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Discussion Starter #1
My luck changed!

It's been a long year for me. I had a some personal loss that changed a lot of things for me. I used hunting this season as a way to escape, reconnect, and recharge. But on the first Monday of the firearms season, I realized I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to harvest a deer this year. So Tuesday I changed my attitude and truly enjoyed the day in the woods. I ended up seeing 7 deer on Monday, including a nice 8 point that the neighbor harvested and 12 on Tuesday, including a buck that my brother and I just couldn't put a third point on.

I was looking forward to the first Saturday, to spend the day with my family putting on drives and hopefully putting some more venison in the cooler. But unfortunately, plans changed I would only be able to hunt until 9:30 so that I could be home to be with my daughter (Mommy was going shopping
). I went to the stand that my Dad had sat in the first day and harvested a 7 point while seeing 12 doe and the one I sat in Tuesday and saw 11 doe. I went there honestly just trying to fill a doe tag.
The morning light took forever to filter through the clouds. I watched a big red fox zig zag his way up the hollow to my right just as I was starting to be able to see. I actually scoped him cause I thought it was a coyote, that's how big he was. As the morning continued on, I was shocked at the lack of shots I was hearing. I hunkered up against the tree and thought, "Well at least I made an effort to be out if nothing happens by 9:30."
Then at 7:30 all heck broke loose to my left. I knew right away it was deer, so I repositioned myself and got a solid rest. The deer stopped at the top of a little rise and I could clearly see 2 big doe, one in the front and one bringing up the rear, with 2 yearlings sandwiched between them. They paused for about 30 seconds and then continued their hurried gate in my direction. I got the lead doe in the scope and tried to get her to stop. After two failed mouth bleats and no more room to swing with her movement, I lifted my head and started to swing back to the trailing doe.
There standing perfectly posed in an opening about 40 yards out was a rack buck. I hesitated when I saw him. I was taken completely by surprise that there was a buck. I had this group of deer in my scope for 30 plus seconds and never saw the buck. The second big doe was still coming in behind him. After the initial shock wore off, I put the crosshairs on the front shoulder and squeezed. He made it about 30 yards and piled up.
I looked at him laying there in the snow. Down and done for good. That's when all of the emotions of the past 9 months came crashing down on me. In the midst of emotional release I heard a twig snap to my left. I looked up through hazy eyes and watched at least 9 more deer approach. And then yet another doe appear from below me. In the time span of about 3 minutes, 15 deer passed the stand.
My Dad made his way up to me and we shared a hug of congratulations and so much more. He knew what was going through my head and my heart. He finally walked over to my buck and lifted its head, saying, "It's legal (a common expression and joke with our group since AR started) and it's ugly!" It may not be the prettiest rack ever, but it's unique. His right main beam points to the Heavens above... and I know exactly why...

Where he expired (the out of place hair on his back/side was not from the shot. There was hair all over the trees where is expired. When I say he crashed, I mean he CRASHED!):


Note: The tag is in his right ear. I just rubber band it shut so it doesn't get torn out when dragging:


To get a perspective of how unique his rack is:


Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
mus42tang said:
It's always a horrible year, until.....until you harvest your deer.
Actually it was an incredible year from a hunting stand point when I finally took the time to re-evaluate and put it into perspective and that was before I harvested this buck. It has been a difficult 9 months on a personal level and the timing of this buck was just kind of special.
 

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mus42tang said:
It's always a horrible year, until.....until you harvest your deer.
When you put the kind of time and effort into hunting that Tagout and I do, getting so close to your goal, so often, can be frustrating. It's easy to lose sight of the little things that make hunting so special. It has happened to me and I assume it will happen again...when you compound it with the loss that Tagout had to face this year, it's very easy to see why he was getting frustrated. It felt as if the stars were aligning against us, yet at the same time we were being blessed with new and wonderful experiences. We hunted together a lot and we experienced the same things which was pretty neat to be a part of, but it was frustrating getting so close to a goal we had been working so hard to achieve. It doesn't take much to lose sight of the trees through the forest.

I am pretty proud of my little brother for sticking it out!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, grouse!

Even if I hadn't put a tag on a deer this year, I would have looked back on it and remembered how much fun those couple of days we spent less than 100 yards apart! It may have been frustrating, VERY FRUSTRATING, but how many guys can say they had days like those!? Buck running everywhere, splitting the difference between us, being just a few steps out of range of both of us within seconds. That gut wrenching silence just waiting to hear the twang of the each others string and the crash of a deer taking off... and then nothing! We have had, what 8, 10, maybe more, buck right in our laps! That alone made it a successful year. I can't wait until next year! (And I'll have my harness by then so I'll be able to sit in that little thing you call a stand! Your advantage will be gone!
)
 

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In what area did you kill this deer? I killed a deer with a very similar rack but was an escaped pen deer. The WCO I dealt with ram into 2 other bucks (no tags in ears) with very similar racks.
 
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