This past opening weekend was a tough one to swallow for our group. We hunt in Douglas County where our deer herd has been depleted due to the hard winters and predation. We have been managing our property for several years now, taking very few deer a year if any in hopes that our bucks will grow older and our popluation will grow. This past Sunday my brother hit a mature 8 point and there was good blood and hair at impact. We let the buck go for 2.5 hours before tracking. Once we got on the trail we quickly realized the hit must not have been perfect, however we had good blood the whole time. We tracked this buck from 9 am until almost 2 pm through every imagineable terrain, swamps, thickets, hills, meadows, you name it. We knew the buck was slowing down and hurting as he began to drag his legs really bad and bleeding very heavy. We followed the blood until it led us to an ice covered lake, definately not safe to walk on. The fog was so thick we could only see about 100 yards, but heard the unmistakeable sound of a deer struggling and splashing in the water. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do. Super heartbreaking, but I have a new respect for the strength and will power of the whitetail deer. Has anyone else had any expereince like this?