John Eberhart's 2015 Ohio phantom buck

Discussion in 'Unsuccessful Hunts' started by John Eberhart, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. John Eberhart

    John Eberhart Active Member

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    In another thread Maustypsu mentioned me in an unsuccessful Ohio hunt in December 2015 and it got me thinking that more often than not that a hunter can learn more from unsuccessful hunts than successful ones. Typically on successful hunts most things go as planned so there isn’t much to take away from them. However on unsuccessful bowhunts where the hunter/animal had a close enough confrontation, yet the deal wasn’t closed, there had to be a reason why and typically there’s something that can be taken away from that experience.

    In 2015 Mike invited me down to Ohio to bowhunt and to be perfectly honest, even though I said I might be able to make it in December or January, I doubted I would go as from mid-December through March are my busiest months of the year from a work standpoint. However I saw an opening in work in early December and went.

    The property was located in your typical flat ground agricultural area with about 40% timber and brush and 60% crop fields. I don’t remember the acreage but would guess it to be around 80.

    The property was relatively common for farm ground in that there was a plowed under soybean field on the south side that butted up to the road and a large stand of timber to the north of the soybeans. The only terrain feature that jumped up and screamed out from all the timber on this and the surrounding properties timber was that butting up to the soybean field was an extremely dense area of brush and briars.

    The bordering properties crop fields dictated where the deer fed at night as to the east of the properties timber was an extremely plush winter wheat field for that time of year and to the north of the properties timber was a picked cornfield. All the rest of the surrounding properties were relatively open timber and at this time of year all the foliage was down making the timber extremely open and not very secure for daytime mature buck movements, especially since Ohio’s main gun season had ended the week prior.

    During the rut, while hunting in the timber along the gas line (map attached), Mike’s friend Donovan who had the permission to hunt the property, caught a brief glimpse of a monster framed buck that had at least 10 points with at least a 22 inch inside spread. He was on the south side of the gas line which is where the dense brush is in and Donovan said it was the biggest buck he’d ever seen.

    Mike and Donavan had been sporadically bow hunting the ground all season and had seen the big bucks unmistakable signposts and confidently felt he was bedding within that small brushy area and they chose to leave it as a sanctuary area which for its tiny size, was in my opinion the right move. He would have certainly been killed during gun season by a bordering properties hunter.

    Mike was able to go with me during the first day to scout and prepare a couple locations and showed me a primary scrape area in an excellent congestion location along the gas line where a narrow lane converged and went south through the timber. Both the lane and gas line were being well-used as transition corridors. I prepared a location about 33 feet up a tree right where the lane and gas line met.

    At that height the tree had a large crotch that would offer a little cover as there wasn’t much for background cover and the tree didn’t have much for lower branches for concealment cover. Shockingly, we didn’t have to cut any shooting lanes as the gas line and lane were both in line of the tree.

    Once finished I had to walk that lane further south because it went in the direction of where the buck was likely bedding. At the very south end of the lane where it met up with another lane just inside the fence line from the bordering property we found a large active scrape beneath a small oak that was still holding most of its leaves. Not 15 yards from the scrape was a perfect oak that still had its leaves and I set up about 30 feet high in it and cleared the tops of a few trees that would’ve blocked a shot to the scrape.

    We never went anywhere close to the small bedding area but there was no doubt that if he were there, he definitely heard our preparation commotion at both of our set-ups which is never a good thing with mature bucks. Bucks in pressured areas don’t get old by being stupid and other than when they are being driven by high levels of testosterone during the rut, they rarely make vulnerability mistakes and I sort of knew by this and the bordering properties layouts and the areas obvious hunting pressure in the form of box blinds that this buck would likely not be moving during daylight hours.
     
  2. John Eberhart

    John Eberhart Active Member

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    Mike hunted the gas line location and I the oak and on the first day we saw a few does. I hunted alone after that as Mike had to work and one morning from the gas line tree, at 8:15 I rattled in about a 120 inch clean 8 point to within 12 yards and passed on him. The height worked to perfection because as much as he looked around, he never had a clue I was right on top of him.

    Not being happy with what I was seeing and knowing how quick a tree can be burnt out during the late season, I prepared another location in the timber on the north side of the gas line and closer to the winter wheat field. There had been some timber cut which made for a little bit better security cover for deer to pass through or alongside of and I set-up in a tree along the cutting edge.

