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Possibly my last hunting story of the season (way too long, sorry)

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by punkture, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. punkture

    punkture

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    I'll try to keep the occurances of this past weekend as brief as possible. It all started a few days after Christmas. A six-year friend and co-worker of mine decided to get into hunting this year. I've taken him with me every chance that arises where our schedules allow for it. With his 10/22 in hand, we decided to go squirrel hunting on some government land in Forest, MS (Bienville National Forest). I decided to arm myself accordingly, so rather than taking my rifle, I packed the Remmy 1187 with buckshot and some not so excited loads for our squirrel friends. I've just started hunting these woods this season, so getting to know them has been a blast. Something about new places excites me everytime. We walked into the woods together and split off, walking parallel to one another about 200-300 yards apart. The point where we split off, to this point, was actually as far as I had made it in these woods so far - it took about 20 minutes of constant walking from the truck to get there. The woods were a mix of pine and oaks and I had scouting for deer sign on my mind. Keeping perodical touch on the radio, we walked for quite some time. I ventured to the south a bit and found a creek that appeared to run into a clearing in the distance. This peaked my curiosity, so I following the stream down, no more than a mile or so, enjoying the sound a turkeys. The stream finally came out under a dirt road that I have heard an awful lot about, but had never actually seen myself. This would probably be a good point to include that I don't tend to stay on the four wheeler trail for long. Being in the middle of the woods and trying to get as lost as possible is part of the fun. So I decided to follow this dirt road down a bit to see where it led me, keeping the clearing in sight to the southeast. No more than 100-150 yards later, another four-wheeler trail broke to the left. It appeared to be going the same way I was, so I took it. I was finally at my intended destination with my hunting partner maybe a half-mile or so to the northwest. I got on the radio to tell him to make it to the stream and follow it to the road while I scouted this area. It wasn't until about 500 yards of walking down this road until I found out that this clearning was a relatively large cutover. I dropped down into the woods and walked around it a bit. I jumped a small doe, but couldn't get a shot on her. I scouted the area and was amazed at the deer sign in the area. I had decided - THIS - is where I'm hunting next weekend. I met back up with my hunting partner and over an hour walk out of the woods, we were on our way home.

    So, Saturday rolls around and he wants to hit the woods for deer. Of course I'm interested. This dirt road had to lead somewhere to the west, but I wasn't sure if it was where the private land met the public land, so Saturday morning, I decided I'd go ahead and answer this for myself - at 5am in the dark. I walked, and walked...and walked. Finally I found what appeared to be the clearning, but it was pretty much impossible to tell (GPS is now on my want list). I found a nice tree and climbed 30-40' or so and waited on the sun, while my hunting buddy walked a ways down and set up my blind. I heard three distinct deer walking in a thicket on either side of me before daylight, so I was excited. After sunrise, I realized I was definitely not where I intended to be (the cutover I had found the previous week). I climbed down around 11am or so since my stomach was getting ready. We met up and headed out for lunch. I walked the perimeter of this particular clearing on the way out and there were just as many signs here. More excitement ensued. Saw a doe on the way back in. Climbed up a tree 50 yards to the est of the oak I had been in that morning. Short version: saw a few owls, heard a few turkeys, sat til dark, climbed down, headed out of the woods. I went home and got cleaned up for a New Years Party obligation. My best friend/guitarist/usual hunting partner showed up to the get-together. One thing led to another and we decided to just stay up all night and go hunting Sunday morning.

