Best Hunting Story (Gun or Bow)
I always like hearing good hunting stories and I may like telling them even more so here is one of mine:
I was hunting with my grandfather on some family property when I was twelve. We hadn't been seeing many deer except for one old gray haired doe and her fawn. We saw them on many consecutive days on stand. This particular doe was very easy to pick out because she had a horrible limp. The doe season was drawing to a close and we hadn't seen much in the way of antlers so I decided to take this limping doe. Now I need to preface this by saying I am a good shooter. I have been shooting all my life and I could stack rounds on top of each other with my 30-30 Marlin even at 12. So a 30 yard shot on a mature doe shouldn't have been a problem for me but somehow I pulled the shot and took her back left leg nearly off. I quickly cycled my rifle and got back on target. That round sent hair flying and was what I believed to be a good shot. So we waited the agonizing half hour my grandfather always made us wait after shooting a deer (now what I know to be a great practice) and picked up the blood trail. It wasn't long before we found this old crusty doe tangled in a brier patch, just as alive as before I had shot her. So I raised my rifle and placed a 3rd round through her neck. Now up to this point I know you are asking yourselves, "Why is one of your favorite hunting stories about wounding an animal twice?" Well, this is one of my favorite stories because it helps display the dexterity of a whitetail deer.
I approached this old doe slowly being cautious before I was sure she had expired. When I got to her I found out that this old doe had been through a lot. Her front left knee was swollen beyond the size of a softball (this led my grandfather to believe she had broken it at one point) which was causing her trademark limp. Her left eye was completely crusted over and swollen shut, and upon field dressing her I found the remnants of a broad head in her shoulder plate.
So lets recap: Broken knee, eye swollen shut, survived an arrow piercing her shoulder plate, I shot her leg off, my second round entered near her hindquarters and exited through her anus, and was finally taken down by a shot to the neck.
Oh to be a fly that could have followed her around in the rough life she lived, and died in. I felt very sorry for that deer. She is the reason I practice constantly. She is the reason i feel the need to make ethical shots that will cause quick death. I learned a lot from that old doe, which is why that is one of my favorite hunting experiences.
I've only been bow hunting a few years now. This season is my third. What I have noticed is when I have a rifle the deer are never close and are usually running away. When I hunt with a bow they have no problem prancing around right out of bow range.
I have no idea why except the deer must sense danger. I am a bow hunter for good now.
Last year I used a broken arrow to mark fifty yards from my blind. This monster buck came in and was heading right for me. Then he looked down at the marker and did not like what he saw. He never crossed the line and faded into the woods. SRM
Just 1 of the many I have....
I was hunting on a new piece of property that my buddy took me to. This was my first (and only) time on the property. Deer sign was EVERY WHERE!! I finally chose a large clump of brush to sit in with very distinct deer trails on 3 sides of this clump. Sitting there nice and quiet I started to hear whistling. It would start out faint at first - gradually get louder - than get quiet. For almost an hour I would here this off and on?? Soon the deer started to "parade" past my little clump of brush....I only cut 1 shooting lane through the brush. Numerous deer past through the shooting lane never offering me a shot. I must of let close to a dozer deer past...Finally a large doe stopped and started to look back where she came from. I slowly drew my bow, as not to be scene. The 6 yrd shot should have been a "gimme". As I came to full draw and settled the pin behind her shoulder. I suddendly felt warm air on my neck and could here "something". I slowly rolled my eyes and slightly moved my head on to see a SPKE BUCK eye-to-eye with me. I was too afraid to release that arrow at the doe as I was afraid that buck would jump right through me!! The doe slowly walked away. Once she was out of sight...that little spike stepped back out of the brush and walked off too. I didn't see another deer that night...and that whistling sound??? That's the noice DUCKS make when the have locked their wings to land in the pond that was behind me. Ah, to be young again!!
I was bow hunting a farm that I had gun hunted for 6 years. The landowner who also gun hunted the farm wouldn't let me bow hunt because he thought it spooked the deer for gun season.
After several years of asking...I decided to ask him when he was drunk one night:p:p:p HEY....CUT ME SOME SLACK...IT WORKED:D I knew that if I ever got permission to bow hunt this farm, I would know right where to go.
