Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Thanksgiving Morning Hunt.

Thanksgiving morning, 3:30 a.m.,I awoke wide awake and ready to go hunting. The first thing was to start a pot of coffee then check the Internets local weather report. Lets see cloudy, winds from the south southeast, barometric pressure falling at 29.86 and a temperature of 40.2 degrees. A perfect morning forecast to a beautiful day in the woods. 5:00 a.m. I'm dressed and heading out the back door for a half mile walk in the pitch dark woods without a flashlight to a stand site I've not hunted in two years. The walk was at a slow pace due to the crunching of the leaves even though a big part of the walk was on a four wheeler trail and an old logging road bed. I made it to my stand site just before dawn and get settled in for a long relaxing morning in the quite woods. Squirrels begin rustling the leaves and birds singing in the brush looking for their mornings breakfast. The woods lighten up and everything comes to life with the sounds of nature at it's best. I set watching a long hollow with three ridge lines joining at the bases and at 7:15 a.m. I began using my deer call ( Primos can call ). Within fifteen minutes I had three does coming across the ridge in my direction and then suddenly a big doe slipped up behind me and walked passed me heading toward the other three does. This single doe was close enough to me I could actually see the chin hairs as she passed me by. She walked about twenty yards passed me then stopped and looked back at me then quickly looked up the first hollow. I knew something was coming and just then a big bodied buck stepped out into view and was heading straight toward the single doe in front of me. I raised my rifle and waited for a clear shot. Just then the buck stopped in front of a large oak tree presenting a clear shot and the woods was filled with the sound of gun fire. The buck bowed up, jumped and ran up the second hollow out of sight. I continued using my deer call hoping to keep the buck in the area and just then caught a glimpse of something to my left traveling across the hollow. It was a second buck and even bigger then the first. The second buck was at 180 yards and traveling across in front of me and I tried to get a clear shot at it but just wasn't able to before it ran off into the next hollow with the rest of the deer herd. Then the trouble began, the next thing I heard was gunshots from the direction my buck had ran. This was bad, very bad, my buck had crossed over the property lines to the next farm and evidently another hunter was shooting at my buck. I looked for blood where I had shot the buck standing but only found hair on both sides . Hair was all over the side of the tree and my bullet hole was there in the tree in line with the placement of the bucks body but no blood. I looked for a blood trail but nothing was to be found. I searched all three hollows very carefully and still nothing anywhere. My only thought that came to mind was that I had somehow either shot through the buck at a non-vital point or that I had only grazed the bucks skin. In either case the buck was gone and I had nothing but a much needed relaxing morning in the woods. At Thanksgiving Dinner one of the family members told me of a big bodied buck in the back of a truck heading toward the checking station. Could this be my buck???? I'll never really know. I did recheck the rifle after getting home and it was shooting dead on at 150 yards.


Marian Love Phillips said...

What a bummer....I have shot at a nice buck and missed before and the hunters help me look for it. I guess I shot over his head. You can get sooooo excited. It looked like something out of a magazine..I could not believe my eyes. That's the breaks sometimes...but there will be another time and hopefully you will get the BIG ONE! Goodhunting!

deerslayer said...

Marian; The only thing I could figure out was the hair I found was from the belly area, white and gray. I must have pulled the trigger too quickly instead of squeezing it gently.

EcoRover said...

It is weird when you make a good shot and there is no blood--but it happens. Two weeks ago, I shot my elk bull just back of the shoulder, the bullet went diagnonally through a lung, the liver, and ended up under the hide back of the ribs. The Barnes TSX from my 308 Win was a perfect banana peel, 100% weight retention. Range was only about 50 yards (I shot him bedded in white bark pines & deadfall). There was one tiny drop of a blood in the first track. But as I stood in his bed, I heard him thrashing a hundred yards above me where he got stuck in a blowdown tangle. Dead when I got to him, but no blood trail at all.

But a few weeks before this, my Little Brother AJ shot a mulie buck that immediately went belly up kicking all four feet in the air. As AJ approached (and he couldn't see as he dropped through a little coulee), the buck lept to its feet & stotted away. Again, no blood trail--but there was some hair. I am sure he just clipped the top of the back, "shocking" the spine and causing the paroxysms.