Thanks for the comments B&C,
I knew I had made good hits on those lost deer (heard the hollow "thump" (hit the lung area) deer stock still right up to impact, arrow covered in blood,) but I got all unsure of myself as to the chances or procedure of looking for the deer or how far it might go.
I knew to wait at least an hour but I figured if there is no blood trail in the daylight where do I start with a flashlight?
And here's where the rub comes in for new hunters all alone like I was. There's no blood, so how far do you go right after the hit to look for blood or not look at all until the hour is up, considering it's likely going to be dark if you do wait?
Nowadays, after I check for a hit at the bait, I go back to my vehicle, take my time changing clothes, get out my field dressing pack and it's over an hour by the time I get back.
I start looking (usually with a light) on the line I last saw the deer go until I either find blood, deer or until I get tired.
In going back the next morning to look I think the main thing is confidence that the deer is out there not that far and likely laying in shallow water if there's any around.
Another thing (I heard about) and it didn't occur to me until after I found a deer once is that crows start talking about your lost deer. When I started to gut the deer those crows (I couldn't see them) went from cawing to low guttural sounds!
I tried to hunt crows once but decided they are just too cool an animal to shoot just for fun.