First public land deer (tell your story)

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First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby Rich3006 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:47 pm

Thought it would be fun to tell stories of our first public land deer. Below is mine.

14 years ago I was really struggling deer hunting. I hunted the Friday morning of gun season with no success. I went home and read hunting articles. Came across an article about hunting muzzleloader only public areas. I found one of those areas 2 hours from my house then packed up and drove there. I walked around scouting and jumped a couple deer. I managed to call a small doe back to me and shot her at 6 steps with my muzzle loader. First public land deer, first deer with a muzzleloader and first deer since I had come back from Iraq. Great memory. Now let's here your stories.

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Re: First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby Brad » Wed Aug 10, 2022 3:54 am

I just started hunting 4 years ago, so Sept 15th 2019 was opening day of my first season. My brother and I were going to go on a trip to camp and hunt the second day of the season. I did go out opening day for an afternoon hunt, but I was so damn loud walking in and setting up that it's no wonder I didn't see a deer that night. Next day my brother and I drove about 3 hours for our trip. I had never set foot on the land we were hunting, but I found a nice intersection between some timber and some open fields that was right off the edge of an oxbow of a fairly small river. I was convinced this was where a big buck would be on the SSE wind we were getting that evening. We set up camp and took our hikes to our locations. He went the long way to a spot close to a mile away from me. Once I got to the spot I wanted to hunt, I was happy to see there was a great tree to set up in. It was pretty large diameter and had some vines growing on it, but I hugged my way up the sticks and hung my stand, then was set up pretty early around 3:30 or so. I sat there and enjoyed the view. It felt like a good spot. Around 4:30 I noticed a beautiful doe come browsing her way in. Of course as she came in my heart was pounding, but it was only the second day of the season and there was still about 3.5 hours of daylight left... so I was going to pass and wait for mr big stuff to show up. I used my range finder and she was 20 yards broadside... I used my phone to take some pictures, still waiting for my trophy buck. I really enjoyed watching her. She turned and continued to brows... again she stops 20 yards perfect broadside... so I waited. By this time the nerves were more calm, and my heart was no longer pounding. She stayed around and browsed, then the third time I ranged her at exactly 20 yards perfectly broadside, I decided it was my time to take a shot. I pulled drew back my bow, aimed, and released the shot. Yes, my heart rate increased when I decided to make the shot, but I was calm and focused. She bounded off back behind some trees and I heard her drop and kick for a short time. I had always read you should give them plenty of time before getting down, but I waited only about 10-15 minutes because I was certain she was dead and very close. I got down, went to find her, and there she was. The shot was text book just barely behind the front shoulders in and out the other at the same spot, and she only made it 20 yards from where I shot her. I drug her out of the brush, field dressed her to the best of my abilities, then started dragging her nearly a mile up some pretty steep hills in the 98 degree heat. It sucked. I finally got back to camp, and it was another hour or two before my brother got back to camp. We butchered her in the dark with the sound of howling coyote packs in all directions. broke her down and put her in some game bags in the cooler, then had to drive 45 minutes to find bags of ice. She was the first of 7 total deer I have killed in the 3 seasons I have completed so far, 3 total antlered bucks, and only 2 total with a gun (one buck & one doe). I've got 2 big bucks on my wall already (one a very mature public land bow kill), and I think that situation with that doe gave me the confidence to take good shots on deer since then. That is a day I will never forget. It changed my life for sure.
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Re: First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby Specter » Thu Aug 11, 2022 5:05 pm

