Moultrie Products
This one hurt
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
deerhunter72 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
tkjwonta 11-Jan-22
Pat Lefemine 11-Jan-22
midwest 11-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 11-Jan-22
Supernaut 11-Jan-22
TREESTANDWOLF 11-Jan-22
[email protected] 11-Jan-22
Matt 11-Jan-22
Bou'bound 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
WI Shedhead 11-Jan-22
woodguy65 11-Jan-22
keepemsharp 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
Pat Lefemine 11-Jan-22
bowhunter24 11-Jan-22
12yards 11-Jan-22
t-roy 11-Jan-22
Leo17 11-Jan-22
deerhunter72 11-Jan-22
stealthycat 11-Jan-22
WV Mountaineer 11-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 11-Jan-22
timex 12-Jan-22
Kevin Dill 12-Jan-22
MA-PAdeerslayer 12-Jan-22
TREESTANDWOLF 12-Jan-22
APauls 12-Jan-22
Glunker 12-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 12-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 12-Jan-22
[email protected] 12-Jan-22
APauls 12-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter 12-Jan-22
Whatthefoc 12-Jan-22
XMan 12-Jan-22
Jack Harris 12-Jan-22
deerhunter72 12-Jan-22
RT 12-Jan-22
APauls 13-Jan-22
RutnStrut 14-Jan-22
Sean D. 17-Jan-22
ryanrc 17-Jan-22
[email protected] 17-Jan-22
SB 22-Jan-22
11-Jan-22
Had a real bummer of a season regarding big bucks. I was able to get a couple does with my bow so my freezer is full, which is great.

Had three nice encounters with a mid 150's 3.5 year old on grandpa's farm. He just needs another year. Far as I know he made it through season, going to head out this weekend and look for sheds.

Here's what stinks, bit of a story:

November 6th, consistent 5-10 mph wind out of the South. On gpa's property the Northern border is a river, so with the wind out of the South I had a perfect opportunity to hunt the river bank.

Friday the 5th I shot a big doe, while I was waiting to get down out of my stand I see a big buck cruising the river bank. He gets directly downwind of where the doe expired, stands there for a minute then just casually walks back to the West where he'd come from. Didn't seem like he was spooked at all which was good.

Saturday morning we get that S wind so I decide to head to the river bank and see if I can spot him again.

I put up my hang n hunt setup and get ready for the day. My dad was hunting a couple hundred yards away and had action all morning.

10am and I hadn't seen a deer, maybe because I'd shot the doe the day before and had processed her? Anyway about 10:20 I see a giant frame walking down the old logging road right at me that parallels the river bed.

Mega framed buck, stops in the road at 15 yard and just stares d at me. I had barely gotten my bow off the hanger (got caught up on the rubber hook from my 3rd hand holder) because of course that would happen when I need to get it off there quickly and quietly.... I should say that this is of no fault of the hanger, thing works great. I just didn't get the bow off the hanger smoothly.

Buck stops dead center of the road and stares up at me. I had my bow in hand, put it in front of my face and squinted as much as possible while staring at his feet. He stares at me for a good 45 seconds or so, all the while I'm trying to hold it together. Buck eventually decides that I was nothing and walks off the trail.

He walks right behind a big tree allowing me to get drawn back. At that point he is 8-10 yards away. I chose not to grunt at him for fear of him taking off since he had just stared a hole right through me, so I decided not to make a noise to stop him so I shot him as he was walking.

At the shot I see a good 3/4ths of my arrow sticking out of high shoulder with the lighted nock mocking me as he bounded off. He runs real hard for about 100 yards, then just stops and looks up the hill away from me.

I thought for sure he was dead, shot placement wasn't ideal but I was using a fixed blade head with a 500 grain arrow-for sure I should have gotten the penetration needed to kill him!?!?!

I get the bino's out and stare at him. So many trees I can only see a part of his body and couldn't see where i'd hit him. He starts to slowly walk off with his head down-I think PERFECT he's going to bed and will die close to there.

