The blizzard helped me slip in undetected, about 3, I had a shooter 5x5 cruise through looking for company. He walked 20 yards from my stand but never gave me a chance to get turned and get an arrow off. After he went by, I knew he couldn't get back by without seeing him, as I can see out to the pasture behind me and out to the meadow 80 yards thru the trees. Sure enough, 20 minutes later, he was walking the same trail out. This time I was turned and ready but he took a different trail that took him out 60 yards in the pasture. After he passed, I softly grunted and he stopped and turned around and headed my way. He hung up in the open, straight down wind at 43 yards. Well within my range, but not in high winds and a high alert deer. He turned and slowly walked off. I grunted again and he turned again and came back to the same spot, only to turn and walk off again.
When he hit 80 yards, I snort wheezed at him, he stopped and turned again. As he was standing and looking for the other buck, I turned my head and snort wheezed again. This time he raised his head high and turned and hauled butt out of there..
20 minutes later, another shooter 5x4 with a slight limp came from the opposite direction in front of me and walked through the trees at 35 yards quartering away from me. Too many little branches where he was at for a shot, so I softly grunted at him. He paused briefly and looked my way, then continued on. I looked ahead of him for a spot to shoot, but at his angle it was just not going to happen.
Fast forward to a little after 4 and a small doe came flying by at 15 yards with a smaller but still mature buck hot on her tail. I had already decided to try and take any mature buck in this spot and quickly got ready for the buck as he came thru the trees. He swung slightly down wind of the doe and was looking to cut her off. Which brought him with in spitting distance of my stand. I pulled back and had him trotting by at 7 yards, I softly grunted and he slowed to a walk but wasn't stopping, I was sitting and following him with my pins. Just as he was going to disappear behind some trees I put my pin behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. My bottom limb hit my left leg and I heard the arrow hit and saw it flip in the air after getting a pass thru. The buck hunched up and ran maybe 40 yards back into the trees and stood hunched up and tail tucked tight flicking non-stop.
I watched him cover maybe 30 yards, a step or two at a time, all the while, tail flicking and humped up. I figured guts or liver and sat watching him for the next 30 minutes. He was just standing in one spot for the last 20 minutes. A few does had moved in to the area around me and a couple small bucks were sniffing around and I think that was keeping him calm.
What now, I had about an hour til dark, the wind was howling, snow was flying, it was getting hard to see him, and he was only about 70 yards away. The forecast was for winds gusting to 40mph with 6-8 inches of snow. Lots of coyotes around here too. He could bed down and die in there and I might not find him until the coyotes dug him out..
If it wasn't for the other deer that had moved in, I would slip out and give him some time or try and get another arrow in him. What now, you make the call?
all answers are 50% wrong here but how did it end up? did you have access to a good dog?
Really depends on where you are. If you’re dealing with property lines and access issues, you pretty much have to let him die where he sits, and hope that the coyotes are holed up waiting for the storm to quit.
With fresh snow, though… I think I would’ve given him a half an hour to stiffen up, and then figured out how to put a sneak on that spot while I still had some shooting light. If he’s feeling sick, he’s not going to want to run, so he’ll stand up when he gets nervous enough. That’s your shot.
I’m assuming that you wouldn’t go on an afternoon sit without ample artificial light source in hand, and at that point you need to just track him down. Tracking doesn’t get any easier than fresh snow, but if you let everything drift in, you’re going to be out of luck.
This cleared out most of the deer but the buck was just standing with his head up high watching them run. I used the cover of the wind and snow to slowly climb out of the stand, the only problem was one small doe was bedded half way to the buck. I got to the ground undetected and nocked another arrow and readied my range finder. I made maybe 10 yards slowly while I lined up a huge cottonwood tree with the bucks head and started to make my move.
At this point, the small doe blew up and ran right at the buck, which of course sent him running also. Luckily, he only ran about 30 yards and stopped and humped up again. I slowly lined up another big cottonwood and quickly cut the distance to 43 yards. He was quartering away but there was quite a bit of small branches in the way. He was also slowly walking away again.
I played cat and mouse with him for the next 20 minutes as the light was fading fast, twice being within 25 yards with no shot because of brush. I was starting to get nervous as he was looking less and less hurt? He finally walked behind another big cottonwood and I hustled forward, keeping careful to keep his tail in view. As soon as I got to the tree, I peeked around and got a range of 31 yards and him walking straight away in the wide open.
I pulled back and leaned around the tree and centered my 30 yard pin on his butt. At the shot, I thought I heard a deflection into the trees and away he went like he was never even hurt....
I quickly moved up to where he was standing and looked in the snow, as I had not seen a drop of blood while I was following him. I was amazed to see a giant swath of blood in the snow. I took about 10 steps following it when he popped out of some cedar trees about 40 yards ahead, stopped, rocked back and forth and tipped over!
So what is the final verdict on the first shot?
One item of note from above; I would not attempt to sneak in on an injured whitetail from direct downwind... they almost always face that direction unless they are hurt so bad that it doesn't matter anyway. Cross wind is much better if terrain doesn't dictate otherwise.