Bittersweet buck...

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PK_
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Bittersweet buck...

Postby PK_ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:55 am

Headed out this past weekend with my dad for what may end up being my last hunt of the season. I have a couple more weekends planned but time away from the family just gets harder and harder...

Opening morning of muzzleloader was calling for rain all day. I knew this beforehand and for some reason still neglected to bring my rain gear on the trip. Idk why, I think I am losing my marbles. I just get so sick of bringing everything but the kitchen sink on these weekend hunts.

Anyways, we prepped our muzzleloaders for wet conditions, drove to the parking area and headed out into the steady pitter patter under the blackness of predawn. By the time we hiked in and climbed up I was already soaked to the bone. My dad was smart enough to at least have a poncho. Dad was about 300 yards from me and we were each covering one side of a major funnel leading into some nasty bedding.

As daylight approaches A Pack of hogs comes right by me, most of them over 100lbs but a couple good 50-60lbers were in there but between the wet scope and erratic behavior or a pack of hogs moving through cover I never got a clean slam dunk shot at one of the pigs I wanted so I could do nothing but watch them move brush and push water as they traveled deeper into the safety of the swamps embrace.

Not long after I see a good size deer angling towards me. After a few glimpses I see it is a small buck. He crosses a creek and shakes off like a wet dog slinging water in every direction. I watch him browse along the creek into the swamp within bow range.

About an hour later and the rain had really gotten to me. (One branch above me was steady dripping right on my head like Chinese water torture) It had stopped raining at this point but I was ready to pack it up. I stood up and turned around and peed. When I zipped up I was shocked to see a nice buck slipping through an opening directly downwind. I could tell immediately he was worth shooting so I grabbed the gun. Scope is wet and fogged, crap. I decide to sit down as I cleaned the scope as best I could. I lean on the shooting rail, the buck is moving through the last opening so I give him a soft sound to stop him. Find him in the crosshairs and settle on his shoulder, nope, he is slightly quarreling away, slide back to he first rib and aim for the offside shoulder. BLOUKCH!

Smoke and sounds of thrashing brush filled the woods in front of me. Smoke clears and I see nothing. Hmmmm, definitely enough ground cover to hide a piled up deer but I thought I would see him if he fell where I heard him last.

Felt confident but there is always some doubt. Texted my dad. He says he saw a single deer between us after I shot. Said it was acting skittish and headed into the swamp,didn’t look hit. Now I’m worried, since that was the way this buck would have been headed.

Dad comes over and I direct him to where the buck was standing. Takes a few minutes but we find a small piece of meat and splatter at poi. Pretty quick we see where he started blowing out lung blood and see him up ahead. Awesome.

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Spent the next few hours getting him out of the woods and taken care of and move stands to a different spot. I put my dad in the money spot, funnel I killed a buck in last year. I worked my way a few hundred yards down the slough and found a tree to climb. That evening he had a good buck come out at last light, he couldn’t see well enough to count points so he didn’t shoot.

Sat the whole next day and saw very little. I think the deer were shell shocked. Daytime Temps went from 60’s Friday to real feel in the 20’s with the windchill on Saturday.

Sunday morning was beautiful. Temps in low 30’s, Little to no wind. Sun came up into a clear sky and I was pumped. I knew it was going to happen. At almost 8:30 I hear KA-POOM! I eagerly awaited his text, finally ‘BIG BUCK COME QUICK’. I shimmy down the tree and scoot over there.

He directs me to where the buck was standing when he shot. Holy crap he was only 20-25 yards I figure he must have gotten him. I start looking around, no blood no nothing. He then is telling me he rushed the shot and he hopes he didn’t miss. We search a bit and come up with nothing. I go back to the POI and a couple yards away I found a bunch of short white hair and two tiny drops of what looks like muscle blood.

After those two drops nothing. So we are back to doing circles again and coming up empty. At this point it had been a couple hours. Eventually I come across a very large fresh big buck track so I call my dad over and we agree it has to be his. We follow a couple more tracks and bam blood, not much but steady for about 75 yards.

We get to a point where the blood stops but we are close to where I figured these bucks bed back near this swamp. I felt the wind on the back of my neck as the swamp took a breath and sucked the air in from the surrounding high ground. Up ahead we hear a deer get up and run through some brush and then Belly flop across a deep slough and head into some swamp. We sneak up to where the deer ran across and find blood, still just looks like muscle blood. I felt the wind swirl again and about 50 yards away up jumps one of the largest frame typicals I have ever seen on the hoof. Watching him bound away deeper into the swamp, seemingly healthy was absolutely heartbreaking.

We stayed on him a couple more hours. Finding drops of blood or tracks or fresh scat to get a bearing on where he headed. But every time we made it onto a piece of ground he was on we would hear him bail off the other end and plow through water.
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We finally threw in the towel, he wasn’t slowing down and we are 99% sure he will heal up just fine...

Oh well, you win some you lose some. That’s what makes those big ones so special, even when you have one dead to rights they find a way to slip through your fingers...


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mainebowhunter
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby mainebowhunter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:03 pm

Congrats! 20 degrees should slow the snakes down!
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Motivated
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby Motivated » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:13 pm

Very cool all around!
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby muddy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:43 pm

Congrats, looks like you had fun.
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Buckshot20
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby Buckshot20 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:49 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby mnswamphunter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:59 pm

:clap: :dance:
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby oldrank » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:01 pm

Sounds like a fun hunt. Nice job on the buck!!
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justdirtyfun
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby justdirtyfun » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:15 pm

You show such passion and dedication dude.
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vtbuck
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby vtbuck » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:29 pm

Congrats!
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Ack
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby Ack » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:42 pm

Congrats! :clap:
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Tufrthnails
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby Tufrthnails » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:46 am

Nice buck PK. Suxs PapaPK didn't get it done, but ya'll had a great adventure! I got two more permits one arch this weekend and one Muzz the weekend of Feb 3 and 4. Thurs I'm heading to the swamp to see if I can get one in range of the old .270. I got high hopes on that one because i'm targeting a spot I have jumped good bucks two years in a row being too aggressive in Jan. I'm gonna sit back 200 yards on a spot I can see the area cleanly and try to get it done.
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checkerfred
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby checkerfred » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:57 am

Nice buck PK! Stinks about the other but it hAppens..no way I’d be wading that water in warm temps...good thing it was cold!
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby Boogieman1 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:41 am

:clap: Nicely Done!
There's more fun in hunting with the handicap of the bow than there is in hunting with the sureness of pulling the trigger.
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby SidewayZ » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:46 am

It could be the biggest buck in the world, I would never! Ever wade though that.... Damn Snakes, I give you some big props for braving those waters!

That was a great buck also, Congrats!
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jmaas07
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Re: Bittersweet buck...

Postby jmaas07 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:09 am

Buck killing machine, congrats!

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