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Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

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Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Old 11-26-2008, 12:33 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Hi y'all. I'm 61 years old and had never hunted anything before last week.Was never introduced to it as a kid, but always had an interest.Had a bit of marksmanship training in the army 40 years ago with M14s, but other things in life always took priority over my time and attention. Several years ago I decided to give it a try.I bought a Marlin 39A .22 rifle, thinking I would start out going after squirrels and rabbits. Practiced a bit with it at the range, but never got around to getting out in the field. Didn't know anyone who hunted small game or had property suitable for it. Never having done it before, I was hesitant to blunder off on my own on publicproperty.By various turns of events too tangential (and boring)to describe here, I became friends with a fellow 12 years my junior who is an avid deer and turkey hunter. For several years he had extended an invitationto join him for a couple days during deer season at his 300 acre farm in far northern Missouri.I was a bit intimidated by the idea of going after "big game", but decided this was the year to go for it. I borroweda Remington 30-06 with a scope from my brother-in-law (who lives in Illinois and can't use it there for deer hunting).I took it to the range on a couple of occasions over the summer andgot to the point where I thought I probably couldhit a deer in the right place at 100 yds.

My buddy showed me around the farmin mid October. He had spent years building permanent tree stands and ground blinds at strategic locations around the mostly wooded property. He had developed several multi-acre food plots in hay fieldsandbottom ground areas (milo,soybeans and biologic). He and his brothers had hunted the property for many years and taken a lot of deer off of it. They know the property, how the deer behave, and where to find them. I could not have had a better guide and teacher, nor a bettervenue for my first attempt at hunting deer.

So on Monday evening 11/17/08,I drove to the farm, stopping by Walmart to buy a non-resident Misouri any deer tag (I live in Kansas - $175 - OUCH!). Headed out before dawn the next day to a tree stand at the edge of the woods that my friend had shown meduring the October outing. It was clear, 27 degrees and frosty. At first light I saw a good sized doe mosey into afood plot out in front of my stand. A half hour later, three more. They were within my range of confidence, but I let them go. I had it in my mind that I had two days and an any deer permit, so I was going to hold out for a buck; would go for a doe late on the second day if I hadn't managed to get a buck before that. (It never occurred to me that I might not actually get a deer! Beginner'snaivete I suppose.) Saw one buck across the hay field, but he was way beyond my confidence range and too far to reliably count antler points even with my binoculars. In most of Missouri, a buck has to have at least a 7 point rack to be legal. By nine o'clock I had seen three more does. By noon I'd seen no more deer, and went back to the cabin.

My friend and another guy had also been in stands elsewhere on the farm. They had seen fewer deer than I did. All resolved to go back out again in the late afternoon. I went back to the same stand about 3:00 PM and sawone more deer before dark.Again, this was a buckthat was barely visible in the treeline on the opposite side of the hayfield about 275 yards away. The other guys sawa few does but nothing worth spending a tag on. We returned to the cabin and tried to get warm with the help of some vodka and Jack Daniels.

Next morning we were out again and in the stands while it was still pitch dark. Now my mindset was, I'll go for a large doe if I get the opportunity. Sat in the same stand until after 11:00 AM and saw nothing but squirrels and two wild turkeys. Now I was beginning to think my strategy had been wrong; I should have taken a shot at one of the does the day before. It was looking like I might well go home empty handed. Back to the cabin for lunch.

For the late afternoon hunt, my firend suggested that I try a different spot in a far southeast corner of the farm. This position was a ground blind looking out over a bottom groundsoybean field with a treeline a couple hundred yards away on the opposite side.Behind the treeline was a meandering creekbed. To get to the blind I had to walk a half mile down the gravel road, climb through a barbed wire fence, walk another quarter mile through a neighbor's cow pasture (with a couple dozen head of cattle staring at me), and ultimately through a gate back onto my friends property.It had warmed significantly, had gotten a bit windy. The wind was blowing my scent parallel to the far tree line, so anything in those woods should not have detected me. I sat there from 2:30 till sunset (around 4:30) and saw no deer.It was still light (and legal) until about 5:00, so I thought I'd give it the full effort. I was literally within a couple minutes of packing up and heading back, when finally, a doe poked her head out of the tree line, hesitated a few seconds, and then bolted into the bean field, heading directly toward me. Seconds later a buck appeared at the same spot.I knew it was now or never for this trip.

I had previously chambered a round and taken the safety off. The rifle was ready. I ignored the doe, glassed the buck with the binoculars and counted points as hetrotted into the bean field directly toward me. He was minimally legal (was an eight pointer at one time but one of the brow tines was broken off so he was technically a 7 pt). I put the binoculars down, put on my ear protectors, and raised the rifle.The buck had followed the doe into the bean field. He stopped to munch beans about 75 yards directly in front of me. I had a robust front quartering view in the scope and did not hesitate to take the shot. I hit himan inch or two lower and a couple inches further back of his right shoulder than I had intended. He looked stunned but did not go down. He immediately trotted about 30yards to my right toward the edge of the bean field and stopped again, about100 yards out, giving me aleft rear quartering view in the scope. Iput a second shot behind his left shoulder and he immediately went down. He never moved thereafter. The whole event, from firstsight of the doeuntil the second shot was away could not haveconsumed more than45 seconds.

Withinan hour, my friend and I had the buck field dressed and hanging in a tree back at the cabin. There was much picture taking and congratulating going on!The buck weighed in at 137 lbs field dressed when dropped off at the processor the next day.There will be venison on the table for Christmas this year. I couldn't be more excitedand satisfied with the whole experience. It is very gratifying to be able, even at my age, toapply old skillseffectively and learn new ones in the process.

Thanks for allowing me to share a very memorable time with you.

notactingmyage is offline  
Old 11-26-2008, 12:41 PM
  #2  
 
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Congrats!!! Lets see some pictures!
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:27 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Awesome story! I shot my first deer as an adult too. (alittle younger at the age of 40). Your story is a great inspiration to other adults who have never hunted, but are interested in trying it. Congratulations!
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:34 PM
  #4  
Spike
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Thanks. Here's the evidence (hopefully the upload works).
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:41 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Congrats! Good job. Please post some pics.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:54 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

congrats on your buck. took me couple yrs to get my first buck. So are you awaiting next season, spring turkey is around the corner.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:18 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

nice first buck. congrats
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:08 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Nice deer, and welcome to the world of hunting!
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:10 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Congrats. Nice deer.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:30 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Old Guy Gets First Deer (Warning, very long post)

Hey congrats!! Never to old to start! congrats once again!
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