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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 01:32pm - Jun 19,04
Posts: 1368
Location: Joliet, Illinois

Post Posted: 09:16am - Nov 12,17 
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At this time of the year, I always struggle with the issue of waiting for shotgun season to start, or going out to look for another archery buck. Well, I once again gave in to the urge to spend time in the woods for a little therapy. I enjoy the isolation of sitting in the woods and watching the world go by. I learned a long time ago that hunting is not just about harvesting an animal. I've been fortunate to see many things occur in nature that others have never had the opportunity to experience. Saturday afternoon, I finished my "honey-do" list and decided to hit a stand that I set up as one of the very first I ever hunted from. I knew it would be a good day because Bucks are tending Does now and Ive seen several nice deer just by walking to my stand sites.

When I rounded the corner to park, I had a gorgeous 8 pointer staring at me from about 50 yards. That, and coupled with the many Does I'd seen on the way to my stand told me that they were up and active! I geared up for the five minute walk in, and spooked another Buck pushing a Doe around within about 50 yards of my stand. I never really become overly concerned about bumping deer because I can't really avoid it. I try and sneak in as quietly and quickly as possible.. But, inevitably, I still bump a few. After arriving at my stand, I was set-up just in time to see several more Does roaming thru the trails. All in close proximity to the stand. At about 2:15, I had a young eight-pointer come in from my right. He spent a little time pushing branches around with his rack and looking for a girlfriend. As he moved from my right to my left directly in front of me, he locked up and stared intently into the woods just East of my position. I always like having live decoys in front of me because they can provide you with a great deal of information about what might be coming down the trails. He became very nervous, and his body posture became quite submissive. Shortly after that, I heard a snap of a branch off to my left. I glanced over just in time to see a Doe cross a trail twenty yards away. She was moving pretty quick, and she was alone. At this time of the year, that's a pretty good indicator something is pushing her.

Sure enough, about 40 yards away, I could see a tall and heavy rack moving through the heavy brush. The eight was still locked up, and frozen as if he knew he was in a bad place. From a small ravine about 40 yards away, he stepped out onto an opening and exposed himself. A gorgeous, heavy-beamed with excellent mass, heavy 9 pointer with tall brow tines! Gorgeous, mature Buck in full rut! He had a stare down with the younger deer which didn't last very long. The younger deer got the message, and decided to come back another day. As soon as he ran the youngster off, he began to move toward me, closing the distance to less than 25 yards. As soon as I saw his rack earlier, I shouldered my crossbow and held it at the low ready position to minimize my movement when the moment of truth came. I am somewhat exposed in this particular stand which makes it tricky to get the drop on anything if you're not ready. I slowly eased the stock up to my cheek, and held the crosshairs on his chest at 25 yards. He was now facing me, and looking right at me. I wasn't sure how long I could hold in that position. Especially since he offered a head-on shot which is not a good position, and one which I wouldn't take. It seemed like forever, but he slowly moved off to his left, and began to quarter away. at 30 yards, I let the shot go. The bolt struck him just behind his rib cage with very good penetration. It wasn't a pass through shot which was a little disconcerting considering the power of a crossbow.

None the less, it was a good shot. I watched him move off through the woods and patiently, okay impatiently waited for too short of a time before I started to track him. Went to the starting point at the point of impact and started from there. Hmm, never a good sign when I don't see blood! After moving in his last direction of travel, I found a decent amount of blood. Shortly thereafter, I lost the trail. That sinking feeling of this won't be an easy find hit home. I continued to try and identify a blood trail, but to no avail. Started circling the area. No luck! Ugh! I spent two hours searching and backtracking. Darkness was now looming and I didn't want to push him so I pulled out.

There are no longer nights of restlessness than those spent reliving the shot on a deer that can't be recovered. If you've hunted enough, you know the feeling. You know he's out there somewhere. Your conscience doesn't let you sleep, and you replay the scenarios a million times. You second guess yourself as well. If only I would have waited. Should I have taken the shot? Was he too far? Did the broad head do its job? Did i push him? The feeling haunts me every time it happens!