    On my first morning hunt there I crossed the plowed bean field and when I began walking down the gas line at about an hour before daylight I bumped a deer and when I got farther down the line to where it had been, the unmistakable strong stench odor of a mature bucks tarsal glands were overwhelming. There was no doubt in my mind that I had just spooked the big buck as he was heading back to bed and he had already crossed the gas line heading south. I saw a couple does that morning but knew I was wasting my time hunting for that buck after spooking him.

    That evening I went back to hunt the same tree and set up a Carrylite doe decoy to hopefully lure any buck that was transitioning through the area to within bow range. I saw a couple does as they browsed their way towards the winter wheat field.

    By the time I finished the hunt, removed the steps (wasn’t hunting that tree again) and packed up the decoy in its military duffle bag it was at least an hour and a half after dark and while exiting down the gas line, when I got to the exact same location I spooked the big buck that morning, while not as strong, I could again smell the pungent odor of tarsal glands. No question the same buck had recently passed through and had likely went to the wheat field the does had.

    That was all I could take and I skipped the next morning’s hunt and later went in to prepare a new location along the gas line where he was crossing. There was a faint runway crossing the gas line and due to the amount of rain we had been receiving there were some muddy spots holding some large tracks. While standing on the runway I could make out a few rubs running along it within the timber on the south side so this had to be the place to set up at.

    Unfortunately there were no adequate trees to set up in as they were all pretty small diameter and short for my liking. Reluctantly I set up about 24 feet high in a tree that was 8 yards from the runway. The tree had no large branches or background cover as the sky opening of the gas line was my backdrop.

    Ohio’s late 2 day gun season also opened this day and when I walked out to cross the bean field towards my mini-van there was 3 hunters clad in orange walking from the nearby home to the woodlot directly behind it as though on a drive and while I was changing at the vehicle I heard a volley of 3 shots, likely at does.
     
  3. John Eberhart

    John Eberhart Active Member

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    Because I had molested the area, I hunted at the scrape oak that evening because I could enter and exit it through the plowed bean field without concern of spooking deer. As I crossed the plowed bean field I was checking out the timber line where the buck was bedded within. It was an absolute perfect bedding location as he was likely bedding close enough to the field’s edge to see anything coming at him through it, and anything coming towards him from the timber side would make enough noise in the dense brush for him to hear. Most times a mature buck will bed to take advantage of the prevailing wind direction, but this was totally a visual and hearing bedding spot.

    Although I knew what the scenario would likely be, I went in to hunt the new location the next morning which would also be my last hunt. It was about 30 degrees, there was a slight freezing rain coming down, and it was pitch black out.

    I was in the tree and quiet about an hour and a half prior to first light and about 45 minutes before daybreak, although the ground and leaves were wet, behind me I could hear the faint sound of a deer walking through the timber. He was coming right at me and within moments was crossing the gas line on the runway a mere 8 yards away. I could make out the white halo of antlers over his head and as he crossed the lane I knew my hunt for him was over so I turned my dim entry flashlight on him. It was in fact the big buck and yes he was a proverbial monster as he had at least 10 points and was in the 24 inch inside spread category.

    He spooked a bit and picked up his pace and continued on to his safe haven bedding location. Unless somebody kicked him out of that small bedding area, this buck was not to be killed outside the rut phases.

    I only sat until shortly after daybreak at which time I decided to exit through the area he was bedding in. After all the property was listed to be sold so neither Donovan, Mike or I would have the opportunity to hunt it in 2016.

    As I neared the dense brushy area I heard a couple twigs snap as he was leaving. When I got to it, that same exact tarsal stench was strong in the misty air. Talk about totally appreciating the sense and ability for a mature buck to avoid hunters, this was as perfect an example of it as you could get.

    Of course on the drive home I contemplated what might have happened if I had went in and blew him out of there on day one and set-up a location where he was bedding. It’s always easy after the fact to cherry pick things you might have done differently to possibly get an opportunity.

    Had I set up in the tiny bedding area I would have had to sit all day with 1 ½ hour prior to daybreak entries and well after dark exits and hoped that I set up either on his actual bed in which I would have had a shot once daylight broke, or hoped he might get up and move a bit during midday. Hind sight is 20-20 and I was OK with the way the hunt went, after all I could have taken a 120 incher earlier and went home.

    I was glad Mike offered me another opportunity on a different property in 2016.

    End of story
     

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  4. cutty

    cutty New Member

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    thanks again for sharing john, really enjoy reading your stuff. Told the wife I might have to leave for the woods tonight!
     
  5. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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    That's a cool story and the map helped a lot. It seems to me your conclusion at the end would have been the only way to get after him during that time frame.
     