    This was certainly not the best idea in the world, but it wasn't the first time and definitely won't be the last time we do it. I told him about the cutover I found through the woods and he told me he *thought* he knew the general area since he had walked it squirrel hunting in October. Come to find out it wasn't the same spot he had encountered previously. We walked down the same road I had Saturday morning, passing the first clearning I had hunted. We walked for an hour or so further, still dark out. At day break we decided this cutover just HAD to be coming up. Right about that time, we walked up on someone's four-wheeler. So as to not ruin another hunter's hunt, we decided to head down another four-wheeler trail to the right and just hunt it since it looked nice enough. We made our way downhill to a stream. This particular stream should have been my first indicator that all along we were on the right track, but I didn't process it that far. Good news - there was still mud floating around the surface of a deer track. Can someone say fresh? Another. Another. We slipped further into the woods and broke off. I found a good rub and climbed a big oak near it. It was around 7am before I was sitting down and ready. The plan was to turn on the radios at 10 or if one of us shot. At 9:50 on the dot I heard something in a thicket behind me. I slowly stood up, turned around, and there he was. All I saw was about a second worth of eye and antler. It was so thick and so fast that I was unable to get a shot off. I stayed still in hopes that he would circle back and I'd be able to take a shot. Three minutes later *BOOM*. 30 seconds later *BOOM*. Radio comes on, "I got a buck. He looks nice, but I can't really tell." At this point we were both a bit tired from the lack of sleep, so we both climbed down. I made my way over to him. Same deer. Now we had a delima. We were at least 2-3 miles in the middle of the woods to the absolute nearest way out. No four-wheeler. No sleep. 2 climbing stands, 2 backpacks, 2 guns, 2 people, 1 deer. I kneeled down to take a look at this deer. It was a legal 4 point with a 16" tall rack and about a 14" spread. It was basically a spike with 2 small points on one of the spikes. The deer weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 160-170lb, had a huge scar on his neck - that was very swollen - and his hoof was very messed up. The tarsel glands were *stout* so we ziplocked those. The genetics in this area aren't known for being the best, to say the least. He gave me the run-down of his side of the story. The buck came out of the same thicket right in front of him. It was about 150 yards and walking toward him. He got on him and waiting, but he hooked back to the left, so he whistled. The deer stopped - behind a tree - so he whistled again. The deer stepped out and he took the first shot. It was about 100 yards. He saw the deer pick up its front leg and all that was going through his mind was "Crap I just hit that deer in the leg." He reloaded his .54 caliber and got ready for the second shot. The deer circled back and started heading in the same direction from which he came - then laid down. So as to not have to blood trail this deer, he took the second shot. Come to find out, the first shot was a heart shot. That deer was dead from the moment he pulled the trigger on the first shot and just didn't know it yet. The second safety shot was a lung-lung shot. Surprisingly, he was able to dig down about 4" into the ground and recover his second round. .54cal makes a big hole in a heart! To wrap this up, we decided to walk back to the truck, get the cooler, come back and butcher it in the woods, and take the cooler out. While he was doing the final touches on his butchering job, it started to drizzle, so I headed down the stream. I knew we had to be close to my cutover. Little did we know it, but we were. Had it not been for the guy on the four wheeler that hindered us from walking down the road more, we would have found it. Four hours later, we were on the road. I'm sore now, but finally rested! We ended up taking about 70lb of meat out of the woods from that gimpy deer. There are only 3-4 weeks of hunting left this year, so I decided to elaborate on this most recent story since there may not be others this year. At least I got to see something and at least one of us killed (which was the plan). Mission accomplished and we tenderized and cooked steaks when we got back to my place. There is nothing like some wild turkey rare breed and fresh fried deer meat to end a day like that. So here's the largest spike I've seen so far:
     
  2. Sharker

    Sharker

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    Good stuff. My first deer ever was shot 3 miles deep in a swamp in Maine. I dragged and dragged for hours. I thought my quads were gonna explode. But finally got it to the truck. I have vowed to only shoot them with one foot on the road for now on.
    But alas I still enjoy getting out and walking, so every year, I have atleast one to drag a spell.
     

  3. noway

    noway

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    {It was a legal 4 point with a 16" tall rack and about a 14" spread. It was basically a spike with 2 small points on one of the spikes. }

    that just described my last Buck taken on christmas day ;)

    I know the feeling and hardwork dragging out a deer when you are that far back in the wilderness. Good job and great story ( could have use a break in the paragraphs to make it easiler to read ) ;)
     
  4. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    You don't see many "spikes" like that one. Good story, good hunt, good eating!


    You ended well.


    CanyonMan
     
  5. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

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    Great story and real nice "spike".

    Did you get a look at the teeth?

    How old was the buck?
     
  6. punkture

    punkture

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    Thanks guys. I just found out that a group of friends are willing to make a few trips to Zone 2 (south Mississippi) in Feb. Zone 1's season ends at the end of Jan, but Zone 2 extends to the middle of Feb. Lucky me, I may have more stories and pictures! As for the deer, I wish I would have gotten a full body picture. Its not uncommon for decent bucks around here to max out around 130/140# although there are exceptions. This year, the largest I have personally seen anyone take in the regions I hunt was around 190# and that is a monster for these deer. I'd say this spike went 160, maybe 170. He was certainly a big bodied deer, maybe 2.5-3 years old. My dad grew up hunting this area so my buddy and I took the rack over to his place last night to satisfy his interest and he said that he had heard of several such deer being taken this year and last year from the same area. They're wanting all of them taken out due to the poor genetics. We'll gladly oblige them.