On opening morning ( 4 weeks ago ) at about 8:00 I heard Louann's rifle go off and as the place her stand was afforded no more than a 30 yard shot in any direction I knew we had venison.
Sense the phones do not work in the area we had the stands, and we were not that far apart, I just sat tight figuring she'd show up or yell when she was read for help.
About 30 minutes later here she comes down along the little creek I'm sitting over and as soon as she's close enough I ask her what she shot. He answer is she shot "AT" a good buck but that he'd run off and there was NO blood.
When I asked her what he did when she shot (bolted head down, hunched up and then ran?.....you know, the what/how that gives some clue to the hit.) her answer was not encouraging. She said he hopped off.....with his TAIL UP.
I did not say it to her then, mainly because I was not 100% sure but also because she was already VERY aggravated that he had had the audacity to run off after she had shot him, but I figured that somehow she had missed.
So we get to her stand and sure enough there is no blood. The spot she says he was standing in is not 20 yards from her stand and in looking at the ground it's quite easy to make out where he'd bolted from by the dry dirt ( No rain here for a while! ) exposed where the leaves were kicked up.
When I ask her "exactly" which way he went she pointed toward a trail that runs through some ferns and 10 year old pines. It was easy to follow the hoof sign for a ways and I looked all under and on any vegetation for blood, not just drops but where it might of gotten whipped off by something.
Even went so far as to stand still for a while and see if the blow flies would find it for me ( Yes this works! ).......but nothing.
She's getting more aggravated by the minute but I manage to get her to climb back up in the stand and go over the whole thing again to be 100% sure we've not missed something. Every thing seems to check out.
When she gets back down she goes over to where the deer had bolted from and after looking at the ground for a minute says, "here's another place kicked up".
Well.......that other place "kicked up", upon closer inspection, turns out to be where the bullet went. It's low and about 2 feet behind the deer.
And I can not for the life of me figure out how she missed by 3 feet, at that range!
Took a few minutes, and me climbing up in her stand to find the answer. And the answer was about 8 feet out from where I figure her muzzle was when she fired. On the bottom side of a little branch you could see where the bullet had made contact, good contact!
When I pointed this out it got loud..........
Fast forward to last week when I went back into the area and set up a game cam ( We don't use feeders, just watch trails and the like. ) just to see what was still in there. Got maybe 20 pictures before the batteries died and of those the one below elicited a "THAT"S HIM!" from Louann when she saw it.
And where he is standing is all of 10 FEET from where she shot at him 4 weeks ago. Now all we need is some weather to break him of the 100% nocturnal thing.......