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A Monster Buck, I shot it, and Can't find it

Discussion in 'Indiana Whitetail Hunting' started by ISPfowler, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. 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.
  2. Know how you feel...last year we spent 2 days trying to find the biggest one I've ever shot, we never found him and I beat my self up pretty good over it. I think I finally figured out that hind sight truly is 20/20 and all I could do was take it as a learning experience. I hated the fact he was wounded and I would never know for sure what happened to him. I honestly hope another hunter was able to take him if he was unable to survive.

  3. a thought....

    I don't know about a second hit but I would bet the first hit was non fatal in the brisket area. The kicking of the legs gave it away. Heart shot deer do the same also but they eat dirt shortly after they are "several quarts low"............ or in seconds. Sounds like this deer has covered hundreds of yards and not lost a pint of blood.......

    I think he lives on to breed more does and haunt you.
  4. That sucks ISP...
  5. wow!! i tell ya, big bucks are tough to keep down. they can take the punishmement. sometimes they'll circle. if you think you hit an artery or somethin i would keep up the hunt and circle back to where he was shot. give it one more shot. search that swamp again he may have doubled back.
  6. I agree with Joe...he's still out there. Deer are such tough animals..especially giants the likes of which you are describing. Whatever the person's name is that came up with the term "Hindsight is 20/20" never had a giant buck give him an opportunity. There isn't a hunter out there that doesn't go to mush when El Grande shows up. It's why we all hope to shoot big bucks. At least us "antler worshippers" anyways.....

    I had a close encounter a couple weeks ago, but I never did get a shot. One of the bucks that I've been watching all year was right underneath me, but I had no shot. Although I'm now over it...I was haunted for a few days. I decided to look on the bright side...Hey, at least I got to look him in the eye at point blank. My heart hadn't pounded like that for a loooong time. I smile when I think about it now. I'll guarantee that that buck is still out there.

    Hang in there Ace....perhaps you'll get a second chance at him. Remain positive in your mind at all times. Hunt hard....
  7. I have to say I have worked myself over so much that puking was getting very close to an option!!

    My next question is this. Well let me preface real quick, The day that I shot him he bedded down approximately an hour or two (maybe a lot sooner) after my initial shot. After I kicked him up from being bedded down (and shot at him again, not sure if i hit him or not) he went to the end of the bean field (100 yards), crossed the road, and bedded down 30 yrds in the thicket. In other words very soon after I shot him. That was around 1:30pm. He remained bedded in that spot until we kicked him up the next morning at 9am.

    How long do they usually bed down for after they are hit (non-lethally)? A day, days, week??

    Also, it seems like I pushed him a lonng way (1/2 mile or so). Being injured like that, do you still see him potentially making his way back toward my property? I know these are hypothetical question, but i'm still curious to your answers.

    Oh ya, P.S. I'm still miserable about the whole ordeal
  8. Sometimes bucks like that make a big circle and come back to the core area after being wounded. I would keep an eye out for crows, buzzards, and coyotes. Also, if you can, check the general area you think he stayed every so often. Otherwise, sounds like he will probably make it from what you described.

  9. I shot a deer with my bow three years ago that I was sure was a good hit. I tracked that deer for over a mile and never found him. The next weekend, I saw him walk through the same spot where I had originally shot him (I was in a different stand though).
  10. Ya, sounds like you had a civial track though. What do I do, I go chasing him through the countryside (for what felt like miles on end) like a raging lunatic!!!! I'll have to blame that on my other personality:bash: .
  11. I shot a dandy 8 pointer several weeks ago with my bow and we tracked that thing a long long way before blood finally stopped. I thought it was a good heart shot, maybe a little low. We never did find that deer. Why? Because he's still living. Another hunter told me last weekend that my 8 pointer was still alive. It walks with a limp now according to him. Apparently when I shot, as the deer was still walking, it's leg moved back at the time my arrow hit and I hit him in the leg instead of the heart. Makes sense because we found the back half of my arrow broken off just feet from where I hit him. No blood was found at the point of impact or anywhere until about 1/4 mile from where I shot him. The other hunter missed him too with his bow! :evil: So he's still out there...hope he makes until next bow season.
  12. You say the buck was being funneled into the tip of a pie shaped marsh/woods. I bet the buck doubled back on you I would go look back towards the "crust" of the pie shaped woods. I bet he doubled back on ya and either bedded down in that same woods or died in the nearest, thickest nastiest cover close to this location.
  13. Ditto

    Randy, the same thing happened with me and the buck that I'm after. I shot him 2 years ago, must have hit him low and farther back that I thought. Trailed him for hours, looked again the next day, was sick that I killed it and didn't find him. Same year, last day of late archery season, he showed up for breakfast in the field...sort of like "hi there, I'll see you next year" Like I said, that was 2 years ago....I'm still after that bugger.