Contributors to this thread:
Your Luckiest Animal
Opening day (Sept. 1) hunting elk from a stand overlooking a large opening. At first shooting light, 3 large wt bucks appear at about 400 yards. No bait, no calling, no major trails, no farm. Of all the places they could go, they feed directly under my stand; I shot the largest one at 12 yards before the sun was up (wt and elk archery seasons open on the same day). So lucky!
The luckiest animal I shot at was a nice buck, north of 150 probably in the 170’s all I knew was I’m shooting. Got a little tunnel vision and upon my release I heard my arrow explode, he gave short snort bounded off after his doe. I failed to realize the anchor rope sized vine that pulivized my arrow. Never saw him again and I would sit in that stand staring at the perfect square edged cut and single blade dangling ten feet in front of me. That deer was lucky.
My luckiest bow kill was my first and it happened September 30, 1964. There have been many since then, quite a few I do not recall, but this one I will always remember in detail.
Afternoon sit in a natural stick blind I made off a logging road in Jackson County, Wisconsin. A buck & doe came out of the brush 54 yards away and down the logging road. As they walked across the road I raised my bow, aimed, and shot. My arrow hit the buck in the center of the lungs and the deer took off. Later, after dark, my buddy and I trailed and recovered him.
Little did I know this would be my longest successful bow shot in a lifetime of bowhunting. 54 yards! A long shot! Wow! HOW LUCKY I WAS! I was not a good shot and should have never thought I could do it. Somehow I did though. If I had that to do over I know damm well I could not have done it again in a hundred shots,...like I said lucky all the way.
I used a 45# Bear Kodiak Magnum bow. Wooden arrows with Bear Razorheads w/insert. No sight on bow, instinctive shot all the way! Leather finger tab.
8-point Wisconsin Whitetail, dressed weight about 120#. Rack width was about 12-13" with short points. My first deer. A trophy then and a trophy probably only to me now. I still have the rack and the feathered portion of the arrow.
Long shot, long time ago. Luckiest shot. Good memory. I've got to thank the man upstairs for allowing me this and all the other good times in a lifetime afield.
Luckiest animal was the bighorn sheep I had a deflected arrow shave hair off his back. I’ll remember that shot when I’m 70 years old.
Dall sheep. Stalked maybe 3/4 mile and got to the finger I knew the sheep was bedded on. Guide hand signaled to move to the next finger. About the time I got there, I looked back to where I had just come from and the ram was about 10 yards from there, looking at me. I was behind a spruce and the ram dismissed me. It dropped into the swale between us and I could heatr him drinking. Fed my way and I shot him at 15 yards.
My guide sprained his ankle coming to me and we had to spend the night on the mountain. Luckily I knew where a trickle of water was high on the mountain or we would have been in trouble.
November 2nd, 2013.....2nd day of my annual home state whitetail hunt. The farm was heavily logged all summer and I had been out west in September and October hunting Shiras moose, pronghorn and mule deer. Knew the whitetail patterns would be significantly affected by the logging activity, but didn't have much time to scout.
Climbed a tree that morning in a spot that afforded a good view...basically an observation stand just to get eyes on the area. An hour later, the biggest whitetail I've ever arrowed gave me a twenty yard broadside opportunity. Go figure?
My whitetail also. Hunted him 31 of the 45 days into the season. I finally spotted him alive on the hoof for the first time and got a shot
Wow what a deer Ned! I love that bladed look.
Great bucks, Ned and pav!
Same as Ned and pav. I had three years of pics of this buck, yet had never seen him. Finally saw him one evening chasing does out into a picked cornfield. They came off of a big bedding flat that I felt was his core area. Slipped into that flat the next morning with a Lone Wolf stand and got set up without getting busted. I saw him three times that day chasing does, but never close enough for a shot. Had the same wind for the next day, so I thought “what the heck” I’ll hunt the same stand the next morning. About 5 minutes before the sun came up, he came cruising along the edge of the flat and gave me a 15 yd shot. I watched him tip over about 40 yards from me.
