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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
January 12th 2011 hunt
I set up a camera and some corn at this spot for the first time this year a couple days ago. I go check the camera two nights ago and I didn't turn it on properly where the screen was always lit up almost in the "read" function but not the "take" function. The corn is all still there. So I lay out a few more handfuls of corn and reset the camera. I hear it take a few shots of me walking around after dark. Good I say and head home.
The next morning was when we got a good snow, around 2 inches. Probably the most so far this season. After taking my son to school I go check the camera again. All the corn is gone and there are 77 photos in less than 12 hours. Cool. I put out a small bag of corn and head to work. I'm back on the spot at 330pm. At 4:15 a buck shows up, the same buck I shot two weeks ago and lost. He's got an irregular rack, one long spike on one side and a well formed 5 point on the other. He was fine as the day before I shot him. He makes me though and does the 180 to get up wind. 5 more deer show up but he's very nervous the whole time. Everyone else is oblivious. He ends up bolting out of there and takes a family of does and fawns with him. All except for one fawn for some reason who saw a 6 inch spike feeding in the mix so I guess it decided to stick around. I had ample opportunity at the spike but shot the small fawn. Since the other deer were nervous and followed the buck out of there, I thought this deer might too. So I took a quick shot with a moving animal. It hit far back with a 2 blade rage. The deer runs about 40 yards and stops. I see blood pouring out pretty well when it stops. A good 5 minutes go by and the deer lies down. Then of all things a fox shows up. The spike is still over the corn pile but spooks a few feet and goes on full attention with this large red fox around. But the fox is going straight for my deer. So the deer stands up now, wobbly legs and all and starts to move off with the fox right on its tail, actually circling around. I didn't have a clean shot at the deer I already shot but did for a split second have one on the fox at 35 yards. I drilled it. There was this horrific sound as the two blade rage connected with the animal in the shoulder. The arrow barely goes in the animal and the fox takes off back towards the direction of the car with my arrow and my million dollar 2 blade rage. I'd say it was a shoulder blade hit and the arrow barely penetrated. There was only a small amount of splatter blood in the snow at the shot site.
I later climb down once it was dark. The spike would not leave the food pile, even with me half way down the tree! The deer I shot who's now 40 yards away spooks though. I wait another ten minutes, scare off the spike and track the doe I shot. She's only another 10 yards away and expired. The entrance was mid section; the exit was even further back. I hit liver and gut. That smelled something awful. But the rage did its job and opened properly even though it wouldn't open on my practice target for some reason. The fox? Who knows? I have to go find him around lunch time today. The neighborhood would not think too kindly of a fox dead with an arrow in it. I butchered the deer on my own for the first time last night. Actually, I've never even watched someone else do it and I'd day I did a very good job. I even got the meat between most of the ribs and had sautéed back strap and tenderloin with onions and garlic last night. I finished everything by 10pm and shot the animal at 445. I hope I get better at this. My back is killing me today.

One more comment about the photos. After I go track my deer around 530pm and start cleaning it, it takes me roughly an hour or so to drag it near where I originally shot it and collect my climber stand. In-between that time I check my photos and 6 more deer showed up, including a nice 6 point I've had my eye on but haven't seen him in a while. Unbelievable! I couldn't have been more than 60 yards from them in the dark and with a strong wind. The other statistic of the day yesterday was that it was blowing a steady 20mph or more with winds doubling that at times. I got nervous and bear hugged my tree a few times. So… corn, late season, even a cave man can do it.

Check out the wound on his left shoulder above. Then on his right side in the picture below. This is a two week old wound.



This is the deer I shot two weeks ago and followed a decent blood trail for over 200 yards. This was the first buck I shot this season and I've passed on this exact deer probably a half dozen times. But since it was the last couple days of muzzle loader, I figured I'd try to fill a tag with my bow. Plus this buck chased off a well hit doe during the rut on me. Since then I've only let him go one other time and decided there wouldn't be a second. Well, I followed a blood trail crossing a drive way, then a street twice, the tarmac made it easy, then on to someone's front yard where I lost it. I asked permission and stayed out in the freezing cold for hours in the dark without any luck. The next morning I went back with my 4 year old who somehow found the blood. After a few attempts of cry wolf of seeing only red maple leaves, I wasn't so sure to believe him. Except he was right. I was a proud father at that moment. First I asked Ryan if he wanted to look up hill or down. I wanted to go up hill as that was an area I hadn't checked well the night before. He chose down hill, logically. Sure enough, he finds a stick with some blood on it. Now the trail was back in the forest with the help of leaves to pave the way, we were on to something. We followed it again for a couple hours and a hundred yards only to lose it. I made an effort. We hiked all over the forest that day with my son on my shoulders. Nada. Well guess what, this deer is back only two weeks later, alive and well. He quickly spotted me in my stand when I was 22 feet high and he was up wind, a strong wind I might add. I was certain it was the same deer with the irregular rack. If you look at the picture the entrance wound is high on the shoulder and off to the left on his left side. The exit wound is shown on the next photo in his neck on the left side of the body. Lesson's are being learned here. I kicked myself for taking the shot as you all should know. But I am amazed to see him so healthy and the first to show to the food pile. He bolted out of there in a hurry when a half dozen other deer didn't get the same vibe as he did. A strong gust of wind came by and he thought something wasn't right. I've seen him chasing doe well into December this year. He's a home body and will be interesting to see him next year. I just wish I could retract the shot now. Or have made a better shot I guess. He gave me a shot yesterday but with him being on high alert and the fact that he survived some serious trauma, I decided not to take it. Looks like he'll make it.

