11/19/12 01:26 AM
#5 and #6 Buck and Doe full story (pic heavy)
Loc: Franklin TN
My work schedule was as follows - Friday, off all day. Saturday, work 5pm. Sunday, off all day. Plan was to bowhunt all day friday on private land, then opening morning with the gun on public land, then all day sunday on public land too.|
So, friday morning I got up at 4 and got ready and hit the woods. I parked the truck, rode my bike 1/2 mile in to the tree where I left my climber, same tree I killed my first bow buck on november 5th. Packed the climber on my back, bow in hand, and walked another good ways through a funnel of woods. I passed a couple areas I could have easily climbed a tree and caught deer moving from one block of woods to the next. But I was headed for the rub line, where trees of all sizes up to 6-10 inch cedars had been torn up. It's a fairly small block of woods bordered on one side by the creek.
Most of the trees were too young to get a climber on. So I climbed a black cherry that only let me get about 10-12 feet off the ground due to a fork. The creek was behind me about 50-60 yards and the patch of rubbed up cedars about 40 yd to my right.
It was barely light enough to see anything when I got up in the tree, and I hadn't even gotten situated when I heard the familiar sound of hoofs in the leaves. Three does made their way up to about 5 yards from the stand, right as shooting light cracked. I did manage to draw back but ended up getting busted. They ran off through the funnel toward my previous stand location. I was afraid that might be all the deer I saw that morning, but I was wrong.
Maybe an hour or so after sunrise, I had a big, old doe come in with a yearling or big fawn following. It did not take too long for her to pick me off sitting only 10 feet in a tree. She did not bust me right away but knew I wasn't supposed to be there. Her little friend had a good mentor on survival, that's for sure.
The deer were poking around not too far from my stand, while I was waiting for a chance to stand up or get my bow ready. Then I hear another deer behind me to my right, the old doe looks back, and I snuck a glance at an 8 point buck with black tarsals that had dripped down his legs. He sniffed his way toward the does, grunted, and came within bow range. I picked my chance when both does looked away - I drew my bow and stood up, ready to shoot. Then, the does took off running with the buck hot on their trail. I may have lost my chance at shooting him, but at least I was getting entertained by some chasing. Being a small tract of woods, I figured they might come back.
About 5 minutes later, the same two does came back but with no buck. But it didn't take long for the old nanner to pick me off again, sniffing, looking, stomping, and trying to make me out. I finally managed to get my bow drawn, she stepped into a small opening between the trees, I stopped her, hit the release, and heard that crack of my arrow hitting a tree. She ran off, blowing with her low-pitched wheeze, and if I remember correctly, this was the time when that buck came sneaking in and chased them off again.
A little later in the morning, I noticed deer coming in real quiet from the cedar patch. I saw one bed down, and then lost sight of them for a while. I figured they had left, but wasn't sure, but I was hungry. I opened my bag of trail mix and ate, and then saw deer getting up to come investigate. It looked like a doe and three fawns. They poked around nearby for a while, giving me the chance to get a little video and watch one of the fawns, a button buck, come to within 4 yards of my stand and eat the remaining leaves off a wild rose twig.
Finally they left, and around 10am, I climbed down. I picked a nearby tree about 15 yards closer to the creek that was just barely big enough to get my climber on. I left the stand there and went back to the truck, drove home, got some lunch.
I got in the stand at 1 pm, got comfortable at a much nicer 20 feet or so off the ground. With the harness on I could even doze off a bit, but that's not easy or advisable in a small climber.
At 2pm, a small doe came poking around the cedars. Eventually I lost sight of her.
Then, as the sun was setting, ole nanner doe and her little companion came in, about 40 yards straight downwind, between me and the creek. I recognized that deep saggy chest and the way she threw her nose in the air and picked me out for the third time. She came closer to investigate, then when she was sure of what I was, blew and ran off a ways and disappeared with her young'un.
About 5-10 minutes later, while I watched to my right where she had disappeared, I heard a deer coming in from my left. I slowly got around and saw a cool looking buck walking alone. He was quartering toward me so that he would pass within bow range. Good looking neck and a tall rack. Similar but not the same buck that I saw in the morning. He got in range, I drew, released, and for the second time, I heard the crack of my arrow hitting a tree. I blamed it on buck fever that time, and not concentrating. The buck instantly jumped and ran back about 20 yards or so, looked around, and started making his way back.
Finally he was broadside in front of me, I was ready, and just had to wait for a clear shot between the dense trees. Finally it came, I got my right hand anchored firmly, peep sight lined up, held the pin behind his shoulder, and squeezed. I heard that sound of arrow hitting deer and he ran away about 20 yards further and stopped for a few seconds. Then he took off and started running away the way he came from, I watched him veer to the left right before losing sight through the dense growth.
Due to the low light, I did not see the arrow or the wound so I was nervous about the shot. At first I was afraid it could have hit the shoulder, because of the way he briefly stopped like he hadn't been hit.
A few minutes later after everything settled, I got down and looked for the arrow. I found it 25 yards away, a stretch of my bow range. I then became nervous of not a shoulder shot, but a low brisket shot. The arrow was drenched in blood, not bright or dark red, almost seemed just a bit watered down. At least the arrow was covered in blood though. I found two drops near the arrow. No guts visible on the arrow, but it did have a slight smell.