One my first night of the season....I was almost to the stand on a super windy night when I realized that I had forgotten the rope to my safety harness in the truck. I decided to get in the stand anyway:eek:
After about an hour of swaying back and forth...I decided that being in a tree without being secured was STUPID. I was in the process of lowering my bow to the ground when I heard noise. 30+ longbeards strolled right past my tree....a turkey tag in my pocket and my Hoyt on the ground:o
Soon after they left I got down and moved to a spot on the ground where I could hide in a dead fall. I was there for all of 60 seconds when I caught movement to my right. A decent 8 point had just left a cornfield and was heading my way. When he was facing me @ 20 yards....I drilled him. He ran 30 yards and tipped over.
Now fast forward 40 days.....I was back at the farm trying to fill my second buck tag. It was a perfect fall Sunday...overcast and cold. While heading to a stand I couldn't help but hear a bunch of turkeys making all sorts of noise at the west end of the property.
I decided to see if I could put the sneaky sneak on them so I changed course and headed to the west timber. Once I crossed a open field and entered the timber, I was sorta' surprised that I was able to cross in the open without being detected.
The strip of timber I was in ran north and south and was about 80 yards wide. It had a picked cornfield to the east and the west side dropped off sharply to a small river below. There were two main deer trails paralleling each other about 20 yards apart running down the middle of the timber.
I was on the east trail slowly creeping up on the turkeys. The more noise they made...the faster I moved. They were on the move as well so it made it difficult to catch up.
As I made my way north....I caught movement to my left. Just up ahead of me was a nice set of antlers on the west trail heading south. I knew things were gonna' happen fast so I quickly tucked in behind a big 'ol oak tree and came to full draw. Only 15 seconds had passed from the time I spotted the buck until now.....and when he was just 2 steps from entering a shooting lane, he stopped dead in his tracks.
I stood there for what seemed like forever as the back looked back over his shoulder. I think he was looking in the direction of the turkeys... it didn't matter because he wasn't moving and my arms were starting to burn.
With a mature buck at 20 yards and me on the ground, I was afraid to let down...but I had to. The buck heard me but it didn't spook him:) Instead, he just looked straight ahead and continued down the trail. I came to full draw as quickly as I could...but I was too quick. As I pulled back...the arrow fell off the rest. To add insult to injury, the buck heard the noise and stopped broadside...RIGHT IN MY SHOOTING LANE:(
Here I was again...full draw with a beauty of a buck in front of me and I couldn't shoot. Imagine being at full draw, the buck broadside at 20 yards, and your arrow laying on the ground.:o
The deer looked at me for about 10 seconds and decided to head back the way he came from. It was an amazing encounter...but I still had a few tears in my eyes.
The next day was rough. I spent the entire 8 hours at work wondering what could have been. I had no intention of going out after work because the drive to the farm plus the walk to a stand would only leave me about 30 minutes to hunt.
With about 10 minutes of work left...I decided to give it a go. I had everything I needed in my truck so as soon as I punched out I was MOVING! I grabbed all of my camo out of my tub and threw it in the front seat with me. I had a 20 minute drive to the farm and I took that time to change. (the car behind me must have thought I was nuts:D)
I had already decided that I would go back to that big oak to see if I could get any cruisers to pass by in the little time that I had left. Once at the farm, I grabbed the bow and ran across two fields so I could get set up ASAP.
I entered the timber at the south end and followed the same trail up to the oak from the day before. I wasted no time getting to the tree and as soon as I arrived I started clearing some leaves so I wouldn't make any noise if I had to shuffle my feet.
I was about 10 seconds into clearing leaves when I heard something behind me to the south. I looked up and saw the buck from the day before....on the same trail as yesterday but coming from the south.
I just had enough time to nock and arrow and come to full draw when he entered the only shooting lane I had through some brush. I touched off the trigger and my arrow hit a twig...sending it back and low. The buck ran off to the north and I found myself with a tear in my eye for a second day in a row.
I knew the shot was bad so I headed home to wait. I thought about waiting until morning but decided to go look after 6 hours. I drove back up to the farm and it didn't take long to find blood. I assumed it would be a long tracking job so I started marking the trail with toilet paper from the get go.
I followed blood for about 100 yards north through the timber, about 40 yards through tall grass, and then another 30 or 40 yards into the next batch of timber. The blood trail was now heading downhill towards the river and I knew that even if I found the buck that night...getting him out of there by myself would be impossible. So, I marked the last spot of blood and headed home to wait until morning. Just before I headed back to the truck, I heard a noise in the river bottom. I thought it might be the buck and that made it easier to back out.
