Speaking of the humility thing...
Well we spent the all of last week on the road chasing sorted types of game from several areas. The finiale was hunting with the grandson at my buds place, where he got his first hog.
We got there too late to head out Friday morning not knowing where everyone else was hunting. It wasn't an issue, as the fog was so thick you could only see around 25yds in any direction until around 9:00. In that county they had a special three day no permit season on does and we were thinking that we might see a nice one for the kid.
We hunted the evening hunt and didn't see anything but small young bucks. The next morning we were in the stand just at the first hint of daylight. Still the fog was so thick that it was seemingly raining on us from the condensate falling from the above leaves. At 7:00 we had a button buck come out at about 30 yds from us and work his way to the feeder which was set at 50 yds. Using my bino's is was just about all I could do to make him out at times as the fog rolled through. A few minutes later another deer then still another moved up from behind the feeder in the brush. The first I quickly made out to be the nice young 8 point we had seen before and we watched as he ate a bit and then proceeded to walk by us almost close enough to reach out and touch. The fog was thinning some but still had the area encased. At this point the other deer had moved up to feed and I made it to be a nice sized doe and we decided to try for her.
We got the camcorder set up and dialed in on the area, then came the grandson and his rifle. Even though the sun was starting to breach the horizon some, back in the bottom it was still twilite conditions. We got ready and just needed to wait for the doe to get into the right position. Well this is when she spotted the grandson's off colored hat move. She didn't blow out, but definately made things difficult for us for around half an hour. With the surrounding cover and the small button buck getting in front or behind her at the wrong time, it made waiting for the proper shot very difficult for the both of us. Just when it would be clear, she would turn or he would step up, or she would step behind a tree. Well the kid held in there like a trooper, following her back and fourth keeping his rifle on her. Finially we had a chance and I told him to put it on her and when the buck moved to take the shot. He mentioned he couldn't get things right and wanted to turn on the spot in the scope, which I did. I asked if things were good and he said yes.
THe day before we had been shooting in a few rifles. After everyone had taken a few shots, the grandson mentioned he would like to ring the 200yd gong. Well when he did , the inlaws of my bud's, looked at me like, "No way", but I told him if he thought he could no problem. So we set him up a bag, and with the first shot he pinged the gong about 2" low and just to the left of dead center. This is about where the load he is shooting should hit so I was fine with it as was he. Everone else was very impressed to say the least.
As the doe turned completely broadside, 20 minutes after we first started this ordeal, the button buck was standing directly behind her in our line of fire. I told Cody to be ready and when he move to drop her. I could feel him tense up as he prepared for the shot, and I move the safety to the fire position for him. The buck took three steps to our left and gave us a clear shot and he took it.
At the shot I was totally focused on the deer. Luckily I had enough time to refocus the camcorder on her and get set for the shot befor the battery went dead. At the shot the doe left like she was an Olympic sprinter leaving the blocks. Within about 15 - 20 yds she was out of site, and I listened as she headed through the underbrush. IT sounded like she crashed just a short way straight in back of the feeder. After putting another round in the rifle, we waited for thirty minutes before attempting any movement from the stand. During this time I tried to rewind the tape and see if we could tell about the hit. With the battery on it's last leg and several attempts I finially got what I was looking to see. At the shot the doe had her head down, and when the trigger broke she sucked up her mid section and left the scene. I have seen this several times in the past and it made me very uneasy about the hit.
Using the 125gr BT's, I had no doubts that we would get a full pass through on a deer, after seeing the damage it did to the hog he shot. After the long wait and review, I eased out and did the first recon of the shot area. I found nothing but a few disturbed leaves in the area of about 30 yds of where she was standing. To be sure I went back and reviewed the tape once more to be certian of the exact location she was at the shot. I looked for half an hour before finding the first match head drop of bright red blood. Following this I made out a very short trail of about 20 yds before it stopped and then nothing. We loaded up and headed out to get my bud and one of his inlaws to help screen the area.
Well after several hours of searching close to 50 acres of woods, we had hit a very light trail. The crash I had heard, was the deer heading through the tail end of a pond we are set up by, which goes about a hundered yards up and away from us. She then proceeded to head another 200 or more yards on up a trail which led us to the property line and through the fence.
The neighboring property had traded owners in the past year or so, and we had no way to get in touch with the owners or anyone who even knew how to reach them. Being the trail was as light with only bright red drops every couple of hundered feet or so. we later determined after watching the video several more times, that the shot must have gone low and only clipped her.
The grandson was there the whole time marking the trail and learning what, and why, we do what we do. He was somewhat upset we didn't find his deer, and understandably so. However he now also knows that when you hit one and it runs, we don't give up on it until something forces us to. The terrain we hunt in is not conducive to deer running at the shot. They only have to travel a short way to completely disappear form sight in most cases. We tracked a buck several years ago, for almost two straight days and close to a mile, before a storm front came through and blew out the trail. Later the next week, I did however manage to see him again doing well and chasing does. When the shot broke on that one, the buck was in pursuit of three does. Just at the shot he turned enough that the shot clipped his right ham instead of hitting him in the right shoulder as it should have. The hit mearly branded him with about a 3" long slice which had already closed up and was not bothering his abilities one bit.
WE all hate to have an animal run, no matter where the hit is. However, there are no guarantees that even the best shot will down the animal on the spot or that the hit will always be what we want. WE do all we can any time that we have one run and in about 98% of the times this happens we find what we are looking for. However with weather and nature in general, there are times that it simply does not work out for us. This leaves us with a sick feeling for days and sometimes even the rest of the season. It does however teach us to work harder at making things happen the right way the next time and look for the errors that contributed to the turn out this time.
After the hunt I reviewed the tape many more times. I also took the rifle out and shot it as well. This is where I might have found one thing which might have contributed to the scenereo. THe scope on the rifle is a 1.5x6 power. It has an iluminated tiny spot which when turned on is directly in the center of the the cross hair. However, when the scope is set at different powers, this also changes the impact area of the bullet. During the hunt, the scope was set on 1.5, where it is normally set up to 6 power. Did this throw the shot off, or was this what the grandson meant about nt seeing so well? I don't know, but the fault was mine for not checking, and I have to cover this one. I know he is only a 5yr old kid, and things like this are for the most part beyond folks even believing him able to do. However, he has more ambition than a lot of adults I know and takes things like this very seriously. So this has been a learning experience for the both of us, and next time out I will be checking on the extra items as well.
Mike / Tx
"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"