2010 firearms deer season

Well, I didn’t get a deer this year for firearms deer season.  But I got a helluva story…

I had the privilege of hunting a private farm this year.  We went and scouted the weekend before season so that we could know the lay of the land and where we were going to be come opening morning.  We each picked out our spot and then sat there opening morning.  For the first hour and a half, I was pretty bored, but then I had to pee, so I got up and went over by a tree to pee.  When I turned around to go back to my spot, a little bitty doe ran by me.  She wasn’t even as big as my dog.  She freaked me out because I didn’t see her before and couldn’t figure out where she had come from.  I watched her run over the edge of the hill and into the woods.  When I got back to my spot, before I sat down, I took a look around to see what I could see, and I seen another small doe, not as small as the first one, exiting the wood-line into the field where I was sitting.  Since I didn’t see her for long, I figured that there must have been a crease in the field that I just couldn’t see from my spot, so I decided that I needed to move to a new vantage point, so that I could see where the deer were entering and exiting the woods.  So, I grabbed my gun and headed down the field to my new vantage point.  I slowly crept through the field for about 50 yards or so, keeping my eyes peeled for any movement or for bedded deer, and looked down field.  I could see a tree or something about 100 yards down field, but I didn’t remember it being there the weekend before and the thought ran through my head, that it could be a buck.  I remembered seeing pictures in Outdoor Life , Field and Stream, and on the MDC website of deer laying in the tall grass and all that you can see is a glimpse of their head and their enormous rack…  So, I decided to look through my scope to see if it was a deer or not, and low and behold, it was.  It was the biggest deer that I had ever seen!  Immediately, I got “Buck Fever”! My arms started shaking, my legs started shaking,  my adrenaline levels went through the roof, and I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Here I am 100 yards away, shooting a 7mm mag with the drop on a MONSTER of a buck…  I looked back through the scope and I was shaking so bad that I could barely hold the gun up.  I’ve never had buck fever before and I’ve shot many a deer, bucks and does, but now I had it, and I didn’t like it.  I just knew that that trophy buck was going to jump and run into the woods and I would never have this opportunity again.  I kept trying to steady my arms and control my breathing, but to no avail.  Finally, I thought that I had a shot and I squeezed the trigger, but much to my dismay, the shot missed and I seen a puff of dust on the hillside behind the buck, about 300 yards away, I had shot high and missed…  But the buck didn’t even move.  I couldn’t believe it, he didn’t jump up and run or anything…  He was still laying there just looking around!!  I quickly chambered another shell and looked through the scope again, but I was still shaking so bad that I couldn’t hold it still..  I kept telling myself to calm down and breathe, but it wasn’t helping.  I was about to hyperventilate, I was breathing so fast and shallow.  But, I was still looking through the scope at the monster buck.  I never did see how many points he had on his rack, but the base of his tines was at least 3 inches thick.  He was  a MONSTER buck and he was still laying there looking around, like I wasn’t even there!  I couldn’t believe it.  So, I just kept telling myself to calm down, to calm down, and breathe..  but it just wasn’t happening.  So, I slowly squeezed off another shot and I don’t know where it went, cause I didn’t see the poof of dust from the other hillside or anything, but when I looked through the scope again, he was still there!  Oh my God, he was still there, laying in that tall grass, just looking around like nothing was going on!  So,  I chambered my last shell and tried to take aim once again.  By now, I have calmed down a lot, the shaking wasn’t nearly as bad and my breathing was a lot calmer.  I was at least not feeling light headed but it had definitely NOT went away…  I was still huffing and puffing like a steam engine trying to pull a million pounds up a hill, with those short shallow breaths, and I was still telling myself to calm down, just calm down and breathe.  I tried to catch my breath a little more and it helped some, because I got my breathing somewhat under control before I squeezed off that last shot.  I was looking through the scope and found a good picture of his neck in the scope and pulled the trigger.  The gun kicked and raised slightly after it went off.  When I pulled the gun back down and looked through the scope, he was gone…  Oh my God, where did he go?  I didn’t see him, so I quickly lowered the gun and started looking and listening to see if I could hear him running in the woods or see him running across the field I was in or the next one, but I couldn’t see him or hear him.  Where could he have went?  Well, since I couldn’t see him, he had to have ran into the woods, I mean, he was only 20 feet or so from the woods, so that must be where he went.  So, I  started slowly creeping through the field to look for blood or some indication that I might have actually hit him.  The whole time, I’m listening for him in the woods and watching for him in the field, but I didn’t ever hear him nor did I see him.  I reached his bed area and there was nothing, no blood, no nothing!  There wasn’t even any sign that he had been there at all and there definitely wasn’t any sign saying that I had just shot the biggest buck of my life, but there was a faint trail that led into the woods.  So, I followed it into the woods and about 20 feet or so inside the wood-line, there was 3 big blood splatters of bright red blood…  I hit him, I hit him, now I just had to find him..  I was aiming at his neck, so I had to have hit him in the neck and that’s always a kill shot, so I was extremely confident that my BIG MONSTER buck would be laying down in the woods dead…  OH yeah!!  Well, after I seen the 3 big blood splatters, I kept following the blood trail for about 10 feet or so, but then it stopped, no more blood and no movement of the leaves where he had ran through the woods in his death plod…  There was no sign of him!  It was like he just vanished!  There were no sounds of him running down the hill through the woods, there was no more blood trail and there was no deer!  He must have been a magical reindeer and took flight, because he was nowhere to be found!  I scoured that hillside for the next couple of hours, but never found any more signs of him or found him or anything!  I finally came out of the woods to head back to camp to grab a bite to eat and the other guys came up to meet me and I told them this story and they both told me that that deer was there, I must have just overlooked him or something and that we should all go back over there and look.  So, that’s what we did and much to their dismay, they didn’t find any more signs or anything of him either.  I don’t know where I hit him and I don’t guess it was a kill shot, cause that deer was gone!  I guess it just wasn’t his time to die.  I have a lot of respect for deer, cause they can do some amazing things and this one just did some of those things…  I looked for that deer the rest of the week, hoping to see him laying in that field again, or to find him laying in the woods dead, but I never seen him again.  The monster buck got away and all that I got was a story.  I hope you liked it.  I wish that it had ended with him hanging on my wall, but it didn’t.  I did learn some valuable lessons out of the whole experience though.  If a deer is bedded down, like that one, and they look your direction and don’t jump and run, then they don’t consider you a threat and they will stay bedded down until they do consider you a threat, so you have time to work through the “Buck Fever” adrenaline rush and you don’t have to rush your shots.  Calm down, take a full breath and relax, you have time..  I didn’t know that before.  I’ve never actually came up on a deer bedded down like that.  I have jumped deer in the woods and they always jump and run but that’s because they seen you and considered you a threat.  I will know better next time.

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