Redemption! What a Finish! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Redemption! What a Finish!

Well, for those who know, I was at a major low at this time last week. I thought I had made a good hit on a nice buck from ground last Friday but after a 3 mile track job and 7 hours later, I lost him. I am still at a loss as to where I hit him or what happened and I probably never will get an answer...

So, needless to say, I was pretty bummed and down in the dumps this past week. I didn’t even sit in a stand through Wednesday and just felt disgusted with myself. I had Thursday and Friday off so I decided to give it one more go and planned on all day or close to all day sits for the last 3 days. I was still kicking myself but it would feel good to get out there amongst them again.

Thursday morning dawned cold and breezy and it was a struggle to tough it out until noon but I did with only a few sightings at a distance. The afternoon/evening sit resulted in one small buck sighting. It was disappointing and everything was pointing to the lockdown phase of the rut being upon us. But I had to press on...

Friday morning was colder with even more wind. Another dawn till noon sit yielded zero sightings and I was really starting to lose hope. It was if not only the bucks had vanished, but the does as well. Looked like lockdown was going to bite me for my end of the game Hail Mary.

Something just felt right Friday afternoon. I don’t know what it was but it was just one of those feelings that you get where it just felt like a “deery” kind of afternoon. The wind subsided, there was some moisture in the air, and the temps were just about right. I climbed into the stand between two food plots, over looking a couple of apple trees. One plot has winter greens and oats in it and the other has turnips and the sign was incredible. My hopes bumped up a bit...

At 4, a 3 point came in from the oats plot and proceed to start vacuuming up apples for a good 30 minutes. He suddenly stopped and looked to the north, across a clearing. I kept trying to see what he was looking at and finally spotted another deer coming in. When it finally got close enough I could see that it was a spike and both of them immediately laid their ears back and began posturing. They did the parallel march and then came together with a ferocity that even made me jump a bit in the tree. They pushed each other around pretty good for awhile, crashing through the brush and causing quite a ruckus for a good while. Finally the spike appeared to get the upper hand and ran the 3 back in the direction he came from. He then came over and helped himself to some apples. He was only there for a couple minutes when I saw him stop and stare across the back side of a big beaver pond. He kept staring but I couldn’t see anything for while before I caught a big body moving through the timber. It was slowly and methodically moving toward me and I could tell by the gait and the body size that it was a buck. He worked his way around the back of the pond but was heading directly down wind of me. “Crap” I thought to myself, he’s going to wind me and be gone. He closed the distance to 15 yards, directly to my right, and it was the that I saw the size and width of the rack and new the the was a good one. He stood there testing the wind and I was just waiting for him to blow and for that to be the end of that. Then, inexplicably, he started to walk around the front of the tree toward the spike. I saw it but I wasn’t believing it. How could he have been downwind of me, scent-checking, and not have winded me??? Sure, I wear Scent Lok and spray down before every sit but it’s almost impossible to fool a mature buck’s nose. Luckily my disbelief only lasted a few seconds as I realized that this was actually happening and prepared for the opportunity. He stepped into one of my lanes and began to eat a few apples himself. He was slightly quartering towards me as I settled the pin behind his shoulder and began to squeeze. Just as I released, he lunged at the spike that was still under the apple tree...

I heard the arrow hit but I didn’t get a good look as to where the shot was. In all the commotion, it don’t think the two bucks knew exactly what happened. The one I shot trotted about 5 yards and then stopped in the brush and stood there for a few seconds. The spike actually walked over to him and touched noses and the big buck never reacted, just stood there. “Go down, go down, go down” I kept telling myself, but he just stood there. At this point my heart began to sink a bit. He wasn’t going down as fast as I thought he should and a million negative thoughts started flying around in my head. “Did I hit too far back? Did I miss?” He slowly started walking and took about 8 steps before it appeared that his back legs started to give out and he bedded down in some golden rod and disappeared. The spike then proceeded to return to the apple tree to grab a few more. Darkness was closing in fast and my eyes were glued to the spot I saw the buck bed down at. The spike finally left and headed right to where I last saw him and when he got close to the golden rod, I saw wha to thought was the buck try to get up and fall back down again. The spike moved on by and out of the area and I waited until well after dark before sneaking out of the stand and back to the house.

As you all know, a million thoughts began running though my head. I started second guessing the shot and what I thought a saw after the shot. Negativity crept in and I started feeling like maybe the shot wasn’t a good one. But I pushed it aside because I knew what I saw and still felt that even if the shot was a little back that he was a dead deer and just needed some time. It was tough, but I made the decision to leave him go until morning.

Didn’t get to sleep until 2 am that night and tossed and turned until daybreak. I was excited and nervous at the same time and was actually making myself a little sick to my stomach. My dad and father in law were meeting me at 7 and we were heading in to see if he was still where I last saw him. My dad and I slowly worked up to where he was standing when I shot and found my blood soaked arrow in the snow. I put it to my nose and there was no foul smell to it. That made me feel better as I began to track him. Blood was sparse for the frost few steps but then it looked like a spigot was turned on where he stood for awhile. I looked about 10 feet ahead and saw his bed that was full of blood and then spotted him 2 feet from it in the golden rod, dead and stiff as a board. What I had thought I saw the night before was confirmed, he had tried to get up and fell back down and was likely dead in minutes. The shot was not bad at all as I destroyed one lung and clipped the other. As I said, he was slightly quartering toward or I would have center punched both of them.

What a relief! What a way to end the season! Redemption!

He ended up being an 8 point with a 22 1/2” spread and weighed 155 lbs dressed.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 07:22 AM
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Congrats, that's a nice buck.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 07:56 AM
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That is a very nice buck, congrats to you!!

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:15 AM
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Very happy for you that this all worked out for you.Great looking buck.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:24 AM
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A great redemption indeed BB!! Congrats on your beautiful buck!!

Decent snow cover there....what county?

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:36 AM
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Great buck right there. A fitting way to cap off your season. Congrats to you and thanks for sharing it with us!

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:47 AM
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Beautiful buck! Great pics!

GOBBLE THIS!!!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loggy View Post
A great redemption indeed BB!! Congrats on your beautiful buck!!

Decent snow cover there....what county?
Erie
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 11:50 AM
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Congrats. Great buck!!!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 09:13 PM
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awesome buck. Congrats
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