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Conley 152 6/8 Drop Tine Buck

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 15:26
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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Guys, 
 
Felt like I needed to pass this along to those of you who spend time in the great outdoors.  Or maybe you're inside too much and I feel like you need to get off the couch..  Craziest series of highs and lows over the span of 36 hours that I have ever been a part of in my life.  Apologies for the length, but worth the read..  

With rifle season fast approaching and given my hectic schedule, I took the liberty to sneak down to the Ranch last Wednesday and get in 2 hunts before the weekend warriors started shooting up the countryside...  I settled into a 16ft tripod jammed in the middle of a large oak tree last Wed on a beautiful 78 degree Oct afternoon.  A covey of quail moved in and I pinned a bobwhite to the ground for target practice.  After easing down the ladder, I removed my arrow from the quail and the ground and the little sucker took off like a rocket, then suddenly folded up as he was flushing, and died about 30 yards behind the tree stand.  As quietly as possible, I retrieved the bird and climbed back up my seat to wait for dusk to set in.  A few hours later, a small nine point out to my right was acting nervous about a deer that had been prancing around behind me for the last ten minutes or so.  When the deer finally showed itself over my right shoulder, to my surprise it was a chandaleir-headed buck with a 5 inch drop tine!  More points than I could count and several kickers, no doubt a shooter.  He started moving forward slowly and around to the left but stopped suddenly and began to stomp.  I suddenly became nauseous as I realized that the buck had crossed my quail retrieval path and had picked up my scent.  He snorted twice, launched three big leaps back the way he came, and vanished.  Needless to say, I had committed the most junior of all bow hunting mistakes by tromping around the hunting area.  Simply unforgiveable- 

Thursday afternoon brought some cooler weather and a lot of wind, and although I was fairly certain the buck would never show itself again, I elected to extendmy trip and stay through the afternoon hunt.  Every precaution imaginable was taken to avoid contaminating the area with human scent while approaching the hunting area.   After a long, slow approach, I took a seat in the same tree as the evening before.  A covey of quail moved in, I elected to keep my ass in my seat...   A bruiser of an 8 pt stalked the top of the ridge to my right and some does and a small buck moved in to feed.  Thirty minutes before dark, the wind laid down and the coyotes launched a series of deafening yelps and howls that would most likely run off every animal within a square mile of my stand.  Then, just as the hunting party celebration was dying down, the majestic drop tine buck stepped out to my right about 60 yards away.  Squinted to make 100% sure and couldn't believe my eyes.  My heart began to pound out of my chest for the first time in ten years!  This buck would put my other trophies to shame but I would learn to live with it if given the opportunity.  Moving quicker than I had anticipated, he was within 20 yards of my tree stand, then suddenly 10 and I was faced with a decision to take a slow moving shot or to take a chance and wait..  I chose to be patient.  He stopped under a branch and behind a bush and I started to put tension on my bow string in preparation to draw when he stepped out.  Off to my right a deer started scratching around.. The big 8 had moved in on a fresh rub about 30 yds away and started to make a scrape and that's when all hell broke loose.  The 15pt spun around and postured up with a stiff legged trot towards the territorial intruder.  His ears were laid back almost flat against his neck and he slowed his pace as he quickly closed the distance to 10ft and the 8 responded by squaring up to him.  In the blink of an eye, they went from a statue-like standoff to a lightening quick crashing of the antlers and began to violently throw each other around in a small opening.  After a dozen or so small trees and bushes were flattened and they had both let out some god-awful noises, two bucks separated.  A series of patrolman like, parallel stalking maneuvers followed as the bigger buck convinced the heavy 8pt to leave the premises.  I was extremely grateful when the big wall hanger decided to make his way back in my direction.  His angle was perfect for a potential quartering away shot if he would just keep coming.  Again I applied tension in preparation to send an arrow through his vitals.  I kept telling myself to take the first shot that he offered... but it was not to be.  The old 8pt entered the area and the dominant buck took a direct line at him and ran him out of the area and over the hill 80+ yds away..  My hopes sank again.  ...And it's what happens next that makes 'Destiny' the key word in this story... 

Ten minutes later the buck re-enters the area from a completely different angle and offers a slightly quartering towards shot.  I decided to take the shot, quietly drew back and released.  The buck lunged forward as the arrow passed through and tore through the brush but then suddenly stopped about 40 yds away.  Something was wrong--  any deer shot through the vitals will almost always run like it's ass is on fire until it crashes dead.  He stepped forward slowly and I could see the entry hole.  I had missed my mark by about 3 inches which can be a catastrophic error in bow hunting.  Top of the heart level was good but too far back..  I almost jumped from the tree to my death.  But given my hardness of my head, I figured it would just cripple me instead of put me out of my misery so I sat still and waited in mental agony for darkness to set in.  The stomach remnants on the arrow confirmed my worst fears of a poor shot so I backed out and headed to camp without snapping so much as a single twig.  Very difficult to not attempt tracking the animal that night considering I've lost only 1 deer out of 28 while bow hunting and this one was record book buck!  It was time to eat some humble pie and back out.  As 'stealth' as I think I am, it was the right thing to do in hopes that the trophy would lay down and die.  Recovery efforts would have to wait until morning.  **This is where I needto my buddies who provided psychological counseling that night as I attempted to consume as much alcohol as possible and got about an hour of sleep while waiting for daylight to show itself. 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 15:32
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 15:39
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The venison can easily be replace, but that rack might be tough to come by.  Great deer and story, congradulations on a fantastic trophy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 15:43
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Beautiful buck!  It's a shame the predators had picked the carcass clean overnight, though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 19:39
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Predators, that's what they do...

Must have been an awesome looking fellow when he was all in one piece.  Beautiful rack.  Great story.  The circle of life.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 21:33
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Have You Driven A Ford Lately?

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Very good story and pictures, thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2009 at 02:16
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Great story and thanks for sharing your tenacity. Lots of guys would have given up. I agree with you that bad things happen after 100 yds and no animal. In South Africa game can be very tough. I allways say that on a wounded animal, if the blood gets less on a spoor, nine out of ten the animal is gone! As long as the blood keeps coming one still has a chance.
 
A good dog on a spoor is off course the ultimate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2009 at 20:09
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Nice deer!   Nice bow choice too....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2009 at 13:48
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Well, that is amazing. At least you got him....well, the rack, that is....!   Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2009 at 09:07
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Super story and pics.  Congrats.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2009 at 12:29
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There is one to tell the grankids!  Excellent story about perseverance!    Never give up never surrender!!!  Even if by some chance you bag a better trophy, this is the one your remember best!  Bask Bro Bask!
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