A friend of my Brother's has a tracking dog, and here are a few things I learned from him. A well trained dog doesn't track blood (not even a "Blood" hound). There is a gland between a deer's hooves that emit a scent that is specific to that deer, that's what the dog tracks. That's how they can track a single deer on a well worn deer trail. A good handler does not try to figure out the deer, and steer the dog where he thinks the deer went, he let's the dog lead him even if it makes no sense. If a dog gets off the track, the handler should simply help him find the track again, the track is there somewhere. This can be done by taking the dog back to where he lost it and making expanding circles. A good handler can read his dog like a book. All that being said I believe you're right, that deer is there, and he is dead. I would bet you will find him next to, or under a blow down. If you think your buck was headed toward that Ag field, follow your gut. I hope it all works out, I'm sorry the dog didn't work out. It sounds like the handler thinks he's better than the dog. I've seen good dogs work, and it's amazing to watch. If you don't find him look up Chris Morris (Critter) I don't think he's that far from you. If any dog can find that deer now, it would be his.