2fer day dad and the kidlet


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H&Hhunter
October 31, 2010, 02:50 AM
The alarm rang at the vicious hour of 04:30 I rolled over and shut it off with the intention of blowing off the morning hunt and snuggling back into my pillow. I lay there for about 5 minutes and developed a severe case of over achievement got up and dearly dressed my tired stiff old carcass. After a nice truck stop breakfast on the run of a ham and cheese croissant and a Pepsi I headed out into the frigid dawn drove south of Lamar CO and pulled off the main road onto a two track that led into a state wildlife area that was to be my first glassing area of the morning.

I shut the truck off and started glassing a deep cut that lay directly east into the rising sun. After about 5 minutes I set the glasses down stretched and took a long pull from a bottle of Pepsi then continued to glass the draw with no results. The draw was barren so I started the truck up and was just about to drive off when some movement to the right caught my attention. About 400 yards off to the right was a sight that many public land hunters wait a lifetime for. Standing tall and broadside was the most magnificent whitetail buck I've ever seen, his inside spread went at least 6 inches outside of his ears his G2's towered at least 12 to 14 inches and his main beams held their mass all the way to the tips with a really cool bladed main on his right side and went way past the end of his nose and were accompanied by 6 additional tall thick points. My brain quickly calculated him to be at least a 170 to 180" class buck.

Now I'd love to write this post with the picture of that monarch in my possession but the hunting gods are cruel and sometimes Diana the goddess of the hunt has quite a snide sense of humor.

The buck was fully alert and I instantly got a case of the fever. Greed filled my soul with visions of putting a true Boone and Crockett buck on the ground as my heart rate elevated, I clumsily and with fumbling fingers shut the truck off yanked my .300 win mag from it's case jumped from the truck and chambered a round. Ladies and gentlemen I had a full fledged case of buck fever something that rarely affects me nowadays but apparently was not fully dormant it hit me like a case of cerebral malaria, full force and with brutal effect on my ability to think or shoot.

I ran a short distance to a small rise dropped my bipod acquired the buck in my scope and snapped a shot off, of course it was a clean miss. The buck turned and ran directly towards me the shot was high the buck was confused and ran into open ground traveling towards the draw at a not too panicked loping gate. He pulled up and stopped broadside in the wide open at about 250 yards. I snapped another round into chamber and without the slightest use of proper shooting technique or discipline I yanked the trigger pulling the shot to the left of the buck. With that the old veteran showed me his tail and disappeared into the deep cut draw.

I laid my head onto the stock closed my eyes and wanted to cry I had just blown the chance of a lifetime. I cussed myself and the fever left my brain as fast as it had come on, but too late the trophy buck was gone. I berated myself a bit more and admitted to my dejected subconscious that I had just pulled the rookie mistake of the century. I dejectedly walked back to the truck pulled it off the road and went over the last place I'd seen the buck and checked for blood knowing damn well that there was none to be found. I found his deeply imprinted tracks and started following them the spoor was dry there was no sign of a hit.

I decided to follow a bit further just in case. After about a half mile I had topped the back side of the draw and put the glasses up. There he was! I moved up to position laid down and waited for him to present a shot I was able to get a range on him with my laser at 389 yards he was standing broadside with his head down behind a large group of yucca I waited clam now and ready. Waiting for him to lift his head just to be sure this was the same buck I waited he was standing I imagined that I saw him get a bit wobbly and even convinced myself that I could see a wet bloody stain on his flank I told myself that you must have hit him after all, besides with all that shooting earlier how could it be not be my boy? Any other deer would have vacated the country right, RIGHT?

The buck shifted a bit and I caught a flash of white antler through the screen of yucca and what I saw was thick and mature this had to be my boy. I sucked in a breath let it halfway out and applied pressure to the trigger. At the report the buck jumped straight into the air and I was rewarded with a soggy echoing ker smack as the the 180 gr TSX took the buck square through the shoulder. The buck came down took one leap and piled up dead, as dead as yesterdays dinner. For the second time that morning I instantly went from total elation to a sick empty feeling in my gut. When he jumped up at the shot I knew instantly that this wasn't the same buck. A good mature deer but not the monster I had started on, staying on the scope I racked in another round and watched to make sure that he was indeed finished.

To the right and about 50 yards closer the monster appeared in my scope he had been standing in some tall cactus the whole time I hadn't seen him until now. He stood for a moment looking back at me, I shifted the cross hairs over to his vitals and for as a split second had an evil urge to shoot him too. As soon as the urge came on, a heavy case of ethics and character kicked in and I watched him in the scope as he trotted over the horizon and out of my life forever, leaving me with that last haunting vision of those massive antlers flashing in the sun.

I went over to my buck and placed my orange hat on antlers. I cut the tracks of the big boy and dogged them for another 500 yards or so just to make sure, I couldn't find any sign of a hit the trail was dry.

