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Thanksgiving Day Buck

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Thanksgiving Day Buck

Old 11-29-2004, 10:24 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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Default Thanksgiving Day Buck

This is my fourth season bowhunting and finally my first buck. I've passed on countless small 4's & 6's during the past few years hoping they'd grow up & increase my odds of taking a larger buck someday. I've seen 2 larger bucks in this area I've been hunting so far this season, but when this guy offered a shot I wasn't about to pass it up.

Thanksgiving morning; temp was nice & cold, about 40 degrees cooler than the day before. Sounded like a good recipe for deer movement. The only problem was that it was also very windy. Luckily, the area I'm hunting is down low, several creeks and drainages running together into one feeder creek which means it's fairly protected from the wind and it's also very near a bedding area. I'm hunting a mowed clearing that's about 30 yards wide & 100 yards long. Feeder creek on the north side, bedding area to the east, alfalfa fields on the top of the hill to the south.

I get set up in the same tree I've been hunting in for most of the season at about 6:50. Running a little late but still 10 minutes before shooting light. I sat for a while to get relaxed & catch my breath. The sun rises at 7:30. Around 7:40 I decided that I should stand up & be ready in order to minimize my movements should something happen to walk by. As I was standing up I noticed movement to my right. There he was at 20 yards. I thought he was an 8 but didn't take the time to count points. All I knew was that I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass. As he circled around me in that clearing, heading toward the bedding area, I slowly removed my bow from the hook, drew, and anchored. He was walking slowly but still moving perfectly broadside right in front of me. I whistled 3 times to try to stop him but with the noise from the wind he didn't hear me. By this time he was getting past me so I settled a pin and let that arrow fly.

I hit a little further back than I had intended, but after thinking about it I realized that it actually helped me since he was quartering away slightly. I watched the arrow hit and was devistated to see it only penetrate half way. I watched him trot off with my arrow still in him. What a horrible feeling. He was only 18 yards away & I'm shooting 63 ft-lbs of KE so I just couldn't believe that it didn't pass thru. I called a buddy of mine who was hunting a nearby property & he agreed to meet me at 9:00 & we would start looking.

We found his prints where he was standing when I hit him. Followed those for about 10 yards before the blood trail started. We followed blood for about 60 yards and then found the arrow. It had backed out. Good blood on the first 14" of the shaft, and sign of an apparent lung hit on the last few inches. Good sign for another 3 or 4 yards and then the blood trail ended. We were able to follow his tracks for another 50 yards but then lost the trail all together. We searched the rest of the morning but had to give up because of Thanksgiving day plans. I didn't want to leave him overnight but the temp never hit above 40 degrees that day so I knew he would be okay if I could find him early the next morning.

Started searching again at first light on Friday. A buddy of mine helped for the first couple hours until he had to leave and then my wife joined me in the search. We lost his trail real close to the bedding area and it's increadibly thick around there so I had been concentrating most of my search looking through that thick stuff. I just figured he was likely laying in there someplace right under our noses. By mid-day I was getting a little frustrated & decided to abandon that area and search the creek that separates our property from the state park. I don't know why I didn't walk the creek sooner, but I just figured he had to go down in that thick stuff near his bed and there was no sign to indicate otherwise.

About 1/4 mile from where he had been shot, I stepped into the creek and didn't take 3 steps before I saw what looked to be a small spike laying mostly underwater in the creek. I could see the tips of 2 points and deer hide about the size of a small deer. As I started pulling on it I realized that it was a bigger buck, an 8 pointer, real similar to the one I had shot. It took a second to sink in that this was him. As I was dragging it up on the bank I noticed a number of canine tracks in the soft mud. There was absolutely nothing left of this deer. Head (missing an ear) with about 6" of neck, rib cage, backbone, 4 legs, all connected together with what was left of the hide. I sorted it all out & found my entry hole on his left side. There was a broken rib on his right side and I can only assume this is what stopped my arrow from passing through. Whatever the coyotes didn't eat was probably washed away by the creek that was running higher and faster than normal. His antlers were hung on some rocks & this is probably the only thing that kept him there.

I struggled with the decision of whether to tag him in or not. I know a lot of guys who would've just cut off the antlers & kicked him back in the creek. But in the end I figured that tagging him was the right thing to do. After all, I wanted to be able to share the story of my first buck & not have to worry about who I told this story to.

This season I had decided to try out some mechanical heads. I was given some Grim Reapers for Christmas last year. Now, I'm not at all trying to pass the blame for my less than perfect shot on these heads. However, as the buck moved away the blades on the head just folded up and the arrow backed right out. I'm not saying that a fixed head would have killed the deer any differently or passed through when the mechanical didn't, but I do believe that it would have been more difficult for that arrow to back out. And as long as that arrow was wiggling around in that hole it was spitting out a blood trail. But I did have good blood and took out what appeared to be one lung, so the mechanicals seemed to do the job given where I put the arrow. In reality I have no idea if it would have made a difference at all, but I'm switching back the the fixed heads that have served me well in the past.

For all I know that buck did go and lay up in that thick stuff only to be chased out and hunted down by the coyotes. Or maybe he made it all the way to that part of the creek to expire & be eaten there. That's a part of the story I guess I'll never know.

Jeepnut is offline  
Old 11-30-2004, 12:42 AM
  #2  
Boone & Crockett
 
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

Nice deer
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:11 AM
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

congrats Jeepnut, that is a damn nice deer, and it has one hell of a story to it. i'd be very proud of it!! but i'm truly sorry for the the 'yotes did. you'll just have to even the score with 'em once you gotta bigger toy out there. but congras on a first buck, and good luck in the future hunts

-Hoyt
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:57 AM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

NICE BUCK.. Great persistance in finding him.. I shot one this year, that took me two days to find also, LIVER SHOT HIM..

What kind of Broadhead are you shooting? (Grim Reapers), with 63 ftlbs of KE you shoot bust through BOTH ribs and still get an easy passthrough..

I shoot muzzy's and Thunderheads, and they cut through like a HOT knife through Butter...

Go back to your Fixed blades..
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Old 11-30-2004, 12:20 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

nice buck, thats a shame about the yotes.
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:33 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

I knew you were quality people.

Good deal, and congrats...
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:30 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

sry to hear the yotes got your deer jeep. you did the right thing going out and continuing to search for him after you lost blood and tagging him when there was no meat left.
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:20 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

JeepnutI'm certainly glad to hear that you found your buck ,unfortunately you never got to him in time to harvest the whole deer but you did get the horn's .I'm not too darn sure I would have tagged him in this situation but ,it was a tough call and since your sure he was the buck you shot then I guess you've done the right thing .

nubo
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:48 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

Congrats, He's a beauty of a deer. I'm sorry to hear the dogs got to him first but this happens sometimes. On the bright side you were able to recover him and get to have some closure to the situation.
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:42 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Thanksgiving Day Buck

Nice buck. I shoot the grim reapors and have had good luck with them. Sometimes things like that happen. Sorry to hear about the yotes, but hats off to ya for tagging him.
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