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Buck Fever and lessons learned

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Cuse93, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. Cuse93


    Oct 9, 2003
    Northeast US
    I've been whitetail hunting for about 10 years and have taken many does, spikes and small bucks with bow, muzzleloader and rifle. Have never gotten that wall-hanger though....or for that matter seen one within 300 yards while hunting.

    I used Doe-P for the first time this past week. Dumped a whole bottle on a tree stump about 10 feet from my tree stand. Wicked fog rolled in and visibility was limited to not more than 20 yards. Really really thick stuff.

    Well anyway.....bored out of mind, daydreaming, after being in the stand for about 3 hours, about 10 minutes before sunset, I catch movement out of the corner of my eye on my right side. Look down slowly and about 15'(yes FEET, not yards) to the back and right of my stand is the wall hanger I've dreamed about for the last 10 years. Big big symetrical rack, probably an 8, maybe a 10.

    Well.... It had rained most of the day and there was no breeze at all. Things were absolutely dead silent. You could literally hear a pin drop. I've got my rifle (a long varmint barreled Ruger No. 1 in 6mm) laying across the shooters bar on my stand about 15 feet up in the tree.

    The task at hand was now to get the gun up, shouldered, and turned with this deer almost directly underneath me, on my weak side (i'm right handed), looking and sniffing in my general direction (for the Doe P of course). I need to do all of this without making any sound or anything but the most absolutely most slow, subtle motion.

    Well, over the span of about 15 minutes I actually managed to get the rifle up, shouldered, and pointed in the general direction of this deer without him hearing, seeing, or smelling me. BUT...of course by this time I'm shaking like a dog ****ting peach pits and breathing heavily through my mouth. A terminal case of buck fever is setting in at this point and I'm near to hyperventilation. I just got my scope picture around the deer and the deer is starting to walk off behind some thick brambles. I can't tell whether my cross hairs are on the deers rump or his neck.

    I have my 6-18 scope dialed down to 6 but at that short distance it is near to impossible to actually get the crosshairs where i need them.

    At this point the binocs I have around my neck swung down and hit the treestand armrest. The buck jumped about 3 feet in the air, made a sound like a human scream (honest to god) and took off. No shots fired.

    Lesson number 1) Doe P works
    Lesson number 2) Don't be lazy and leave your gun resting lengthwise on the stand
    Lesson number 3) Hi power scopes will REALLY put you behind the 8-ball in close yardage situations
    Lesson number 4) Practice snap shooting and short range shooting...all that time at the bench rest shooting 3" 200 yard shot groups is worthless with a big deer right underneath you
    Lesson number 5) If you don't need it, don't bring it with you and certainly don't hang it around your neck(e.g. binoculars)

    Any sympathy out there for me? A couple of weeks left up here in the Northeast and I am still clinging to some hope of getting a decent deer.
  2. Cuse93


    Oct 9, 2003
    Northeast US
    most importantly......never wished so badly that I had my G23 with me in a thigh holster.

  3. CranialCrusader


    May 7, 2000
    Great story!

    Welcome to GlockTalk

  4. If you are in the woods, with visibility and clear shots limited to about 50 yards, then it might be handgun time.

    What I like about my unscoped .44 revolver is that it solves most of the problems you were facing with deer in close. And if you are good with one handed shots, there really isn't a weakside.

    I'm right-handed. With bow, good shots are on my left side. With rifle, good shot are in front and on my left side. With pistol, good shots are left, in front, right, and behind right. Thus much greater range of movement with pistol.
  5. 357glocker


    Oct 28, 2002
    I purposely did some of those don't do's this year in hopes of making murphy's law come true and finally just see a buck while hunting, cause we all know that's when they come out of hinding. Great story and at least you know he's there. Good luck
  6. TheHunter

    TheHunter Gun Nut

    Nov 16, 2003
    Soddy Daisy, TN
    He'll be back. He's not dead yet...

    I learned that lesson too. Get a good 2-7 scope on a lever action or autoloader and use that for close-in work.

    Don't sweat it. Stuff like that keeps us going back. ;f
  7. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    At least you didn’t get a shot off & end up missing due to a bad case of ‘buck fever’…

    I did that on a record buck about 5 years ago… it should have been all mine as I had it dead at no more then 15 feet! I was armed with an un-scoped .50 caliber T/C muzzleloader at the time. That buck had no idea that I was there either… I had all the time in the world… matter of fact; I think too much time was a huge factor in why I missed that buck. From time to 1st seeing him till the time I took the shot was a good 5 minutes or so. I had a taxidermist all picked out, I had my travel route (to show him off) to friends houses all picked out, I had the place on the wall I was going to hang his stuffed head all picked out, etc, etc…….

    Best I can guess is that I ended up shooting at his antlers, because that was what I was looking at when I pulled the trigger. I know I missed as you couldn’t have asked for better tracking conditions, just about no wind, snow on the ground, a fairly open & very flat landscape.

    I think that if I had a scope I would have taken him… a scope would have forced me to acquire my target more precisely & maybe I wouldn’t have been looking at his antlers……. maybe… really a pretty moot thought as I let my ‘buck fever’ get waaay out of control.

    My friends & family had to hid all the shape objects in sight for a few weeks after that incident, because I knew it was my entire fault.

    It still gets to me this day, but it may be the sole reason I’ve never missed a buck that I’ve shot at sense, bow or gun.

    I don’t really care to talk/write about the particular stats of this buck, (I’ll get depressed again…) as he more then likely was a new state record for that time… maybe even within the top 10 for world record……. I wasn’t the only guy to see this deer…

    By the way, he was never seen again & that’s probably due to the fact that about 2 months later (after the ‘shed’) a local hit & killed a huge bodied male deer with his truck… it ‘dressed’ around 230 pounds I’m told.

    ;1 ;1 ;1
  8. f1b32oPTic

    f1b32oPTic R4d104c71v3

    Aug 5, 2003
    up close & personal
    high power scope has got me before and that is also the reason why i hate having binocs dangling from my neck...