my luckiest animals are the ones I miss and there are more than a few of those wandering the woods and calling themselves lucky
I agree, wouldn't the "luckiest" animals be the one that escaped? All I see above is some VERY NICE, but UNLUCKY, animals;)
1988...state land, near Rose City, Michigan. Fresh out of high school and had been hauling pickup loads of bait north all summer with my buddies. (That was the norm back then... not now) Opening morning, a spike came in solo to the bait for a 15 yd gimme shot. This would be my 1st buck and I've already got him hanging in camp. 1st shot.... under him by a foot. "WHAT THE ...!" I thought I had anchored and picked a spot. Holy moly hes coming back! "Now concentrate Fuzz!" 2nd shot... 1 foot over his back!! "Cheese n rice!!!!!" I was positive i had anchored /picked a spot. Now I'm a tad frazzled but here he comes again for Round 3! This time I'm really really locked in. 3rd shot... 2 feet under him, arrow hits a log, snaps and cartwheels into space. He's finally had enough and exits the scene for good. I nock my final arrow, happen to look my bow over and THEN notice my nock point was loose and had moved about an inch. It had never happened before... or since in 30 years! That was a lucky lucky deer... i think about him almost every time I knock an arrow in the tree.
I've had multiple lucky animals. The first buck I ever shot at was a small spike that was about 8 yards from my stand. I was in my teens and not as comfortable with heights as I am now. I was standing too close to the tree, so when I drew back, my arm only went back half way. I still tried to release the arrow and it went underneath him. My other arrows were laying on the base of the stand and the buck didn't know what went on, so he allowed me to lean all the way down, pick up another arrow and nock it. Foolishly, I didn't readjust myself so I could draw back fully, so I pulled back with the 2nd arrow, arm hit the tree and I missed again. He finally bounded off and went about 40 yards, stopped and looked back at me, still confused. The other lucky buck was during gun season, he was standing about 20 yards, so pretty easy for a shotgun shot. I fired twice and he took off looking completely unharmed. When I climbed to where the buck stood I found I had hit a small sapling, about 1 inch in diameter twice! I hadn't noticed the tree in front of the deer.
I've had a lot of lucky animals! The handful of mule deer bucks that I had dead to rights when an unexplained swirl of wind hits the back of my neck, a couple of bull elk the same way. I once stalked in close on a giant mule deer buck only to have a herd of bighorn sheep come running in out of nowhere to blow up the whole situation at the last possible second. As far as me getting lucky on an animal, still waiting for that "lucky one" to stumble onto me. Seems all the ones I kill I've earned one way or another. I sure would be happy to get a lucky one though!
As far as me being lucky, probably my first buck (blacktail), back in 1978. A nice 3x3.
I was sitting on a log, when he fed out in front of me at about 30 yards. I was able to draw on him undetected (Jennings Compound, no sights, archery glove).
When I came to full draw, I was shaking badly (buck fever)...aimed for his lungs, but got lucky and whacked him right in the neck. He went right to the ground and started thrashing...and I was able to walk up and finish him right there with a second arrow.
Luckiest animal was probably a muley buck I was able to walk right up behind in a stiff wind. He had his head in a bush, chomping away, and I had a steep quartering away angle...which I hosed. Shaved the hair/hide off his left side, at probably 10 yards.
With the bow hunting for Big Horn Sheep success being only 20%, I was "lucky" to get his one in 1997 here in Colorado. After 7 days of hunting, a group of rams came by at 32 yards but down hill at 40 degrees. I placed my 20 yards pin on him and put the arrow through him but did not find the ram until the next day after a rain and hail storm that night. I found him 300 yards from where I shot him and was "lucky" to do so.
^^^To top that off you were lucky to survive wearing cotton on a mountain hunt Paul! ;)
214" buck I took on November 8th this year in Iowa. I missed him with my first shot but the does he was following didn't spook. He took a couple jumps away from me, then came closer looking for what made the noise and eventually gave me a 25 yard shot that I made count. Got a second opportunity at a deer of multiple life times. I did a full write up of the hunt a month ago.
Lucky deer, I shot under a mature 5x5 that was sparing with another mature buck about 10 yds from my stand. He came back, I missed again.
lucky on the other side, I found a nice pinch point on year out hiking and the day after thanksgiving, I put two tree stands on my back and hiked my kids back in there. I put on kid on each end of the pinch point, put them in the tree with their rifles. I then headed back to the truck to get my bow. It was 3 ish miles back to the truck. Hour later I'm wandering around north of the kids looking for a place to sit. Boom, so I head over to the stand sites, and 14 year old daughter has a nice 150 whitetail on the ground, 12 year old son had a different large buck go under him, but forgot to load his rifle.