  6. Maustypsu

    Maustypsu Well-Known Member

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    Man, if you guys can learn from people screwing up, get out your notebooks because the professor is here!!!
     
  7. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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    Your teammates on team 3 already know this...
     
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  8. flinginairos

    flinginairos Well-Known Member

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    Oh snap!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. MCDM

    MCDM Well-Known Member

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    Dang he said that lol
     
  10. quadro

    quadro Active Member

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    Really like you're explanation of the hunts !!

    Sent from my QTAQZ3 using Tapatalk
     
  11. John Eberhart

    John Eberhart Active Member

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    First off, a belated Merry Christmas to all. My kids there spouse and my grandkids are coming over around 3:00 pm to; fight (grandkids always get into some sort of physical fight), argue about politics (have a liberal daughter), eat me out of house and home, trash my furniture, nick up the table and chairs, take anything that's not locked down, and then leave me with a house full of Christmas wrap, empty boxes, and dirty dished. You know what? I wouldn't want it any other way.

    Quadro
    My hope is that Red will add a new category for hunters on this site to post their stories and that their stories will be in-depth concerning detail and thought. There is no doubt that it may take a few stories for some to learn how to go into detail, but the more they write about their kill stories, like anything else the better they will get at it. I sucked at English throughout school and now I write, go figure, the more you do anything the better you SHOULD get at it.

    What I typically do is write a brief story and leave it sit and go back to it each morning (clearest mind in the mornings for me) and add detail until I'm happy with it.

    Everything from; seasonal scouting, location preparation, entries, exits, marking routes, type of tree you set up in, where your location is, why you set up exactly where you did, where you parked, what type of flashlight you used (brightness) for dark entries and exits, why you hunted the location at that time of day or season, etc. all need a well thought out explanation. It's amazing that when you force yourself to add detail, it makes you really think about why you did certain things the way you did. It also helps the reader to realize there's more to hunting than just going out and sitting in a tree and hoping something comes by, there is actually a plan of attack.

    Not to be egotistical but I've always been pretty successful at bowhunting and I believe it's been do to my work ethic, however when I began writing instructional information and then kill and unsuccessful hunt stories in the mid 80's, my success rate (as far as size of bucks I took) just kept climbing because I took many hours to write an article and put a ton of thought and reasons why into each.

    Everyone wants to add a little lightheartedness or comedy into their writings or replies to another persons kills or failures and that's great for the forum site and soul. However I challenge everyone to post a couple of their hunting (hopefully kill) stories and take some time (maybe a week) and go back everyday and add some details on why you did everything you did and why you think it might have led to the finality of the kill or the hunts failure and then post it.

    I hated writing in school and now love it mainly because I'm writing about something I'm passionate about and I want other hunters to be successful. I would suggest writing any stories on a word document that can be saved and reopened at will for further detail to be added and when finished, copy and paste it on a saddle hunter post.

    Something else it would do is add more members because deep down inside every hunter is a desire to tell their story and read feedback from other hunters. The feedback interaction itself from every story can be a learning experience for readers following the thread or post as the guys and gals on this forum are definitely above the normal hunting curve because you've made the attempt and in many cases commitment to go outside the proverbial conventional stand box. Most hunters struggle just to try anything different.
     

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  12. Sipsey

    Sipsey Member

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    Storytelling is a gift that can be nurtured, whether oral or writing. Growing up in the rural south i was fortunate to be around some great storytellers. Whether around the fireplace, sitting on a porch shelling peas or float fishing for spots down a nearby stream, the stories never ceased.
    Fast forward to a few years back I received an email from a stranger asking for details of a big black cat I had described on some website. I contacted him the next day and he introduced himself as the editor of the largest hunting and fishing magazine in our state. We talked for thirty minutes or so and he asked, "Ever think about writing?" I said I had but I was currently attending hvac classes twice a week, worked 40-50 hours at a factory and had a new grandson, and had no time even if I wanted to. He said, "Send me something, hunting, fishing, just 500 words or so, you never know." To make a long story short, I wound up with nearly a dozen articles ranging from archery, airguns, fishing, hunting and a large black cat that frequents our area. I found that telling a story is easier than writing one for the public. For me it was quite a bit of work. I can write but I am not a writer. I admire someone who is able to parlay their writing skills into a profession, but I'll stick to telling a lot a tales and writing just a few.
     