It was 1997 and I was 12 years old at the time. I was up all night the night before because it was the first year in Michigan that I was legally allowed to go bow hunting finally, and I couldn't wait to finally be going out with my Dad. I remember waiting impatiently for him to get out of work, which felt like an eternity, and going through my backpack and all my gear for about the 100th time while I waited for him to get home.
He worked 6-2 at the time, so he was home around 2:30 and we were in the car headed to his old tree by 3. When we arrived to the parking lot around 4 there were no other trucks there. We used a home made stand that my grandpa had made 3 of for him, and my Dad had me carry it in on my back with the rest of my gear. The walk in seemed to me like it was 5 miles through a maze of woods, but I later discovered it was really more like a half mile. I was in awe that he was able to navigate through all of it and not get lost, but he always had me pin a compass to my shirt even when I was out there with him before I was even able to hunt, and he would take a reading at the truck, and quiz my which direction we were heading, and which direction the road and the trail were at random times.
We finally get to his tree, which is the same tree he hunted in with his Dad. It's an old mature pine tree, and it's crazy to think of nowadays, but we both just climbed up that tree with no sticks or steps or anything, just climbed the tree and slid the stand in the bracket my grandpa had made for it that we left in the tree. Then I sat in the stand and my Dad stood on a giant branch behind me and leaned against the tree, no safety harnesses. About an hour before dark, I hear my Dad whisper "there's a deer coming", and I locate a good sized lone doe coming our way. I remember shaking like a leaf while it worked it's way in. I turned on my cobra lit pin and shifted my position slightly. As the doe came into range, she stopped broadside at around 14 yards. I remember how hard it felt to draw back my old Darton set to 38 lbs that I had practiced all summer with and let an Easton XX75 fly with a Thunderhead 125 on it. I also had a Game tracker screwed into the stabilizer slot and attached to the arrow if anybody remembers those. Immediately I felt a rush of relief from letting the arrow go, which quickly turned to a rush of disappointment as I watched the arrow fly just under it's belly, right behind the shoulder. The doe took off immediately but never blew.
Now I am feeling a mix of holy s*#t I just shot at a deer that was awesome, and really bummed out I'd have to pull in the driveway with Mom waiting up and tell her I missed one. My Dad tells me that it happens to everyone, and that there is still some light left and you never know what might happen. So he climbs down out of the tree, cuts the game tracker string off, and retrieves the arrow for me, which I nocked again and waited. Truthfully we both figured that was it for the night. 20 minutes later and to our surprise in walks a yearling doe. Once again I get into position, and this time I am WAY more nervous than before. The doe turns broadside and I draw back on her, shaking much worse this time. I let the arrow fly and this time I hit the deer, but it's further back than my first shot attempt was earlier. We watch the direction it runs and listen, but never hear "the curly shuffle" as my Dad put it. I'm really fired up by now, and waiting until dark felt like eternity with my mind racing the entire time. We climb down and my Dad fires up the kerosene lantern, I grab a flashlight, and we start tracking. We tracked for a good couple of hours that night, but there was very minimal spotty blood, and ultimately we could not find it. I remember how awful that feeling was driving home. Once again, I barely slept, and the next morning we went back out there with my Mom, sister, and brother, and we all went tracking. We tracked for about 4-5 hours when my Dad says let's just go check this way one more time. Then I hear my Dad say hey what's that, and he's pointing to my deer. For some reason my first thought was how do you know that's mine, and he flipped it over and said is that your arrow? I lit up like a Christmas tree. It was a liver shot, and did not pass through, which is why there wasn't really a blood trail. He showed me how to field dress it, and we took turns dragging it back to the parking lot. I've never been so excited. We hung it up in the garage at home, and back then whenever anybody in the family got a deer, we all called each other up and every uncle and aunt and buddy all came over to check it out and hang out, and vice versa. I relived that story with every one of them, and then my Mom and Dad both showed me how to process it. That was the best tasting meat I've ever had :)
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Re: First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby <DK> » Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:04 am

Hill Country

I went to hunt a spot I found while winter scouting and went to hunt it late September. Used the creek bottom for my access and the leaves were potato chips. I was able to Bump and Stack him

About 200 yards before I get to my tree I jump a nice buck bedding by the creek and his oak patch hes been eating at. He took off the direction I planned to go and went to the bedding area I expected them to be in. So I continued and was able to move slow enough to get setup . Perfect tree and location ! One of those trees you wish you could take w you everywhere

Well before prime time I heard a loud splash and he dropped off the point to get a drink. I could see water just dripping from his mouth, so cool ! Bc of the terrain, he had no choice but to walk by me at 25yards. I shot and hit a twig, the arrow redirected, blew through both hind quarters, he tried to run up the hill and then he toppled over , rolled down. He died 100 yards away in the bedding area he came from

Awesome day !
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Re: First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby Groundhunter@1 » Tue Sep 13, 2022 2:12 am

1978, I was walking into a fresh cut, loggers had been done for a week. I was walking slow and steady, towards a blow down, I was going to sit the day in.

