First Whitetail buck!!!

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Hillbilly Jedi, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Hillbilly Jedi

    Hillbilly Jedi Die Hard Bowhunter

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    After 5 1/2 days in Saskatchewan, I finally put a buck down. This may be a bit of a long read so bear with me....

    I don't think most of you know but my dad passed away on 10/24/16 while hunting with my step-mom, Charlene. His passing was sudden and unexpected. He suffered a massive heart attack in one of his favorite glassing spots and part of my world collapsed when I got the call. My dad and Charlene were supposed to go on a whitetail hunt to Saskatchewan Thanksgiving weekend. My dad and Charlene had hunted with the outfitter several times in the past and new them very well. When she explained what happened to the outfitter, Ty Selk, he told her he could do just about anything, postpone the trip, send back money, bring someone else; whatever she wanted to do. Charlene asked me to go saying she didn't want anyone else to go and knew my dad wouldn't want anyone else to go either. We had just enough time to get my passport and some things together so I could make the trip. Off to Canada!!

    We arrived in Edmonton and had a 3 1/2 hour drive to just outside Pierceland on the western edge of Saskatchewan. Hoped in the rental car and when we hit about 70 kph on the freeway, that car started shaking like a washing machine on high spin out of balance. Charlene almost couldn't hang onto the steering wheel. Pulled over and saw a bunch of frozen rocks and mud inside the wheels. Turned around and got another car. After missing one turn and falling about a half hour behind, we finally met Ty and got to the house.

    First morning!!! I woke up an hour before my alarm and couldn't go back to sleep. Finally made it to the blind and saw a lot of deer right away. I'd had my heart set on a 4x4 buck, or 10 point in whitetail terms. In the last 2 years, I'd shot 3, 4x3 blacktail bucks but never the even 4x4 I had wanted to see. At noon a nice 9 point had walked in. I hemmed and hawed a bit and decided to let him go. Really nice buck but I knew there were 5 1/2 more days of hunting and wanted to see what else would come my way. When we got home that night and watched the footage, Ty pointed out he had broken his left G2 off which is why he was only a 9 point. Still, a lot of hunting left to do and I wanted to experience every moment until the buck I wanted came along. Deer came in all day long but nothing better than the 9 from earlier in the day.

    Second morning! Sat in the same blind but nothing significant came in. Saw lots of deer but no shooters.

    Third morning! New blind and deer on the bait from dawn to dusk! When Ty dropped me off in the morning, he said a nice little 8 point should show up but don't shoot him. He knew why I was there on the trip and really wanted me to shoot a buck, but not this one. He wasn't big enough and he knew bigger bucks were around. About 1pm I could hear a buck coming in from the left through the trees. He was crashing in the trees and my heart beat went to about 150 per minute! In walks the 8 point Ty said not to shoot. Nice buck but hey, there's bigger bucks around and I knew it.

    Fourth morning. Sat in a new spot where my step mom had seen a nice 10 point with split G2's on both sides the opening morning. Why she passed him up I'm not sure but at least I knew he had been there before. High hopes! I sat and sat. Didn't see a deer until 2:45pm. I saw 1 doe, 1 fork and 1 fork-spike. Starting to get a little bummed.

    Fifth morning. Sitting in a blind the size of a porta-potty. I was 4 inches short of being able to touch both sides at the same time with my elbows stretched out. But the views were beautiful and could see a lot of country. Never saw a deer. Starting to get a bit discouraged now and starting to think this whole thing might not come together. That night I talked to Ty our guide about what to do the final day. He said he'd have to sleep on it and try to think of a good spot.