When I got back to my dead deer I sat for moment enjoying my buck the solitude and the silence of the morning and thanked Diana for the privilege of being allowed to take this buck and the awesome privilege of being able to hunt in this stark beautiful land. I took a few pictures and set into the job of field dressing him. At some point I looked up and noticed a blue pickup with a spotting scope out the window watching my from the county road about a half mile to the east. I started to drag my deer up to the county road and the blue truck cut off the road and came out into the plains to meet me, it was the DOW. The officer came over and checked me and offered me a ride to my truck which I gladly accepted. After a short time he looked over at me and said "For a second there I thought that you were going to shoot that other buck." I replied "You watched that huh?" he said "Yep I was up on the butte and saw the whole thing." I told him that the thought had crossed my mind. He just smiled and said I'm sure glad you didn't do that, I said yeah me too whether you were watching or not I'm sure glad I didn't do that either.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02504.jpg
I like to shoot further forward than most Americans do on game. Here is the shot entry and generally where I shoot stuff.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02492.jpg
Many claim that this shot is to far forward for a heart shot. But in reality it isn't. Here's the heart any questions?:)
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02509.jpg

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H&Hhunter
October 31, 2010, 02:54 AM
So after I got this buck loaded I hauled butt back up to my house about 2.5 hours north skinned him and picked my kiddo up from school. She had a doe tag in our local unit so we decided to go out that afternoon and give it a whirl. Diana was once again waiting in the wings!

After some glassing with no luck we decided to walk some draws. After about a mile we spotted a single doe down in a coulee and quickly made a plan. After crawling for about 200 yards and getting a nice new collection of cactus spines in our hands and knees we topped the rim of the coulee and got into position. We belly crawled another 5 feet and the whole world exploded with deer at least 50 deer were bedded on a bench just above the draw. All those deer and being that close rattled us a bit as they were way closer and way more of them than we had expected. Deer were going everywhere. My girl set up three different does only to have them explode away. Finally a nice doe and a yearling posed as pretty as a picture at about 150 yards. I pointed them out and told her to shoot the one on the right. I focused my binos on the doe. At the shot I heard the distinct smack of the bullet striking flesh. The doe jumped and then stood still. I told Tori to shoot again she's still up. Nothing, I turned to look at her and she said "No she's down!" The doe trotted off and I asked my girl if the one she had shot at went down? She said yep straight down. I looked again and there it was a gray shape with a leg feebly kicking it's last. Tori said "did I shoot the wrong one I didn't see the other one until after the shot." I started laughing I guess it runs in the family baby.

So in one day dad blew a chance on a trophy and baby girl shot a button buck on her doe tag. Fortunately in Colorado any deer with horns less than 5" long is considered legal on a doe tag.

We spent all day today butchering our deer.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02516.jpg

Roughneck08
October 31, 2010, 03:07 AM
You never fail to impress, H. That heart is mince meat! His neck is swollen I see. The bucks out here have been chasing the does for already two weeks and are love crazed. As always we enjoy your stories. Congrats to you and your daughter!

H&Hhunter
October 31, 2010, 03:26 AM
Thanks Roughneck,

Yep the pre rut is just starting to kick in up here.

Lon371
October 31, 2010, 04:56 AM
Great job! Congrats to you and your daughter.

Lonny

wankerjake
October 31, 2010, 11:28 AM
Well at least you got some trigger time, beats any day at the office right? I'm liking that kind of shot placement, I'm pretty much sold on it and will be shooting shoulders on deer this year (hopefully). Congrats to you both, a lotta folks don't get to experience what you guys did the other day and it's special. I've had great times with my old man and I hope my girls will hunt with daddy some day.

At the shot I heard the distinct smack of the bullet striking flesh.
Don't you just love that sound!?

H&Hhunter
October 31, 2010, 12:39 PM
Don't you just love that sound!?

Ahhh yes the symphony of hunting success!!

interlock
November 1, 2010, 04:43 AM
good post H & H. the picture of the heart taken beside the impact point picture is very useful. the heart is a long way forward in a deer and pretty much inline with the front leg if broadside. it is worth noting that the deers humourous is at quite an angle forward of the leg. it makes quite a good "pocket" between humourous and under the shoulder blade to put a bullet.

congratulations on having your daughter hunt with you.

interlock

H&Hhunter
November 1, 2010, 11:55 AM
the heart is a long way forward in a deer and pretty much inline with the front leg if broadside. it is worth noting that the deers humourous is at quite an angle forward of the leg. it makes quite a good "pocket" between humourous and under the shoulder blade to put a bullet.

interlock,

That is exactly correct. A lot of people believe that if you don't shoot behind the rear line of the shoulder that you are going to do massive damage because you will be hitting the shoulder bone. Nothing could be further from the truth as you describe in your post.

In Africa hunters describe the area between the rear line of the shoulder and the beginning of the humorous bone as the "vital" triangle. Since I've quit shooting American style behind the shoulder my one shot drops have dramatically increased.

You do loose a bit of shoulder meat on but it's not enough for me to worry about it's usually pretty minimal depending on the caliber and bullet use.

H&Hhunter
November 1, 2010, 12:03 PM
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02492-1.jpg

Most of you guys know this but I thought I'd break it down just for clarification.

