It has been a heck of a hunting week…long..

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Senior Member
A week ago Saturday....

The pre-rut is fastly sliding over into the REAL RUT. I was situated in a
scrub area in Kentucky that had pretty good rut activity in the years past.
This was the first time I had hunted this stand since mid October. The
reasons being that I didn’t hunt as much as usual (couldn’t walk much on my
sprained ankle and recovering form a double hernia) and the weather has been just too blamed too hot.

The hernia is healed and the ankle is doing a lot better. The weather had
cooled great. It was a perfectly clear morning with just a slight breeze
with a temperature of about 44.

As dawn was breaking I could tell that there was a lot better visual vantage
now than the last time I was in the stand. I could see for a hundred yards
or so in some areas. This is an extremely thick area and when the leaves are
on the trees a deer can get within 20 yards of me without me seeing it.

Good shooting light came and I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.I slowly turned my head to see a pretty decent ten point making his way
through the woods out about 70 yards or so. The direction he was walking
would take him past me, so I tried to grunt and wahh him in with a grunt
tube and a Primos can. That stopped him and he was looking. I wouldn’t make any sounds while he was looking. If he turned his head or started to walk again I would repeat the grunt –wahh sequence.

It was all to no avail as he decided that he would continue on his merry
way. He had not gone very far when he made an abrupt left turn and started
trotting- he was after a doe that had came into the picture. I’m sure if she
was attracted to the grunt - wahhing or not. As they both made there way
back towards where he had come from I noticed another deer over by where
they were. Undoubtedly it was her fawn.

No sooner had they went out of sight I heard a commotion of running deer in
behind me. A spike buck came running a yearling doe right past my stand. It
was a god thing he wasn’t a good one as I couldn’t have even got my crossbow up in time to shoot. They went on down through the woods.

About 15 minutes passed and there were no deer anywhere. I had settled back down into my seats when a rather large does and two fawns walked past me out at about 75 yards on the opposite side of where the buck had been earlier. They were in no hurry and just meandered up through the woods

No sooner than they had passed a looked out in front of the stand and a
basket racked eight point 1 ½ year old buck was walking right to my stand.
He slowly made his way through the woods and ended up passing within 5 yards of me as I watched him carefully. He had almost an ear width rack with
slender tines that stuck up pretty good. If he can make it a couple of years
he will be a superb deer.

The busy morning was about to get busier.

Another single doe came through some brush and went by my stand about 40
yards out. She didn’t seem in any hurry and being alone I thought just maybe
a buck would be trailing her. No such luck.

I couldn’t see very well in behind the stand, but I did hear a deer walking.
I eased my head around the tree and there stood a small 4 pointer. He was
going to walk right past my stand going on the same run as the eight pointer
earlier only in the opposite direction. When the pre-rut and rut is on there
is no rhyme or reason to which way deer will travel.

When he got a little past my tree he went on alert. Whoa! I don’t think he
smelled me, but I did have out some “Doe in Heat” scent in my Pee Willie
Wick. That was stationed 20 yards on the other side of the tree. I wasn’t
sure if he was smelling that or not, although the eight pointer never
stopped to sniff. He started doing that stiff legged walk and would just do
a little stomp and stare.

This went on for about 5 minutes when he started staring down through the
woods. I eased my head around and picked out the motion of a pretty decent buck meandering through the woods. He wasn’t trailing anything, but
basically just browsing here and there.

He was out about 60 yards or so when the two bucks made eye contact. The forky forgot about the smell and started going back the way he came. He got in behind me and I lost sight of him. I could still hear him every now and then so he didn’t go far.

The buck I was now concentrating on was making his way towards my stand to the spot where the forky was at. That would put him at 15 yards straight out from the stand. I slipped the safety off of my Excalibur Exomag and waited. He went in behind some honey suckle and I eased the crossbow up.


OUCH! Did I make a noise? He wasn’t looking in my direction but up through
the woods towards where the forky had went. I couldn’t take my eyes off of
him to see if the forky was still there and had picked out my movement.
Whatever it was – me making a noise, my scent or the forky sending body
language signals to him he didn’t like it. I thought once about sending an
arrow through the honey suckle as it was not very thick and close to him.
I just as quickly rejected the thought.