I shot at about 10:20, and decide not to move for two hours. That was the absolute longest two hours of my life- I'd text every person i'd ever met letting them know I just killed a huge buck!

12:30 rolls around, I get down and take down my setup as quietly as possible. At that point I took my pack off and laid everything except for my bow at the base of the tree, and walk over to inspect the shot location.....nothing.

I knew what trail he took, and saw that he'd carried my arrow for a ways so I had a good line of travel. I'm walking really slowly, just not seeing any blood which I thought was really weird. About 40-50 yards after I'd shot him he had ran close to a small tree and broke off my arrow. Looked like decent blood on the arrow, but there wasn't much and the blood didn't even go to the label on my arrow. I picked up the shaft and turned off the lighted knock, now positive that I was on his trail, and getting more concerned with the lack of blood.

At the tree where he'd kicked out the back 3/4ths of the arrow he started to bleed, just not very much. I follow a very meager blood trail up to the point where he was standing.

There were 3 decent sized spots of blood, about the size of a dinner plate. From this point I had seen him walk over the hill and out of sight- I had figured that once I crested the hill I'd be staring at a giant waiting for me to wrap my tag around.....no such luck.

It had been two hours since I shot, and I was being very quiet as I took up the trail. I didn't hear or see anything spook as I was walking the trail.

After cresting the hill, the blood trail went from sparse to damn near nothing. I was following his tracks, and there were pin drops every 20 or so yards (literally one or two is all).

I followed that for about 60 yards or so and lost blood and his track entirely. At this point I am at a loss for words. I mark last blood and meet Dad back up on the hill. We decide that we didn't think we'd pushed him, if he wasn't dead we needed to give him some time, so we went to town and changed into lighter clothes more suitable for tracking and got some lunch.

5pm rolls around, and i'm back on last blood. I follow the most likely path, and have Dad walk semi circles in about a 40 yard radius looking for blood or his tracks- we come up with nothing and decide since it's getting dark that we were doing more harm than good-need to let him sit overnight and we'll surely find him in the creek bed in the morning.

Long story short- never did find blood or tracks again, after searching all over the property all day Sunday. I looked up blood tracking dogs-earliest one could get to me would be Wednesday-by that time the meat would be spoiled anyways, don't bother. If he was dead, as hot as it was going to be plus with that long of time, the birds/coyotes would be on him and I'd at least have closure.

Come Tuesday evening i'm scrolling a hunting pages instagram and see a picture of a huge framed buck. I message them and get ahold of the hunter in the picture.....he had shot that buck at 6pm on Saturday (same day I shot him) less than 2 miles away.

Mega giant 8 point, "officially" B&C scored (hasn't completed the 60 day drying period) at 186 7/8ths- as a true 8 pointer.

To say I am heartbroken would be an understatement. I'm super happy for the young guy that shot that buck, it's a trophy of a lifetime, and well eclipses the current state record for an 8 pointer.

I never did end up finding another buck to chase. Long story short- there's a broken hearted bearded bowhunter in Iowa with a now worthless buck tag, who wishes like he'd made a better shot. I believe I hit that buck in the crest of the scapula, and the wide 4 blade fixed head was just too big to push through. I also have suspicions that the arrow broke on impact, as a 500 grain arrow coming out of a 67# new compound should have plenty of @ss behind it to get through the shoulder blade.

I'm going back to my old reliable arrows (Easton Axis) and outfitting them with HIT inserts and collars from Iron Will Outfitters, as well as one of their broadheads for next season-should square up the gear issue.

As far as the [email protected] issue (my shooting error) I put my index finger release into the box of old hunting stuff that probably needs donated, and am going to order a back tension style release that reinforces what I already know to do, which is shoot correctly (I had just gotten lazy with the index release).

End of the day, while I'll never forget that buck, I am trying to take solace in the fact that I did (mostly) everything right. Hang and hunt on a new spot based off of recent sign, let immature bucks walk and put myself in position for what would have been my largest buck to date.

So ends my 2021 deer season-spotted a giant across the river and haven't seen/heard of him being killed, so as long as he wasn't poached or hit by a car, I've got another target that I'm going to try my best to get in '22.

