This afternoon I went out looking for some coyotes to shoot. Instead i came back with a 3X4 mule deer. I spotted him and some does bedded down so i headed downwind to see if i could get a better look. i had lost sight of the heard for a moment but when they came back into view i couldn't see my buck i was checking out. The few does ran off as i walked up to where i thought i had seen him, nothing. i was just about to head up over the ridge to start calling when i saw him, straight down the hill from me, still bedded down. i noticed something wasn't right as i approached him because i knew he was alive, but he wasn't getting up. i couldn't see any wounds so i figured he was sick or something. we looked at each other for a couple mins before he finally got up and ran away. He didn't run far so i figured i would just keep an eye on him while i did my stand.
while i was calling i had watched him walk into a ravine and not come out. i decided to go check on him once i had finished. when i got down on his trail i started noticing blood. i followed the trail down the hill until i noticed his antlers poking out from a small cave. i could see a fair amount of blood in the snow at the opening so i figured he wasn't going anywhere if i didn't spook him again.
I ended up getting ahold of a DNR officer, we both went up and found him right where i left him. The officer ended up shooting him and thats when we noticed his front foot was pretty much hanging on by skin.
Sad to see a buck meet this kind of end. But on the up side i now have a freezer full of meat and a pretty neat story.