So I came from a hunting family but never got into it as a kid because athletics pretty much took all my time and focus and because I lived with my mom so I was never very close to the hunters on my dad's side. A few years ago I decided life was short and I would regret it if I never took the time to get in the woods and hunt. So I started picking peoples brains, reading magazines and watching a lot of YouTube videos to gather as much information as possible. I went the first year on public land and the only thing I ever saw were the deer that I moved when I entered and left the woods. There was one corner of the area that nobody went near because it was incredibly thick and almost impossible to get through. So one day in late October last year as I sat there not seeing anything I decided to get on my belly and start crawling through that mess. I took me a good two and a half hours to get a couple hundred yards into it. I finally found a small opening in the brush and sat up against a tree and waited. After about half an hour I used a bleat call. A minute after that I hear cracking branches and then I see what in my eyes was an absolute monster buck walking about fifteen yards in front of me. The next twenty seconds were like a dream. I can't even say I was nervous. It was just surreal. I took the point blank shot, the buck took off running, and then reality set in. I found the arrow in a bush and there was no blood on it whatsoever. I looked around the ground. No blood. I realized that somehow I just missed a monster from inside of fifteen yards and I just about felt like crying. I followed the path of the dear in a panic hoping to find blood. I never found blood, but I did find the buck lying dead on the ground with a clean shot through the lungs. I was overcome. I fell on my knees and thanked God. Once I gained composure, I did the worst field dressing job in the history of hunting and started to drag the big boy out. If getting into that area was difficult, pulling a buck out was almost impossible. It was dark a half hour into it. I had to push through ten yards, set the flashlight down, go back for the dear, and then go back for the bow. I did not have a phone on me so I was very worried about what my wife was thinking. At some point, I got impatient, so I went farther ahead with the flashlight. Of course I went back and could not find my bow. Twenty minutes later, I said the heck with it and left the bow. I figured I would come back the next day for it. An hour later, I lost the buck! It took me a long panicked time, but I found it. After three hours of ---- pulling the thing into the open, I left it there, went to my car for my phone, called my wife who was worried sick, and then called my friend who came to help me. We took it to his farm where him and his dad made fun of me for my brutal field dressing job and gave me a lesson in skinning and butchering a deer. The next day I went back and found the bow. It was an evening I will never forget. Most of the people on this forum probably would pass on this buck for something bigger, but for this 41 year old rookie, I am very proud of it.
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