Bear, dead or alive?


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I put an arrow firmly into the head of a bear and it ran off. The next in game day I found the arrow laying on the ground somewhere else. I’m kind of confused if the bear survived and dropped it or if it still died. It was near a cliff incase that’s relevant. Also I’m used to having more time to kill them properly, but I was in a rush, so I’m unfamiliar with what happens when they run far.
thoughts? Anyone else experienced this?

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I've had similar circumstances and often it's difficult to tell which variable affected what.  That being said, typically one shot in a "mortal" area is enough to cause the bear to bleed out over time. They can walk a fairly long way sometimes in the process of bleeding out.  You may want to scout the area, looking for the telltale caw of the crows to alert you to the location of the body.  
Another thing that comes to mind, is that sometimes if you enter your base too quickly after having shot the bear, he sometimes seems to slough off the arrow and somehow magically heal.  I've had this happen to me a few times, both with bow and arrow and rifle.  

Considering your circumstances and the cliff, I think it's more than likely that you'll find the carcass after searching the area.  I've had that bear die on the side of cliffs before as well and getting to them required goating my way from the top down.  If that's the case for you, be sure to take plenty of bandages and painkillers for the resulting sprains and bruises you get from trying to retrieve your prize.

Good luck!

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