I recently returned from a Moose Hunt and am seeking any insight other hunters might have on my situation. I had a good open standing broadside shot at about 90-100 yards. Using a 308 with 180 grain. Regrettably, I did not recover the Moose...but the following are the details I am scratching my head over with some unanswered questions.
Within 10 yards I found the trail, it was a heavy blood trail and bright red. Based on the steady and consistent amount of blood found I "very" slowly tracked it about 50 yards and jumped the animal (not seeing it) but hearing it crash out of some heavy under-cover. I sat down and waited 45 minutes before starting out again "very slowly" tracking once again.
At a snails pace I tracked for the next 2 hours and the blood flow stayed heavy 90% of my walk, periodically every couple hundred of yards I would find a pool of blood maybe 12 inches in diameter (possibly coughed up?). Near the end of my hike I found where the moose had laid down again and the entire area the body outline made in the leaves was saturated in blood (not simply a pool of blood where the animal was hit).
From this location it went about 75 yards still easy to follow it's blood trail and into the lake (and unfortunately never seen again) and this after putting a boat into the lake and scouting the entire shoreline and scoping for a floater over the next couple days.
My question is can anyone provide insight into where the animal could have been hit (I aimed for the lung area, with no excuses of missing these vitals) for it to bleed this badly and consistently yet still not drop?? Also, if lung shot (although I didn't see the typical light pink foamy blood a lung shot would usually dictate) would the Moose drown itself in water and actually sink as a result of inhaling water?? Could this be why I couldn't pick up a trail again...and also watch watched for ravens on all shores of lake to indicate the dead animal but no birds either??
Appreciate any feedback!