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Annual Hunting Trip Results

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Old 11-21-2016, 04:52 AM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Annual Hunting Trip Results

I just returned from my annual trip home to Virginia for a muzzleloader hunt. It’s always the highlight of my year as I get to spend the whole week hunting with family as I have done since a kid. I thought I’d share some of the details with you in case you’re bored and want something to read this morning.

We hunt in middle of the thick, laurel covered Appalachians which doesn’t produce the record book whitetails that you’re accustomed to seeing in the Midwest. A buck scoring 120 B&C will be the talk of the town for quite a while where I grew up. I’ve hunted a lot of places in this country and these are some of the toughest deer to hunt I’ve encountered. Then, add in that we’re hunting public land, and it makes for some frustrating, mentally and physically exhausting hunts. We joke all the time that if we had cameras following us like the professionals, it would make for some of the worse hunting shows on television.

We had two decent bucks on camera this year. One, we named “Crab Claw” which was a wide 9. The other was a buck named “Birthday Wish”. His name derived from a string of texts between my cousin and myself on his birthday. We had been running cameras for a couple weeks during the summer and were receiving a ton of pictures of bear and does, but no bucks. I sent him a text at 8:17, wishing that a new, big buck would show up on his birthday. At 9:58, we got an alert from the Moultrie Mobile Camera that allowed the wish to come true. Hence, his name, Birthday Wish.



We hunted both bucks during Bow Season but I only had 4 days to hunt in October and it rained all 4 of the days I was there. Crab Claw, the other good buck we had on camera, was killed by someone outside our group the first week of ML season. We hadn’t received any more additional pictures of Birthday Wish since the summer.

The weather this year was perfect! Not a drop of rain and beautiful, blue bird days. Sightings were scarce though. I was seeing some does and small bucks, but nothing I was interested in shooting. I even had 3 days where I didn’t see a single deer. Now, the aforementioned boring hunting show, makes more sense doesn’t it?

On Saturday, the day I was scheduled to head back to Tennessee, I forced myself out of bed for one last hunt. A cold front was coming through so I figured it was worth sitting through the 20 MPH winds to try.

At 8:30, I had a small 6 pointer come by. I grunted at him just to see his reaction and quite rudely, he ignored me. Two does came by and took him with them. As I watched them go out of sight, I caught movement out in front of me at about 75 yards. I cranked my Remington Genesis up to 9 power and quickly realized it was a good buck.

All I could see was from about his ear forward. Just enough to see that it was a buck that was outside his ears and had good mass. He stood there for 4 minutes, checking the wind and observing the area. Finally, he started out the side of the ridge, toward my direction. As he got about half way down the side, at about 50-60 yards from me, he turned, changing direction as if he was going to leave and go back the way he came. A small gap though the brush provided me with my only opportunity. I placed the crosshairs on his front shoulder as he was walking and touched it off.

He barreled off of the ridge and out of sight. I heard him cross the hollow and up the side of the next ridge. At that point, I started to wonder if I had hit him. I did take notice that I didn’t see his tail up, but other than that, he didn’t seem affected. Just then, he stopped. There was silence for a second or two, and then the wonderful sound of him crashing. I sat down, hung up my gun and thanked God for the opportunity. A second crash meant he had just rolled all the way to the bottom on the hollow.

Our prearranged 9:00 check in arrived and the radios were buzzing with excitement. I told them I didn’t know exactly how big he was, but I did notice he had a G4 on one side for certain. You could hear the excitement from everyone on the radios.

I made my way in his direction and found him lying, just where I heard him crash, right in the smack-dab, bottom of a steep hollow. I’m not sure the picture does is justice, but both of those ridges are steep!




As I got closer, I instantly recognized him. It was Birthday Wish! The buck we hadn’t seen since summer but had talked about all hunting season long, hoping one of us would catch up with him. I texted my cousin just two words: “Birthday Wish”

I’m not going to sugar coat, it sucked getting him up and out of there. I’m still sore as I sit here typing. He was the largest bodied deer I’ve ever killed and one of the biggest I’ve seen in many years. I didn’t put a tape on him yet, but the score is really irrelevant. The story behind him is what matters to me and I look forward to being able to share it with friends and family for years to come.




Here’s a screenshot of the text exchange where Birthday Wish got his name.





I didn’t take pictures of the entrance/exit wounds as I was in a hurry to get him processed and head back South. The 250 Barnes TEZ in a Harvester Smooth Sabot, pushed by 80g of Blackhorn, entered right behind the shoulder and exited on the off shoulder. I didn’t really look for a blood trail but there was a ton of blood at the final resting spot and his lungs were destroyed.

It was a very fun week and one I won’t forget anytime soon. There was also a 24 inch wide 7 with short tines killed and someone else got their first deer. We were blessed with amazing weather and I’m already looking forward to next year! Let the countdown begin!

Last edited by TNHagies; 11-21-2016 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:00 AM
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Very nice buck. I enjoyed the read. Its always nice to get a buck that you've really wanted to harvest. Congratulations.

My Genesis likes 90 grains of BlackHorn 209 and I shoot a Barnes 250 grain MZ. Very accurate rifle.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:01 AM
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Thats Awesome, congratulations!! Looks like a buck people will be talking about for awhile
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:39 AM
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Where is the deer? All i see is a huge hog.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:48 AM
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Nice mass; interesting tale.












..
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:59 AM
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Great read TN. Congratulations. I'll bet that guy was top dog in his area.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:58 AM
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Very nice Virginia buck, great read!!
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:57 AM
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Congratulations. what town are you near in Va. I hunt mostly national forest around Bland Va. Saturday was like a gale blowing, especially around 5pm. I am buying me a nxtcart for getting my deer out of those mountains. A deer downhill from the truck can be a killer sometimes. I love hunting the 2nd week of blackpowder. Most of the time you have the woods all to yourself. Congrats again, great story

Last edited by deer655; 11-22-2016 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by deer655 View Post
Congratulations. what town are you near in Va. I hunt mostly national forest around Bland Va. Saturday was like a gale blowing, especially around 5pm. I am buying me a nxtcart for getting my deer out of those mountains. A deer downhill from the truck can be a killer sometimes. I love hunting the 2nd week of blackpowder. Most of the time you have the woods all to yourself. Congrats again, great story
We are in Craig Co. The terrain is similar to Bland, I believe. We've had to on many occasions quarter the deer up and bring them out like you would out West. It's all National Forest so no motorized vehicles allowed.

Thanks everyone for the kind words.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:55 PM
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Congratulations , love to hear and see fellow hunters succeed and enjoy the great outdoors , thanks
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