Being that it was a work day, I knew it would be tough finding help to get the buck out of the bottoms if I found him. After striking out on finding help, I took the morning off of work and headed back to the farm. I started out at the beginning of the blood trail and followed it for a second time. I did this to get a feel for the bucks direction of travel plus I might see something that I had missed the night before...the buck, the arrow, etc, etc.
When I got back to that last spot from the night before, I found a deer's tail laying on a log where I marked the last spot. I then started to freak out...thinking that the noise I heard the night before was coon hunters that watched me tracking the deer the night before...then found the deer after I left....leaving me a keepsake.
I followed the blood trail down to the river bottom and found myself walking in circles. There was blood everywhere! I walk back and forth in the tall grass and each trail I followed led back to another blood trail. Nothing was making any sense.
I did a grid search in the tall grass and found nothing. I did this for quite some time but just found myself getting madder and madder...still thinking that someone had taken my deer.
After a long morning of searching, I finally called it quits. As I started my way back up the steep hill out of the bottoms, I noticed an odd shape to my right. THAT SHAPE WAS BONE:eek::) There he was!!!! Not sure how I missed him in my grid search...but it didn't matter 'cause there he was.
My best bow buck to date was a 110" 8 point and I was now staring at a beautiful 13 point that would be pushing 140". As I got closer to the buck something didn't look right. It was then that I solved the "blood everywhere" mystery. Coyotes had found him before I did. They had removed one hind quarter and field dressed him for me:o
This still doesn't explain the deer tail on the trail. My guess is that a coyote was walking around with the tail in its mouth and dropped it when it came across my scent. I'll never know...sounds good though:D
So...here I am....a big ol' buck...standing at the bottom of a steep hill...and it was raining. I grabbed a hold of the deer and started dragging. By the time I got to the base of the hill I knew I was gonna' have fun. The buck was heavy and the ground was slippery.
After what seemed like forever, I was able to get the buck to the top of the hill by holding onto small trees with one hand and pulling with the other. (If I tried that today and would fall over dead:rolleyes:)
Now at the top of the hill, I still had to drag this buck about 300 yards to the truck. Driving across the field was not an option because of the wet conditions. I was totally exhausted from the climb up the hill but adrenalin was keeping me going. I would drag the buck about 10-20 yards and then rest. I made it back to the truck with about 1% of my energy left. I'm still not sure how I got him in the back of the truck...but I did.
I drove straight to my parents house to show them my deer. They knew how much I loved hunting and I knew they would be very proud of me. I finally shot a good'en!!!
What a crazy year....2 trips to the farm....2 bucks down....and a total time hunting from the the ground of about 70 seconds:)
Every year I usually ask some of my buddies that if they tag any deer, bucks or does, that I'd really appreciate it if they'd salvage the urine from the deer's bladder when they're field dressing it. I even told them I'd provide the jars to drain the bladders into if required. If you've ever purchased any deer scents from your local sports or hunting stores, then you'll know the term, "liquid gold", isn't resticted to only to Texas tea (oil that is).
Well I'd been fortunate enough to have tagged a small buck myself one year, as I'd been getting tired of eating tag soup over the past four or five years due to the fact that I'd been holding out for a Boonie or even a P&Y. Not wanting to let anything go to waste, I drained the buck's bladder just as I'd requested of my friends. I figured I could use it for making mock scrapes later on or next year if the stuff would hold up that long.
The jar made it home with me and I used it to pour miniscule amounts from time to time into a small plastic squirt bottle. Even a couple of my buddies asked if they could refill their buck scent cannisters from my cache.
The original glass jar of drained buck urine was stored in my basement where I soon forgot about it. Well one year turned into two or three, and when I finally stumbled across the forgotten and stowed jar, the contents had turned into a dark solution. I cracked the top of the jar to verify its contents, and WHOAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! Someone please turn on a fan and put out an airfreshener! Needless to say, it was somewhat potent!
O.K. I'd dodged a bullet on this venture in that the jar hadn't broken from me inadvertently knocking it off its perch in my basement and breaking it or allowing the fermenting elixir to litterally blow the top off the jar. Whatever the potential cause may have ended up being, allowing the contents of that jar to permeate my household, would in all probability bring about my referring to my current significant other as, "the ex #1".
