This was a longer drought with my crossbow. Public land permit only free range hunting. Same general area as a couple weeks ago and water was down barely enough for access. Had done quite a bit of walking and sign was everywhere. Circled back the same ground as the sun was going down as it was fairly open although the grass is high. Wind was squirrelly too. So I'm walking on the right edge of the open flat, there is a steep ravine to my right. I startled as I saw a sounder grazing in the ravine. I was silhouetted on the lip, so I went left away from the edge, and got up parallel with them, crawling on my hands and knees back to the edge of the ravine. It's a steep v-shape and probably 40 feet vertical. The lip on the far side is treed and thick as all get out. There were several shoats, I think a couple of boars, and at least one sow. There were two boars directly below me but they were mostly in the plum trees that lined the ravine and I didnt get a shot. The large sow was in the open mostly and a little in front. I was shaking like a chihuahua in a thunderstorm. Sun was behind me, wind was indecisive, and I was silhouetted. I still had to get closer because the grass wouldn't let me get a range. So I scooted more. Thought I was busted but it was the 2 boars fighting. They settled back down and I did too. Got a good range (32.5 yards), readied the shot. I was able to calm down looking through the sight. Put the 30 yard reticle just above the midline on the back of the shoulder. Thwack, smack, squeal, and scatter just like any other YouTube video. Felt good and sounded good. They all went up and over the other side, but I did hear them for a bit. I proceeded carefully down and up to where my shot was. No blood, just red flowers. I clawed my way up the other side. Crap was thick beyond that. Back tracked down to the shot area. No blood. Then...my heart sank. My arrow was buried in the hill. I pulled it out and the calculus in my head was going haywire. Clean arrow and undamaged head, but it pulled out easily. The finish felt matted but it wasn't wet at all. I was starting to pull it to my nose as I've heard that's one way of telling, and then I saw it. Blood on the fetching. Calculus solved, and it had that brown sugar smell. So, I want back up the hill to look for a dead pig. Started over the other side. Thick thick thick. Thicker than a background dancer in a rap video. I didnt get very far and I got a warning growl. Also heard some wheezing and labored breathing. About 30 or 40 yards out. Couldn't see her. another growl. Sidearms not permitted, alone, and getting dark, I noped out of there. Never did find any blood trail but it was hard to move and look at the same time. I'll try to get out tomorrow to find her.
I went back this morning to look for the hog and my 2 arrows I lost, including my decocking dummy. Found the arrows on the other side of the ravine. As for the hog, I looked around the impact zone. I went over the ridge on the other side. Super thick. Never found any blood. I'm certain it was a good hit with the pink blood on the arrow. She was in distress 20 min post shot last night. I spent 45 min attempting to Bush whack to find something. Nothing. Here is a clip of where I was and my stalk route last night. https://youtu.be/Wl_4h8diyKI