Semi live, hopefully.
40 acres of Native Grass behind me with a 7 acre food plot that is nearly 1/2 mile long . All pictures of deer are at night, so not expecting much.
The 4 mph wind I hope is enough to keep my scent off the falling thermals after sunset. Deer typically bed at the bottom of the draw, on the south facing side during winter.
Of course there were 7 in my garden 2 nights ago and I was too busy splitting wood after my bus route to try to sneak up with the recurve.
I pick my bow off the hanger, clip my release on and put the bow in front of my face. No time to stand without being detected.
I don't move. After 20 seconds or so of staring at me he turns directly broadside, at 5 yards.
I draw and anchor quickly, still seated. I have to crouch a little to shoot under a limb.
I wait until dark to get down.
It is very difficult to walk upright on the very steep and icy sidehill. As I progress down the hill, I see where something has slid in several locations. I believe it must be that buck.
At the bottom I find a nice pool of blood.
I begin to follow his trail in the dark, with just my headlamp. After the pool there is a continuous wide, very tiny blood drop spray.
I realize I probably only got one lung. About 70 yards into the trail, I got lucky and find my arrow off to the side. It is not broke, but the broadhead somehow came unscrewed.
The arrow is soaked from one end to the other.
He went about 250 yards so far. Easy trail to follow, until my light begins to dim.
I stop, decision time. He has not bedded once yet. I think I know about where I am at, but the draw is deep and no fading light can be seen.
I must get out before my light dies or I will spend the night there. I hesitate, knowing from the nearby yote music that if I leave I may not found him intact, if I find him at all.
It takes about 30 minutes to get where I know what direction for sure my cabin is. I am no longer on my property.
It will be a restless night. I will be truthful with the outcome tomorrow. I feel terrible. I was confident at the shot.
This is not a monster, but rather a Kelly Harris size.
I will go read the thread on trailing a one lung hit.
Again, not the outcome we strive for. I hope I find him within a short distance of where I left off. Then I will know he died fairly quickly.
Sorry to disappoint all of you, but most sorry for this beautiful creature.
As you know, spaying is always good, dripping not so much. One-lungers won't go far if they aren't pushed. You'll find him, I'm sure.
I cleaned the arrow with paper towels. A lot of blood, but very dark. No fiber, all blood.
On close inspection, the broadhead broke off, level with the insert. I will need an easy out to get the rest out. I bet I am correct about it being in the leg.
HfW, if your hit was like mine, you'll find him ......
It is 17 out, so the meat should be good if I find him.
The food plot is not in a power line ROW. The native grass is surrounded by timber, which I edge feathered years ago to create bedding areas. The long food plot adjacent to these bedding areas allows for an increased number of doe units, at least theoretically, LOL. It has seemed to work based on the amount of deer captured on camera.
Based on what you've told us, you will find him either relatively quickly, or not at all. Been there done that, on more than one occasion. I sincerely hope it's the first scenario! Good luck......
Picked up this morning where I left off last night. My neighbor Paul, who is also a good friend that we help each other on our farms, went to dinner with me last night.
Together we took up an easy to see blood trail, easy to see his tracks and blood droplets in the snow, without the snow there would have been no chance.
We decide to head back cutting an angle to the trail we just walked, and sure enough I pick up blood droplets, coming from both sides.
Still easy to follow in the snow. About half way along this trail we find a bed. The blood is not a great quantity, and it is frozen.
Here's the bad news, the last 200 yards the tracks are going uphill, the most gentle part of the slope, but still a work out.
We checked the entire perimeter, on the edge and a little way inside the woods. No further sign. No crows congregating.
It appears I have made a major blunder. I feel terrible. WW, you were spot on. Guessing from the deer's reaction last night, all of the blood, I would have bet a good sum I would find him. Been on a couple hundred blood trails.
I will check some known bedding areas in the vincinity. This deer, like most bucks, was a survivor. He obviously doubled back on his trail when we lost it.
He also bedded on a bench half way up the hill where it circled around so he could watch his back trail.
Thanks for the support, sorry to disappoint all of you. It was fun to share something in common we all enjoy. Thanks.
No exaggeration, he did. We know because of where he travelled on mine, to an adjoining neighbor, and then unexpectedly back to Paul's.
Actually he went further than that because where we lost the trail it was easily one mile.
My guess is the shot was low in the brisket, perhaps catching the leg on the opposite side.
Did his tracks indicate he was limping, or favoring one leg at all?
Matt, after i found the arrow I could not discern anything odd with his stride.
Please let us know if you find him or hear/see anything about him. I like to learn as much as I can from other people's experiences as I can and compare them with mine. That's the great part about hunting, you never stop learning and asking questions.
I will definitely let everyone know. I am going back tomorrow to look for crows. Without seeing any I am going to walk the one bedding area that would have been closet to my stand that would have been on the downwind side that he came from.