Better get that stuff out'ta the house before, well, you know! So on my next hunting excapade, I loaded up the Mason jar with its precious yet potent contents into my fanny pack and off I went.
I had two stand sites located in a well used corridor. One stand was in a travel way from a feed to a bedding area with an annual secondary scrape within bowshot range adjacent to it, and the second stand was on the edge of a heavily bushed bedding area. Both stand sites were about 300 yards apart. If you've hunted for any number of years, you'll know the feeling of pondering over which stand to hunt out of, even up to the moment when you're approaching your stand location. I was no different and wasn't able to make my mind up until the moment I verfified that there'd been little activity on the secondary scrape that overlooked my first stand site. So it was off to stand site #2. But before leaving stand site #1, I took the opportunity to empty the carefully aged and black contents from the jar that had been tenderly packed and padded in my fanny pack.
I opened the jar, whilst wearing latex gloves and ensuring that the jar was held as far outright from my person as humanly possible with outstretched arms. I even positioned myself to stay downwind hoping that no foul fumes would attach themselves to yours truly. I dumped a small amount into the old scrape, then took the remaining 1-1/2" of the pungeant fluid and simply flung it into the tree branches overhanging the scrape. WHEW! Exit stage left!
I hunted stand site #2 for the morning 'till about 9:30 a.m. I managed to spot one doe and her fawn, but things were just too quiet so I opted to get down and do a little still hunting. I cautiously took my time working my way back to stand site #1. About 50 yards from that location, I heard what I can only decribe as what sounded like a 300 lb football linebacker with a severe case of asthma! The wheezing was loud, intense and frequent.
Suddenly, a doe popped out of a bunch of hawthornes from the direction of the scrape that I'd baited that morning. I was standing on the deer trail directly in her way as she bounded towards me. But she wasn't making the heated coughs that I'd been hearing. They were still coming from behind her. At 5 yards she finally noticed me and took a 90 degree turn and bounded off to my left. Immediately, a 10 point 160 + class monster broke through the hawthornes and followed the little doe's trail. At 5 yards from me he also broke to my left, but I believe that his deviation wasn't from me spooking him, but rather was his hot pursuit of his estrus girlfriend. As he wielded to my left, I drew in a single motion and released an arrow at 8 yards. Now I may be no Robin Hood, but I firure I can pop ping pong balls fairly consistantly at under 10 yards. Well unfortunately for me, that buck hadn't ever heard of ping pong, cause I missed him clean.
He continued his love lorn chase as I heard him crash off through the bush another 100 yards away. My heart was racing, and my breathing was laboured as I couldn't believe what had just transpired in front of me. It had all happened so quickly not allowing me to prepare. But just as I was licking my symbolic wounds over my missed trophy opportunity, more wheezing and crashing sounds were coming from the hawthornes that had produced the first two whitetails. All of a sudden, a larger 12 pointer emerged from whence the 10 point had first appeared. He looked quite ticked and ready for a fight as steam was blasting from his nostrils. He bounded my way, but his appraoch was more cautious as he appeared to be scanning the area looking for his competition and any other obstacles in his path.
At 30 yards I began my draw from a now kneeling position on the trail. The potential Boone & Crocket beheamoth picked up on my movement and wheeled 180 in a flash. He ran to a high point which ironically was directly under my tree stand #1. He stood there for a moment trying to get his bearings as we could both still hear the first buck crashing and snorting some 100 yards away. A small 6 pointer appeared from behind the 12 pointer and the two suitors immediately raced off to the sounds of the first buck and doe by skirting my position by 60 yards or so.
I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming in some hunting fantasy. Or was it a hunting nightmare? Two possible Booners in less than 20 seconds at 8 and 30 yards respectively and not a single hair touched. I swung to the location of my first shot and located my earthed and bloodless arrow. Was I disappointed? You betch'a! But the more I was able to ponder on the experience in the days to come and after the season was over, the more I came to realize just what an encounter it had been. I've taken several other animals, but this one animaless hunt is the one that always seems to come to mind when I sit around the campfire and tell stories about the game taken ot the one(s) that got away!
And what about that elixir that I'd spread earlier that morning. Was it the cause of the multiple encounter, or was it just by chance that those 4 deer were practising the Dating Game at that time and in that exact location? Don't know for sure, but you can be rest assured, I try to remember to carry a small jar when afield in order to gather more natural scents whenever possible.
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