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Yesterday was a day I'll never forget. I couldn't decide which weapon to take to the woods with me, the muzzleloader or the bow. Since mother nature decided to be gentle yesterday, I decided to take my smoke pole. The afternoon started out like many others, nothing moving. With the sun setting, I thought to myself, greener pastures (Thanks Drury's). So I climbed out of my stand and started walking to the field to see if I could catch something before last light. When I got to about 50 yards from the field edge, I could see a body standing at the edge of the field so I stopped. The deer started walking to my left and when he came through the trail head, I could see it was the buck that I'd been chasing all Archery season. Thankfully he kept on a steady walk and angled away from me so I could take a few steps to my right to get a good angle shot for when he came into my next window. He stopped and looked away from me, so I took a few more steps to try and cut the distance, and in my haste, I snapped a twig. There he was in all his glory, staring right at me broadside about 60 yards. I thought to myself, now or never. All in one motion, I cocked the hammer and shouldered my gun and set the bead. All I could see was a cloud of smoke and my dream buck trotting off like he lived to see another day.

He trotted in line with the ridge then dropped down over. After I reloaded, I waited about 10-15 minutes before I walked over there. Replaying that moment in my head of him trotting off, and thinking I missed by his reaction, but I knew I had a great bead on him. So I went to check my shot and couldn't find anything. Not a lick of blood or hair. I decided to just follow the line he was taking and walked for about 150-200 yards into some Aspen trees that I know they hang out in, and couldn't find anything. Still not a lick of blood. I thought to myself, it was a clean miss, but I'm just going to finish walking this edge out to make sure. I didn't take but 5 more steps, and there he was. I couldn't believe it. Made a perfect quartering away shot right through the bottom of the lungs. He didn't even have a drop of blood on his body, or where expired. Of course I had to take a minute to thank the man above for everything. Still can't believe it all came together like that, with no script to be found. I've been hunting this deer since archery and to take him with a muzzleloader, makes it even better. Check this one off my bucket list of achievements!
 

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Man, from the lows of thinking you missed, to then just about stepping on him. That moment had to be something else! Great stuff, congrats!
 

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That's a heck of a deer during any season, let alone late season. Good job. I had the same thing happen this year on a doe using my 20 gauge. Found a broken branch to start off and then zero blood or hair. I knew I had a good rest on her, so I just started walking in the direction she ran. I haven't missed a deer in a long time, so the bottomless pit feeling stung. Low and behold, I found her about 75 yards up the hill she ran. There were a few specs of blood within 10 feet of her, but she didn't start to bleed until she crashed. Double lungs. Always always always follow up.
 
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Congrats on your beautiful buck.....


The journey is always better with an end result like yours....


Heart says one thing, gut says another....Great job following up....
 

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My brother shot one in Potter at 1030 am on the second day. We found that buck at 230 in the afternoon. Just slow and steady tracking.. Always follow up those shots.
 
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