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Does anyone else have any crazy scenarios that played out after shooting a deer? Here's my top 3...


1st pic = I was hunting a tight pinch point between two strip mine ponds when this buck sauntered past at 3 in the afternoon. After I arrowed him he went about 30 yards and piled up. I turned to hang my bow on the hook when I heard a stick crack in the direction of the downed deer. To my surprise the buck was back on his feet and running full bore back past me, and then he promptly jumped straight off the spoil pile into the water where he died. Note the blood on the sapling to the right where he initially pitched off. You can't tell from the picture but it's about 30 yards straight down to the water. I had to get a buddy to help me get him to the shore and wedged under the log. It took us about 2 hours to get him completely up and out.


2nd pic = While hunting in Ohio during early October, I caught this buck at 9:00 am working his way along an acorn strewn oak ridge. I knew the shot was true but hung out in the stand until it was time to meet my buddy at our designated rendezvous time and location. We both took up the trail through the fairly open woods. After 75 yards the heavy blood trail petered out so I was scanning the woods looking for a white belly when my buddy said; "There he is!" I was within 10 feet of it and never saw it.


3rd & 4th pic = After arrowing this buck shortly after daybreak the blood trail led me to him piled up in a small ditch. The buck was too heavy for me to get him up out of the ditch so I had to drag him down it for waaaay too far until I was finally able to get him out without having a heart attack. (Barely)
 

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Shot a buck in archery. Wasn't sure of the hit. Waited till morning to take up the trail. Found my arrow, a sparse trail but no buck. Came home. Got on HuntingPa and saw a post about a buck that died in a parking lot near where I was hunting. I PM'ed the member who told me the PGC was called and they took the buck to a local processor for donation. Called the PGC. They didn't believe my story. Eventually the WCO called me back. Met the WCO who asked me to describe the deer and my hunt. WCO said, "I know where your buck is". I said great! He said "Not so great". It wasn't at processor but in a dump. I met him at dump to retrieve the antlers and tagged them.

Whew.... Glad that is over and hope to never repeat that!
 

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I once shot a buck under my stand traveling with two doe. After the shot they all ran about 100 yards away and stood for about 10 seconds then the two doe ran back in my direction and pass by at about 20 yards. The buck decided to follow them then at about 20 yards to my right the buck tripped over a stump and did a cartwheel in the air breaking off one antler and falling dead in his tracks.

Another time I shot a nice 8 point it run about 15 yards stood there then walked off. I heard a loud crash then some trashing; however, I waited about 45 minutes until my two buddies arrived and I led them to where I last saw the buck to find a good blood trail had disappeared. I stood there wondering which way to go when a buddy off to my left said there he is. I looked in that direction but saw nothing but a very thick number of prickly briar shrubs. So I said where and he said come here and look. I guess the rambling and trashing I heard was the buck stumbling and falling then kicking his way through the debris and down a slope only about 10 feet but out of sight. If my buddy hadn't spotted it then I may have waisted some time trying to find a not existing trail.

My first turkey after a lot of calling and only a few minutes left in the morning hunt I made the shot at 40 yards as he poked his head out into the edge of a pipe line. I held tight on the head and pulled the trigger and was surprised to see him run back in the woods. I rushed to the spot and saw nothing. I stood there in disbelief....when I heard what I though might be feathers. I walked over to find the gobbler had run down a small narrow ditch and had wedged himself wing tight and he could not be seen from about the rut. I guess I heard his final finally. I was thrilled to find him.
 

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In the mid 1990s, I shot a 6 pt. buck in Potter county on a sidehill and drugged him downhill figuring it would be easier to retrieve. It was my first time hunting in Potter.

However, when I got to the bottom there was a fast moving creek and a road on the other side. I left the deer there and started to hump back up the mountain to get my buddies and my truck.

While humping back up I was getting over heated and ended up taken off my woolrich pants and walking up in my long johns. When I finally located my buddies I told them to head straight down the mountain while I took my truck to the bottom where I saw the road and marked the location of the deer.

When my two buddies made it to the deer they dragged it to the creek and then threw me the rope they attached to my drag rope. Now it gets funny. When I started to pull the deer towards me the current got a hold of the deer and the rope broke and the deer started going down stream. I started running parallel to the deer & then had to jump in the freezing cold water when my one buddy started yelling "Run Forest Run..." It was funny. This was about a year after the movie Forest Gump came out.

After retrieving the deer, I dropped the two guy back off at the top of the mountain to finish out there hunt while I took off my pants, socks, & boots and sat in my truck for like two hours with the heat on. I recall when we got back to camp, I had some blackberry brandy to kill the cold that I got from my adventure.
 

