Memorable Recoveries - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Memorable Recoveries

Does anyone else have any crazy scenarios that played out after shooting a deer? Here's my top 3...

1st pic = I was hunting a tight pinch point between two strip mine ponds when this buck sauntered past at 3 in the afternoon. After I arrowed him he went about 30 yards and piled up. I turned to hang my bow on the hook when I heard a stick crack in the direction of the downed deer. To my surprise the buck was back on his feet and running full bore back past me, and then he promptly jumped straight off the spoil pile into the water where he died. Note the blood on the sapling to the right where he initially pitched off. You can't tell from the picture but it's about 30 yards straight down to the water. I had to get a buddy to help me get him to the shore and wedged under the log. It took us about 2 hours to get him completely up and out.

2nd pic = While hunting in Ohio during early October, I caught this buck at 9:00 am working his way along an acorn strewn oak ridge. I knew the shot was true but hung out in the stand until it was time to meet my buddy at our designated rendezvous time and location. We both took up the trail through the fairly open woods. After 75 yards the heavy blood trail petered out so I was scanning the woods looking for a white belly when my buddy said; "There he is!" I was within 10 feet of it and never saw it.

3rd & 4th pic = After arrowing this buck shortly after daybreak the blood trail led me to him piled up in a small ditch. The buck was too heavy for me to get him up out of the ditch so I had to drag him down it for waaaay too far until I was finally able to get him out without having a heart attack. (Barely)
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:05 PM
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Great recoveries and 3 great buck!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:10 PM
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Shot a buck in archery. Wasn't sure of the hit. Waited till morning to take up the trail. Found my arrow, a sparse trail but no buck. Came home. Got on HuntingPa and saw a post about a buck that died in a parking lot near where I was hunting. I PM'ed the member who told me the PGC was called and they took the buck to a local processor for donation. Called the PGC. They didn't believe my story. Eventually the WCO called me back. Met the WCO who asked me to describe the deer and my hunt. WCO said, "I know where your buck is". I said great! He said "Not so great". It wasn't at processor but in a dump. I met him at dump to retrieve the antlers and tagged them.

Whew.... Glad that is over and hope to never repeat that!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 09:09 PM
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I once shot a buck under my stand traveling with two doe. After the shot they all ran about 100 yards away and stood for about 10 seconds then the two doe ran back in my direction and pass by at about 20 yards. The buck decided to follow them then at about 20 yards to my right the buck tripped over a stump and did a cartwheel in the air breaking off one antler and falling dead in his tracks.

Another time I shot a nice 8 point it run about 15 yards stood there then walked off. I heard a loud crash then some trashing; however, I waited about 45 minutes until my two buddies arrived and I led them to where I last saw the buck to find a good blood trail had disappeared. I stood there wondering which way to go when a buddy off to my left said there he is. I looked in that direction but saw nothing but a very thick number of prickly briar shrubs. So I said where and he said come here and look. I guess the rambling and trashing I heard was the buck stumbling and falling then kicking his way through the debris and down a slope only about 10 feet but out of sight. If my buddy hadn't spotted it then I may have waisted some time trying to find a not existing trail.

My first turkey after a lot of calling and only a few minutes left in the morning hunt I made the shot at 40 yards as he poked his head out into the edge of a pipe line. I held tight on the head and pulled the trigger and was surprised to see him run back in the woods. I rushed to the spot and saw nothing. I stood there in disbelief....when I heard what I though might be feathers. I walked over to find the gobbler had run down a small narrow ditch and had wedged himself wing tight and he could not be seen from about the rut. I guess I heard his final finally. I was thrilled to find him.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 09:52 PM
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In the mid 1990s, I shot a 6 pt. buck in Potter county on a sidehill and drugged him downhill figuring it would be easier to retrieve. It was my first time hunting in Potter.

However, when I got to the bottom there was a fast moving creek and a road on the other side. I left the deer there and started to hump back up the mountain to get my buddies and my truck.