Then here's a picture of a decent 8pt buck, or what I call decent. Maybe a little skinny though. What do you guys think? He's getting old or isn't quite mature yet? His snout and face sure look distinct, almost old and gray?


Then check out the time line of the other photos. I shot my deer around 430 last night. The spike stuck around. I eventually climbed down, scared the spike off and retrieved the doe I shot. In-between the time that I climbed down and field dressed my deer, another herd shows up, including a solid heavy 6 point I've seen around. I had no idea they were ever there as they didn't know I was there. I was downwind in a wicked wind storm . When I reviewed my photos later that night, I thought my camera was acting up. The last shot is me collecting the data card last night on my way back to the truck. I was hoping the camera would have picked up the shot I made on the doe but I guess it was taking so many pictures of the spike that it didn't have time to reset for the shot.


This is me going to retrieve me deer.


20 minutes later these guys show up


And a good one shows up with the group of doe. I saw him last weekend and I think he's still tending the fawns or a few left over doe believe it or not.

Here's me pulling my card after retrieving my deer.

I hope you enjoyed the time line. Let's see if I did this right.
 

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I have had bad luck with the rage broadheads. Twice I have hit a deer in the shoulder with my crossbow and had very little penetration. The deer was lost both times. I have since switched back to thunderheads and have shot 3 deer in the shoulder and had pass throughs on every shot. Those rage heads aren't any good if you hit any bone other than ribs. I would get rid of those overpriced broadheads.
 

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Hell of a story with pics.Looks like you are having a good 1st year of bow hunting though, kill or not. I have had mixed results with those million dollar broadheads too; shot a big 8 last year in the shoulder with zero penetration...must had hit the hardest part of the bone possible...found the arrow intact missing insert and broadhead(no deer) :( Shot one this year that didn't go 30 yds and poured blood.Expandable broadheads are definately more deadly on a not so perfect shot though ..... thumbs up for taking the tenderoni instead of the spike...eat the does and let the bucks grow up . Congrats on your bowkill ! I would rather kill 1 with my bow than 10 with a gun ( with the exception of the one I got during BP season this year).Keep those great stories coming and good luck next year.
 

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Great post! I've been butchering my own for about 10 years now. I've done six so far this year. I know the aching back feeling, it was torture the next day. Got a couple of tips for you. 1. I made my own butchering table on my deck. (It's gone right now, with the deck since we just re-modeled, but it will return). I made it as high as the rail so the actual table is about chest height. It was eight by four feet long made out of two by sixes with 1/2 inch cracks in between so it was easy to rinse. Having it so high makes all the difference in the world, your back doesn't hurt the next day. Also had a clamp on reflector light for night work. When I rebuild it this summer, I'll post pics. 2. Get some toys for butchering/skinning. The butt-out tool is amazing, works better than advertised. It only failed on one deer out of about 30 so far in three years. (Relax internet game wardens, I do my brother's deer and friends too.) This year I bought the swing-blade skinner, another product worth twice it's price. I zip them straight down the back too, the skin come off so much easier. The final product in my little kit of fun is The Claw skinning tool. Between BP and Cabela's there's one for 40 bucks and one for 20. I got the twenty dollar one, and it's worth sixty. I love it, your hands aren't exhausted when you're done. Good luck in the future, it gets easier with each one you do. Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have been bow hunting for a few years now. The last two I got serious and this year got a new bow and all. I had an insane rut in early November in Montgomery County and hunted some in PG too but didn't see a thing on a perfect site. Oh well. Only just recently I've figured out a new spot. I have the permission and hope to capitalize on a horse with horns I saw this year on November 7th and 8th. I had him under my stand before day break clearing a forest and saw him with a few doe later that day. but since then, he's vanished. I got one of those trail cameras for xmas and it's been out only a few nights. I keep moving it in fear of getting it stolen. But they work and let you know what's out there.

I was just so amazed how that one deer with the deformed rack had survived. I was kicking myself for days after the shot. I spent several hours tracking blood and walking grids. Then he just shows up again. He's moving his head well, he bolted out of there in a hurry with a good 6 foot vertical jump the other day too. Plus he did it before any of the other deer did so he's well educated now. Maybe I'll keep feeding him all winter, it will be interesting to see him next year with the proper diet. But he can't be more than a 1.5 year old. Here's another shot of his left side so you can see the entrance shot. 1 inch lower and to the right and he's a gonner. I always thought that any wound would pretty much always be fatal eventually because of infection. I've heard hunters say "maybe he'll live" but always thought that was just a line they use to make themselves feel better. But in this case, I think he'll be okay.

 

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I have been hunting for 40 years and found it amazing what a deer can live through. I have seen deer with legs blown off, part of their face gone and many other various wounds. I have a friend that is a deer butcher and he has a box of items he has found in deer from broadheads to every type bullet you could imagine. These are all from wounds previous to the shot that killed them. They have a will to live with no hospital or antibiotics. The deer cameras are really cool to see what is moving through. I bought one to put in my back yard because something drug a butchered deer carcas 40 yards from behind my house to the fence.:eek2: Hasn't happened since I got the camera but have got some Bobcat pics.............Gary
 

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I have tried other broad heads but always go back to the "MUZZY". I think they would go thru a concrete wall? They do go right thru shoulders, bones you name it!!


Phil(lily)
 
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