    Sixth and last morning. After a short quad ride I was back in the blind from the fourth morning. I knew the split G2 buck was still around, just needed him to come in during daylight. When our other guide Tyler dropped me off, he told me the moon would be going down between 9am and 11am. I said the sun will be up so how does that work? He said don't worry about it but it should be prime time between 9 and 11. Ok, I'll trust him. Nothing for a little bit and then at 8:45, out walks a nice 8 point from the bush. The shooting lanes were daily narrow from where the blind was to the bait and you really couldn't see much on either side. This 8 point walked out at 50 yards and snapped his head right at the blind like "holy $hit!" My eyes popped open wide like, "holy $hit!" He was looking right at me. Even though the opening of the blind was small, he was starring me down. I couldn't move. He looked at me for about 15 seconds and then started to walk away. I raised my rifle through the opening to see if I could get a shot and he stopped. Right behind some of the thin brush on the right. I could see most of his body and where I wanted to shoot but there were a lot of branches in the way. I wasn't sure if I could squeeze one through and took a minute before I thought, it's the last day. This might be your only shot. Just as I started squeezing the trigger, the buck took 2 steps and disappeared. He never stomped or snorted, just walked off. My heart sank. But I thought it's early, maybe he'll show back up. Nothing for 2 hours and then a little forkie walked out to the bait and stuffed his face in. Never once looked at the blind. I think this was the same one I saw on the fourth day. After about 5 minutes, he started looking to my right. At first I wasn't sure what he was looking at but knew something had his attention. A couple minutes later, he started raising and lowering his head. At this point I knew he was looking at another deer, just not sure what. I'd already had the video rolling at this point so that was good. I thought if it's that 8 point, I'm not gonna screw it up again so I got ready. I had my binoculars up looking through the sticks so I would know when the deer was walking over. Another 2 minutes goes by and out walks a beautiful 10 point! My heart went to about 2000 beats a minute! Just what I was hoping for and couldn't believe it was happening on the last day! The 10 point chased off the forkie and started eating. I waited a second for him to get settled and a good shooting angle on him. I steadied myself the best I could and told myself, relax, breathe, relax, breathe. Hold your aim and let the gun surprise you. BOOM!!! He dropped like a sack of potatoes right where he stood! He was still kicking a bit and had some fight in him but didn't look like he was going anywhere. I radioed the guys and told them I had a buck down! I kept the rifle on him just in case he got up, be he didn't. He was still kicking a bit and I was trying to find a spot for another shot cause I hated seeing him suffer. He had fallen just on the back side of this little hill and I couldn't see him well enough for another shot. Ty and Tyler got there about 20 minutes later and we walked over to the buck. As we got closer, he raised his head and I put a final shot right between his shoulder blades. Finally finished him off. I wished he hadn't suffered so long but when you're on a guided hunt up there, you can't be hunting outside the blind without a guide physically there. I didn't want to do anything to get myself or my guides in trouble or get lost chasing the buck if he got up and ran. Everything looks the same up there and I didn't know the area at all.

    The wait was finally over. I'd hunted 5 1/2 days and had my buck. All the waiting, looking and sitting had finally paid off! I had a moment in the blind after the shot thinking about my dad. Why was I there and he wasn't? Why wasn't he the one on the trip and me calling him after he got back to see how it went? A flood of emotions came over me as I said thank you to him for everything. I know he was with me and I truly think he had something to do with this buck coming in on my last day. I'd trade it all in a heartbeat to have him back. Thank you dad for leaving me with one final gift. My first whitetail buck. I'll never forget it and "Dad's Buck" will always be my most prized harvest!

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  2. Ky Bob

    Ky Bob Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Awesome buck and great story! Your dad sent you that special buck from above!
     
  3. head2toe camo

    head2toe camo Weekend Warrior

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    Great buck, congrats! I think a lot of us can relate to the powerful emotions when you accomplish that goal. It's great that you went on the hunt, were successful and felt that connection in the end.
     
  4. ruteger

    ruteger Guest

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  5. Hoytxhunter

    Hoytxhunter Weekend Warrior

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    I don't always read long stories but I'm glad I read this one. Great read. Im sorry for your loss but I would bet that he was there with you the whole time.
     
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  6. Skylar oren

    Skylar oren Weekend Warrior

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    Im sure he was right by your side the whole time.. What an amazing story. Congratulations on the buck.
     
  7. Western MA Hunter

    Western MA Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    awesome! congrats.. my dad is always with me in spirit while hunting!
     
  8. Hillbilly Jedi

    Hillbilly Jedi Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thanks HoytX and everyone else! It was emotional but well worth it. I got a ton of video of the trip and will work on editing it for my first You Tube video in the coming weeks. I'll let everyone know once it's done. Thanks again and thanks for taking time to read. This hunt meant a lot more than just the harvest!
     
  9. SouthDakotaHunter

    SouthDakotaHunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Great story and great hunt, congrats on the great deer! I'm sure your dad would have been happy you were able to hunt...
     
  10. hornhunter

    hornhunter Weekend Warrior

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    Congrats !!!
     
  11. OhioHunter72

    OhioHunter72 Newb

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    Awesome story enjoyed reading it. Sorry for your loss.


    Sent from my iPhone using Bowhunting.com Forums
     
  12. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Not sure how I missed it when it was originally posted. Congrats on the deer sorry for the loss. I love that area of Canada.
     
  13. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Thanks for taking us along on your great adventure.
    Congratulations on your wonderful buck. An experience you won't forget soon.
     
  14. Roet14

    Roet14 Newb

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    Great story and great buck!
     
  15. Hillbilly Jedi

    Hillbilly Jedi Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thanks for all the condolences and congrats on my buck everyone. I got a lot of video on the days I was there of all the bucks I saw. I got the harvest on video too but the given the circumstances of the shot, that part is short. Didn't need to give the haters anything to complain about and felt there was no benefit to it. Anyway if you're interested, here's a link to the videos. Thanks again for all the kind words!

    HillbillyJedi88 - YouTube
     
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  16. mathewsmq1

    mathewsmq1 Weekend Warrior

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    Nice buck!


    Black eagle arrow's pro staff
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  17. kurveball18

    kurveball18 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Your dad was with you that entire time and had that buck with your name on it.

    Congrats man, thats a very nice buck!
     
  18. WHiTeTaiL JuNkYs 1

    WHiTeTaiL JuNkYs 1 Newb

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  19. OKIENOCKERS

    OKIENOCKERS Weekend Warrior

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    Congrats!
     
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