My First Deer! Maine.


November 3, 2013, 01:50 AM
Four point, 125lb buck taken in Penobscot, ME. My first deer in three years of hunting. Opening day of firearm season at noon. He snuck up on me and gave it up to a double lung shot (and two broken ribs) with a 150gr Federal power-shok .308 from 30 feet. Recovered him after his 100yrd dead dash through the thick woods.

I'll post the full story when I finish it.

Entered with a slightly larger than .308 hole at 5th rib from front on the right, destroyed both lungs, exited at 4th rib on left, slight quartering away shot.

Warning Graphic:

Total of two ribs wasted, both sides of half of one rib bone on each side. I'm still waiting to wake up and find out this was all a dream!

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November 3, 2013, 01:52 AM
The smile says it all! Great job!! Can't wait to hear the story.

November 3, 2013, 07:24 AM
Congratulations! I hope your shot scared his buddies over the border into NH. Our (regular firearms) season opens 11/13 and I'm hoping for my first deer too.

Great job.


November 3, 2013, 07:43 AM
Nice one! This is my third year trying to get my first one too.

November 3, 2013, 07:48 AM
that should be some good eating!! Generally speaking there isn't much meat on the ribs anyway, so not a huge loss. Hope you kept the heart!!

November 3, 2013, 08:13 AM
As a fellow Mainer, congrats! I had 3 doe walk in front of my stand yesterday, didn't see any antlers though. There were a lot of deer around in the area. A couple of other guys in my hunting group got their deer. A small 6 pointer and a nice doe.

November 3, 2013, 08:57 AM
You take nice pictures, thank you.

November 3, 2013, 08:59 AM
Nice job.

Bagging a deer in Vermont, Maine, or New Hampshire is no small feat.

November 3, 2013, 10:40 AM
Nice deer, but did he really die right there trying to jump into your pickup for you?

And where did you get that nice green tag?

November 3, 2013, 11:44 AM
Congratulations. My boys and I have yet to bag our first deer. I'm sure our smiles will be as big as yours. :D

November 3, 2013, 11:51 AM
Congrats,, They now will come & you will lose count ; ) PS Keep up the GOOD WORK

November 3, 2013, 06:05 PM
I always try for the lung shot,it bleeds them out,resulting in better venison.Congratulations!

November 4, 2013, 04:20 PM
I tried to recover the ribs a few weeks ago on an 8 point. The first time I had tried to get ribs off. It was a heart shot with an good exit hole from a 50 cal black powder. But both sets of ribs were so blood shocked that we gave them to the dogs.

November 4, 2013, 09:19 PM
Upon further processing today I found that the bullet passed though a little shoulder muscle on both sides and an inch in from the back edge of the shoulder blade bone on the off side. Even being from 30ft I'm amazed the cheapest hunting ammo available at Walmart, 150gr fed power-shok soft points entered, broke one rib, destroyed both lungs, busted another rib, shattered part of a shoulder blade and exited with a 1.5-2" hole. Lots of blood shot bruising on the 'on-side' shoulder in about a 3-4" circle, 2-3" circle on off side. I did the same and saved a lot for the dogs. Some had tiny fragments of lead in them so I tossed those parts.

Total of 20lbs not used out of the 125lb deer: head (minus antlers of course), pelvis (after it was picked clean by my wonderful wife), and spine. Really glad I chose to process it myself.

November 4, 2013, 09:27 PM
I have shot more deer using the El-Cheapo ammo than using anything else. Of course now that I am a "sophisticated" trophy hunter I only use the cartridges that cost $50 a box instead of the $14 stuff. I don't think it helps me at all shooting 150 pound whitetails but the box is a lot prettier.
The only difference I have seen is that my rifles seem to pattern better at 100 yards using Federal Premium or similar shells when compared to the Win or cheap Rem or Fed. If there is any difference in the terminal results then I haven't noticed it.
Congratulation on a great trophy!