What I've drawn is the vital triangle.

The white spot is my bullets entry as you can see from the photo of the heart that is pretty much the dead center where the heart is located in a deer. The green circle is what is referred to as the "point of the shoulder". The blue line is the back of the shoulder line and the purple on the bottom side is the back line of the humors and on the top the thick part of the scapula.

If you put a bullet anywhere in that triangle you will either hit heart or ascending aorta and you'll be treated to a very rapid kill.

On dangerous game you'll hear of hunters aiming for the point of the shoulder to "break a critter down" They are aiming for that massive knuckle joint that joins the scapula and the humorous. That shot is absolutely devastating on any quadruped but on a light animal like a deer it will do massive meat damage to the front quarters so I don't recommend it unless you don't care about your front quarter meat.

interlock
November 1, 2010, 05:21 PM
On dangerous game you'll hear of hunters aiming for the point of the shoulder to "break a critter down" They are aiming for that massive knuckle joint that joins the scapula and the humorous. That shot is absolutely devastating on any quadruped but on a light animal like a deer it will do massive meat damage to the front quarters so I don't recommend it unless you don't care about your front quarter meat.
this is what i term as a shoulder shot. very different to a chest shot. i have found that a chest shot which goes through that triangle with a moderately paced, soft pointed but quite heavy bullet kills really well with relatively little meat damage.

interlock

H&Hhunter
November 1, 2010, 08:38 PM
this is what i term as a shoulder shot. very different to a chest shot. i have found that a chest shot which goes through that triangle with a moderately paced, soft pointed but quite heavy bullet kills really well with relatively little meat damage.


Ditto as have professional hunters the world over for a very long time.

countertop
November 2, 2010, 12:00 AM
Mods/H&H

Can I suggest you take that post of the picture with the triangle and place it in the Vitals sticky. That's a pretty good graphic, and I wish I had it Friday morning when I took a newbie out hunting.

Rail Driver
November 2, 2010, 12:05 AM
Beautiful. Just beautiful! I wish I had the time and resources available right now for a deer hunt!

Congratulations to both of you!

H&Hhunter
November 2, 2010, 01:18 AM
Mods/H&H

Can I suggest you take that post of the picture with the triangle and place it in the Vitals sticky. That's a pretty good graphic, and I wish I had it Friday morning when I took a newbie out hunting.

countertop,

I'll see what I can do.

Readyrod
November 2, 2010, 08:06 AM
Thanks H&H you just taught me something, AGAIN. I owe you a beer.

TexasRifleman
November 2, 2010, 09:18 AM
It's in the sticky now. Good stuff!

Gaiudo
November 2, 2010, 09:28 AM
Nice narrative, as always H&H. Thanks for the stories and the memories. Tori's growing up fast, you've got a young woman there as a hunting partner! We sure miss the plains of Colorado.

Robert
November 2, 2010, 11:19 AM
That is awesome H&H. I am leaving Friday after work for my Elk hunt. I want to publicly thank you for your help in getting this novice squared away with a great load for the 45-70. You are a wealth of knowledge and one heck or a nice guy and story teller. Glad you and your daughter had a great time. Good thing she looks more like her mom ;)

H&Hhunter
November 2, 2010, 12:04 PM
Nice narrative, as always H&H. Thanks for the stories and the memories. Tori's growing up fast, you've got a young woman there as a hunting partner! We sure miss the plains of Colorado.

Gaiudo,

Thanks pard,

She is growing up fast isn't she! And she loves to hunt. Bailee is going for her first elk this year and is all twiterpaited. I hope that she gets a chance at one. She's already got a handicap as we know who her guide is.;)

Gus,

Your welcome and good luck.

Readyrod,

I'll take you up on that beer when do we go hunting?

usmc1371
November 3, 2010, 03:32 AM
Great story H&H. I think I know just how you felt when you were looking at that monster buck after droping your buck. I hunted mule deer with a bow this year for the first time and after getting busted by quite a few ok bucks and lots of spooky doe's I was starting to get fustrated. Driving out of my hunting area (southeast Oregon) after four great days of hunting, still deer-less, I spoted a monster four point with nice deep forks probably in the 28" range. It was late, I was packed up and headed home so my bow was buried and the buck was about 300 yards across the open sage so not much chance for a bow stalk any ways. I had my 300 on the front seat since I had been busting coyotes with it... I did slide it out the window and turn the scope up to 10X to get a good look at the buck and I know I could have droped him and hung an archery tag on him. But, I just can't bring my self to do it. I guess I would rather go home with a tag in my pocket verses a deer that I broke the law to get.
The next weekend I made a great shot on a decent 3X4 muley at 64 yards. This is the first animal I have ever shot an arrow at and he didn't go fifty yards. I don't think I have been so excited since I killed my first deer 20 years ago.

Readyrod
November 4, 2010, 09:04 AM
"Readyrod,

I'll take you up on that beer when do we go hunting?"

Can't wait but I'll need to escape from Japan first.
RR

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