About 40 minutes later I roamed around within 20-30 yards of my arrow with the flashlight. I stumbled on some good blood, where the buck had stopped for a few seconds. Dark red blood, but it was enough that I decided to follow. Even if I lost track of the buck, he was in a funnel between the creek and a field/developed area. He would likely stay by the water source.
The blood thinned out as the buck had started running but I kept on the track, all the while talking on the phone with Mudbone. Maybe 60 yards or so from the shot, I found fresh urine where he had emptied his bladder while running and bleeding. Blood got scarce and I just went in the direction he had gone, not 20 yards later there he was piled up in the privet bushes.
I went back to get the hand truck to haul him out. A friend of mine helped me out, held the light while I gutted and helped haul him out of there. The shot went right through the liver - I need to check my bow ASAP because I suspect the arrows are not flying perfectly straight. Might just have to move the arrow rest a bit. I am just glad it hit him and killed him quickly.
Look at his back foot!
It was bent backwards (broken?) and he had been walking on a callous instead of his hoof, and the inside of the lower leg was skinned and healed over. Fence maybe?
A better look at the rack - got some character -
Also notice the cyst on the side of his face.
Gross green score roughly 112" just out of curiosity
Any guesses on age based on neck and body? I say 3 or 4? Going to do a euro and haven't pulled the jaw bones yet.
You think the story is long yet? Well it's not over, because the next day was gun opener.
I was tired and ready for bed and had to get up at 3am to drive to the WMA, meet Nimrod, and hunt the same spot where I kilt my first deer ever, last year on gun opener too. So, I went to the store and bought two ice bags and a glass bottle of Nehi Peach soda. I put ice inside and on top of the buck, left him in the garage with the door cracked to let in the cold air, and hit the sack. Oh yes, I remembered to check him in online before midnight.
4am the next morning found me in the Waffle House parking lot just north of Yanahli WMA, not to eat but to meet Nimrod. We both went off in our Toyota pickups to my spot and hiked a good ways into the woods where I finally got Nim set up in the exact spot I killed my first deer last year. I was sure he might see something if the deer were moving. I headed on further into a big cedar glade, and set up facing into the middle of the woods, with private land about 30 yards behind me.
I love ground hunting, more comfortable than a climber, and with a gun in my hand it's easier to get lined up on the target without being busted.
Well, I dozed off a couple times, and then was awaken by deer suddenly running to my left, something ran about 20 yards back from where it had been pretty close to me. I saw what looked like 2 deer through the thick stuff picking me out, then they blew and ran off.
A little while later, a nice young fork horn came in silently from the right. In fact, he came in along the same deer run I had used to walk in to this spot where I sat. I had only one buck tag left, so I shot him, with my camera. The iphone pics didn't turn out well, and the video with my real camera is good but will be saved for a compilation at the end of the season.
And then a little while after that I had been hearing and watching a few squirrels behind me and to my left and right. Then as I was kind of sitting there I realized those squirrels were making a lot of noise directly behind me. I peered around the tree and saw two does. I could not get a shot lined up due to the angle before they got behind some real thick growth, which was OK - they were just barely across the fence on private land.
Not much longer after that, the deer eventually came back, or at least I assume the same deer. A doe and a fawn to be exact, and on my side of the fence. The doe stepped into a clear opening and I let the Marlin 30-30 pop a hole in her. She ran off, parallel to the fence, for about 60 yards and stopped. The trees were too thick to really tell, but she seemed to still be on her feet for the next 5 minutes, but she might have been swaying or stumbling a bit. Her fawn came out and gave me a perfect shot but I passed, knowing I would have yesterday's buck and this doe to butcher. The fawn finally saw me and blew off.
Then I saw orange coming through the woods, coming from off to the right of where the doe ran, walking towards where I last saw the doe. Oh no, I thought, what joker is out here walking up to my deer. I was gonna wait and make sure she was dead, but since someone else was walking up to her, I got up and headed their way.
I got close and saw my doe standing there, with the other guy not 15 yards from her. Her shoulders were quivering badly, and I was ready to shoot again, but the guy was too close for comfort so I hesitated, and then he hollered at me, said he was TWRA. I came closer and watched the doe bed down, and then lay her head down. The warden told me to put her out so I shot her in the shoulder. After he checked my license he said, "you're Catman aren't you?" I said yes, how did you know? (assuming he was a Tndeer member.) He said he watches my videos on youtube. He was out that morning to check on some illegal stands. Turns out, he was also the area manager, and does come on Tndeer sometimes. If he sees this post, it was nice meeting you Tommy.
Here is that deer, a small doe, which I was thankful for because she was easy to gut and drag compared to that tough old buck (of course Nimrod offered help again, he's gonna rack up points and then ask a huge favor one day. Ha!)
Nimrod had not seen a deer all morning, so I felt bad, wished I had set him up in the cedars, since this was my 6th of the season and he was at zero.
But, I have seen a pic of a nice buck he blew a hole through that same evening on a spot of his choosing on the WMA. Congrats Nim, glad you broke the ice this year.
So that's about all I got to share, I have ran out of steam typing, well not really, but I'm sure you have run out of steam reading!
Age guesses on the buck are appreciated. Will have jawbones ready soon.
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