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Luck! Perserverance! Responsibility!

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Here is a story with a message:

On Saturday morning at 8:35 I finally heard and then saw a deer. It was a nice buck too! He was on the move like they are at this time of the year. I found him in the scope and stayed with him until the hazel brush and tag alder opend up. On the shot he bolted with his head and tail both down. He disappeared in the bush in two bounds. I felt very confident about the shot, but when I went to look there was no sign of a hit, no blood, no hair nothing. I had to round up my hunting party (my daughters) and we started over. I got back in the stand and had them go to where the buck was. We positively IDed the trail he was on. Still we found no sign. We went to where I last saw him and started checking the obvious trails. At 11:00 my oldest daughter and I went back to where I thought I hit the buck. We were on our hands and knees looking. My youngest daughter wasn't back (she had gotten turned around in the swamp) so we just sat and waited for her. While sitting there my daughter noticed a pinprick of blood and a sliver of flesh and some hairs on a two inch sapling. On further inspection we found more hair. By then the young one had rejoined us. And we knew the deer was hit. We rechecked all of the trails and kept working deeper into the swamp. Finally I struck a blood trail. It just started about 75 yards from where the deer was hit. From there it was an easy job as it was like tracking a stuck pig. In 40 yards there lay a truly magnificent ten point buck(just over 200#). He was shot through the bottom of the heart with a 180 grain nosler partition from my 30-06. His off leg was broken just below the shoulder. It was now 12:30. The rest of the weekend I kept thinking about how easy it would have been to not recover that deer. I could have just said I missed when I first looked by myself. My daughters could have said I missed. But through luck or stubborness we didn't. Remember every time you pull the trigger you have a moral responsibility to make absolute certain you missed, or you recover your animal.

Step one - "call the shot" did it feel good or not?

Step two - How did the animal react?

Step three - Where was the animal when you shot?

Step four - Where did you last see the animal?

Step five - Give it time.

Step six - Get help.

Step seven - Don't expect to see the same sign after each shot.

Step eight - Keep looking.

On a year like this with no snow this is so important. Good luck this final weekend to the 1A hunters and good luck to the 3B hunters!

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Great story and congrats on the harvest of a nice buck. Just another story to prove how hard work, determination, and never giving up pays dividends.

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This year... I was caught sleeping in my stand when a nice doe came from behind me. She was making her way into a field so I looked in my scope. Found her... about 75 yards out. Just then a nice buck came running behind me right for the doe.

I waited.. the doe out in a little clearing and the buck skirting the edge. He presented a nice broadside shot. BANG!!

He did not jump; he did not move; the doe still standing there. Did I miss? I worked the bolt - aquired the buck again. BANG! no jump but walks into the woods. The doe now starting to move -run- racked another shell in - Bang. She drops and stumbles into the woods.

Ok so now I have no shells left (why I only brought 3 who knows). I walk back to the shack and grab my 10mm for tracking and my dad.

I was sure on with the doe; Broke the shoulder and caved the heart. She went 5 yards from the point of impact.

The buck went 10 yards into the woods. He had two shots both within 1/2 inch of each other (not bad for two off handed shots); both hit the heart and lungs.

Why would he not react to the shot; I have never seen this before. Hit with a 7mm WSM at about 85-90 yards with Barnes Triple Shock 160 grain bullets (too big I know).

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