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I was hunting a 3 year old slashing next to a feild of xmas trees up in ashtabula county. Around 2 o'clock I had a nice 10 follow a doe right under my stand. I shot him at about 5 yds but he was walking and I hit a little back. He took about 3 big bounds then stopped beside the doe, and they walked off together. About 75 yds out he stopped and I watched him thru my binoclulars, his tounge hanging out, tail twitching. Stood there for 15 minutes then walked away to the north. At that point I could see blood on the leaves and on a couple small trees, so I figured to wait a couple hours before taking up the trail.

Then it started to snow. Well up in ashtabula county that can mean 4 or 5 inches an hour and when I got out of the tree at 4 o'clock there was an easy 6 inches down. No chance of following blood so I decided to make a big loop to the south and turn west then walk out on the far side of that feild of xmas trees to get back to my truck which was parked to the north. Didn't want to jump that buck so I made sure i looped far around his last direction of travel.

That feild of head high xmas trees had roads about every 20 rows, wide enough to drive a tractor. As I walked the edge of the feild I looked down those roadways just for the heck of it. On the last road the was an old hay wagon sitting that they hauled the trees on and there was something big under it with what looked like an antler sticking out. I figured no way could I be that lucky but when I looked with my binoculars it looked even more like a buck laying there. I walked up and there was that buck, dead, under that wagon. Probably only 50 yds from where I'd last seen him, but he must have turned out into those pines, crawled under that wagon and died.

Fast forward one year, same stand. We got a couple inches of slush up there that froze overnite. Noisey would be an understatement for my walk in the next morning, I waited till almost day lite, crashed my way in, the rattled hard as soon as I got in the stand. Figured mebey me walking in would be mistaken for a couple bucks by any other deer in the area. A couple minutes after I rattled I heard a deer coming and saw a rack coming thru those xmas trees. I knew he was a nice buck but lost sight of him as he entered that thick slashing but i could hear him getting closer, but i could't see him till he popped out at about 10 yds, obviously looking for those other bucks he'd heard. He was a wide thick short tined 10, and i was more than happy to take that 10 yd shot. Perfect hit, he ran right under the stand and looped back the way he came but I heard him crash just out of sight. I always wait a half hour and about 15 minutes into it i hear another deer coming. Here comes a bb, all by himself not a care in the world. He sees that down buck and throws on the brakes so hard I thought he was going to sit down. He watches it for a couple minutes then slowly starts stalking it. I still cannot see the down buck but the bb carefully walks around it a couple times, then follows the blood trail back right under the stand, obviously confused and intimidated. He eventually wanders off, I get down and retrieve the buck.

Those 2 bucks are the only 2 i shot off the same farm out of a couple dozen bucks I shot up there, and the only 2 that weren't pretty ordinary recoveries. That farm changed hands and I haven't been back, but I sure had a couple unusual experiences the 2 years I hunted there.
 

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One of my most difficult drags was in WV and down hill. I was about a mile from my vehicle, the forest had been timbered recently and the terrain was a little rough, sloped, riddled with tree trunks, stumps and ruts. I walked in on a good logging road but the buck fell about 200 yards below the road and it was very steep back up to the road. I was in my early 30's and worked out 3 days a week, played a lot of aggressive racketball and in good shape.

So I elected to go the "Easy" somewhat down hill exit. However, I spent the morning lifting the antlers and hind quarters over and under fell trees and around tree tops in some cases I had to go uphill to find a clear spot to pass difficult obstacles. I shot the buck a very early in the morning and it was noon before I reached the bottom via the "Easy" exit. That is the last year I hunted there.
 

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A buddy shot a very nice 10 point in OH..his first deer and I drove it to him. When I approached he was finishing field dressing the deer and of course it was a very long and very steep drag back the 3/4 mile to the vehicle. My buddy was having some sever back pain regularly. However, it was only about 200 yards down hill to a place we could drive to for an easy pick up. "Easy," did I forget to mention it was on the other side of a sizable stream and it is the month of December.

It was my truck so I made the walk back and the drive to the other side of the stream to find my buddy waiting on the other side of the stream with his deer. But he was not big on getting the deer across the moving water where we could not see the bottom, but figured it wasn't real deep based on seeing the stream during the summer when the water was clear. I guess his option was based on common sense. Something I was always short on during those years. I was not big on him getting in the water with his back issues.

We discussed several methods and ways to get it across until I got impatient and wanted to get back hunting as I had limited days and I knew there were more big bucks there, so I changed clothes and waded into stream with a longer rope toward the other side to discover it was chest deep at the far side, so I backed up to waist/knee deep area and I threw the rope to my buddy, he tied it to the antlers and then toss the loose end back to me.

