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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Previous to this last hunt, I wasn't what you might call an avid deer hunter. I'd been a few times before, and had yet to kill (or even see), a deer. I was hunting on a 360 acre tract of land in the South Carolina Midlands, which was composed of hardwoods and pine with fields cut out. It recieves fairly heavy hunting pressure, twice a week, every week, from August 15 to January 1. The good thing is, there's about 15 "stands", each overlooking a field planted with clover and a feeder (legal in SC). Some people would tout this unsporting, but to me, the unsporting thing to do is shoot every deer that walks into your range (more on this later). Much like the past few years, I would arrive on a Friday and hunt Friday afternoon and the better part of the day Saturday. On Friday afternoon at 6:00, November 2nd, I saw my first deer ever while deer hunting. I was sitting up in a tower stand overlooking a feeder that was about 100 yards away and a small "trail" where deer were thought to travel. I was watching the feeder and surrounding clover fields, when I heard footsteps. As I realized that the footsteps were being made by a fairly large (for that area), buck, the adrenaline rush started pumping. I grabbed my Ruger 77, loaded with .243 Core-Lokt's, and looked out my window to try to get my crosshairs behind the shoulder of the trophy (to me), buck. The deer ended up being much closer to me than I previously thought. I figured on him being about 50-60 yards out, which, because I was sitting 15 feet up in a stand, would have given me a near perfect shot. Instead, he was about 10 yards away, very near to being straight under me. I couldn't get a shot because the height of the shooting window to the deer gave an impossible angle. I panicked. I was freaking out, because this buck was stading so close to me I could have shot him with a .22 pistol, and I couldn't get the angle to shoot him. I did the only thing I knew to do. I stood up, very slowly and quietly, mind you. The buck heard me and turned my way. I froze, very close to being ready for a shot. He looked away and I got that extra two inches I needed. When his head was turned, I stuck the barrel out and flipped off the safety, The deer panicked. He freaked out, becuase this guy was standing above him with a rifle about to execute a perfect heart-double lung shot. He ran, and he did it fast. I saw him stop about 100 yards away, but by that time there wasn't a clear shot. I was pissed. Really pissed, because I just missed what may have been my only opportunity to kill a buck while I was out for the weekend. I got in the truck and drove back to camp. Little did I know that as the buck had come up, Calvin, the landowner, had been watching. I got back to camp and I caught hell all night for not taking that buck. Ah, the stories they told. I went to bed, dreaming of the 6pt (I found out after Calvin informed me), that should have been. The next morning, I went back to the stand, hoping for a second chance that I didn't get. I went back to the cabin for lunch and then headed out at 12:00 for another stand on the highlines. I sat for an hour, and went to check some of the other stands on the property. I drove around and looked at 3 different stands, and as I was heading back to camp, I crossed the highline one final time. I looked to my left, and out in the clearing, 250 yards away, stood a forkhorn or a 6pt. I didn't car which, I grabbed my rifle out of the gun rack and got me a steady rest on the hood of the truck and switched my variable power scope from 6x to 9x. Just as I got my crosshairs aligned, he walked behind a patch of blackberries. I waited, and waited, and waited. He didn't move. About 20 yards away, was the tree stand that I had sat in for an hour earlier. I decided that my only chance to kill this buck was to climb the stand, get my sightings and shoot. I had to cross the road for 20 yards and I figured I'd make a run for it. I did, and looked again for my buck. Still he stood. I prepared to climb the fifteen feet to the top. I did, very quietly. I stepped up on the top, and looked out, my buck still waiting to for his trip to D.H. (Deer Heaven). I got a steady rest, took off the safety, and fired. I saw him jump and run a little bit, then stop. I figured it would only be sporting to fire a second round, and I had put another shell in the chamber as soon as the first bullet had departed the barrel. I fired again, and this time saw the bullet strike the back behind the buck, low. I decided to wait a while, and then look for blood. I never found any, and decided when I had switched from 6x to 9x, I had thrown my zero off. Depressed again, I drove back to camp. I figured that was the end of seeing deer for this trip, having seen a 6pt and a forkhorn. Turns out I was wrong. Calvin decided that since I was only 14, and had had 2 bad experiences over the last 24 hours, that we should go to his "special stand", and give it one last try. We climbed his stand that afternoon, my dashed hopes rejuvenated. We got settled, me looking out one window and he looking out another. He said deer usually walk out of the woods in view of the window where I was sitting, but that he would cover the other just in case. I looked out mine, and he turned to look out of his. He took one quick look and nearly jumped out of his chair. He informed me that there was a deer outside of his window and that I was to swing my chair around and shoot it whenever I got a clear shot. I had to wait what seemed like an eternity for a clear shot, though it was only 45 seconds. At the moment she lifted her head, I put a 100 Gr. Core-Lokt through her shoulders. She was a 2-3 year old doe, and weighed about 90 pounds on the hoof (not bad for that area). I didn't care how big she was, all that mattered to me was that she was my first deer. I couldn't have been happier, and while the dove hunt story I wrote earlier was more action packed, this was fun in a much different way. Anyway, thanks for reading this all the way to the end and happy hunting to you.

