A Crazy Week in the Deer Woods

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Justin, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    After my Iowa debacle and the case of the exploding arrow, I ventured West to spend a few days in Wyoming with the infamous Dustin DeCroo. Remember when he still posted here? Before he was a super cool and popular hunting guide to the celebrities? Those were the good ol' days!

    Anyways, the first morning of our hunt - not 15 minutes in - I flung an arrow over the top of a big, mature buck. Long story short I had my pin set at 40 yards and he was way closer than that. I thought I held low enough, but I guess not. Whoopsie!

    A few hours later we rattled and grunted in this fine little fella. At 17 yards I told myself I was only going to shoot if he gave me the absolute perfect shot. So when he stopped broadside and looked the other way, I couldn't help myself. I 12-ringed him and that was all she wrote. On the ground, no blind, rattled him in with Dustin behind the camera - damn that was a fun hunt.

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    We spent the next couple days chasing whitetails trying to get one for Dustin. Arrows flew, but no deer died, unfortunately. My camera work was on point though! Some of those hunts will be shown next week on Bowhunt or Die. It's nice to see Dustin is still human. :P

    The last night of the hunt we sat in a blind over a Wyoming food plot - also known as a mud field with 1 mm tall pieces of wheat or rye poking out of it. As usual, we saw an absolute pile of deer including a few nice bucks. Unfortunately, none of the bucks got close enough for Dustin to shoot. But when this big doe finally got in range, we made it count. The first shot was a touch high and hit high lungs/low spine. She would have expired even if I didn't shoot again, but I couldn't just sit and wait her out. My next arrow I missed low and shot under her. WTH! 3rd arrow I put in the boiler room and that was that. A great end to one of the most entertaining couple days of hunting I've had in a long time. Good friends, good scenery, lots of deer and great mustaches. Does life get much better?

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    I got home from Wyoming late Weds night and didn't feel like messing with any of the gear in my truck. Thursday was the same - I was tired and getting over being sick so it all stayed in my truck.

    Friday afternoon I decided I was going to sit for a few hours before dark. All of my clothes were muddy and bloody from Wyoming so I ran home and grabbed whatever "clean" stuff I could find. I also had to scrounge up 3 good arrows as I went through a few on that Wyoming trip. :lol: I was fresh out of sharp broadheads so I found a pack of Spitfire Maxx sitting on the shelf, opened it up, screwed them on, and off I went.

    I was in the stand by about 3 pm. At 3:45 I catch a deer cutting across the swamp to my North. After you've been hunting long enough when you see a mature buck you don't even need to see his rack to know it's a good deer. Such was the case here. I immediately grabbed the grunt tube, but he was either too far to hear or didn't care. So I grabbed the rattling antlers and smashed them together. That got his attention. He stopped, looked for a few minutes, then eventually kept going.

    When he got out of sight I smacked the horns together again and gave a few grunts. About a minute later I hear sticks breaking and here he comes on a string. As usual, he doesn't cooperate and march right in front of me in the open. Instead, he comes to my right and stays in the thick brush. I'm desperately scanning for a hole to shoot through and find one up ahead in the direction he's walking. As I move my camera to point at the opening he catches me moving and locks up. At this point, he's probably 8 yards away and I'm only 3 sticks high. I'm thinking the gig is up, but like a lot of mature deer I've encountered over the years, he doesn't bolt and run for the next county. He turns and takes one small bound and then looks again.

    Unfortunately for him, he stopped in the one spot I could still shoot. So I draw back, squat down a bit, settle the pin and let it rip. The arrow impacts, he mule kicks and off he goes. I lose him in the brush and don't hear any crashing. He was pretty hard quartered-away and my first thought was that it looked good, but I wasn't 100% sure. Was it too far forward?

    I wait 30 minutes then get down to see if I can find first blood. I like to have an idea of what I'm working with before it gets dark. Within 15 feet or so I find really good blood so I'm feeling much better. I confirm the direction he ran off, then back out. I was pretty confident he was dead at that point but figured better safe than sorry. Plus, I was going to need help dragging him out. I knew he was a huge bodied deer.

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    Almost 4 hours later I returned with my buddy Mike - he also used to post here. The good ol' days again! We take up the trail and with the exception of 1 or 2 times, it was a stand-up walk directly to the deer type of trail. I would venture to say he made it 125 yards or so. Turns out the shot was much better than I thought. Came in right behind the last rib, made it through the liver and both lungs before hitting the offside leg/shoulder. He was dead in seconds.

    dead-deer.JPG

    Turns out I had a few trail camera pictures of this deer the last couple years, but I had never seen him and I don't believe he was a resident deer of this particular farm. He seemed to show up for a couple of weeks in the summer and that was it. When I get his head back from the processor I may send his teeth out to get aged. I know he's at least 4, but may possibly be older. He had the largest neck/head of any deer I've ever killed.

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    The next day I took him out and did some trophy photos. Not bad for a tripod and a self-timer! But I will say, getting him back in the truck by myself was quite the chore! And my 7 year old wasn't much help. :lol:

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  2. Old West

    Old West Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for the thorough write-up. Love a good deer story!

    Congrats!
     
  3. Russ morton

    Russ morton Weekend Warrior

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    Great write up
     
  4. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    Fantastic Justin!
     
  5. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    Sounds like a great week! You have had a better week than my last three seasons combined.
     
  6. pastorjim08

    pastorjim08 Legendary Woodsman

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    Great story and an awesome deer. Big congrats to you!!

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  7. Mr.O

    Mr.O Weekend Warrior

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    Sounds like some really exciting hunts...and a great buck! Congrats, Justin!
     
  8. nocked-n-loaded

    nocked-n-loaded Newb

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    What a great week! Nice deer and thanks for sharing.
     
  9. John T.

    John T. Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Great write up and nice deer as a result of a good hunt. But...pink vests? Or was that due to the lighting?
     
  10. pastorjim08

    pastorjim08 Legendary Woodsman

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    Can we look forward to your Illinois kill on BHOD?

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  11. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    We were out to make a bold fashion statement.
     
  12. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    Yeah, but it may be a few weeks. We have a massive backlog of hunts that need to be aired and we try to keep them in chronological order if we can.
     
  13. Vabowman

    Vabowman Grizzled Veteran

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    good shot on that first buck pic.. right in the boiler room!
     
  14. Swamp Stalker

    Swamp Stalker Legendary Woodsman

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    that's a hell of a week! Congrats!
     
  15. arrowflinger1

    arrowflinger1 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    That’s Awesome! Way to go!
     
  16. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    Nice! That buck looks old.
     
  17. Blarney22

    Blarney22 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I just watched your Wyoming hunt last night and kept thinking to myself, damn he looks like he is having a blast. No pressure for a big buck, just having a great time with great friends. Congrats on the 12 ring shot.
     
  18. Lady Forge

    Lady Forge Weekend Warrior

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    Thats awesome, Congrats on the hunts !!!! I enjoyed the written stories and the film footage. A Tip ( we put a thick sheet of plywood and a hand crank winch in the back of our truck to load deer into the truck bed) ... Ya were getting old :biggrin:
     

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