Last hour of the last day......Deer down.....
All I can say is "finally"......I dropped a big doe this evening......
Went to my usual spot. Got there about 3:30. Sat a little further down the hill this time, as I've been seeing deer near the bottom of the hill near a small stream. About 4:25, I heard limbs cracking about 80 yards in front of me. I saw movement, then no less than 20 deer came bounding out of the thick stuff coming toward me. Something or someone over that way must've spooked them. Anyway, they must've scented me or something as well, as they all turned when they got to about 50 yards from me. They then ran around me from in front of me and then to my left angling away. I saw one nice buck, at least an 8 point, and another smaller buck in the crowd. I watched them all disappear over a rise about 100 yards to my left. I then stood up and took a short break(butt was killing me from the stool I was sitting on). After about a half hour, I spot movement in the direction from where the deer had run off. I noticed a lone deer heading back toward me. It turned out to be a yearling, but it was watching its back trail. I shifted my gaze and noticed about 6 more deer heading back from the same direction the yearling had come from. I watched them for a little while. They all worked their way up the hill toward the yearling, that by this time was 30 yards in front of me. I noticed that two of those deer were big momma does. I got the gun ready and clicked the cock back. The first yearling heard it and ran back to the others. I figured "well its over", and thought they'd all high tail it. Nope. They started walking right toward where the yearling had been. I waited until I got a good shot on the lead doe. It was broadside, and ever so slightly angling away. I got the sights on the sweet spot behind the shoulder as best I could (no rest, offhand shot), and pulled the trigger. The gun boomed, the deer took off, and I'm seeing the same scenario I had two weeks ago. No sign of a deer hit, deer not running full tilt, just deer leaving the scene. A few of them even stopped a short distance away. I sat there watching the deer I had shot at until it was out of sight. I waited a few minutes, texted my son and told him about the shot. I then got up and walked to the spot where the deer was.
I walked to where the deer was, nothing, no hair, no blood, nothing. I'm standing there thinking, "here we go again". It was about 5:20 by this time and I knew I didn't have a whole lot of light left, but I started following the tracks same as last time, in the hopes I'd find a blood trail. The last deer I shot at two weeks ago left white hair at the scene but no blood and I never found that deer. I walked about 75 yards down the hill from where the deer had stood, and low and behold on the other side of a fallen tree, I find 3 small drops of blood on the leaves. About 5 feet away from that I found several drops about the size of a fifty cent piece. "Hot darn, I got a blood trail this time". I started following the blood. Small drops here, a few larger ones there. Then nothing for ten or 20 feet, then a couple more drops, then a couple nice spatters. I followed the trail some more, and then heard what I first thought was a deer moving through the brush. I stopped and listened, then heard it again. I walked toward the sound, then caught movement. The deer was down and thrashing. " I found her"...I went up to her and she was lying on her left side. A piece of lung was sticking out of the hole I put in her. It was hit about 12 inches back from the shoulder. I had thought she was facing the other direction when I shot her. I waited until she gave up the ghost, then rolled her over. Sure enough I found the entrance hole just behind the left shoulder. In my excitement I couldn't remember which way she was facing. I was surprised to see the ball had passed all the way through her. After she expired, I called for reinforcements to come help me get her out of the woods. My oldest son luckily was at a friends house. I had him stop home to get the deer cart. I told him to bring his brother and some strong flashlights. I tagged the deer and went back to wait for them. I got back to my truck and put my gun and gear away. The boys showed up a few minutes later. My oldest had a date to keep so he dropped off my youngest, the deer cart and a couple flashlights. The two of us went back in and had to drag the deer out of the thick stuff, then loaded it on the cart which we left at the edge of the creek. It was a gut buster pulling the deer up the steep hill, even with the cart, but we made it. Took us about an hour to get the deer up to the truck. Luckily I was able to park the truck at the edge of the woods on the property so that helped. All told, this deer ran about 150-200 yards from the spot I had hit it. But luckily there was enough light, and a decent blood trail so it made finding it easy.
This was a special deer for a couple reasons. 1. It broke a long slump I was in. I'm not gonna say how long but its been a while since I've gotten a deer. 2. It was my first deer taken with a muzzle loader. 3. This was the first time I ever hunted until the very end of flintlock season. Normally I'll hunt the first week or so, then call it. But since we have permission to hunt locally now, and this winter has been mild, I just had the urge to get out more. I'm just glad the temps are in the 30's tonight, as I am going to have to leave the deer in the yard until I can get it to the butcher. I know I should do it myself, but I just am not successful enough at deer hunting to make that worth my while. I'll more than likely donate this girl to the needy. I'm happy that I ended my season successfully. Its been a long hard road, but well worth it..
Sorry for the long winded post, but wanted to tell the whole story.
Last edited by tdd; 01-29-2017 at 03:22 PM.
Reason: mild language editing