Fresh snow showed lots of tracks everywhere. Out of the corner of my right eye, I saw a deer bedded. I kept my pace, and simply turned to my right, drew back, seeing a rack, I released. Hit that small 6, in the boiler room in its bed.

It worked out well, since I shoot lefty. Normally used the Bear Razorhead, but that day had on the new Sattelite head. Buck went 40 steps. 55lb recurve.

I was so excited. I had that buck mounted, going into new grandsons bedroom, this year. Quality mount, lasts forever, ......
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Re: First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:41 am

I had killed not sure 5-6 young bucks on private prior to this.
Still to this day never killed a doe.

First public buck.

I was mid 20s and knew very little about hunting.
I setup in a summit viper climber gun season morning where a pine transition met swamp.

I had a buck chasing a doe from my left across the swamp full run and couldn't get a shot. A few minutes later the same buck and doe came running right back again. And stopped like 40 yards broadside infront of me.

I shot and the buck fell over on the spot.
I climbed down and walked over too the buck.
It was decieving because the buck appeared bigger then he was , he was fairly wide for a 2 year old buck as wide as the ears and had 2 tines on each side about 11 inches high. He had no brow tines. Shockingly he was a 4 point.

He just had a really messed up rack.

Went and got my dad who was hunting further up the ridge.

We went and took turns pulling the buck out to the car. We walked back in to grab the stands and backpack not even 45 minutes later. My summit was almost new like a few weeks old and was gone from the tree along with a backpack full of gear. Dads api hadnt been taken.

I guess another hunter kicked the buck torward us and watched us pull the Deer out and grabbed the new climber. But i never saw any hunter orange anywhere.
As far as I know was only 2 other hunters who hunted that area with us every year in their 30s who lived nearby to this Parr of the wma.

A few years later I killed a large buck the same two guys were hunting as payback completely by mistake that's when I found the beast trying to research how I had killed that buck.

So my first public buck story is a odd one.
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Re: First public land deer (tell your story)

Unread postby Jimimacck » Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:29 pm

Grew up hunting but fell out of it thanks to college, playing live music and chasing skirt. But got back into hunting thanks to a friend when I was 34 and all that other stuff was behind me. Oct 30th, 2020, I'm 40 and on a special muzzleloader quota hunt at Catoosa WMA on the Cumberland Plateau in East TN. Its an antler restriction hunt too in an area that carries nice deer (for TN). Camping for the weekend with my FIL and BIL. It was my first season ever attempting to even consider buck beds, scrapes and other widely discussed things. It was my first season expressly going for a buck. Got there a day early and scouted and found what looked like converging trails next to what I assumed to be bedding. Hung my stand with intent to climb into the next morn. Slept a hair late and when I got to the spot, someone was already there. So I studied the map, did some thinking and took off. Drove around until I didn't see any vehicles so I felt safe to scout more and not get smoked. Nada, nothing, zilch. Next day, was able to hunt from my stand only to have a hunter walk under me. So I climbed down and decided to scout more in areas not occupied with hunters. Found a fresh scrape, then another, then a huge scrape then several rubs kinda close together and getting close to a very grown up area that'd probably been logged a few year before. I sat way downwind of the big scrape on a fallen tree. About 30 min later, an 8pt buck waltzed over to check the scrape. I was so excited! I gave myself time and made a good shot. BUT the way thr deer reacted and ran made me think it was a bad hit. I quickly became discouraged and started to reload. As I began walking to find sign I realized it was a good hit. then about 50 yards away in a well used bed at edge of the super thick stuff lay my first buck.

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