I must say by this time the water was getting very invigorating. We came this far...no turning back. My buddy kind of reluctantly pushed his trophy buck into the river probably thinking he may never see it again. Well the current immediately caught and filled the field dressed cavity with the moving water making it very difficult to control the deer while standing on less than sure footing in the water.

The river had a steep bend just down stream and back my way as I was able to use that to my advantage playing the big OH buck as a large fish to get the deer out of the current and to the edge of the bank and then finally to the truck. I quickly discovered it was not any warmer out of the water than in the stream. I managed to get the water heavy soaked buck into the bed of the truck, strip down and get into the vehicle and with the heater running full blast until I finally got warm.

As it turns out my buddies back pain was being caused by heart issues and ironically the following year on the opening day he under went his first quadruple bypass. He had several other serious health issues over the years after that and kept a great attitude however, all this issues finally caught up with him. It was a sad military funeral, but he is in a National Cemetery watching over his hunting buddy.....I alway take him on all my trips.
 

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2 years ago I was hunting a ledge along a known deer route of travel that paralleled a cliff overlooking railroad tracks. I arrowed an 8 point buck that ran about 30 yards, stopped, looked over the cliff and did a header right off!

Oddest thing I ever saw. I climbed down out of my tree retrieved my arrow and walked over to where he jumped over. Thankfully he was only about 25 feet down because he got caught on a small brush that was growing on a very thin ledge. I walked down the hillside and found a spot along the cliff that lead to that small ledge and had to make my way along the ledge about 50 yards to get to the deer. I had to use my drag rope to secure it to a very thin sapling so I could gut it (I figured it would be easier to drag the buck back along the ledge with the guts out). So holding on to the young sapling with one hand and gutting it with the other (occasionally glancing down the 50 or so yards down the cliff hoping to God the sapling's roots ran deep enough to continue to hold the deer and me), I was able to get it done and make my way back along the ledge and back to solid ground.

Never had a more harrowing experience retrieving a deer, and hopefully never will!
 

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A bull moose in 2008. I called this bull in from over a mile out, he stepped into an open clearing 150 yards down range. I shot, shot looked good, bull ran into some thick spruce. I waited an hour, found blood in a well wore trail where left the clearing. Blood trail only went 20 yards and ended. I looked for an hour and a half, nothing. I kept thinking I could smell a rutty bull. I went back to the last blood drop, got off the trail into the white spruce. He was laying in the thick stuff, 20 feet off the trail. He didn’t go 25 yards from where I shot him, double lunged.
 

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11/01/2014 - I had a buck come in to work a scrape at 20 yards, and I sent an arrow through him. He took off on what looked like a death run but I didn't hear him go down. I waited a while, then slowly and quietly followed good blood for about 75 yards. At that point I was scanning ahead and saw upright antlers ahead of me. I thought he was bedded alive there, but could see otherwise once I pulled up the binos.


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I skipped my best hunting buddies birthday party to go on an all day buck hunting. Early in the morning I arrowed a very nice OH buck and he ran out of sight and there was all kinds of noise leaves, twigs and threshing. Waited 25 minutes I went to my arrow... a liver hit.

I took my time to remove my tree stand down and made a long circle to stay far away from the bucks progress as I headed back to my vehicle and about 25 yards from my vehicle I found blood...dark red blood the trail led about 25 yards behind my Jeep and over the hill.

I called my buddy and told him to get plenty of beer I would be there in the afternoon...he like a good buddy offered to leave his party to come and help. I told him I would call him if I really needed his help.

I cleaned out the Jeep and worked crossword puzzles for about another three hours. Then I finally got up enough nerve to look over the edge knowing if the buck was alive and jumped he would go over a very steep hill and probably not leave much of a blood trail. Based on the liver hit my chances of recovery would be slim or if I did find him it would be a very challenging drag and no birthday party for me..... and all that cold beer and no success story.

I couldn't wait any longer so I slipped up on the blood trail and peeked over. I couldn't believe he was lying there some twenty yards from the road as he died watching his back trail. He scored 141 net and was the subject of the birthday party.
 

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The first deer I shot I was 13, spined her and then unloaded the quiver, missed every time. She was bawling. I went back to camp and back up with my dads buddy. It was dark by then and Dad showed up. They hit her over the head with a rock and a big log. I cried my eyes out. No need for any more details than that. It was gruesome and I wasn’t sure I’d hunt again.

Next year, last day of rifle, 6 inches of fresh snow. At 10:00 Dad went for a small walk above. Unrelated to my dad pushing, a buddy shot below, here came the herd. About 20 doe and the last deer was a buck so I shot him. Went down to examine my first buck then went back to my spot. Dad came back and said

What was it?