While humping back up I was getting over heated and ended up taken off my woolrich pants and walking up in my long johns. When I finally located my buddies I told them to head straight down the mountain while I took my truck to the bottom where I saw the road and marked the location of the deer.

When my two buddies made it to the deer they dragged it to the creek and then threw me the rope they attached to my drag rope. Now it gets funny. When I started to pull the deer towards me the current got a hold of the deer and the rope broke and the deer started going down stream. I started running parallel to the deer & then had to jump in the freezing cold water when my one buddy started yelling "Run Forest Run..." It was funny. This was about a year after the movie Forest Gump came out.

After retrieving the deer, I dropped the two guy back off at the top of the mountain to finish out there hunt while I took off my pants, socks, & boots and sat in my truck for like two hours with the heat on. I recall when we got back to camp, I had some blackberry brandy to kill the cold that I got from my adventure.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 10:37 PM
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I was hunting a 3 year old slashing next to a feild of xmas trees up in ashtabula county. Around 2 o'clock I had a nice 10 follow a doe right under my stand. I shot him at about 5 yds but he was walking and I hit a little back. He took about 3 big bounds then stopped beside the doe, and they walked off together. About 75 yds out he stopped and I watched him thru my binoclulars, his tounge hanging out, tail twitching. Stood there for 15 minutes then walked away to the north. At that point I could see blood on the leaves and on a couple small trees, so I figured to wait a couple hours before taking up the trail.

Then it started to snow. Well up in ashtabula county that can mean 4 or 5 inches an hour and when I got out of the tree at 4 o'clock there was an easy 6 inches down. No chance of following blood so I decided to make a big loop to the south and turn west then walk out on the far side of that feild of xmas trees to get back to my truck which was parked to the north. Didn't want to jump that buck so I made sure i looped far around his last direction of travel.

That feild of head high xmas trees had roads about every 20 rows, wide enough to drive a tractor. As I walked the edge of the feild I looked down those roadways just for the heck of it. On the last road the was an old hay wagon sitting that they hauled the trees on and there was something big under it with what looked like an antler sticking out. I figured no way could I be that lucky but when I looked with my binoculars it looked even more like a buck laying there. I walked up and there was that buck, dead, under that wagon. Probably only 50 yds from where I'd last seen him, but he must have turned out into those pines, crawled under that wagon and died.

Fast forward one year, same stand. We got a couple inches of slush up there that froze overnite. Noisey would be an understatement for my walk in the next morning, I waited till almost day lite, crashed my way in, the rattled hard as soon as I got in the stand. Figured mebey me walking in would be mistaken for a couple bucks by any other deer in the area. A couple minutes after I rattled I heard a deer coming and saw a rack coming thru those xmas trees. I knew he was a nice buck but lost sight of him as he entered that thick slashing but i could hear him getting closer, but i could't see him till he popped out at about 10 yds, obviously looking for those other bucks he'd heard. He was a wide thick short tined 10, and i was more than happy to take that 10 yd shot. Perfect hit, he ran right under the stand and looped back the way he came but I heard him crash just out of sight. I always wait a half hour and about 15 minutes into it i hear another deer coming. Here comes a bb, all by himself not a care in the world. He sees that down buck and throws on the brakes so hard I thought he was going to sit down. He watches it for a couple minutes then slowly starts stalking it. I still cannot see the down buck but the bb carefully walks around it a couple times, then follows the blood trail back right under the stand, obviously confused and intimidated. He eventually wanders off, I get down and retrieve the buck.

Those 2 bucks are the only 2 i shot off the same farm out of a couple dozen bucks I shot up there, and the only 2 that weren't pretty ordinary recoveries. That farm changed hands and I haven't been back, but I sure had a couple unusual experiences the 2 years I hunted there.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 09:57 AM
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One of my most difficult drags was in WV and down hill. I was about a mile from my vehicle, the forest had been timbered recently and the terrain was a little rough, sloped, riddled with tree trunks, stumps and ruts. I walked in on a good logging road but the buck fell about 200 yards below the road and it was very steep back up to the road. I was in my early 30's and worked out 3 days a week, played a lot of aggressive racketball and in good shape.

