Missouri Alternative Weapons Season 2012
Copyed from my Handgun Hunting Magazine Forum Post.
Here in Missouri for 2012 you can Handgun Hunt during what was previously the Muzzleloader Season.
The Missouri Alternative Weapons Season opened Saturday. Been busy and did not get out till this evening about 3:30 PM. Was cutting fire wood this morning. When I got done I took a bath and put on clean cloths to hunt in. Checked the Ruger 480 Super RedHawk, and made sure it was still loaded from Firearms Deer Season. It was. Got in my 17 foor Double Wide Ladder Stand at around 3:30. I got settled in, and put on the Impact Sport Electronic Hearing Protection turned up on high so I can hear. It was a calm evening with the temperature around 55 I would guess. The weather man is predicting rain tomorrow,turning to Snow Thursday, so I thought this might be a good evening to be in the ladder stand. At 4:45 I was beginning to think I had this all figured wrong. I am hunting in a deep valley on a point, so it gets dark early. I did the same thing as last year, I about talked myself into getting down a little early. Better judgement told me to stay put till closing time. A little before 5 PM I hear a deer across from me on the hill side. I spot him coming my way angeling from Right to Left. I spot horns on him about 100 yards out. I am listening to him walking in the leaves, and a single engine prop plane comes over blocking out my ability to hear the deer. The plane finally gets far enough away that I can hear again. I can still hear the deer to my Left Front. Then I spot him in the valley floor. I already have the 30mm UltraDot turned down to 1. I get on him at about 55 yards. I am not happy with the sight picture and do not shoot. Getting a lot of Bloom in the low light. The buck keeps coming my way. At around 40 yards or so he stops broadside. I get on the back of his front shoulder with the Red Dot and squeeze the trigger. WOW What a Fire Ball in the low light. The buck bolts straight ahead running up the hill behind my stand. I stand up and turn around. He stops about 40 yards up the hill. I start to get on him again. He goes sideways down the hill side. I cannot see him from my position, but I hear all kinds of crashing noise.
About this time a doe who was apparently with him shows up at the location the buck was standing when I made the shot. She is on Red Allert and moving slow as molasses. I have an Antlerless Tag, but we have lost a lot of deer to Black Tongue this year, and I had decided not to shoot any does. By the time I am sure she is gone it is dark.
Went to the house and rounded up my brother and a couple flash lights. I park the Polaris Ranger with the light pointing in the direction the deer was last seen. After about 10 minutes of looking I spot blood on a deer trail. Closer examination led me to believe the blood trail crossed the deer trail heading down hill. I start down the hill side and spot him in the valley floor piled up. Looked like he had rolled the last 20 yards to the bottom. Blood everywhere in the leaves.
I had mis-judged the rack size in the low light. I thought he was a fair 10 point. Turned out to be a long lankey 2 year old 8 point. From the look of the rack he would have been a dandy next year. I had almost perfect shot placement with the 355 WFNGC bullet. I hit the Left shoulder high on the back end, with the bullet exiting low behind the Right front shoulder. Perfect would have probably been 2 inches lower. The buck never noticed the shot was 2 inches high.
Got him back to the house and hoisted him up on the bale spikes on my John Deere tractor's front end loader. We had him cut up and in the stock tank soaking about an hour later.
That will end my 2012 Missouri Deer Season on a happy note.