I can barely even get on this website and read posts about everybody's Great buck they got. Its bringing back a very bad recent memory!!!:banghead3 I will try and make this a short as possible, but i know its gonna be hard. I'm considering you guys my counseling/therapy session. FRIDAY MORNING the 24th: I decided to sit on the ground this morning after seeing deer movement too far from my stand location days prior. I was sitting up against a tree on a patch of woods that seperates two bean fields. Before shooting time I had a doe walk within 15 feet of me grazing away (really cool). Around 8:30am I had a mother and her yearling come out into the beans and came right down to me (almost too close). Mom was about 7 feet from me, and the yearlling was 3-4 feet from me eating away at stuff on the wood row. Eventually they went on their way (I thought Mom was gonna bust me for sure). At 10:25 I looked off to my left and I see HIM standing right at the edge of the bean field as if to walk into the woods (I lasered it afterwards and it was 96 yrds) He had come from the woods behind me and crossed the bean field. He was a VERY large 10pt (possibly some smaller kickers) with a symetrical rack. My rough guess is 22" inside spread. I get to my knees and get him in my crosshairs (Rem 870 w/ cantilever scope mount 2 3/4 winchester X 1 oz slug). I felt my opportunity for a shot would soon close as he would enter the woods, so I take a deep breath, hold it, and squeeze the trigger. After my shot I see his back legs buck up in the air and he darts into the woods. Hein site is always 20/20, but my brain went to mush. I should have kneeled with one knee and rested my elbow on my other knee for stability Fatal error number 1).:dizzy:='s mushed brain When I got to the location of the shot, I finally see some small amounts of blood (pretty dark). I track it for a while then it went into a really thick area and blood was hard to see. I back off and wait a couple hours, and then start to comb the area. I probably should have waited longer and recruited several more people (Fatal error number 2).:dizzy: Approximately 300 yards from where I shot him, he kicks up from being bedded down (along a thorn thissel row) and makes his way up into the woods and stops (approx. 45-50 yrds). There is a lot of small brush in my way, but I attempt a shot anyways, and he runs out into a cut bean field. I run up through the short wood row, and see him standing up on a hill top of the bean field. Out of breath I fire two more shots, and he heads over the hillside (I'm sure fatal error number 3 is in this mess of decisions, but my brain was mush, and it was killing me that he wasn't in my hands).:dizzy: I would normally never take these kind of shots, but I know he is injured, and I want to finish it. On the back side of the hill that I shot him from about 100 yards the bean field ends and there is a roadway. Across the road there is very thick marsh/swamp/woods. I walked over to where I shot at him on top of the hill and there is a spot about 3" in diameter of blood splatter, and then a light blood trail up to the roadway to the THICK marsh/swamp/woods (I believe I hit him a second time). I backed off and went to where he was bedded down to examine the blood. I finally found it and it was approx 6-8" of pooled dark red blood. It is about 1:30pm and I decide to wait till the morning to pick up on the track (First smart move of the day). SORRY THIS IS SUCH A LONG STORY SATURDAY MORNING: I bring up my Father and Brother-in-Law to assist with the search. We take about 20-30 steps into the nastiest thickest stuff, and approximately 40 yrds in front of my I hear some branches start to break. I JUST KNOW ITS HIM, so my brain goes to instant major mush :banghead3 :bonk: :bash: , and I start running (as best I can) through this thick stuff. Every 50 yrds or so I would stop and listen. Everytime I stopped I could hear him breaking branches or stepping through water in front of me (maybe 50 yrds in front of me). Every once in a while I seem him (yep its him). The thick stuff finally opens up just a little bit, and I see him again, but I can't get a shot off. He then enters into the thickest marsh known to man kind, and I:coco: follow. Thigh deep water with tree sapplings EVERYWHERE. Once I get through that I see him again, but still can't get a shot off. He is not moving very fast (especially since I am keeping up with him). We then get into some thick swamp stuff again and I decide to back off because it is funneling down to an end (kind of pie shaped), and opens up into two winter wheat fields (one on each side). I get out of the woods and walk 400ft (easily) up to the roadway and call my brother in law. We all regroup, and I go get another guy to assist with what I feel is going to be where it all goes down. Two guys are on each side of the pie shaped area sitting along the wheat stubble, and my dad and I go back where I left off (spread out) and began pushing that area towards the others. NOTHING!!!! I would have bet my left nut that he was in there. I'm serious. I would have paid someone $1,000 bucks (no pun intended) if he wasn't in there. I will admit it is super thick and knee high water, but he never kicked up anywhere. I don't understand it. We checked another woods on the other side of the wheat field and nothing there. SUNDAY MORNING: I had to go look again. I went straight to the area I lost him at (with hip wader on) and combed through that whole area as best I could (thinking maybe I wore him out to exhaustion or even death). Nothing, nothing, nothing. This part is kind of interesting. While walking along the wheat field headed back (probably 100-150 yrds from where I lost him) I look down and see blood right along the wood row (practically sitting out in the winter wheat) where a deer had bedded down. The blood was kind of wet, but I don't know if that was from early morning frost or something else. In other words I don't know if it was new or old. This is another guys property and it was close to one of his tree stands. In the bloody bedded area is a bottle of Trails End buck Lure with the cap off of it. Like the guy used the last of it and just left it on the ground opened up. I walked around that area and couldn't find any other sign. Its killing me, and whats killling me even more is thinking that he might die out in this thick stuff and no one will ever get to see him. I guess my hope is that he isn't wounded enough that he can't move around for someone else to get him. It sucks to have so many regrets, and how I should have done things differently. Thank you for this counseling session. My wife is getting tired of hearing from me.