So I elected to go the "Easy" somewhat down hill exit. However, I spent the morning lifting the antlers and hind quarters over and under fell trees and around tree tops in some cases I had to go uphill to find a clear spot to pass difficult obstacles. I shot the buck a very early in the morning and it was noon before I reached the bottom via the "Easy" exit. That is the last year I hunted there.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 10:30 AM
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A buddy shot a very nice 10 point in OH..his first deer and I drove it to him. When I approached he was finishing field dressing the deer and of course it was a very long and very steep drag back the 3/4 mile to the vehicle. My buddy was having some sever back pain regularly. However, it was only about 200 yards down hill to a place we could drive to for an easy pick up. "Easy," did I forget to mention it was on the other side of a sizable stream and it is the month of December.

It was my truck so I made the walk back and the drive to the other side of the stream to find my buddy waiting on the other side of the stream with his deer. But he was not big on getting the deer across the moving water where we could not see the bottom, but figured it wasn't real deep based on seeing the stream during the summer when the water was clear. I guess his option was based on common sense. Something I was always short on during those years. I was not big on him getting in the water with his back issues.

We discussed several methods and ways to get it across until I got impatient and wanted to get back hunting as I had limited days and I knew there were more big bucks there, so I changed clothes and waded into stream with a longer rope toward the other side to discover it was chest deep at the far side, so I backed up to waist/knee deep area and I threw the rope to my buddy, he tied it to the antlers and then toss the loose end back to me.

I must say by this time the water was getting very invigorating. We came this turning back. My buddy kind of reluctantly pushed his trophy buck into the river probably thinking he may never see it again. Well the current immediately caught and filled the field dressed cavity with the moving water making it very difficult to control the deer while standing on less than sure footing in the water.

The river had a steep bend just down stream and back my way as I was able to use that to my advantage playing the big OH buck as a large fish to get the deer out of the current and to the edge of the bank and then finally to the truck. I quickly discovered it was not any warmer out of the water than in the stream. I managed to get the water heavy soaked buck into the bed of the truck, strip down and get into the vehicle and with the heater running full blast until I finally got warm.

As it turns out my buddies back pain was being caused by heart issues and ironically the following year on the opening day he under went his first quadruple bypass. He had several other serious health issues over the years after that and kept a great attitude however, all this issues finally caught up with him. It was a sad military funeral, but he is in a National Cemetery watching over his hunting buddy.....I alway take him on all my trips.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 02:14 PM
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2 years ago I was hunting a ledge along a known deer route of travel that paralleled a cliff overlooking railroad tracks. I arrowed an 8 point buck that ran about 30 yards, stopped, looked over the cliff and did a header right off!

Oddest thing I ever saw. I climbed down out of my tree retrieved my arrow and walked over to where he jumped over. Thankfully he was only about 25 feet down because he got caught on a small brush that was growing on a very thin ledge. I walked down the hillside and found a spot along the cliff that lead to that small ledge and had to make my way along the ledge about 50 yards to get to the deer. I had to use my drag rope to secure it to a very thin sapling so I could gut it (I figured it would be easier to drag the buck back along the ledge with the guts out). So holding on to the young sapling with one hand and gutting it with the other (occasionally glancing down the 50 or so yards down the cliff hoping to God the sapling's roots ran deep enough to continue to hold the deer and me), I was able to get it done and make my way back along the ledge and back to solid ground.

Never had a more harrowing experience retrieving a deer, and hopefully never will!
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 02:42 PM
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A bull moose in 2008. I called this bull in from over a mile out, he stepped into an open clearing 150 yards down range. I shot, shot looked good, bull ran into some thick spruce. I waited an hour, found blood in a well wore trail where left the clearing. Blood trail only went 20 yards and ended. I looked for an hour and a half, nothing. I kept thinking I could smell a rutty bull. I went back to the last blood drop, got off the trail into the white spruce. He was laying in the thick stuff, 20 feet off the trail. He didnít go 25 yards from where I shot him, double lunged.
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