Thanks for reading!

From: deerhunter72
11-Jan-22
Thanks for sharing. I feel your heartache and I'd say most people on BS can relate. I would say your assumption on hitting the scapula is correct. I'm wondering, did the other hunter mention that the deer had another hole in the shoulder?

11-Jan-22
Yessir-right dead center scapula on that little "ridge/spine" of the scap.

I have to imagine I had some equipment failure (as well as d!psh!t syndrome on my part for making a bad shot in the first place).

From: tkjwonta
11-Jan-22
Keep after it, sounds like you have the right attitude and plan for 2022, good luck!

From: Pat Lefemine
11-Jan-22
Rough, we've all been there. Can you post a pic? I love big 8's. 186 is beyond big, it's ginormous! I'd love to see what a 186 8 looks like.

From: midwest
11-Jan-22
Man, that's a bummer.

So did the guy that killed it tell you where your hit was?

From: Grey Ghost
11-Jan-22
Sorry for your bad luck.

Do you think the fact that you shot the buck while he was still walking contributed to the poor shot placement?

Matt

From: Supernaut
11-Jan-22
Bummer. Good write up and thanks for sharing it with us.

Stay positive, the next "big one" is out there waiting for all of us.

11-Jan-22
Your story and honesty is very much appreciated. (* Been there, done that)

Ah, the game of chasing one mega deer. Its not for everybody and this is only a part of that game, unfortunately. There's a silver lining. Many hunters will never have that opportunity, no less having a chance to hunt that size animal. Heck you may not even of had the opportunity and you neighbor could have shot him anyway, they know no fences. Sounds to me like your a very good hunter and in that respect, you will have learned from this and will have another opportunity, especially with your attitude. We all learn.

Well done and get back on the horse, there will be other days. You will see. Best of luck to you!

11-Jan-22
Bummer for sure.Not sure I'd blame the equipment but possibly the moving shot but it started with getting caught getting the bow off the hook.We've all been busted standing 1/2 up,moving etc, you learn the most from every f-up.Id ask the other guy where your wound was too.

From: Matt
11-Jan-22
That's tough man. Did the hunter who killed the buck provide any details as to where you hit and what happened to your arrow? Maybe just 1 lung?

From: Bou'bound
11-Jan-22
Got closure. Fortunate to have had the encounter millions of others never will Get

11-Jan-22

Iowabowhunter's embedded Photo
Iowabowhunter's embedded Photo
I'm positive that shooting him on the move (I hadn't practice that at all) contributed to me making a poor shot.

I wasn't happy at all with the performance of the arrows and heads on the other two deer I shot, as well as how they did on the occasional miss when practicing.

I marked up the young mans face, not sure if he wants to broadcast it.

11-Jan-22

Iowabowhunter's embedded Photo
Iowabowhunter's embedded Photo
Another pic

11-Jan-22

11-Jan-22

Iowabowhunter's embedded Photo
See if this one works
Iowabowhunter's embedded Photo
See if this one works

11-Jan-22
You can see high on the bucks left shoulder where there's hair missing, I believe that's where I hit him.

Again, can't hardly believe I didn't get a pass thru, or at least enough to get a lung? Maybe he was just a tough old buck I guess.

From: WI Shedhead
11-Jan-22
Sorry you didn’t recover him that’s a great deer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard guys have bucks leave an area after shooting a doe. That’s one of my top no no’s. Never ever shoot a doe out of your bucks stands!!!! It will come back to get you!!!! Always!!!!!

From: woodguy65
11-Jan-22
Damn.

From: keepemsharp
11-Jan-22
Big eight pointers are the peak of deer happenings.

11-Jan-22
Statistically speaking I’ll never see another 8 point that big, he was just an absolute giant. Was a neat experience to get to see him live. Just wish to heck I would have made a better shot

From: Pat Lefemine
11-Jan-22
Holy crap. Yeah, that’s gonna haunt you. Sorry Jake.

Thanks for posting the pic. Amazing deer.