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  13. John Eberhart

    John Eberhart Active Member

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    Sipsey

    Great analogy. As I've mentioned many times, I sucked at English and to this day don't know the meaning of a noun, pronoun, verb or adverb. I just started writing crappy (from a sentence structure and writers standpoint) instructional articles back in the mid 80's because the stuff I was reading really sucked and I knew I had information that would help hunters. I struggled big time putting it into words with the proper and sufficient detail, because I knew if I could explain things in a manner that was easily understood, and that hunters could personally relate to with their own experiences, that it would hit home and make sense.

    You are spot on that writing can be nurtured and in my opinion that is the only way to be a good writer. Why you might ask?

    People that nurture their writing skills without having any background in writing through college or other curricular means, do it because they are passionate and likely have a lot of experience in the field of what they are writing about. Writing is not typically their means of employment or livelihood.

    On the other hand people that go to college and get a masters in English or some other form of writing, make writing their livelihood and many come right out of college, do a little research on whatever the topic is that they write about, and write articles that actually get published. I see it all the time in regional magazines where some college graduate with absolutely no successful experiences in hunting, but with a degree and flair for writing, starts having their instructional articles published with no legitimate background to do so. Magazines like them because they don't have to do much if any editing, and the regurgitated material that was researched and altered a bit, is acceptable.
     
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  14. Sipsey

    Sipsey Member

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    Agreed! That's why I have always gravitated to writers of non fiction, whose lives and adventures are the basis for their stories and not research. I remember reading fishing stories by Zane Grey where he chased down huge Marlin with what today would be considered primative tackle. He still holds the widely accepted record even though it was before records were officially kept. He wrote to supply money for his passion. Hemingway, Steinbeck, a guy from India who killed rogue man eating tigers and some of the old outdoor writers all had the ability to let you peer over their shoulders and see and smell and taste what they experienced. That's the writings I have enjoyed.
     
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  15. red2delta

    red2delta Active Member

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    A story of an early season bow hunt from last season.

    In person, it is often difficult to achieve an accurate depiction of a memory without taking time to utilize the perfect words and phrases to explain your thoughts, emotions, setting, and logic of the situation like you can in writing. It allows for adequate time to proof read and revise your experience clearly. I have told this story in person many times, yet I am always dissatisfied with the way I told it by either leaving out important details or forgetting to explain situations that could have built up the experience for the listener. Nevertheless, it is a story of one of the most educating unsuccessful hunts I have had thus far in my bowhunting career.

    October 2016- 4 Day Draw Hunt in Central Oklahoma

    Bow season begins October 1st in Oklahoma. Drew and I got drawn into a 4 day bowhunt in late October. This time of year, in Northeast Oklahoma we are still experiencing mid-day summer heat and breezy cool nights causing leaves to turn color slowly. Our assigned hunting unit was approximately 1200 acres comprised of 75% agricultural property, 1 winding river bottom boundary, and the remaining parts consisting of mostly 6 ft. high weeds and open timber. The weeds grew in what was once plowed roadways for trucks and tractors I presume and butted right up to the open timber areas. The river bottom had very steep 8-15 ft. embankments which made access to the water very difficult. The agricultural area was plowed wheat field, which made for excellent quiet entry and exits. Bordering the property to the West was a large, what seemed to be a gravel and concrete construction plant which was often noisy in the mornings. To the Southwest was several other agricultural fields. I could only visually see one and it appeared to hold some sort of crop (soybean or winter wheat) that was completely green this time of year. The southern and eastern boundaries were both made by the river bottom; aerial mapping revealed residential areas on the other side of the river. The water was probably waist deep in some areas at best, with large sandbars. Being late October, I could only assume2-3 other hunters had accessed this unit before us.

    On the morning of Thursday, Day 1, I was hunting alone because Drew had to work. From extensive aerial mapping on Google Earth I chose a corner of the field to setup in. I was hoping this way I could quietly walk 200 yards across the plowed dirt field, step about 10 yards into the timber line, and get tethered high in the tree with my saddle to gain an overwatch position of the agricultural area that morning. I also must mention this was only my third time to use my saddle (the other two at ground level) which left me exhausted by the time I got tethered in about 10 minutes before shooting light. The weather was hitting highs in the 90’s that week with lows hovering around 65. As the sun rose I gazed out into the field in hopes to see furry white tails hoping about without a clue in the world. I was sorely mistaken. I saw no 4 legged animals that morning other than a beautiful bobcat who passed directly under my tree. After several hours, reaching almost 10:30AM, I decided to climb down. Once I got all my gear rounded up I decided to do a little scouting during the mid-day before I went to lunch and meet Drew at his house. I tried to keep my presence inside the timber to a minimum to leave as little human scent as possible due to my sweating. I simply followed the edge of the plowed field down about 100 yards from my mornings spot. It was there that I found a large oak tree sitting aside a steep embankment to the river bottom. The timber in this particular area was not very dense, only spanning 20 yards from the river embankment to the plowed field. It is very thinned out, and from what little knowledge I had I could tell it was most likely acting as a strip of wood line for deer to walk from field to field under cover. The embankment on the river here was about 15 foot and very steep. I was unable to walk down because it was so steep. I saw an old rope where someone previously had fashioned it to the old oak tree to get down to the water. This discouraged me a little bit, but I decided to setup there for my evening hunt based on the multiple tracks leading in and out of the agricultural field into this area.