There are a few I can think of that luck certainly played a role in, but none more than this Wolf. I was driving home from caribou hunting, well after midnight and caught something black out of the corner of my eye a few hundred yards off the road. I parked my truck about 3/4 mile down the road and got out. As I was walking to a spot that I figured I could cut the animal off the pack began to howl. It wasn't until I heard them howl that I realized it was a wolf I had seen and not a black or grizzly bear. I moved towards the howling and I set up behind a spruce tree on the edge of a small pond. I caught movement to my left, here came an unsuspecting white wolf (the black one was trailing the white one), wind in my face and the trail he was on would come by at about 40 yards. I drew back when he was behind a bush but when he got into the opening he looked right at me. I still have no idea how he knew I was there, but he did. I loosed the arrow and knew I had hit him but I wasn't sure how well.
After 45 mins of looking, we walked up on him deader than a doorknob, 75 yards from the shot. Looking for my entrance hole, I couldn't find one anywhere, just some blood high on his front right leg. Turns out the broadhead sliced an important vein in his forearm and caused enough bleeding for him to die very quick. As we were looking for him, the rest of the pack was howling in the distance.
I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to chase alot of critters in alot of places, so I guess their all , the ones I've gotten and the ones I've missed, lucky! Now, after an injury that nearly ended my ability to bow hunt, I consider every day I'm out there, and every critter I chase, lucky!
Lucky/Unlucky for the deer... well, as many of you know, it happened this past November. ;)
You give me an op, I'm posting it! Lol
Embry, you shoot a buck like that and you should post it at every opportunity!
If swirling wind counts as bad luck, then I've made a million deer and elk lucky! Actually, like Brotsky above, almost all of mine have come very hard earned it seems like. I did have one muley come around a corner and feed directly to 40 yards one time-- I happened to be on the right little knoll that morning. Other than that, mostly just bull headed persistence has resulted in my animals.
I got lucky on this bull. Shot was just a little low and up front, but it must have taken out the goodies because we watched him fall
Brad you know going black face is a big no no these days.
I can still picture it clearly. I was standing all alone, just before dark, looking down a steep avalanche slide. The wind seemed to have stopped. I just arrowed a great bighorn ram (my first) with a longbow at less than 15 yds. I was on top of the world.
Stalked this buck with a hot doe but completely ran out of cover. He kept pushing off other small bucks. They bedded 100 yards away briefly. I totally lucked out when she got up and brought him right over to me for a 63 yard shot uphill. Man was that exciting.
My first bull with archery equipment. Not because it was my first but, read the story and pictures. https://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=387604&forum=5
My "luckiest" animal was an Alaskan grizzly.....my guide and I had stalked to within 75 yards and he was closing the distance. We were set up in a tiny ravine....when he finally came in over the rise a massive thunderstorm opened up. It started hailing the size of rocks....it`s was so bad we had to hunch over and take cover. That bear must of thought he was getting stung by wasps, because he stood on his rear legs popping his jaws and clawing at the air.
By the time it cleared he had made it to a willow patch and my guide, being a spiritual man said...."there is no way we are going in there after what just happened". He said he had never seen hail like that in all his time in Alaska.
My very 1st deer with any weapon. Didn't have a clue really what I was doing, after busting brush for most of the morning decided to sit on a rock along a trail to rest. Not 60 seconds later a forky mulie came bouncing down another trail 15 yds down hill from me. When he got to me, he stopped & just stared at me. A low hanging branch blocked his vitals. So he kindly decided to take a couple more steps to give me a better shot. Shaking like crazy I still managed to catch some of the branch, but the arrow found his liver anyway. After a long blood trail, the sign disappeared. Crawled around for a long time & just about to head back to camp to get help when I decided to walk another 20 yards along the trail to some trees where he busted out. He ran about 40 yds where I put another arrow in him & he expired. Nothing but luck made that happen.
We flew in to a remote area, and the next day loaded are packs, and hiked up a mountain in about 3 hours. We're setting up the tent, and my guide spots a billy about 300yds from us bedded. We throw are stuff in the tent and maneuver above the billy. I shot him at 23yds in his bed. We'd only been on the mountain 20 minutes after stopping.
Lets see, was it the l Alaska barren ground caribou with 10" double shovels 25 miles from the nearest road but a mile west of the line where he would have been legal, that when my taxidermist saw pictures of and thought would go over 350? Or was it when I was trying to fill a doe tag the afternoon before gun season and the 9 point whitetail I had at 10 yards that made the 124" buck I got opening day look like a fork horned yearling walked out of my life forever?
