My luckiest deer ever! Buck with No bullet hole!
While I was in College, my dad and went up near Paonia Colorado deer hunting. We had been walking and glassing most of the morning and were heading back to the pickup for some lunch when we stopped to talk to 3-4 out of state hunters (I think they were from Texas, but can't remember for sure). It was near the end of the season and all the Texans had left for licenses were some doe tags; back then it always amazed me that out of staters would pay good money to shoot a doe!
While we were chatting, one of them spotted some deer climbing out on a ridge above us; we all immediately started looking at them through our scopes as 3 of the out of staters started firing away. After 6-7 shots, they decided the deer were just too far away, even with their "300's".
Once they gave up, we started chatting again. One of the Texans kept watching the deer with his binoculars as we talked. After a couple minutes he said "Theres another one, and it has horns". Now thats all I needed to hear, as it was late in the season and all we had left was my buck tag and my dads bull elk tag, and I hadn't taken a shot at a deer all season. I confirmed that none of them had a buck tag and asked my dad to spot for me. Unlike the out of staters, I sat down and used my knees for support (they had all been firing away off hand). I turned my scope up on 9x and sure enough, it was a medium size buck.
The Buck was walking straight up hill away from me at around a 45 degree angle; It was as if I was looking down on him from a tree stand 600 yards tall. There was a very slight breeze blowing left to right and I decided that a 2-3' lead should be about right to catch him in the back over the shoulders. I placed the crosshair even with the left side of his body (to account for the wind), aimed in front of him a couple feet and sent the 154gr spire pt from my 700BDL 7RM on its way. I saw the buck flinch a little and lunged to the right into a tangle of scrub oak and cedars. The out of staters started cursing and asking me what caliber I was shooting.
One of the Texans said he'd walk up and make sure the buck was dead if I wanted to keep watching the area to make sure he didn't decide to get up. The Texan ended up shooting him between the eyes with a 22 pistol, but he was down and couldn't get up.
Upon gutting him, we couldn't find any entry or exit wounds. There was blood in the cavity, but no obvious damage, other than a little blood around the liver. We were stumped. After we got him home and pulled the hide, we where really amazed, as there were NO bullet holes anywhere in the hide.
It took a much closer inspection to figure out what had happened. On the right side of his body about 1/3 of the way back from the shoulder, there was a 3-4" long burn mark where the bullet had just grazed this buck. When we looked inside the ribcage, one of the ribs had a splinter missing about the size of a toothpick. Evidently, that little splinter cut into the liver and that was it.
To this day, I am amazed at how close I came to missing that deer. I got him and my bullet never entered his body! I'd post a picture of the horns, except that a few years later I gave them to a friend of mine (Charlie) from Houston.
If I remember correctly, the buck was a 4x4 around 24-26" wide.
Hope you all enjoyed the story,
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