    That evening Drew could hunt. We set out around 3:00PM to setup his treestand in the timber of the northeastern corner of the unit; completely opposite of my new setup. His stand was placed high in a tree of a depression bordering the river. We were confident he would get action. I was also excited about my new spot. With the field being plowed I was hoping the oak tree would be very attractive to the deer. I anticipated the deer were trying to stay near the water due to the heat rising during the day, and use it’s steep banks as cover. That evening we both got in our setups, but nothing produced. Once it got too dark to see his sight pins, Drew decided to get down and work back towards the field. I failed to mention in my unit’s description earlier, but in the middle of the plowed field was a large island of trees and weeds that kept me from seeing the northwest side of the field during my morning hunt. Drew approached the north-east side of the field. Right before dark he saw a group of does being chased by a buck across the field to the north. This was comforting to know because I was starting to wonder if would have to change our tactics and navigate through the high weeds, which was risky. Once darkness fell I climbed out of my tree and we both headed across the field to the truck. At nightfall, the construction plant leaves large lights on (similar to a baseball field) which gives the plowed field some light. This made for easy walk in’s and walk out’s without using flashlights, but once in the timber a light was needed. After all the sweating and walking in the heat, the end of day 1 left us drained.

    On Day 2 we returned to our set trees and once again we did not see any deer. At noon, we decided to pack out and head to house for some air conditioning and lunch. Before heading back to the truck, I decided to move my setup. I moved my steps to a tree closer to the field rather than the river embankment. My new tree had a 3-way fork about which allowed for great background and cover in my saddle, but I was only about 20 feet up. This put the large oak and river embankment about 15 yards to my left and the field line about 5 yards to my right. We ate lunch and rested while trying to avoid the hottest time of the day hitting around 95. Given what Drew had spotted the evening before, we decided to hunt from the ground on edges of the field near the deer sighting. I set up on the East side of the island inside of some thick brush, that was eventually formed into makeshift blind. There were tracks all over this area. Drew set up in the northeast corner attempting to catch the does and buck re-entering the wood line. We sat in our spots completely concealed with the wind in our favor, but once again we fell shorthanded. We did not spot any deer that evening. We packed up after dark and once again headed 100 yards across the field to the truck. That evening I started looking at aerial photos again and questioning my thoughts. My current tree setup in the timber looked more and more promising so I decided to hunt it again on the morning of the 3rd day. Drew did the same in his treestand.


