I decided to go out the other night for a stalk without my dog!! Don't know why I decided to do this but hindsight is a wonderful thing. (Possibly thinking that a hill stalk won't require a dog)
Now from what you can see shot was taken from rifle point to just above the strip of heather to the left, perfect shot or so I thought beast seemed to drop on the spot, waited then went for the follow up, no drama as I had marked the shot with the terrain. On walking up the light was still good but photo shows fading light, this is where the cardinal rule was broken, (no dog) I must have been slightly right to where the buck had dropped as there was no sign as I approached, heather in this area is pretty long and straggly so thorough investigation required, with me still very confident that I was in exactly the correct spot, light was now fading and head torch donned making my way to the thick forestry, now with doubt setting in on the actual shot placement. I decided to track my way back to the original spot and continue looking for the buck (still to much to the right of the actual spot) for some considerable time until I had to give up.
(What I learned during the search is dull to fading light plays tricks on where you actually think you should be looking)
The next morning I was up and out on the hill with three cockers in tow at 5am. With the train of thought now, that the buck must have made it to the forestry, (now my cockers are predominantly picking up dogs but can also track a fresh shot deer no problem, however by no means scent dogs) so I combed a stretch of the forestry edge in 30ft +/- with the dogs without success, still saying to myself there is no way he could/should have made it over the fence to the forestry. So I walked back over to well above the area that he could/should be in and started covering the ground again!! with the successful end result of a buck tucked in under the heather probably exactly where he dropped, as the shot was in behind the leg but strangely enough exit wound was out the neck. (Prob a combination of deflection and angle)
Learning from this is never leave without your dog, never underestimate the task of looking for a beast even when out on ground you think you will find something no problem. And last but not least fading light plays tricks on your mind with regards ground terrain.