I said a buck.

He said is he down?

I said yes.

He said how big?

I said bigger than any you ever killed.

He said you’re grounded!


It ended up the buck the guy below me missed. He shot his gun at camp and was 8” high. An early lesson for this greenhorn.
 

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Went turkey hunting the spring my Dad past away. Called in a gobbler, and dropped the hammer on him. He flipped and flopped down the hill and disappeared, thinking “you got him” rounded up my stuff and walk down and looked and looked nothing. Standing there wondering how could I miss, I see a deer walking to me. It literally stops steps away from me, looks at me and turns to my left and continues walking up over the hill. I followed its path for about 20 yds and find a sinkhole with a dead gobbler in it. Pulled it out, and sat down crying my eyes out. Thanks Dad!
 

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Some cool stories.The first year my son hunted,the weekend after thanksgiving,we got pictures of a big heavy main frame 10 point with a third main beam sticking out of his forehead three days in a row in a nice little funnel behind my horse pasture.I DMAP'd the property so he could shoot a doe on the first day and decided to try and kill that buck.Not long after first light,a big doe comes past and he wasn't about to pass her up.We decided to savor the moment and took our time before heading back out in the afternoon.Around noon,we went a couple miles up the road to some property owned by the conservation fund.I was carrying Jordan's little pea shooter .243 and he was carrying a shooting stick.We were still hunting our way back to a steep ravine when a big buck jumped up,ran about 100 yards and stopped in a very small opening.I didn't have to time to get Jordan set up so I took the shot.The deer mule kicked and took off.There was good blood where the buck was standing but trying to teach him patience,I told him we'd give it a half hour or so.We started on a pretty decent trail but I started to get concerned about 150 yards into it.The trail was still good but I didn't like the fact that the deer was still on it's feet.Just as I started to explain to him that we were gonna back out,the buck jumps up from the other side of a creek and takes off.I planned on coming back at the end of the day so we tried to circle below where we thought he ran and give him some time.We had walked at least 1/2 mile and jumped him a second time but this time we almost stepped on him.I immediately saw he was gut shot and got two quick shots at him before he went down an extremely steep ravine.He stumbled at both shots so I was sure I hit him again.We go where he was when I shot and immediately find a pile of blood.Confident he would die,I decided to back out and come back the next morning.The next morning my buddy Steve and I head out but there's about an inch of fresh snow so we don't have a trail.We ended up finding him down in the bottom but my heart sank when we walked up to him.His rack was missing and all that was sticking up was that third unicorn main beam.I never even thought it could have been that buck.After getting him out of that ravine,we walked back to where I last shot at him and both sides were laying right there.One of the biggest bucks I'll ever shoot and I shot the flippin rack right off with one one shot lol.I took all the pieces to my taxidermist and put it all back together.You'd never even know.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have one more but it doesn't involve a recovery per se, but someone got me real good. It involved this buck which is the largest bodied buck I've ever killed. Over 200 pounds dressed. I shot it around 1:30 in the afternoon in Mercer County. Took up the trail at 2:30 which led me directly to the dead buck within 75 yards.


I had a cart in the back of my truck so after field dressing the buck I went and retrieved the cart. It was a mother getting the buck onto the cart by myself, but after awhile I finally got it secured. Because of its weight I had to bypass a small swampy area and had to go 100 yards out of my way to get around it. Finally reaching an old skid road that I had permission to drive on if I killed a deer, I left the buck & cart and went to retrieve my truck because I hadn't planned on having to bypass the swampy area. I did have reservations about leaving the buck unattended next to the skid road, but I had no other option and by this time it was almost dark.


I was able to back my truck to within 10' of the buck. Pretty happy about everything at this point, I grabbed the cart and started towards the truck at which point both wheels fell off. :surprise2: In the 10 minutes I was gone someone had come along and taken the cotter keys out of the wheels on the cart. :sad: I have no way of proving it but I believe it was three Amish teenagers. They were the only others I ever saw in the area and I knew they were in the vicinity that day turkey hunting. Also from what I knew from previous dealings with young Amish kids is they're not thieves or delinquents, but they're not above a good practical joke. They got me good.
 

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DCE do you have a photo of that deer. It sounds like a cool deer to see.
If I can find the right SD card,I have the trail cam pictures.Otherwise,I can take a picture of the mount.I was so disgusted when I found the deer that I didn't take a harvest picture.
 

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Not a deer recovery but this is my son and his 12 week old pup with her first recovery.He dropped the bird way out there with the second shot.WE got the dog up there right away and lost her after about 5 minutes.She ended up tracking it about 70 yards and swam out into a pond to get it.
 

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