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I screwed up

Old 11-05-2010, 06:02 PM
  #1  
dpv
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Hunting public land. Got in the tree at daybreak...30 minutes later I heard a deer grunt. I gave a single doe bleat and 10 seconds later a single grunt. Within a minute there was a deer. He materialized about 55 yds from my tree moving in a direction that would give me a nice broadside shot. At 45 yds from my stand he was perfectly broadside. I tried to stop him by making "meee" noise but it didnt work. I pulled the trigger with the sights on his chest and he went down like a sack of potatoes. It was like the hammer of Thor hit him. He rolled onto his back kicked his legs a bit and lay there. He tried to get up but it was like his back legs didn't work. This is my first time hunting with a muzzleloader adn I didn't know how soon I could reload. I also didn't want to move and make noise for fear of driving him off. He put his head down and I thought he was done.....then after about 3 minutes he fought to his feet and staggered away......I hadn't reloaded. he went about 0 yds downhill then stopped in a hollow. I couldn't see him but he didnt' come out. I reloaded and looked and thought I saw him laying down. I figured he was done. I kept watch.......and about 5 minutes later I saw this deer standing.....then realized it was a different deer. A spike. and I did the dumbest thing I possibly could. I took a rushed shot. Missed clean.
And the first deer. The largest deer I have ever shot in my life, ran ten yards out of the hollow. He walked another ten yards then stopped and looked back at me. I reloaded. In the time it took me to pull my speed loader out and drop the powder pellets he was gone. I got out of the tree walked over to the last place I saw him and found nothing. Went back to the spot where I shot him. It was raining all night. There was no visible blood.....no hair, bone nothing. So I gave it a 2 hour rest. Then started looking and looking. and looking.
I used every tracking trick I know. followed the terrain. followed the water,, followed the trails. did grids and crisscross circled around. I covered several square miles and nothing. By the time I got in my truck to come home tonight I was exhausted. I am certain this deer is dead.....but I pushed him and he became superdeer. I also didn't reload because I was unfamiliar with my weapon and unprepared for the situation. And for some stupid reason I abandoned my plan to not shoot at a spike because I figured I would load some extra meat onto the truck. A bird in the hand. Stupidity. Inexperience. It should have ended so differently.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:18 PM
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Based off my experiences with a MZ. He's dead somewhere. The grn of the bullet is huge and your odds are way good he's dead. Im in the same position right now. Shot tonight not sure but gonna go back tomorrow to look. Get out there you'll find him.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:40 PM
  #3  
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Anyone who has hunted very long has made poor hasty decisions. I've done it a time or two. And not just while hunting, in every aspect of life!

I don't know what to tell you about the deer. You may or may not find him, but either way you have learned a valuable lesson. Have a plan and stick to it. And just as important, know your equipment. Spend a little extra time at the range so you don't have to wonder how long it will take to load.

I'd say the MOST important lesson to be learned is that you need to keep pouring the lead to 'em until you KNOW that they are finished and aren't going to get up.

I don't know why I have said all this, because I'm sure you figured it all out on your own already. I do hope you find your buck (I'm guessing he's piled up in a brushpile nearby), and I hope you get a chance to get back out soon and boost your confidence back up. Take care, and good luck the rest of your season.

rw
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:51 PM
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Don't beat yourself up too bad cause you know what? You learned a valuable lesson. Don't forget what happened tonight and why. Next time take the steps to avoid having another hunt turn out the same way. I noticed mistake after mistake but such is the learning process. I do not advocate any of what you did and I'll offer some advice hunter to hunter. When muzzleload hunting ALWAYS reload right after the shot while at the same time watching( if you can) what the deer is doing. Never hunt with a weapon you are unfamiliar with because of safety mostly. ALWAYS try to be prepared for any situation. Things can happen pretty fast when your out there. I know you'll learn as you gain more experience. Don't be greedy as you stated wanting to put more meat in the truck. Never kill a animal in order to learn how to hunt... rather learn how to hunt in order to kill an animal.
Live it up! Doug
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:20 PM
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why would u shoot at the spike if you already shot a buck and he was noticably hit he dropped rite in front of you and walked off, sounds like karma got you good
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:29 PM
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By the way the deer acted when you shot I am sure he didn't go far. If he fell to his back and kicke his legs up and did not bolt immeidiately I would think he was hit hard. You probably just didnt see where he is laying. I would get some friends and go find him before somebody else cuts his horns off.
Just curious, are you alloud to kill two bucks during the same season in VA. Here in IN they went to a 1 buck rule a few years ago and you can only kill one all season. But even before that you could only kill one for each different season (one during early archery, 1 firearms, and one late archery.)
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:30 AM
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He might live in a state where u can shoot numerous buck. I live in Richland County, SC you're allowed a buck a day. he land I hunt has rules though. 8pt and 5 bucks a yr.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:32 AM
  #8  
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I shot a Doe Wednesday and had a pass through,took out the liver and at least one lung. The deer only went 50 to 60 yards and layed down in a very thick area of cover. Sence I could not see where she ran or fell I gave her an hour to die,my arrow was covered with blood so I thought she was hit well. It was dark when I took up the tracking and the blood was light only coming from her nostrel. I thought she went into the woods and decided to back out a little longer due to light blood,only a drop at the edge of the woods. I found her not in the woods but 15 yards or less on the edge in some heavy brush she had been dead for over and hour and a half. I felt kind of silly with her laying so close and not finding her right off but having bumped one on friday and being new to hunting and tracking I realize I've got a lot to learn. Look closer to where he went down and give it another try you may find him real close. May GOD give you help and thank you for being humble enough to share your mistakes with us,your in good company for we all are still learning and failing at times.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:53 AM
  #9  
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dpv,
I am new to deer hunting and want to thank you for your post. Reading this hopefully will help me not make the same mistakes. At least reading about it should in theory help but I wont know until I am out in the woods. There are so many things I will learn as I go and it doesn't matter how many books I read I wont truly grasp things until I practice them out in the field. First hand accounts of hunts, tactics, and experiences are why I love these forums. I hope you find that buck. Good luck.

David
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:58 PM
  #10  
dpv
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In my part of Virginia, I am allowed 2 per day, 6 per license year, 3 of which must be antlerless. That said, I still screwed up by not sealing the first deer before trying on another.
I went back with a friend today and we tore it up looking for that deer. We retraced my tracks then systematically expanded the search covering several miles of woods. We walked the creek in 3 directions and dug thru thicket we didn't even know existed before this. We even talked to a few hunters who were running beagles thru the area for rabbits. I found nothing at 3 oclock we called it quits so my buddy could get in on the evening hunt. ( today is a doe day for muzzleloader). It will probably be 5-10 more years before I get a shot at another deer like this.
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