    On Day 3 we woke up extra early and headed to our setups. At this point my clothes had not been washed and probably stunk of human sweat. Wearing military uniform to hunt in hot weather is not recommended. I decided to walk very slow and take short kneeling breaks while I walked through the field this time. This took my attention off the ground to navigate through the plows and look out in front of me to scan for any deer. I made it to the wood line, pressed in 5 yards to my tree, climbed up my steps, and got tethered in quicker and quieter than I ever have. It did help having my steps already hanging on the tree. Although we got out a little earlier, my walking technique across the field took longer than I expected which left me in my saddle only 30 minutes before shooting light. It was not 15 minutes after shooting light that I heard a twig break directly behind me in the wood line. I slowly turned my head to see what was causing the commotion. To my surprise, there was a deer coming up the steep embankment from the river bottom about 20 yards down the wood line. At this point, all I could make out was a grey silhouette of a head and antlers of a buck reaching up to rub and chew on a licking branch overhead; his body still behind the ground of the embankment. A few moments later he lifted himself up out of the embankment and turned my way, heading straight at me. I was completely turned around 180 degrees in my saddle at this point with my bow drawn as he approached 10 yards. He was a large eight point who was moving slowly, head down, and showing no caution. All he gave me was a shot quartering towards me, so I placed my sight and squeezed my release sending my arrow directly into the front of his shoulder. I heard the sound of my arrow hitting bone and flesh. Immediately he turned around and fled down the wood line, into the weeds, and disappeared. I tried to watch as he ran but my muscles were so fatigued from holding a shot while completely turned around in the saddle, I had to return facing the tree for relief. I was excited to think I had just shot the biggest buck thus far in my hunting career. I waited about an hour and decided to climb down out of the tree since he was not in sight. I walked over to where the shot took place and began looking for my arrow and blood. There was very little blood and I never did find my arrow. I remained at the shooting site for probably another 30-45 minutes. Drew got down from his stand and made his way to me. By the time Drew made it over there I had followed the blood trail which led 20 yards down the wood line and into the plowed field of loose dirt. The blood was nearly impossible to follow in the dirt. Dirt in Oklahoma is practically red clay. Once the blood hit the dirt it immediately dried up making it invisible. I started questioning my shot. We tried to determine which tracks in the dirt were from him, but there were tracks everywhere going in all directions and of all sizes. Most likely some of his from previous days perhaps. We searched the island and all wood line edges nearby for blood but found nothing. Regret began to settle in my mind. The blood trail was not that of a double lung or single lung. A large splat near the shooting site, and only drops leading into the field with no bubbles. I searched for that buck the rest of the day, following his rubs all the way back to the eastern boundary of the unit. No signs of blood or the buck.

    Once again, darkness came and we walked across the plowed field to the truck empty handed.

    That night I ran through my actions a dozen times.” I should have done this and I should have done that”. The next morning and our last day to hunt, I hunted the same spot. Dreaming that buck would walk by again out of habit or routine, but I was aware that is a 1,000 to 1 shot. Shortly after daybreak I had a young six point come within 10 yards of me from the other direction, but I was never presented a shot. As he came around my tree, he spotted me and darted the other direction and out into the field. Probably because I was set up so low on the tree.

    That afternoon, I searched for the buck again. Meanwhile Drew was having bad luck this year and had not seen any deer come by his stand. I searched all afternoon for that buck. I was able to find where he entered and exited a weeded area, a long drawn out rub-line along the riverbed, and his trail that led him up the steep embankment to me. I went back to the site where I had shot at him, and had noticed a small branch, unseen in the early morning hours, that had been cut by my broad head; which also raises various questions like “Did the branch cause my arrow to deflect making a very poor shot, or even just cutting the hide on top his back?” We will never know. The buck was not recovered.

    Although I left this hunt meatless, I left with a very educating experience. First and foremost, I made an unethical shot. At the time, I didn’t know any better and figured it would have penetrated the shoulder bone being so close and pulling a 70-pound draw. I should have waited for a more certain broadside lung shot. I can only imagine how slowly the deer could have died had the arrow been carried away inside his body cavity somehow. I question the branch I didn’t see; did it deflect my arrow causing a poor shot, I will never know. I also should have set up much higher in a different tree. This would have alleviated the urge to shoot due to my low setup and thought of him spotting me. The broad-heads I was using also had a very small diameter, which also draws concern. I have since decided to go up to 2 inch mechanical. I should have positioned myself better within the wood line to accommodate for a right-handed shot, which I am most comfortable with. Should have done this, and should have done that. Long story short, I stress to be sure of your shot. Be ethical in your hunting practices. I understand these things still happen even when we plan accordingly, but I feel these were complications I could have avoided. I will remember what I learned and apply it to my future hunts. I am trying to get back to that same unit this year. I am hopeful that if that area was favorable by a buck like that, it is likely another buck will as well.

    I will forever respect that buck, and the lessons he taught me.
     
    #15 red2delta, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  16. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    Just like you said, I always try to learn from my mistakes. Everybody makes them. My goal is never to make the same mistake twice, but I'm only human.

    A couple of thoughts from reading this. The big mechanicals are great if you have enough KE to shoot them (which you do). I don't think it would have made a difference in this situation because if you hit the should that wouldn't have gone through either.

    The first thing that came to my mind when you were mentioning having trouble finding blood in the red dirt was to look for ants and bugs. Especially when it is hot out they will quickly be drawn to the blood and can help you find something you might have missed. Sometimes it is just that one small drop of blood that can set you back on the right track and lead to a recovery.
     
  17. red2delta

    red2delta Active Member

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    Ya, i agree mistakes were made but that is what makes it such a good story that we all can relate to. We all live and learn, that is why it is called hunting.
    I appreciate the bugs idea. I did not know to look for them. I will remember that.
     

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