November 5, 2013, 09:06 AM
Good job dude!

November 5, 2013, 09:41 AM
Congrats! The first one is special.

November 5, 2013, 10:40 AM
That is a good looking little Buck, Congratulations !...............Should be good eating.

November 5, 2013, 11:12 AM
Congrats. There is something forever special about one's first deer.

November 6, 2013, 01:54 PM
The guys are right. There is only one first deer. Relish the warm feeling. You earned it.

November 6, 2013, 02:18 PM
Congrats, sure to put a smile on your faces every meal!

November 8, 2013, 10:04 PM
Ok here's the full story, fair warning though I'm very detail oriented and this is quite long winded but I wanted to capture all aspects possible of this moment in my life. Hope you enjoy reading it a fraction of how much I enjoyed living it just last week.

My first buck:
It was Maine's 'Resident Only' opening day, Nov. 2nd 2013, I woke up early, really early, 0400 early. I Barely slept I was so excited to get down to the 32 acres I had been given permission to hunt on just a couple weeks before the season opened. A good friend told me about the land; there was an open field, water source from beavers damming up a stream, and woods, mostly woods. The land had been free of hunters and pressure for about a decade and I was the only one that would be prowling the woods and fields. I started walking the fields at 0630 just a few minutes before shooting time started. I continued to cover the open ground for a couple hours before getting back in the truck to warm up and grab a snack.

Next it was time to just sit in the field for a while and see if they would come to me. Sun got over the tree tops, warmed me up and the birds sung me off to a late morning nap to get back some of my lost sleep. I faded in and out if consciousness enjoying the serenity of the outdoors. After 20-30 minutes I was getting too warm and checked the temperature to discover it was just over 60deg F (usually unheard of in Maine in November). I chose to leave my pack and lawn chair in the middle of the field as I wouldn't be traveling more than a few hundred yards from them tops. I planned to make my way through the woods back towards my truck to swap out the scoped .308 for the iron sight 12ga slug gun.

I was still hunting through the woods and it was about noon at this point, much cooler than out in the field. I was making my way slowly through the thick pine and birch growth, trying to be quiet, watching the ground to pick my steps, watching the woods for my adversary. Every leaf and twig I stepped on sounded like it echoed through the near silent woods, not to mention the scrape of branches on my clothing as I had to squeeze between trees that there was no way around. I was thankful it had been warm enough that I removed my Carhart jacket as that would have been even louder.

I stopped and looked around, interrogating every space between the trees with my eyes, listening for steps that weren't mine. I would guess you couldn't see further than 50-60 feet where I was. Remembering stories of "the hunted following the hunter", I looked back just over my right shoulder and saw something that looked out of place. A little bit of brown behind a tree. Too high and not the right texture to be part of the surrounding pine needle ground litter. Then I saw some slow movement and a flash of white. My heart pounded, my body shook and my mind didn't believe I could really be seeing what I was seeing.

The head was perfectly behind a tree where neither of us could get a good look at the other. I needed to turn, steady my rifle and get a better look through the scope. Just as I got a good draw on its position with my rifle propped atop my shooting sticks (not yet forked out), the head swings to its left around the tree and I'm in a staring contest with a deer at 10 yards. The head fills my lowest 4x power setting of my scope from this close. At this point I still couldn't clearly make out any antlers. We both stay as still as possible, we both keep staring, trying to figure the other out, when finally he, yes he turns and I see what before might have been a dead pine branch, turn the same way his head did.

I'm shaking and trying to steady my rifle on top of my shooting sticks to little avail. So I know I have to spread the sticks and use the "V". His head is behind the tree again so I start to move, I take the safety off so I don't forget, he starts looking at me again. We dance back and forth like this for what seem like minutes but must have only been 5 to 10 seconds. The whole time I can't understand or believe why he hasn't busted me and darted off. Finally I have my rifle steadied in the fork of the sticks, I strafed to my left to clear a pine sapling that I feared would divert my 150gr .308 bullet, and he turns to walk casually away, seconds from disappearing back into the trees from which he came. Just as I have a clear look at his right side, he paused, almost broadside, just slightly quartering away. I center the crosshairs of my scope below his back just behind and over his right shoulder and I squeeze.