He showed up 15 minutes before sunset. I am almost certain I captured him on camera, but it was a night picture that was not clear.
The rut is all but over, the second rut is never very observable in my area, probably due to a good buck/doe ratio. Only one year olds may get bred in the second rut.
So, if he was local, not trolling, and showed up at that time, his bedding area was likely very close. Does were out on the plot, he would have been able to see them from his bedding area.
If I don't find him there, I will check the timber between where I lost his trail and the bedding area. He may have been too weak to make it all the way.
Really hate to go through all of these areas as my food source is really holding the deer now. But it is the right thing to do.
Something note worthy to Matt's comment about spray versus drips. At about where I left the trail in the dark, the spray patterned ended, and then there was only drops out of both sides, which eventually became spaced even further apart and just a single drop every 8-10 feet. He was definitely sealing up, but I was wondering if the lung might have sealed also?
I like to learn as well WW, but I wish things had worked out differently. I was so sure of the shot, as I squeezed the trigger I thought "dead deer". When a person does that, they need to be humbled.
My bow is on, so this is 100% my fault.
Final almost over, will be headed up shortly.
It's amazing how incredibly tough these animal are. When I was outfitting, a client from Wisconsin showed me a pic of the skull of a 6-pointer he had killed the previous year. There was a fixed-bladed broadhead fully embedded right behind the buck's left eye socket. The hunter said the buck showed no outward signs of being wounded.
On another occasion, I watched a nice 4x4 mulie buck breed a doe with half of his front leg shot off at the knee.
Oh, another one, again while I was outfitting. We had a well-known TV celebrity/hunter in a stand on a creek bottom. There was a known B&C caliber buck in the area. Sure enough, the buck comes in. The hunter got a bad case of buck fever and took an ill-advised 50 yard shot that hit the buck just below the spine. We searched long and hard, but never found him. 2 months later the same buck reappeared to established his dominance in the breeding pecking order. One of our rifle hunters killed him. The broadhead was still embedded deeply under his spine. There was still some trauma around the wound, but otherwise the buck was perfectly healthy.
Just a few stories that may ease your pain a little.
Years ago I shot a six pt. It was a pretty close shot - just under 10yds. It looked good relative to the shoulder, and only the fletch stuck out of the buck as he ran off. I assumed I had gone in and hit the sternum. Waited then started on the trail. Lost blood after well over half a mile in a swamp of grass and blue berries. Did the whole grid thing and nothing. Fast forward 2 years and a buddy shoots a 20" wide big tall six pointer .75-1 mile away on the other side of another swamp. Totally psyched for him! Then he calls me about 5 days later. "Hey, Will, you know a few years ago when you hit that buck, was your arrow shaft camo?"; "Yeah, why?"; "You were using an over the top mechanical, right?"; "Yeah, why?"; "because it was in my buck!"
Yep. the arrow and head had broken upon hitting the side of the spinal processes. The shaft then had slid down the underside of the skin - outside the rib cage. The arrow must have pulled out at some point, but about 3" of it and the head - which was broken into a few pieces - were in a ball of scar tissue along the spine.
He was fine. The off side antler was almost imperceptibly smaller than the on side - a fact he likes to remind me of every time we hang out and I get to look at all his racks on the wall (the guy is unreal and gets 1-2 mature bucks a year hunting heavily hunted public ground here). A buddy should do no less right :)
So, they can survive amazingly, despite what appear to be really brutal odds. Hope you see him next year!
On close downward shots I use my bottom pin of a 5 pin sight. It eliminates the low hits.
Really some amazing stories here. Thanks for sharing.
I believe it was three different coyotes started yapping and howling in a semi-circle around me. Within 100 yards. I like to mess with them so as I am on my knees putting my gear in my back back, attaching my sticks to my stand I started yapping back.
They really became vocal, to the point that one moved in close enough that my headlamp caught his eyes. I yelled, and none of them backed off.
As I left to head back to the cabin, they remained vocal until I was a couple hundred yards away. I thought maybe they were guarding something, a den or food source. I thought maybe that buck?
I went back early this morning and found nothing. Weird experience. Almost as if they were challenging me. Never had that happen before.
I think that buck is alive. My cameras caught pictures of one that looked identicle rack-wise. He appeared from the still picture to be holding his left front leg up a little as he ate. If I can confirm this I will let you know.
I had a similar experience with coyotes. 3 of them were yapping up a storm out behind my house, seemingly oblivious to me standing on my back deck. I think they were trying to draw my 2 Goldens away from the house. My 7mm mag shut 2 of them up in a hurry. The third one was lucky I only had 2 rounds in the gun.
I purchased a .17 and hope to do some yote control late winter. Need to make them fear me;)
When I was packing up last night, the yotes went crazy again in the same area as the night before. I was 300-400 yards away from that area. Must be a den, but I did not think they pair up until around February in this area.
