The Right Thing To Do? The story of my 2018 Buck

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Holt, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    So this is the story of what happen this past Wednesday. The reason of this post is duel purpose. I want to tell the story of this deer and also would love to hear the opinion of each of you. The good, the bad, it doesn't matter, just your honest opinion of what you might have done.

    So this started over the summer as a buddy I hunt with got great pics of this buck in a marsh. He looked great in velvet and he was the biggest buck on the property this year. He wanted to hunt him, but like most bucks he disappeared and moved right before shedding velvet. I made it a mission to try and locate him and hunt him. I would say 75% of my hunts were geared to locating him.

    Mid October I started finding his sign showing up, but could not get eyes on him. He moved a lot and never seemed to bed in one location for long. I finally got some intel from another member, he was getting trail cam pics of him almost every day, one hour before and one hour after day light. This meant he was really close! With this new intel I was able to find a lot of fresh sign, but still could not get eyes on him. I keep moving and hunting every thicket in the area and scouting more time then hunting. Some days I would scout 2- 3 hours then hunt the last 1 -2 hours of light, but still couldn't put the pieces together.

    So Finally on Wednesday November 7 I decided to check my only camera I had out this year. I placed it in a know doe bedding area and has been a proven spot to hunt during the rut. Shot my buck last year from this spot. Its about a mile from where I believe the buck was spending most of his time in early season. I got 3 day light pics of him on the Sunday before, so I know he was on the move and felt I had a good chance at him now. So Im on a big high and cant wait to get after him! Then 30 minutes later I get a text, its from another club member saying they are tracking a buck that was shot at the night before. He described the deer to me and Now I know its the same buck I just got pics of, so now a big low. I was happy for the hunter and keep in contact as they tracked. Great blood for 50 yards and then it just stop cold. The arrow had blood and guts on it. They tracked the buck that night and lost the blood really fast, I feel that was a big mistake, and pushed that deer off its bed. Several guys went out the next morning grid searching, but no one could find him or blood and they gave up before 11 am that morning.

    So Im at work and just keep thinking about that deer and know he is in there somewhere. I finally decide to leave work at noon and give up my afternoon hunt and dedicate it to finding that buck. I start looking at about 1 pm and start about a mile out from the shot, kind of did it backwards, lol. I checked every thicket I could find, and run up and down every ditch and walked every creek I could find, Nothing! There were 3 other guys that decided to go out and look again also. I ended up running into 2 of them and they showed me the blood trail, Holy cow it was massive. constant blood that never stopped for 50 Yards and then stopped at what looked like a bed. So they all left and went hunting and I keep pushing on. I zigged zagged every thicket and walked every point of every ridge in there. It was almost 4 pm now and decided just to sit down and eat and drink alittle and regain my thoughts. I pick a log up in the woods that was on the edge of a transition of nasty thicket and open hardwoods. As Im walking up I spot a rack in the edge of thicket just on the other side of the log. Throw up binos and instantly know its him. He knows Im there and stands up, but just freezes! He is motionless. I use 2 big popular trees to block his view of me and I move very quickly up to him. Im within 15 yards of him. I pulled my bow back behind tree and lean out. As soon as I do I notice he is facing me and I just looked down my arrow, because he was too close to use my sights. I shot in seconds and hit directly in the heart and he dropped right there, never took a step! I watched him for a minute while he kicked and thrashed, but he gave up quickly. I was so lucky how it all happen and he didn't bolt. This all happened in less then 30 seconds. I be honest, I didn't think he would still be alive. I was looking for a body. Thankfully I brought my bow. This was 24 hour after first shot and he was very much still alive.

    So Now the situation at hand. What do I do with the buck? Is this my kill now? Do I contact the hunter and give it to him? So I talked to the other guys that were hunting that night and all but one of them said the same thing. That its my buck, I finished the hunt and I should keep the buck. The hunter that shot it first did give up on him that morning and no intentions on coming back and looking for him. I called the hunter after I got out and he was relived that someone found him and he gave me congratulations. So I made my decision to keep him and use my tag. This is not the way I would like to take a buck, I always love taking them on my terms. But there was no way I could leave him out there, know he was going to die and be left to rot.