Lucky I even got a chance to hunt Mtn Goat this year. Didn’t draw again here in Colorado but got a call from DOW on Oct 3 about a management hunt that started 2 days later. Dropped everything and went. Got him on the 5th at 13,825 ft above sea level, solo. P&Y, maybe B&C too. Real lucky!
Early November one year waiting in a treestand in a pretty decent drainage choked with willows. Was watching some yearling does hoping they would lure in something with horns. A nice buck finally arrives. He presents a nice 30 yd broadside shot. I jerked the shot something fierce. Arrow flies 2' above his back and towards the wrong end. I watch him run off cussing myself out silently for screwing this up so bad. After he got about 100 yds away, I swear I see him stager and lay down. What ? I bring up the binocs and try to see him through the willows. I see his head rise and then lay back down. You've got to be shitting me, did I just kill that deer ? How could that be ? I gave him an hour and went to where he was standing when I shot. I had hit a 2"branch and it had redirected the arrow. The force of the hit had snapped the arrow off just ahead of the fletching. The remainder of the arrow had hit him right in the pocket where I was aiming. Sometimes you just take what you are given.
Very last day of a hard week long hunt. Took an hour or more to get on a bachelor herd of 6 or 7 bedded axis bucks..... inside 30 on a couple. No shot, waiting for something to stand up. Laying there another hour or more. Getting near sunset and the thermals started to switch, crap...... getting near dark a couple stood up and stretched.... feeding a bit.... no shot yet..... finally the wind swirled and BARK.... all over.... crap.
Sun setting I was a long long way from where I was getting picked up. Pretty dejected at my last chance that just blew up. Walking along for a while,not paying any attention with my bow up on my shoulder... came around a bush and a buck is 15 yards, on his hind legs feeding in an ekoa tree. Arrow on string, he sees something when I draw, gets down to all fours and faces me, thump.... too late classic frontal shot. I could barely make out my pin and could see mostly just his white throat patch. Had literally seconds of light left on the last day of my last hunt.
Not much blood, no arrow and starting to panic.... but I had heard a crash and just went in the direction I heard it. Headlamp caught a white belly.... he didn't go 40 yards. Took some time to debone and pack out in the dark. It was almost midnight when I got to the pickup spot packing him out. Really great hunting partners don't mind that. I have a really great partner.
If he was grown out it likely would have been my biggest ever. Eye guards near14" and the bulbs just starting to fork at the tops of the main beams were 22". He had an easy 10 or 12 " more to go. Such is the Lanai state hunt in Feb.... 90% or better in growing velvet.
Lucky? Absolutely. The only part not "lucky" was that I was there. You have to be there to get lucky. Can't kill em on the couch......
Well I guess I owe my brother but don’t tell him I said that. Thinking back I’ve got two really lucky ones, a last minute and a first minute horseshoe and he was the first to spot both of them.
First minute, was 2015, first sit of the season for whitetails. For my brother as well and he was sitting one of his spots a couple miles away. I was sitting a windrow between alfalfa and corn hoping to catch movement between the two. 2 miles away Adam had just checked a trailcam and picked up a new buck, which actually didn’t appear that great on his camera due to the angle. Well as bad luck would have it for him, a combine showed up and began harvest, if I remember correctly soybeans were coming off. This happened early, and unbeknownst to us, is what bumped that buck into a run and location change. Meanwhile, I’m just quickly sending some last emails from the stand before settling in. Release wasn’t even on yet. I thought I heard something behind me and by the time I slowly turned around I saw a big brow tine had just walked through my only shooting lane at the edge of the corn. This is about 2 hours before I’m expecting any movement by the way. I grab by release with my hand and quickly spin around and come to draw. The brush behind my stand is insanely thick. Next small opening I see a flyer off a G2 and I don’t actually ever remember making a decision to shoot but I guess I had seen enough. I looked ahead and in about 10’ the brush slightly “un thickened” and as soon as I saw his body there I snuck an arrow through into his vitals. I immediately remember wondering if I had just made a big mistake as really had no idea what I shot. Well turns out it was the same buck from Adams field, but he said based off his trail cam pic he woulda passed him anyway :) turned out to be real mature buck in his prime, a perfect Manitoba whitetail
Second animal, was on our moose hunt last year in northern Manitoba. Last day of the hunt, hot and windy and we’re in camp winding down the hunt. One evening left, and hopefully it calms down. As I’m making a last phone call to my wife on the sat phone, Adam spots a bull on the opposite shore at 3 in the afternoon. Absolute gift-horse-bull. We make a plan, call him from across 400 yards of river into 17 yards and stick an arrow where it needs to be, all on video. Talk about lucky! Real roller coaster of emotions on that one
Don’t worry Matt. I don’t think Adam gets on this site very often!