I know a lot of guys hate them, but I have always liked listening to them. Most nights they will wake me up at the cabin, sounding off fairly close by. It just is kind of cool to me. Beats the noise I heard growing up in the concrete jungle as a kid.
At it again. Cold, but layered up.
Be sure to spread the back-strap love with your friends. ;-)
Really not sure that's something one guy should say to another. Just sayin'....
I envy you guys who can get multiple deer tags in one season.
Thanks for the compliments guys. More luck than anything.
You want to see some skill from someone who partipates on the CF, go the the Success Thread 2018 on the BGF. Zbone has taken two awesome bucks this year!! Congrats Gary! Love to see us sharing our common passion.
Rocky, Alabama may be temporarily better in football, but they will never catch The Ohio for big bucks! And we all know deer hunting is more important than college football;)
Thanks again. Go Chiefs!
My immediate neighbor that we help each other on our habitat work and other two man chores asked if he could hunt one of my blinds today. I allowed it as a heavy rain moved in and I needed to leave for activities tonight.
MO has a late muzzle loader season, he is usually a bow hunter but goes for a late buck each year.
He took a nice buck about 5pm tonight. This is one that I had observed with the one I failed to recover.
Can hunt until January 15th, so I have every intention of giving it another go.
Jeff, you and I use the same system. I have always hung my sticks and stands not being tied to the tree, only tieing on before I stepped off the top stick onto my stand to hunt. We are the same age, and I know you are in much better shape. I read how you are secured from the ground up.
I almost had a mishap with my heavy boots, trying to take my stand down this last time. When I got home today I went to Cabela's and purchased a good lineman's belt. Thanks!
BTW, Cabela's did have a decent assortment of clothes finally, not as good as before the BPS purchase, but better than in the Spring.
We were in Branson over Christmas, and the BPS store there had zero hunting clothing. I will not go back.
Happy New Year everyone!
Jeff, I can convert a rope from my back-up harnass using the black hooks from this one. I will do that, it makes sense a rope will roll over the bark. Thanks.
The former president of LW left the company and started XOP, I believe. I don't know if the was a patent, and if so how he got around it, but they are identicle.
I have both and like them equally well.
The sticks, I prefer XOP for two reasons. The steps are a bit longer, and as I have aged, and now use bigger boots in the winter, they are just much safer for me.
They also lock tight against each other, which makes it easier to carry IMO.
I purchased the XOP stand when I needed another instead of buying LW again because it was less expensive, and I think they still are.
Just took my stand down behind the house. It is a LW stand with XOP sticks.
We received over an inch of rain yesterday, and it is 22 out after having gone down to 17 last night. Everything was iced up.
I tell you this to say the XOP buttons were much easier to get the straps off than the buttons on the stand. We have ice freezes each season, so now I will only get the XOP going forward.
Jeff, I put this stand up in September, and as with all season long stands I put up a safety line. But, I thought I would try it the new way and take the stand down using the lineman's belt.
One challenge, I have to disconnect the lineman's belt either on the way up or down, or really put in a lot of slack, to get over the stand. What do you do, please?
Believe it or not, even this old fat man can still hang a stand in 15 minutes, mid-season ability without bulk clothing, using just 3 sticks. This was before trying like today, only attaching after everything was hung and right before I stepped on to the stand. I hope my ability with this will improve, or I will be getting up at least 15 minutes earlier for a morning hunt.
I noticed they offer the quick mount brackets for the xop..that would be handy. Talk about temps...we had to turn on the AC today.
BTW, XOP has a thicker seat as standard than does LW. The thick seat is much better for lengthy sits.
Thanks, I thought I had to be missing something. FYI, I would rather hook on before stepping on the stand. I once read this is when most falls occur.
Sounds like a plan for your son and you. Good luck!
I hunt public land, we can leave them up durin the season..I might comsider somethin like the XOP for myself. With sticks already set and a quick mount already hooked up, just be a matter of climbing up and stickin the stand in the bracket. I gave my brother my Muddy harness but I do have a rock climbing harness that works good.
Hung my stand wearing a shirt. West wind, terrible for me to hunt with. Very poor reception. Will post when I get back to cabin.
Lol...good luck and be safe.
You guys are talking climate change, well it is going up to 60 today, on January 4th. Something is up. I am hanging my stand in just a turtleneck.
It may not work in your area, but you may want to consider it.
Beautiful evening though, lots of stars.
The plot was completely used up! Two cameras had over 1000 pictures, some with 12-13 deer in them.
Two sheds found right on the plot. Walked most of the property, no sign of any dead deer. Maybe he made it?
Felt good to chain saw for about four hours opening up shooting lanes where stands will go this next season. Used to be able to do that all day, not any more!