Tuesday, November 10, 2016

It was a beautiful morning. I went north with Brian. On the way to the parking place, I saw a shooting star free falling from the sky. I wished upon it that dad would shoot a giant buck. Doug and Jeff hunted just north of camp and dad stayed near camp again. He’s on a mission to catch up to the big buck that we both saw in that one area.

Brian had a really big 10-pointer go by him at first light. At 35 yards, the buck stopped and checked a scrape. He didn’t take a shot and regrets it now. It sounds like it was a really good one. Around 8:30 a.m. he had another small 8-pointer come down the same trail. The buck got a little nervous and went back up the hill.

Around 9 o’clock I saw a good buck come out of the bottom. Hemming and hawing, I was unsure if I wanted to shoot at him because I could see a broken tine on one side. The other side was impressive. After deciding to take him, he quickly turned in another direction and began heading away from me.

When I grunted to stop him, he stopped in a hole I had previously ranged. I couldn’t tell exactly where he was standing, so I put my 50-yard pin on him and tried to shoot. Unfortunately, I tried to manually trigger the release and power-flinched. Luckily, the arrow didn’t go sailing into the bushes somewhere. I regained my composure, took a deep breath, and executed a flawless shot.

He bolted and quickly ran in a circle before stopping next to a tree a short distance from where he was standing when I shot at him. I could see blood pouring down his shoulder. It quickly turned into a large pool of blood. He stood next to the tree for 14 minutes before putting his head down and walking toward another buck that was chasing does around in the area.

As he was walking toward the other buck, I launched another arrow but missed. A belch-like grunt followed by a snort wheeze made the other buck tuck its tail and head in the opposite direction. A few minutes later everything was quiet.

Brian and I waited until 2 p.m. to track the deer. After jumping a buck out of its bed, we gave up. The bed had blood in it and we could see where the blood had clotted. When we followed the tracks out of the bed, there wasn’t any blood to be found and the buck looked like it was in good shape when it bounded away.

Disappointed, we headed back to our stands to sit for the rest of the afternoon. On our walk back we stumbled over a dead deer and it was the buck I had shot. After researching everything, we learned that another buck had used the same bed as the wounded buck after the buck had got up and headed back toward my stand. Since we never looked in that direction we assumed the buck we jumped was the same one I shot. We both learned a valuable lesson when we saw that the buck had actually got up and walked out of the bed before circling a tree and dying. Somehow we stumbled upon it. I’ve never been very lucky while hunting, but that all changed today.

A few minutes before I shot the buck, Doug texted me to tell me he shot one, too. It turned out to be his best buck to date. It was a dandy 8-pointer that scored in the low 130s. I was really happy for him. He’s had a rough go of it for the last few months. He deserved the buck he got. We should have fun the rest of the week when we ram the roads and help the other guys get onto something.

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