He started to turn and when he did I put the 20 yard crosshair on him. He
started back down the path that he had came in on, but this time he wasn’t
angling towards me, but angling away. When he cleared the honey suckle at 15 yards I pulled the trigger. The hit was perfect and the angle would take out both lungs.

I watched him as he ran for 70 yards and then pile up. The Exomag with the
Wasp SST Hammers had done the job quickly again.

The buck scaled out at 178 field dressed. He is a nine pointer if you count
the broken brow tine. Inspecting him showed an old wound on the top of his
neck. I thought at first that it was a grazing shot by an arrow, but during
the skinning process we could see that it was a tine wound from fighting.

He is not a whopper, but I am pleased with him since I really haven’t hunted
that much this year due to my double hernia operation and the busted up

Thread starter #2


Senior Member
Then Monday morning I received a call at home from my son who was whispering “Can you hear me”? I almost laughed as it sounded like that TV commercial for cell phone service. He had arrowed a buck on a little 40 acre patch that we hunt in Indiana. The problem was the buck came up the right side of him and he had to twist around that way to shoot. His safety harness tether line prevented him from getting fully around and made an awkward position for shooting The shot hit a tad further back than he wanted to shoot.

The buck ran about 40 yards, stopped for a few seconds and then went another 40 yards and bedded down. He could see the deer from the stand and if he tried to get down the deer could see him. So he was staying put.

As I was pulling out of my street on the way up here, he called again. He said,” I think he is dead. A bunch of deer have been all around me and he hasn’t moved.”

I told him, “ If he is dead now he will still be dead by the time I get up there. Stay put”

I was almost there when the cell phone rang again. He said” I’m sure he is dead now”. I asked,” How do you know for sure?” He said,” A 7 pointer about the shot bucks size went over and poked him in the rear and the buck never budged”.

GOOD sign he had expired. When I got there I came in from the backside just in case he was playing possum. If he heard me coming he might get up and go my son’s way. Of course I had the Exomag cocked, loaded and ready too.
When I got to the deer he was quite dead. I hollered at Mark and told him to come on down.

The buck was a very nice one that looked to go in the upper 180s field dressed. A very nice typical eight pointer..

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Senior Member
Last Wednesday Mark was bowhunting down in Kentucky by Greenville. He called and said that he had shot a 140 class buck at ten yards. Unfortunately at that close range he did not get his 20 yard pin down far enough in the body and hit the deer high.

I told him leave the deer alone and not start trailing until I got down there. I got there in a little over an hour and we started trailing him. Blood was sparse at first, which is not unusual for a high hit. It picked up as he went down into a very deep ravine. This ravine reminded me of a couple, that I had all four climbed in and out of in Wyoming and Idaho.

When he got to the bottom he went down the creek bed for about a hundred yards and then crossed and went up the other side of the ravine. He went back up to the top and went about another hundred yards where he had bedded. The blood was dry in that bed. About 20 yards past that he had bedded again, only this time the blood was wet. We had got him up.

What to do?

In most cases we would have backed out and came back in the morning. Unfortunately the weather forecast gave us no alternative. A storm was forecast to start at anytime. The weatherman predicted 2 inches of rain. We pushed on.

We trailed him about 300 yards to a place where he went back down into the ravine. We lost him when he hit the creek. The Creek was almost dry so he was not down in the water. We went up and down the creek bed for several hundred yards to try and pick him up again. We conducted a grid search as best we could considering the up and down terrain.

As darkness fell and rain drops were in the forecast we reluctantly gave up. The best we could figure is that we trailed him 700 yards.

I went over to Mark’s house the next morning and he was still in bed. He said that he didn’t sleep too well that night. We both take this hunting very seriously and hate it when a shot deer is not recovered.

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Fast-forward to this Saturday’s opening day of firearm for both Indiana and Kentucky. I was hunting in Indiana (I had used my Kentucky buck tag) and Mark was in Kentucky (he had used his Indiana buck tag) hunting back in the same stand he had bowshot the deer out of.

My cell phone vibrated at 6:55 and the caller ID identified that it was Mark. Unfortunately the connection was very poor from down there as it is all hills and hollers. I tried to call him back and got nothing. About 30 minutes later my cell phone rings again and it Mark’s wife calling from home. Mark had driven out to a store close by and used a landline to call home. He had shot a basic eight with a 2 inch sticker point coming off of his brow tine.

