Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > Archery Forums > Bowhunting
Best buck I've ever seen and I blew it. >

Best buck I've ever seen and I blew it.

Bowhunting Talk about the passion that is bowhunting. Share in the stories, pictures, tips, tactics and learn how to be a better bowhunter.

Best buck I've ever seen and I blew it.

Old 10-29-2013, 04:49 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
Thread Starter
 
LittleChief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 2,332
Default Best buck I've ever seen and I blew it.

Sorry for the long read. Feel free to skip it if you like.

It was a tough weekend. This past weekend I went to hunt at Wattensaw WMA in Arkansas. This is a highly pressured WMA with some very well educated deer.

I had been wanting to look at a particular spot so when I got there at 2:30 on Friday afternoon, I showered, dressed and left. It was around a 3/4 mile walk in from where I parked. I sneaked through the woods and found an old grown up road bed paralleling an old grown up field. As soon as I found the trail and two scrapes I knew I'd found my spot. The wind was forecast to be out of the north-east all evening which would be blowing into the old field, so I found a tree downwind of the trail and climbed up. The woods there were down right wooly, but I had some good clear shots.

At around 5:15 I decided to lightly hit the rattle bag. I carry two grunt calls, so I grunted with one, then the other and hit the rattle bag trying to imitate a sparring match but not a full blown fight. When I was done I made my first big mistake. I hung the rattle bag right behind me on my Realtree EZ hanger. At 5:30 I heard what I knew was a deer walking the trail. My first glimpse of him was the back half of him and my first thought was "OH MY GOD!" He was a huge bodied deer. I raised my binoculars and saw his rack. He was a fantastic 8 point. I really can't guess what he would have scored because his body was so freaking big.

Anyway, he was 30 yards out through the thick stuff. He worked a scrape and then walked on until he hit where I'd walked in. He then turned and walked straight toward me. When he got to 20 yards he spotted me. I was standing up holding my bow in front of me with my release already hooked on. He bobbed his head for a minute and (I suppose thanks to my ASAT 3D suit) decided I was nothing to worry about and turned 90 degrees and walked to my right.

His path was going to take him behind a cedar tree and then into an opening at exactly 20 yards. As he went behind the small cedar I started drawing. Just as he was reaching the clearing I reached full draw and that's when it happened. Just as I hit full draw my elbow hit the rattle bag and pinned it against the tree. He froze before he was totally clear and I knew the jig was up. There was a tiny branch hanging down halfway between him and me and my mind was racing. Try to shoot over it? Try to squat down? Try to let down? Hold and see what happens?

Well, I decided to shoot over it, which would have worked, but it was a piss-poor call. I didn't factor in the fact that he was on full alert. At the shot he dropped and wheeled left (away from me). I watched my NAP Killzone impact what looked like just below the spine. I was ecstatic! I'd just arrowed the biggest deer I'd ever seen!

I got down, found my arrow and it was smeared with blood, but there was a lot of meat on the broad head. I laid the arrow down in the direction he'd ran, marked the spot with my GPS and, since I'm colorblind, retreated to get help.

We got back there about three hours after the shot and even though we looked for four hours we didn't find a single drop of blood. We decided that since it was going to get down to 38 degrees that night we would come back in the morning and try again.

We got back out there at about 8:00 am and did circles until we finally found blood and then the track was on but the trail wasn't a good one. A drop here and there, then a patch about the size of a softball where he'd stopped and stood still. We didn't find a single place where he'd laid down. I had some of the best blood trailing fellows I've ever seen, but finally, after tracking a minimal trail for a quarter mile the blood stopped. We tore that area apart for another four hours, but nothing.

All I can figure out is that when that buck was wheeling to turn away his body was angled so that what looked like an impact below the spine was actually above the spine.

I can't tell you how awful I feel about this. This is the first deer that I've ever hit that I didn't recover. I've heard time and again that "If you hunt long enough it's going to happen to you." Well, it happened, and it sucks. What makes it worse is that he was HUGE. Maybe not a huge set of antlers, but he was a huge, mature buck.

I keep doing the "if only" thing. The one that really makes me kick myself in the butt is the thought that if only I hadn't hung that stupid rattle bag behind me. How stupid was that? I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I wasn't thinking at all when I did it.

