I waited until dusk and watched the area where Big 8 had disappeared. One issue tugged at my thoughts. The bolt was so fast that I didn’t see it in flight, nor did I see exactly where it hit. That was a problem.
If I started looking for Big 8 right now and my actual hit was higher,or lower, or left, or right of where I intended it to be; there was a chance that if I looked for him now he might jump up and run. And even if it was his very last run he might be difficult to find in the dark.
During the wait I texted Robbie Cramer and Richey Hayes (who were down hunting) and let them know that I had shot Big 8, plus I texted Champ and Landon. When Robbie and Richey arrived I told them I had decided to wait until morning to recover him.
Richey said he had to go home tonight but would return to help in the morning, and he did. And shortly after daylight the next morning our little group took up the search for Big 8. Champ has the eyes of an eagle and spotted my arrow as well as the first of the blood trail. It led to the edge of the gulch and turned right (South) to the mouth of the gulch. We scattered to find his trail. I continued the way he was headed and went to the uphill side of the gulch. Then I slowly moved along on that side of the gulch.
Meanwhile the other guys picked up his trail and followed it downhill to the North. From my position uphill and to the South I heard faint but excited voices downhill. I Sat down on a big boulder and listened. Around ten minutes later Champ came up out of the gulch and walked to me.
Champ told me they had found Big 8. And he showed me two pictures from his iPhone. Ouch! It was Big 8 all right. “What happened?” I asked.
Coyotes had found him and they ripped and chewed his body down to Big 8’s bones. The head was all there was.
This year the game department has added Digital Hunting Licenses and Tags. So, sitting there in the woods I registered my buck with my iPhone and received my Tag number. Actually, this coyote thing was kind of a punch in the gut at the end of a very cool bowhunt.
Truthfully, the deer woods is like life, it has its up and downs, but this bowhunt had a down, but there were plenty of up parts too.
And one of them was when Champ helped me with the picture taking for Big 8.