Nice whitey and moose! Is the whitey broke off past his g4 on the right side or does it curve upward?
He actually looks like he damaged in velvet and sent the main beam slightly upwards
Lucky for you or for the animal?
I was visiting an old college buddy and bow hunting his farm in West Virginia. One of his teenage sons at the time had a buck patterned and had his heart set on killing that buck during the gun season. He told me anyway where to sit and what time the buck would walk by. Sure enough the next morning that buck walked by at 17 yards at the time he said it would. I could have easily killed that buck but didn’t have the heart to shoot my friend’s son’s target buck so I let him walk. That was lucky for that buck that day. It wasn’t so lucky for the next doe that came by though.
The animals getting lucky seem to be a regular occurrence for me, nothing out of the ordinary...... me getting lucky OTOH....... those certainly stand out in my mind as rare events..... but even a broken clock is right twice a day......
I had been at a party the night before an otc az deer hunt and fell asleep in a stick blind near a trick tank. I woke up to 3 snorting and stomping coues bucks right behind my blind. Was able to shoot the smallest one. My first archery coues, pretty lucky.
Last day of Quebec Caribou bowhunt, 1990. Our camp had seen NO Caribou all week & then here they came. I had my 16 year old son with me.. We took Bulls on that last day. LUCKY.... Mine
Luckiest deer...was at full draw twice on him. Let him walk as he was not at full potential. Never saw him again.
Here’s his shed from that year.
Luckiest Shot, Not a Sheep, Bull, Buck, or a Bear but a ruffed grouse. 17 years old with a iron-sighted Remington "Apache Black" Nylon66 semi-auto 22. I bumped the bird twice and he was getting tired with each escape. On his 3rd flush he was trotting out from under a hemlock tree and got air born straight away as I "double-tapped" him. Caught him in the neck! 3 years later I sold that rifle for $40 when I got in a bind for cash. What a mistake. LaGriz
Second luckiest animal,
My 1st bull October 1997. Drew one of only 5 Non-Resident tags on New Mexico's Humphries WMA. On the same night it turned out I also won $1500 in Louisiana's Loto drawing! I did not realize I had won the money until two weeks had passed. My brother Wayne made the suggestion that I pony-up and hire a guide for the hunt. Since the $1500 was such an unexpected bonus I agreed. I called a Outfitter/Guide I had met the summer before while visiting Chama, New Mexico. He hooked me up with a Chama resident Outfitter named Jack Wyatt.
!st day on horseback well before daylight we rode in the dark to position ourselves for the correct wind direction. We heard Bugles (My 1st) and spotted a herd of cows about 800 yards across a large park. Jack used the limited cover and terrain to conceal our approach. He dropped me off and took control of my horse. Told me to still hunt the broken cover into the wind and we would later meet up at a large pond. 45 min in to my still hunt I saw and heard some birds making a fuss. With my binos I spotted an antler twitching back and forth. I crept forward and had time to take a seat on a large flat rock. Zoomed the scope to 7X and put my elbows on my knees to steady my hold. My shot caught the feeding bull at the base of his neck as he quartered too me. The bull booked out of my sight before I could cycle the M700 for a follow up shot. Jack came back at the sound of the shot. He moved up hill to my left to prevent the bull from exiting the public land. Once in position a followed up and found the spot where the bull had stood. No blood.... only some neck hair on the ground and some deep tracks. About 50 yards later the big-bodied 6X5 erupted from the base of a small spruce and gave me another shot as he could not run well. Turned out my first round had exited out his stomach after traveling thru 3' of boiler room. A 3rd shot put him out of misery and that helped calm the horses down. The remainder of the day was first solo effort to break down a bull while Mr. Jack when to the ranch to fetch a pack string. He was gone over 4 hours and I still was working with all 3 of my knifes becoming dull in the process. We finished the job and each leading a loaded pack animal we made are way to the horse trailer in a driving snowstorm. What a day! 300+ pounds of meat, ivory's, euro mount antlers, and a hide to be tanned hair on. One of my best days ever in the field!