Yes I'm still out there.
The dogs saved my bacon tonight. I shot a fallow doe in the wood just as the light went. She went right into a thick section of brambles and I waited till the herd had dispersed before I went looking. I could not find any pins or paint where I thought I shot the deer. Had I missed? Hmmm
I retrieved Lola(Hannoverian/bavarian ) and her boss Pippin (Vizsla) from the Landy. Working carefully up to the place were I thought I shot the beast the dogs identified a few small drops of blood (no hair) that as I though went right so we followed the faint blood trail ( not lung or gut shot from the blood - oh dear) for about 50m in thick brambles. Remember its completely dark now. The trail appeared to cross back into the other side of the ride. I worked the dogs back up the ride into the wind where they found the doe dead on a secondary deer trail. The bullet entrance was a little back and quartering defecting off the rib and exiting in the front part of the haunch.
The doe ran about 250m in a large circle hence the lack of blood spoor and its clean red colour.
Doe was retieved to the chiller and the dogs get their praises.
1. I could have convinced myself of a miss and gone home.
2. Shooting at dusk can be a bit risky. Distance and angle can be deceptive
3. Dont shoot at dusk without having dogs available if in woodland.
4. Once paint has been found you are committed to a detailed search.
5. If you loose the trail then bracket the wood and work into the wind.
6. Expect the unexpected.