I contacted one of my hunting buddies, and begrudgingly asked for help in searching the next morning. We met at the crack of dawn and started a systematic search pattern based on the layout of the area. After an hour of searching. No luck. We began to narrow down the possibility of where he could be based on his last direction of travel. As we entered a new search area, we worked parallel to each other and entered the heavy cover. Much to my elation, not two minutes into the search of this area, my buddy contacted me and said you need to get over here! You'll be amazed at what you see! On a dead run, I shot through the cover like a little kid looking to open his presents on Christmas. As I neared my buddy, I could see the amazement on his face.He said to me "there he is", or "what's left of him"! I thought to myself, what does that mean? There he was, 15 yards away, piled up on all fours. The only thing intact on him was his hide about 15 inched down from his head, his head and rack. A heavy beamed, with great mass and tall brow tines. A gorgeous nine-pointer! He fell just inside a tee line that I drive right past on my way out. A pack of Coyotes had done its job on him overnight and stripped him clean of everything except his head, neck and rack. It was a fresh kill because the blood was still fresh to the touch, as was the meat. In all my years of hunting, I have never seen what happened there. You could tell where he initially fell. They stripped him of his fur at one point, and then dragged him about 15 yards before finishing him off. I was ecstatic to find him, and know that at least he was recovered. Sad to lose him to the Coyotes, but that is nature coming full circle. I was so happy that I almost became emotional upon finding him. And so it ends... He went about 300 yards from where he was shot. The hard work pays off.. I will have pictures posted shortly!

Lt.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:51pm - Jan 29,11
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Location: Northwest burbs

Post Posted: 09:33am - Nov 12,17 
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Great write up of your hunt boss!....can't wait for pix...later mike

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Joined: 10:35am - Feb 11,03
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Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 06:39pm - Nov 12,17 
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Pics for Dennis....

Image

Image

Great way to finish out.

Tom

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Joined: 11:31am - Feb 12,07
Posts: 141
Location: Around Carol Stream

Post Posted: 09:34pm - Nov 12,17 
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Big busier buck for sure!!
Great job, love the way you told the story. You describe the feeling very well of hitting a buck and not finding it right away, had one like that still haunts me to this day never found what would have been by biggest buck to date...
N E WAYS CONGRATS!!!!

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If its brown it's down! If it flys shoot it! And if it smells like fish EAT it!!

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Joined: 08:06am - Sep 18,06
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Location: Montrose

Post Posted: 09:52am - Nov 13,17 
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Great read and another great buck! Thanks for giving us the story!

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Joined: 07:57pm - Mar 15,17
Posts: 107
Location: SouthElgin

Post Posted: 11:07am - Nov 13,17 
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That’s a awesome buck for sure, great job on the season your having! Definitely some hungry coyotes, they didn’t leave much. At least they left the business end for you! :gpost

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Joined: 06:44pm - Jun 5,10
Posts: 343
Location: Plainfield

Post Posted: 02:14pm - Nov 13,17 
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A great buck for sure. It's crazy that those yotes ate everything off of that deer. Might be time to start trapping them.

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Joined: 06:51pm - Jan 29,11
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Location: Northwest burbs

Post Posted: 02:29pm - Nov 13,17 
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Image

Image



Animals leave nothing to waste.
:respect ....great rack on the deer..stud buck
nice mature colors on face....again thanx for sharing the hunt....good stuff!!! :thanks mike

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Joined: 06:41am - Aug 19,13
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Post Posted: 02:44pm - Nov 13,17 
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wow that's crazy!

Your story hits close to home for me. Earlier this season I took a shot at a not so great angle which I knew would get the job done, but wasn't optimal. Despite a good shot, I lost the trail, and know the games my conscience played on my head. I went back the next day but wasn't able to find anything new. Later that evening I was in the same area (not hunting) and there were a ton of coyotes howling in the area where I had last found blood. I'm sure they got him, but I wasn't lucky enough to find any evidence.

Congrats on a great deer.

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Joined: 05:01am - Dec 8,06
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Post Posted: 12:11am - Nov 14,17 
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Lt, by my account, you're the epitome of an ethical hunter. You are to be commended for sure not only for your relentless pursuit but your skills as a hunter and your respect for your quarry. Thanks for sharing.
I'll be on the farm myself for the Tuesday afternoon hunt through Sunday. Hopefully I'll have some of your mojo. Seems like you've got it good for sure.
Karl

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