In that fraction of a second it all comes together but I worry about every detail. The new scope I just mounted and zeroed the week before, the hours and hundreds of rounds of practice, my choice of ammo, my shot placement, was it a clear path for the bullet, did I flinch, did he move, was I still sleeping in the meadow. He jumped and took off like nothing I've ever seen. In the thick of the woods, by the time I came off the scope he had vanished. I heard more than saw the general direction he went in. Then came the real worrying and a couple mistakes. I didn't mark where I had shot from before chambering the next round and moving towards where he had been when I shot. I couldn't find a single drop of blood, or a single track or kicked up area of pine and leaf litter.

It felt like a clean break didn't it? It looked like good placement right? I didn't see anything in the way did I? I text my wife excitedly telling her I had taken a shot. I waited a few minutes and moved slowly in the direction he seemed to go seeing almost nothing along the way. Nothing but thicker and thicker woods. I found an odd deposit of droppings not even sure it was from a deer, then a more deer-like pile later on but no other sign. No blood, no tracks, no trail. I sulked out to the field, picked up my pack and chair, and trudged back to the truck, regretting that text message to my wife. How could I have missed? How did he not drop? What happened? I had begun to convince myself that a twig/branch had deflected it, or I somehow "air-balled" it over him because of how close he was.

I ate lunch in the truck and charged my phone, while trying to replay it all in my head. I realized and confirmed in my ballistic app that my thought of airing it over top was indeed backwards, and at that range the shot should have been low if anything. Leaving my pack behind, bringing only my knife and some basics in my cargo pockets, I switched out the .308 for my 12ga with slugs and worked my way back into the woods. I was trying to find where I shot from or where I thought he was when I shot. Regretting not marking either spot with my gps I just resigned myself to hunting in the general direction he had vanished in.

Along the way I encountered the same odd dropping pile so I knew I was going the right way. I turned on my gps track at this point. A little further and I found the 'wall of young pines' that had halted my progress earlier. Not seeing a way around, I pushed through. It was loud, it was messy, but it eventually opened back up after a few yards. I continued still hunting as I had been before cautiously stepping, looking, listening.

Again I saw something, much further away this time as this was a more open area of the woods with fading afternoon light filtering through to the forest floor. At first I thought nothing of it, then said "why not", go check it out. It was almost in the 'right' direction and was a nice open path through the woods. As I got closer it looked less and less like a brown rock or mound of dirt and pine needles. It wasn't until I was inside 20yards that I saw a hoof and antler. For the second time that fine day I couldn't believe my eyes. I approached cautiously shotgun shouldered, but it was not needed, he was quite expired. Just about three hours elapsed between the shot and recovery. He was quite stiff and very bloated so I assume and hope he must have died quickly.

As I said it turned out to be a double lung shot, taking two ribs and a chunk of the off shoulder blade as well. The only blood I ever found was pooled at his snout where he laid when I found him, barely any on either side of the through and through holes. Measured on the GPS, he ran 120 yards, and I dragged him 140 yards out through the thick stuff by myself. That 125lbs felt a lot more like 300 by the time I reached the open field where I could drive the truck up to. I laid out in the field catching my breath for several minutes taking in the moment.

Only 10-15 lbs isn't being used and that is mostly spine, and pelvic bone. I'm proud to honor this sacrifice of life by making use of all parts possible. Hide is off to be tanned, antlers are ready to become my new gun rack, the freezer is slap full and my four dogs are set on leg bones to chew for the next two years.

I will never forget this experience and can't remember the last time I felt so exhilarated both for the shot and the recovery. I'm hooked for life. Only five years until I can hopefully share all this with my son.

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