The buck was easing his way down along a shelf that was down below the stand when Mark put the scope on him. He had in his mind to shoot any deer that he saw in the shoulder to keep it from going down into the ravine. Any deer going down in that ravine would have to be quartered and packed out. In the heat of the moment he forgot about the shoulder shot or instinct came into play and he shot the buck behind the shoulder. He took off running but fortunately he stayed on the shelf where he was easily recovered.

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My opening morning was fairly uneventful as I only saw two smallish bucks and 4 does/fawns. The one buck was pestering a doe though.

I met Mark at the taxidermy shop in Boonville Indiana. I was very glad for him feeling that maybe this buck would take a little bit of sting out of losing the one with a bow.

Mark said he was going to stay at the taxidermy shop and help out the owner (good friend of his). After awhile I excused myself and went back to hunt the evening.

The stand of pines that I had hunted in the morning extends from some stripper pit spoil banks (bedding areas)down to a long and narrow green field. We had hunted the edge of that field during bow season and almost always had does and fawns come to it. The stand was situated on a ditch line across the narrow (40 yards) field from the stand of pines. The ditch line separated that field from another smaller field. The stand would allow me to shoot about halfway across the pine thicket opposite the ditch line.

Hopefully a doe would visit the field and drag a buck in with her..

I got into the stand about 2:00 pm and waited. At 3:00 I saw some movement in the pines. I pulled out my binoculars and could make out a yearling doe browsing around. I was hoping she would tire of the browse and head out to the field for some tender greens. A live decoy would be nice. No way. She ended up bedding down in the pines. The bed she chose was where I could not see her anymore.

About a half hour later I caught some more movement in the pines. White antlers. Big white antlers! A very nice buck was moving down through the pines towards where the yearling was bedded. He was taking his good old easy time about it though. The old heart started the trip hammer beat as I watched the high racked rascal through my binoculars. He would stop and thrash a sapling or two before moving a little further.

He then stopped and freshened up his scrape. All the while, he was in heavy brush and my biggest fear is he wouldn’t get down to where I could shoot him by the time shooting hours ended. Then I would have to try and get out of there with out spooking him or her.

The doe either became aware of his presence or he got too close for her comfort as she got up and moved. He saw her and started moving towards her. I picked out and opening through the brush and waited, A blur moved through the opening before I could even think about shooting. He stopped but was angling towards me and covered by brush again. Here I had a whopper at 75 yards and couldn’t find an opening.

He stood there as the doe meandered off. Evidently she wasn’t quite ready yet as he turned back the way he had came. Artemis smiled on me as he walked back to the opening and stopped. At 75 yards I had about a foot gap to shoot through. I put the crosshairs a tad high on his shoulder and pulled the trigger - BOOM! Down he went. I shucked another shell into the chamber and watched him. His head flopped up and he got his front feet under him, I put the scope on his rib cage and shot him again for an anchor.

I shucked another shell into the chamber and watched him through the scope. He was down for the count.

My phone vibrated and a friend of mine who was with me bowhunting on the same property called and said,” Did you get him?” After I told him I did he said he would be right over.

I then called my son at the taxidermy shop and told him what had happened. He said he would be right up.

I went over to the deer and was thrilled that I got him. I thanked the good Lord for providing me with one of his animals.

By all indications this was an old buck and we believe he was on a downward spiral antler wise. The antlers are what you would call as “having character”. One brow tine was palmated and broken off a little. He looked to go over 200# field dressed.

So it has been a heck of a week for my son and myself. He still has an Illinois slug gun/MZ buck tag left and will be going over there this Friday.

I’ve turned over the 40 acre patch to my bowhunting buddy in hopes that he can bag a big ten pointer that we had been seeing on there.

I’ll get back out later in muzzleloader/crossbow season for does..

We will head back down to Kentucky tomorrow to look again for the buck he shot with a bow. If he is dead the buzzards will have found him by now. This area seems to have an abundance of buzzards. A thorough search and watching the skies we will probably be able to determine whether the deer actually died or not..

We do believe that it was a high hit through the backstrap area and not touching any vitals. But we will keep looking.

Thats sounds like a decade of big bucks in one week. My congratulations on a heck of a week. :bounce:


Senior Member

I can really only think of one thing to say:

Can I PLEASE come hunting with you??!!