BT
 

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What I'm about to say is not meant as a cut or anything like that. I've had to explain this to other young folks who've not had that much experience with deer hunting.You'll learn lots of stuff over the coming years, if ya keep your ears open. Of course you'll have to sort out what works for you and what don't or what's a bunch of crap or fact.

Something to remember, is that with the 243, you don't get that big of a hole on either side, generally. The buck that you shot at was probably laying within 100 yds of where you shot. Sometimes they don't start to bleed until they've gone a short distance. Always watch where they run. Pick out a tree or something that'll give you a reference point to go by. I've shot one buck back in the guts and he didn't bleed at all. If I'd not paid attention as he passed a particular tree, I'd not have found him.

Congrats again on your Doe. They sure eat much better than a buck. Not near as tough or smelly. I for one am glad to have a youngster on here that's hunting. Keep us informed on your progress.

HWD
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In regards to the buck, I spent well over 1 hour searching for him, mostly because I find it unethical to leave an animal in the field. I use the same trick that I do when retrieving dove. Look at where the bird went down, and find your reference point. Then, when you've given the animal (for a deer) some time, go to the exact spot and start walking around, looking for any sign of the animal. I started there, and then walked in progressively larger circles around my reference point looking for blood, fur, disturbed leaves, or my deer. I feel convinced that my scope's zero was changed after I adjusted the power, as I saw my second shot impact way low. After walking and walking (with three buddies), untill I was 200 yards from my point on all sides, I decided I was going to have to call it a clean miss. My doe, shot later that afternoon, had an exit hole about the size of a half-dollar and went two steps before collapsing in a heap.

BT
 

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Trap,

Sounds like you did all you could and possibly did it better than most grown ups I know. Most would have said, "heck, I missed" and would have left it at that.

I must have misread your first post and thought that you had said that you'd shot the deer "back".

HWD
 

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BT-I just wondered if you were reciting a memory from 30 years ago, or if you have the fountain of youth in your backyard. I thought maybe I had confused myself, so I went back and checked.

In this post http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=126509&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30
you say you are 46.

In this one you say you are a Red Raider, which I guess means you are a Texas Tech student or grad http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=126951&highlight= I am a TTU grad and don't remember any teenagers there when I was.

In a thread about bird hunting you talk about your extensive experience hunting blue quail in West Texas.

Then in this thread you are 14. Looks like the clock is running backward for you.

If it is the fountain I hope you can share with all of us. I would just like to be 18 again, not 14 if you please.

My confusion about your age aside congrats on your first deer, that is an unforgettable feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My dad and I both use the forum with the same username :lol: Sorry for the confusion. Usually when there's something intelligent to say, that's me :D

BT
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
:lol: He's got more hunting experience than I do, but I've got him beat on actual "book knowledge" on guns and the like. It's me on here about 95% of the time. Still, the hunting experiece he has is much more useful in the field than the type of thing that I know. He likes to fish, too. Probably about twice as much as he likes to hunt. It all works out though. When you see a post by "BT", you can assume it's me, unless it's asking a question about something "everybody" knows.

BT
 

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everyone i know who hunts enough looses a deer once in their career so to speak. even this year one of my muzzle loader shots on a buck was good but not perfect. he ran i marked him and followed the blood trail way younder on the next guys property. earlier i was waiting on him to settle and die so i was still in the stand and heard a shot form the next land owner. i saw them get their stuff together at the truck and ride to go get their deer down the forest road. well as i got down from my stand, they had already left, i tracked him and after about 30min of tracking i came to a place where my blood trail stopped and a drag mark was. they mistakenly thought my deer was theirs and i guess put him in a tarp. as this deer was close to the forest rd i couldnt blame them for thinking it was theirs but... it was a nice buck lost to circumstance
 

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JCA,

I've had this happen now on 3 different occassions. Twice with rifles and once with a bow. I reckon that's what I get for hunting too close to the property line. Thankfully though, they've all been retrieved, but not by me, and not "lost".

HWD
 

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yip.. i hunt a 30 or so acre spread, surrounded by another land owner. its not really him so to speak of but the people he brings. usually one each time. takes them in a stand across from the field im near, so we hunt kinda the same deer. im in a natural perfect draw so i get all, well most of the good deer traveling from the food plot and water to the bedding area. my woods look like a deer highway lol
 

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I've noticed that a deer won't generally run back the way they came when shot. We'll just have to start shooting them when thier noses are pointed into our area and not towards the other guy's place. Reckon this'll work????

HWD
 
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