Over the last 33 years one thing I have learned is to be extremely patient when it comes to tracking animals. Take your time and DO NOT rush it. Take your time, find the arrow if possible, sort out the tracks, blood, and whatever sign that may be present. There is always other sign besides blood. Using flagging tape, mark the last found blood. Doing so may show you the direction the animal is heading. Just be sure to pick it up as you go.
This year while tracking my friend’s elk we had good blood and then it just stopped. By taking our time and being patient we were able to find the sign – tracks, a scuff of dirt, bent over blades of grass and on a very rare occasion a single drop of blood to verify we were still on the right track. Nine hours later we recovered her elk. A little autopsy showed the arrow passed high through both lungs and the blood stayed in the chest cavity. Taking our time and being patient allowed us to find her very first elk with a bow.
So remember TAKE YOUR TIME AND BE PATIENT! The sign is there and it’s up to you as an ethical hunter to find it and recover the animal.