and would not mind." The trail continued across the corner of his yard and into park property.
About 25 yards into the park, the old boy gave up the ghost!
He was a beautiful 8 point with a 22" spread.
Here's the interesting part.....the arrow exited out the back of the far side back leg! TRoy was shooting expandable broad heads. You could see clearly that one blade caught on the last rib and kicked the arrow to the rear! I had read about things like this but never seen it first hand. In this case, it was a good thing as it gave us good blood to follow.
I have blood trailed a lot of deer, but this was by far the most interesting!