I tried to hunt the next day but my heart just wasn't in it. I've been beating myself up pretty hard over this, but I'll be going back there on Friday and setting up a little farther up the same trail. With any luck I'll at least see him again and feel better about this. With some good luck maybe I'll finish the job.
LittleChief is offline  
Old 10-29-2013, 06:03 AM
  #2  
Giant Nontypical
 
early in's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Mont County, Pa
Posts: 7,368
Default

That sucks, but yea, if you hunt long enough it will happen. Cheer up, and get back to it!
early in is offline  
Old 10-29-2013, 06:08 AM
  #3  
Fork Horn
 
Thunderchicken217's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 197
Default

Sorry to hear about the non recocvery and your right it either has happened or will happen to us all. I had a similiar experience on a deer at that time that was the biggest I'd ever had an oppurtunity to arrow. I hit the dreaded no mans land do to an incorrect guestimate on yardage. It hurts to your core when everything you have worked for all season, sometimes all your life fails to work out but just gotta keep at it and it will work out someday I promise you. I heard on TV one time about NFL quarterbacks and Pro golfers having to have very very short memories from play to play and I've tried to take that approach towards my bad shots. Again Im sorry for the bad luck and just keep at it and maybe next time you'll be posting pics for us. Good Luck!
Thunderchicken217 is offline  
Old 10-29-2013, 06:24 AM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
Thread Starter
 
LittleChief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 2,332
Default

Originally Posted by early in View Post
That sucks, but yea, if you hunt long enough it will happen. Cheer up, and get back to it!
Originally Posted by Thunderchicken217 View Post
Again Im sorry for the bad luck and just keep at it and maybe next time you'll be posting pics for us.
Like I said, I'll be back on that same trail starting Friday, but just a few yards farther up the trail. I don't have the amount of experience that some of you do, but it seems to me that I wouldn't want to be sitting in the exact same spot.

I've been cheering myself up a little by looking at the euro mount of the 136" buck I got with my muzzleloader in Kentucky on the 19th.
LittleChief is offline  
Old 10-29-2013, 08:47 AM
  #5  
Nontypical Buck
 
deernutz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 1,260
Default

Hey Little Chif hold your head high. It has or will happen to all of us eventually. I lost a buck last year and man I was beating my self up for 2 days until I saw him feeding in a field with the other two bucks that were with him when I shot. If you meat shot him he'll be fine and you might get another poke at him.

As for sitting the spot again. Obviously is worked the first time, I bet it'll work the second time. I'm sure he's not the only buck in that area. Like my dad used to say that buck used that trail for a reason. Keep at it good luck.
deernutz is offline  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:52 AM
  #6  
Spike
 
whitetailfinder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6
Default

Trust me it could be worse....I have had 19 P&Y's in bow range since my first encounter at the age of 15 and I have never killed one. I had a true giant get away only to be killed by a rifle hunter and make the cover of North American Whitetail. There is nothing quite like that sick feeling in your gut. I am hopeful one day soon I will know what the other feeling is like.
whitetailfinder is offline  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:31 PM
  #7  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location:
Posts: 172
Default

I have been hunting 20+ years....and unfortunately...it has happened to me more than once...it is part of bowhunting...whether or not we want to believe it. We do our very best to prepare....but nothing can prepare you when you encounter a huge buck....I am not saying that is an excuse....just that you are in a different "state" when encountering a big buck. It sounds as though this buck will live. The best thing you can do is get back out there and hunt. I know you said that your heart was not into it...but it will help you get back in the saddle. It is a gut-wrenching feeling that no hunter wants to experience.....but as others have said...hunt long enough...it WILL happen!!
Doughboy2 is offline  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:22 PM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
Thread Starter
 
LittleChief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 2,332
Default

I appreciate the words of encouragement guys. I'm about to hit the rack and I'll be leaving at 6:00 am tomorrow morning to get back on the trail. I'll probably get on my stand at about 9:00 or 9:30 am and I plan to sit until dark.

If nothing happens tomorrow, I'll be back on the stand an hour before first light Saturday and I don't plan to get down until something dies or it gets dark again.

Good luck to anyone else who is going to be out there.
LittleChief is offline  
Old 11-06-2013, 05:22 PM
  #9  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: WV
Posts: 4,485
Default

Originally Posted by whitetailfinder View Post
Trust me it could be worse....I have had 19 P&Y's in bow range since my first encounter at the age of 15 and I have never killed one. I had a true giant get away only to be killed by a rifle hunter and make the cover of North American Whitetail. There is nothing quite like that sick feeling in your gut. I am hopeful one day soon I will know what the other feeling is like.
Holy cow!!!!!

That streak has to be broken.....I just said a prayer for you. I hope you don't end up in an asylum....lol......I get buck fever myself sometimes.....
hillbillyhunter1 is offline  
Old 11-20-2013, 05:36 AM
  #10  
Spike
 
whitetailfinder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6
Default Hopefully next week

Originally Posted by hillbillyhunter1 View Post
Holy cow!!!!!

That streak has to be broken.....I just said a prayer for you. I hope you don't end up in an asylum....lol......I get buck fever myself sometimes.....
It has been several things not just nerves. Most of it has been trying to get the "perfect shot" not wanting to take an iffy one. I am over that. I have had some encounters with some true giants. One made the cover of North American Whitetail. It is going to happen. Hopefully next week. I am going to get a thread going during my hunt. You guys can be there with me when I break the streak.
whitetailfinder is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.