Is there any chance at all the bullet touched the tiniest twig along the way?Bullets do not bust brush.
Something about the Zombie marketing annoys me,I have not looked at them.
Hornady purpose built that Levolution for the 30-30.I'd expect it to perform properly once it hit the deer.No experience myself,though.
The pointed nose cone gives better ballistics,it will shoot flatter at range.
Any chance you held a touch high out of habit?