Updated: Diagnose this shot sequence (lost deer) 30 yard broadside shot, wind going from the animals butt to it's head (my right to left). I've been watching this thing creep closer to my shot lane for 20 minutes. I have some twigs to deal with in flight path but animal walks right where I want it to, in a pretty open space free from branches/twigs etc. I'm resting my xbow on my cross beam, holding dead steady, aiming lower than midline - just behind the shoulder, ripe for a heart shot. I aim through the shot, and i squeeze. Loud thwack, deer gets knocked off it's feet and is immediately on it's back, legs straight in the air. I think ok, something went wrong but it's paralyzed. I reach for my cocking rope to re-up so I can shoot again. As soon as I begin to reach for the rope, the animal begins to writhe and flall around while grunting very loudly, maybe two or three grunts of 1-3 second length. It's hard to remember exactly because I was so shocked with the way this went down. After 2-3 grunts and flailing about, the animal gets to its feet and bounds away looking totally normal. No limping, hunching, none of that. The beast ran approximately 70 yards out of sight, no sight or sound of a crash. I get down immediately to check the arrow as it's basically sundown and the property I'm on has a curfew. It was a passthrough with approximately 70% of the bolt in the ground. I'm thinking the earth wiped away most residue. The fletching is red with something, but it appears to be meat/flesh rather than blood. It appears sticky and thick, unlike blood. There are some hairs around the fletching, mostly white hair. The mechanical head is totally clean except for mud from the ground. Two of the three blades appear to be slightly bent, but could very easily be from the ground. Again I'm thinking the wet ground wiped the shaft and head clean. There is zero blood where the animal was rolling around screaming. There are few decent signs of blood where the animal appeared to me to take it's first jumps after getting up. All blood was on the ground, I didn't see any on shrubs/trees near by. After the sparse blood where the first steps likely took place, the blood disappears. Now I didn't have very long to look and it was dark, but I had a good idea of which way it ran and I didn't see anything after those first 10 feet. I probably walked up 20-30 feet to look for blood - again having a property curfew. I did go up a considerable distance to look for a body, knowing that the only way i was going home with the animal tonight was to find it quickly, tracking wasn't going to do it. I have my thoughts on what happened but I would like to hear what others think first. I'll be headed back at first light. Update: Tracked this morning for about 5 hours over 400 or so yards. Found some long thin and white hair near impact site, which would lead me to believe it's belly hair. Blood was very small drips every 20-30 feet or so for the first 100 or so yards (running). It then slowed to a walk and made a 90* right hand turn into some low brush where I assume he was going to lay down (never did). I think he then began licking and/or gnawing at the wound somehow, as there were 6-10 distinct clumps of hair within a 12 inch circle, mostly white with some brown. For whatever reason it appears he took another step or two and then did a complete 180, following the 20 or so yards he traveled after that right turn and then continuing on in the opposite direction. Beginning at the spot that he turned right, the blood became moderate and tracking became easy. The blood was now in large 3-6 inch splotches ever two or so (deer) steps; enough blood where I could just walk along and follow easily. Note that there was no blood on trees or branches like there normally would be if he was exhaling blood out of his mouth or nose. After about another 100-150 yards the blood began to taper down fast, then quickly went from big noticeable splotches per spot to 2-3 drops per spot. Then over what seemed to be 2-3 deer steps it went from those big 2-3 drips that were still wet to a single drip right before a small muddy creek bed, maybe a 4-5 foot jump across. I found one faint drip on the immediate edge of the creek bed, then one leaf with a single light drop about 5 feet past the other side - very easily could have been residue from his hoof. That's the last blood I saw. Another weird note was that during the heavy blood areas, it looked as though one particular spot had been smeared around. It wasn't drops, but looked like someone took a paintbrush and mushed everything around on the leaves. Spot wasn't big enough to be from him laying down. When I first started walking along moderately heavy blood and it was obvious the animal was now walking I was pretty confident I was going to walk up on a dead deer. That quickly changed after 100 yards of good blood and it all but disappeared. Conclusion: With all of that said, I've concluded that 1) the shot was further than I thought, perhaps 35 yards or more (I estimated 30 for my shot) - this could have caused the shot to go low. 2) I now believe the animal was very slightly quartering away from me. 3) Combining those, I believe the arrow entered right behind the shoulder, or perhaps clipped it, and exited out the front of the far shoulder or even farther forward on the brisket. Yes, this is an unlikely shot and small window given that it would have missed the heart but it makes the most sense. There was no blood at head height, leading me to believe there was no single lung puncture that would have been seen in some of the high shot theories - the predominance of white hair with only some brown in the same clumps also leads me toward my theory. Lastly, and this is the only explanation I can think of, is that some nerve in or around the shoulder girdle got hit which caused the animal to temporary lose control of itself. Really bummed not to have found him seeing good rich red blood. Oh well, maybe I'll catch up to him next year.