    Pics to come below!
     
  2. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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  3. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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  4. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    That is your buck congrats.
     
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  5. archbunk

    archbunk Weekend Warrior

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    Very tough decision for sure. The original hunter gave up looking. The deer was still alive when you found him. I think you made the right decision. You put in a lot of effort to make sure the buck didn’t suffer any longer and did not go to waste. Congrats on a nice buck


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  6. Lastoneout

    Lastoneout Grizzled Veteran

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    Congrats I agreee your buck.


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  7. Mr. Jiggers

    Mr. Jiggers Newb

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    I agree with everyone else, that it is your buck.
     
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  8. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    Your buck.

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  9. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thanks guys that is the general consensus from everyone, just not the way I want to get that deer.

    Does anyone have a opinion on what they might have done differently?

    I'm not sure what's going on with me, but I feel weird about something. I can't really describe it. I have a lot of respect for the animal that I chase and will stop at nothing to find him. Even when it's for another hunter. But I can't hold this standard towards another hunter. We all hunt for our own reasons.

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  10. grommel

    grommel Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Congrats on YOUR buck!! Nice job
     
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  11. Kfili

    Kfili Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Your buck for sure great work. You probably feel weird because you didn't come the whole puzzle from start to finish. Or at least you feel that way, i would argue you did. It's certainly not traditional but killing rarely is. Even though he was wounded, you put in a ton of time and we're in the right place when you need to be to get it done. If you didn't keep going he'd be coyote dinner right now, your buck clean and free don't feel any other way about it.

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  12. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thanks man! This whole season has been the weirdest season I have every had. I got 2 more crazy story's that happen to me that I haven't told yet

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  13. Justin21

    Justin21 Weekend Warrior

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    Awesome story and I would say not many would look that hard for someone else’s deer especially if that guy had given up. Your deer in My opinion 100% and a hell of a story. Congratulations
     
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  14. kurtzgreg1561

    kurtzgreg1561 Weekend Warrior

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    Congrats on your buck and your tenacity. That first hit was lethal without doubt as the large amount of blood at the onset proves it either an artery or liver in addition to stomach. The first hunter's lack of effort and rather a poor choice of follow up waiting period was kinda sad to hear. You did the right thing and deserve the animal.

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  15. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thank you. Yes I agree, that's why I went out there. I knew that was a dead deer, so I was mainly just doing a body search. I took my bow because I knew better just for you never know what can happen. I never would have guessed that deer still be alive. You can see the hole in the pic above. He hit right in that little stomach pouch in the bottom of deer, just below liver. He may have nicked the liver also. The arrow hit was 2 inches higher or 2 inches forward, it would have died in sight. Just a crazy place that it hit on the first shot.

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  16. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Still alive 24 hours later and you shoot and kill him....your buck, congrats!!
     
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  17. cls74

    cls74 Grizzled Veteran

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    I think morally, ethically and legally that was your buck. You persued him to find him. I'm sure if you had found him piled up you would have called the original shooter with the same congrats he gave to you.

    I believe a conservation officer would also tell you it is legally your responsibility to tag him since you killed it and the other hunter had already given up.

    I'm sure it is not the way either of you wanted the hunts to go, but in the end right is right and I think you got it right.

    Congrats again!
     
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  18. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Yes that's how I felt. If I found that buck dead, without a doubt I would have called the other hunter and showed him were his buck was. Also Legally in MD I had to tag the buck to even move it.

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  19. Arkyinks

    Arkyinks Weekend Warrior

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    First blood. But since the buck may have survived and the first shooter gives his blessing I tip my hat and say nice job on your buck.
     
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  20. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    You done did good Holt! That's your buck without question! Congrats.
     
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