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Never Too old for Buck Fever

Old 12-17-2005, 06:37 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Rockaway,NJ.
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Default Never Too old for Buck Fever

Here is my frustrating story...

I headed out toNJ's zone 8 yesterday to look for one of the two bucks the property owner said are still there. He see's them in the fields every night. I figured with the aproaching storm and the very cold temps that the deer would be on the move early!

I got off to a late start due to something from work popping up at the last minute so I didn't get to the property until 11am. I decided to try a small corner of the property across the road from the main piece. This piece is mostly field with maybe 5 or 6 acres of woods in the far corner. This field is where the owner said he is seeing the bucks every night so it seemed like the best place to set up...As I walked into the woods with my climber I noticed a ladder stand on the property behind ours. It was about 30 yards into the other piece and there was a feeder about 20 yards in front of it! Nobody was in the stand and there were deer tracks EVERYWHERE!!! You couldn't take 2 steps in any direction without stepping on deer tracks! I was pumped!!

I picked out a tree about 30 yards off of the field on our property and about 30 yards off of the other property. I could see his feeder and had a pretty clear view of the woods and field edge..

I wasn't in my stand more then 5 minutes when the first group of deer came to the feeder. 4 big does. They made their way onto our property and then slipped back down the back the way they came. About an hour later I see a truck pull up across the street from our field and a hunter gets out and heads into the adjoining property. I figured it was the guy with the feeder and stand so I got ready to move. The hunter didn't go to the stand and instead walked into a thicket across a small field on the other property... He then emerged from that thicket at the other end, came back across that small field towards me and entered the woods towards the feeder stand. He didn't go in the stand but was zig zagging through the woods away from me. I stayed ready just in case something broke out around him and came back my way!
While I'm watching him a truck driving down the road catches my attention when I hear his breaks squeak. I look behind me towards the road and see 9 deer running across the field in my direction. I'm facing completely in the wrong direction and in a sitting position so it's hard for me to turn. My only hope is that the deer enter the woods and come around me to give me a shot! They didn't! They got to the woods edge and started running along the edge heading for the other property! I swing my head around from looking over my right shoulder to looking over my left and then I see him! Big wide rack with at least 7 maybe as many as 10 points! If I were standing I might have gotten a shot at him at the fields edge but I couldn't make the move in time and poof he was gone! The deer ran through the hedge row that seperates the two properties, across the little field and into the first patch the other hunter had just walked through. Now I know this hunter is still down in there somewhere and his truck is up towards me so there is still hope he will push this buck back in my direction. About 20 minutes later 2 hunters come walking up the small field and head back to the truck. My heart sinks..."If I were standing I would have been dragging out one h@ll of a nice buck right now" I kept thinking to myself over and over! I was pissed.

Around 2:30 I see movement coming up the inside edge of that small field on the other property. It's about 100 yards away but with the snow I can make out the shape of deer coming up the field.. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9....Nine deer! It's got to be the same group!! They are too far to really see but they are heading my way! About 60 yards from me they enter the woods. They stand just inside the woods for what seemed like an hour but was probably 5 minutes or so. Then the group splits and some come my way and the others stay where they entered the woods. They are feeding and taking their sweet ass time getting to me but 3 are closing in! This time I am standing and ready for what ever they will throw at me! At least I thought I was ready!
As the 3 get closer I can see they are all does. My attention now swings to the others that are still 70 yards away feeding on the fields edge! The 3 does come within 15 yards of me and enter the field again! They then run across the field heading right back to where they originally came from! Another 5-10 minutes go by and still the other deer don't head in my direction! I'm freezing at this point and shaking like a leaf! Then one of the deer starts trotting towards me. He's heading right up the same path the other 3 did. ANTLERS!!!! It's him! Tall bright white antlers! He crosses the wall into our property, he gets behind a group of trees and a dead fall and it's time to raise my gun! I'm already thinking about the taxidermist and writing my victory post for all of you to read! Thats when everything fell apart! As I raise my gun I catch the stock on the bottom of my jacket. This makes me clink my gun on my gun rest on the stand! The deer slams on the brakes and is looking straight at me! I'm still struggling to get the gun to my shoulder and buck fever is setting in! My brain stops working! Panic sets in! I can't see the bucks eyes behind the tree just his rack sticking out on both sides! I'm already shaken from blowing my first chance at him and this chance is falling apart!
I finally get the gun to my shoulder and I'm ready to shoot. Two steps forward and he's a gonner! Instead he backs up a couple of steps!! I can see his ass out one end and I have a clear view of his shoulder and neck between two trees! With all rational thought now absent from my mind I put the beed between the two trees and fire! BOOM! tree bark is flying everywhere and my buck is running full speed into the other property! At about 70 yards he stops and is joined by the rest of the group. They stand there for 2 or 3 minutes just looking around...I keep hoping he will drop... I can't pick him out from the rest of the group but I can see his antlers over the pack!! They all then slowly walk away!

I climb down and head for where I shot. No blood! I can easily follow where he ran to where the group stopped. No Blood! A clean miss...

If I had waited a few more seconds he would have walked to within 10-15 yards of me... Buck fever got the best of me! The earlier missed opportunity, the cold and one little mishap sent me for a loop and saved that big boy's life!

I am really upset at myself for choosing to take that shot! I should have let the buck make the next move but Buck Fever got the best of me! Thinking about it now it is easy to make that decision but in the heat of the moment all my experience and years of hunting went right out the window! BUCK FEVER!!!

I went from feeling hopefull on my way in to feeling excited about seeing all the tracks in the snow to feeling sick for missing the first opportunity, to pumped on getting a second chance then excited that I was about to kill a good buck back to sick I had just blown the whole thing! Thats hunting for ya!
You are never too old to get buck Fever!
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Old 12-17-2005, 06:54 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Never Too old for Buck Fever

Good story, sorry about the ending though.
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Old 12-17-2005, 08:03 AM
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Posts: 160
Default RE: Never Too old for Buck Fever

Hey don't feel bad it happens to the best of us! This inspires me to post a new thread. We all tell our success stories but why not hear some of our buck fever stories...
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Old 12-17-2005, 08:10 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Default RE: Never Too old for Buck Fever

It happens to the best of us! Thats a great story! I hope you get the chance to rewrite the ending!
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:11 AM
Dominant Buck
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Default RE: Never Too old for Buck Fever

HA! HA!It happens no matter how old you are or how long you been hunting!
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:53 PM
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Default RE: Never Too old for Buck Fever

Dang! sorry about that. I haven't seen a descent buck all year to shoot. Not even a yearling!
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:41 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Rockaway,NJ.
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Default RE: Never Too old for Buck Fever

It's happened to me before and I'm sure it will happen again!!!! The cold played a big part in this one! I was freezing!!!!!! Motor skills were off and when I started to think of this deer running away Buck Fever took over! Oh well, it was an awesome day in the woods that I'm sure I will remember until the day I die!!!!
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