From: bowhunter24
11-Jan-22
Wow!!!! Better luck next year!

From: 12yards
11-Jan-22
That would be a tough one to get past for sure! Wow! Thanks for sharing and like others have said, we've all made bad shots. I know I sure have. And some close like that. Learn and move on is all a guy can do.

From: t-roy
11-Jan-22
Definitely a heartbreaker, Jake! Sucks when Murphy shows up at the wrong time, for sure!

From: Leo17
11-Jan-22
was this Iowa? sorry man that sucks. what a beautiful buck. Keep your chin up, you will get a good one next year.

From: deerhunter72
11-Jan-22
Wow! Gotta love those huge 8’s. Shame that you didn’t get him but at least you know the end of the story. Incredible buck.

From: stealthycat
11-Jan-22
no way he found that buck dead and said he killed it ?

2 miles is a ways to go for a buck in a day anyway IMO and hurt ? just sayin ... and wow, what an 8 !!

11-Jan-22
That’s a brute. It happens.

11-Jan-22
No I don’t think he found it dead, I didn’t make a good shot and didn’t get much penetration at all (somehow).

From: timex
12-Jan-22
The biggest buck iv ever had the opportunity to kill with a bow I shot at inside 20 yards with an 80# compound 2419s & 160 thunderheads. I just knew with all that power I could shoot clean through any whitetail. I was grossly wrong hit the shoulder & got 4" penitration at the most. I've been a fixed 2 edge shooter ever since.

From: Kevin Dill
12-Jan-22
The broadhead may very well have ended up hitting the scapula. I recall a friend who went to Wyoming on a mulie hunt and shot a really big buck without recovering it. He was pretty sure the deer should've died....thought he caught a bit of the scapula. Two weeks later he went back to the same ranch and found the buck....alive and well. He killed him after a stalk. The wound was healed/scarred over decently well. When he butchered the deer he recovered the scapula which had a perfect 3-blade (remember the Razorcap head?) hole through the main body of the scap. I personally saw the fresh scapula and recall discussing the whole deal with him. He was 100% sure the buck would be found dead somewhere.

12-Jan-22
Wow….what an 8.

12-Jan-22

TREESTANDWOLF's embedded Photo
TREESTANDWOLF's embedded Photo
Not to high Jack the thread, but I thought this was worth sharing.

My buddy shot this buck with his recurve two seasons ago on our lease. Heavy 500 something grain arrow topped with a Valkyrie broadhead, the bow was about 47lbs at 12 yards.

This trail cam pic was about a week later.

He still walks.

I’m sure the broadhead is in there.

From: APauls
12-Jan-22
UUUUUuuuuuuuuuugh. Man that hurts. Thanks for sharing the story. Oof, I feel your pain. 99% right, and that one percent gets you. That 8 is incredible. What a deer. Not to get all off on a broached tangent, but all we have left to do sometimes is look at the gear. At the end of the day even when guys are shooting fixed heads you can't go through anything. It is what it is. It just goes to short you can't necessarily make it through the near side shoulder bone or blade never mind the far side. Even shooting a quality fixed two holes are never guaranteed.

Really sorry for you on that one, what more can a guy say. We all have memories that haunt us. Big whitetails are so rare to get in bow range (for all of us except T-roy) that when a situation doesn't work out those memories have a way of sticking around...

From: Glunker
12-Jan-22
My take away is we still have to pick a spot, even at 10 yards. I missed a buck at 24 yards and that is unacceptable. By the way it is harder to focus on 180" bucks than forkies, but we all know that.

12-Jan-22
100% Glunker

I also need to practice walking shots. I still think I made the right call by not stopping him, just haven't practiced moving shots before. Going to have to figure out a way to be able to do that!

12-Jan-22
100% Glunker

I also need to practice walking shots. I still think I made the right call by not stopping him, just haven't practiced moving shots before. Going to have to figure out a way to be able to do that!

12-Jan-22
its amazing a buck like that could be shot twice in one day what an amazing buck.Nothing worse than having the arrow wave goodbye.

