Well, I stuck a six point buck on Sunday morning with a crossbow bolt. I know I got a solid hit because there was a significant blood trail to follow. After hearing the “thunk” and watching him make like a furry lightning bolt, I waited in my stand for the prescribed thirty minutes before climbing down. I pulled the release on him at 0705.
I started trying to pick up the bloodtrail, and that took about 20 minutes before I found it. Of course it led out of the uplands area where you’re allowed to hunt, down into the main body of the Okefenokee Swamp. I went in maybe a hundred yards before caution demanded that I return to my truck for some flagging tape and a GPS. A few years ago I got lost for an afternoon in an area adjacent to the Okefenokee, and it is NO FUN. So I will take steps to keep from that ever happening again!
Once I reacquired the trail, I headed off into the thick stuff. Now when I say thick I mean THICK! There were many points along the way where I had to get down on all fours and crawl through. At least the ground (if you could call it that) was relatively dry initially.
After some distance I came upon where my buck had laid down for a bit and left quite a blood puddle. But whether he arose spontaneously or whether he heard me coming – I don’t know. All I know for sure is that when I reached the point where the blood trail came to the point where the occasional wet spot became a swamp with water as far ahead as I could see – I stopped, and would go no further. My handheld GPS told me that I was over a third of a mile back in the swamp proper.
It’s very disappointing to lose a kill that way. I have no compunctions about killing a prey animal, but neither do I want one to suffer and be lost and have its meat feed only the swamp creatures. I much prefer his horns decorate my wall, and his flesh decorate my dinner plate.