good seventy yard shot/broad side.
had sat a watched him make refresh a scrape and 'wrestle' with a tree limb for ten minutes.
I waited like a good hunter...two hours went by, I get down, find a spot of red....and off on the blood trail I go.
fifty yards later, in the midst of some thick tight honeysuckle vines, I almost step on him....he jumps up and runs 'silently' further into the woods.
I radio hubby for backup....
together we search for blood trail. ...btw, the bedded down deer left no blood in his bed and only spots and splatters before on the blood trail.
finally hubby spots a speck of blood. another twenty yards, two specks...then none.
buck headed for open green field. I was sure we wouldn't find him after that.
again, hubby finds a speck of blood at the edge of the field where the buck had followed the tree line.
I head across the field after finding no more than the speck.
A big ditch/ 10 to 15 feet deep with steep banks edged the far side of the field. I found blood after walking the dried creek bed for several yards one way then then other, using a hunch on where the buck might have tried to cross.
now the trail was much more visible... maybe a quarter cup of blood about every ten feet. Up the far bank, I had long since laid my 'ready to lay him down loaded' muzzleloader down. It had become a burden to carry through the briars and vines and such.
a few feet past the top of the bank were some blackberry briars without any foliage.
why...I keep asking myself why....
I almost stepped on that sucker this time. he was bedded in those briars and why hadn't I seen him....why hadn't I continued to carry my mz...why?
Up he jumps, busts his back free of the vines, back down in the ditch and up the other side into the open field and then outta sight. All the while hubby and I stood with jaws dropped....
We had been close enough this time to see the big pearl white rack!
I wanted to sit down and cry for being so stupid.
We searched the field, and the orginial woods again for fresh blood. none to be found. The buck had again left no blood in his bed.

Evidently, he made it into the next county and someone downed him the next morning. I haven't seen hide nor hair of him since.
but I did find hide, hair, legs and ribcage with attached head and rack of the second buck I shot Sunday morn. He never left a drop of blood...ran about a hundred fifty yards staight up a hill through rabbit brairs and died right in my food plot.
Well I'm guessing he is the one I shot at. I didnt' get a good look at the the stupid buck was running straight at me and the atv in open view before giving me a broad side shot.

haven't lost a deer in some years and this has just made me sick.
especially finding the remains of one that was probably killed by me.
I shot at two more bucks and hit neither with the muzzleloader, but those are stories for later.
I did have an interesting muzzleloader week to say the least.