From: APauls
12-Jan-22
Iowabowhunter, one thing I've done with buddies and even kids you can do is just grab a judo point and have someone roll a 5 gallon pail lid along the ground and shoot at it. Did a bunch of that for years, and once you kind of get that lead down it's a no-brainer. I love walking shots they are my favourite. You almost never have a buck duck.

12-Jan-22
Adam-thanks for the tip i'll give that a try!

From: Whatthefoc
12-Jan-22
Bummer - been there. Check for nock pinch. If your arrow is going to lift off the rest, it will be on a steep shot like this - and could result in a high miss.

From: XMan
12-Jan-22

XMan's embedded Photo
XMan's embedded Photo
oh, I know your pain and it is still haunting me. Oct 30th, 18 yard shot, perfectly broadside and I hit him over the spine. It happens to all of us, brutal feeling of defeat but there is always next year to redeem ourselves :)

From: Jack Harris
12-Jan-22
that truly is a buck of a lifetime, 8's that size are hard to come by in any state, but certainly Iowa has the best chance of growing one over 180. Very sorry it did not work out for you, all you can do is learn and move forward.

From: deerhunter72
12-Jan-22

deerhunter72's Link
Don't want to highjack the thread and I've never attempted to post a link but thought I'd try this. If the link works, this is one of the best 8 point bucks every killed. It was a gun kill, but the buck is tremendous. The buck in this thread reminded me of this deer and I thought I'd share it.

From: RT
12-Jan-22
Hopefully you get a nice one next season.

From: APauls
13-Jan-22
deerhunter72 - thanks for that story as well. Kind of crazy, B&C has been keeping records since 1830 and in all that time over the past 191 years only 36 - 8 points have ever been entered above the 170" minimum. Tells you how rare a huge 8 like that is.

From: RutnStrut
14-Jan-22
IMO big 8's are the coolest looking deer. An 8 like this one is something that almost no one ever even sees from the stand. Not trying to rub it in Iowabowhunter. Bad shots happen to all of us.

From: Sean D.
17-Jan-22
I seen a pic of that 8 on facebook this morning. Awesome deer

From: ryanrc
17-Jan-22
Bummer. Last year I shot a decent buck at point blank range and watched it run off with virtually all of my arrow sticking out of its shoulder. Very little blood, never recovered. I had climbed into a tiny tree along a trail and could only get about 6 feet off the ground at best. A doe and a buck worked their way to me after I bleated at them. The doe literally came to the base of the tree and the buck was right behind her. He was no more than 2-3 yards away and I was only 6 feet off the ground. I hadn't drawn yet since there was so little cover and they were walking directly at me the whole time. I finally said screw it and drew my bow. Put the pin on him and rushed the shot. The deer was still and just staring at me. In my mind, didn't think I was actually going to get a shot off as I thought for sure they would bolt the moment I drew. I was in a high pressure state. Anyway, in retrospect for whatever reason they had no clue what I was and weren't going to bolt near as I can tell. Unfortunately, I was so convinced they would, I didn't take time to pick a spot. Honestly, my whole sight window was on the deer's chest since I was so close. I sat there dumbfounded when I didn't get any penetration. It really sucked. I had hunted hard for that one opportunity and to miss a deer at less than 3 yard 6 feet off the ground still stings......I learned to always pick a spot!

17-Jan-22
The end results surly prove your points of what to do the next time. Best of luck. Paul

From: SB
22-Jan-22
Well thats a bummer for sure! I have a big 8 point that I shot twice ....11 days apart! First shot lower limb of my recurve hit the cable on my stands platform ,arrow flew wonky and hit the deer with little penetration in the flank. Found the intact cedar arrow with Razorhead about 80 yds. down the trail. 11 days later In the same stand I saw him in the edge of a partially picked cornfield about 80 yds. from my stand. Made a few aggressive short grunt calls and he came in on a string. 10 yd. Shot. He only made it 10 more yards.! Shot with the same Cedar arrow . First shot had little penetrstion an did no damage. 55# bow loses a lot of zip when one limb stops suddenly!

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