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Old November 27, 2002, 10:26 AM   #1
Legionnaire
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Join Date: July 25, 2000
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,467
Missed: Ambivalent Feelings

Yesterday I was on stand for the last ninety minutes of shooting light. Already got a doe, but am still trying to get my buck.

On a stand in a hedgerow between two fields, when a three-point (spike on one side, fork on the other) entered the field to the south of me. I watched him for five minutes work his way to within 80-100 yards of me. I had just about decided to pass on him, as he wasn't very big, when I noticed he had a pronounced limp. As he grazed the cut corn, I was able to determine that he had been wounded, presumably by another hunter, in the left rear leg.

Well, I was hunting with my Encore, and I'm not very confident in my ability at that distance, so I had to weigh the risk of missing/wounding with taking a deer I didn't really want to put it out of its misery. I decided that since I had a fairly steady rest to hand in the form a tree limb, I'd take the shot.

I missed. The deer spooked, and ran to the other end of the field, where he stopped and looked back. After a couple of minutes, he disappeared into the brush. I waited twenty minutes to be sure, then climbed down and spent the next half hour looking for any sign of a hit. But there was no blood to be seen anywhere, including the place where he had stood for several minutes before leaving the field.

Conclusion 1: I missed.
Conclusion 2: I need more practice with the Encore.
Conclusion 3: I don't regret taking the shot on a wounded deer, nor losing fifty minutes to waiting and searching for signs of a hit.
Conclusion 4: I enjoyed the learning experience.
Conclusion 5: I'm going back out!
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Old November 29, 2002, 10:46 PM   #2
ENC
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Join Date: August 31, 2001
Location: Grand Lake, OK
Posts: 658
Had a similar experience Wed night.

I was duck hunting and I see a deer walking along the water about 80 yards in a straight line (Waterline has many bends). Well I was only armed with my trusty duck gun and a CCW in a sholder holster. Well I wanted to get closer and watch it a while (no ducks ) So I hustle over to the other side of the cove I'm on. As I get over there I see the buck is still walking along the water line. I sit down along the cutbank. As it comes into view I notice several things.
The deer is actually walking in the water and dipping its head down every other step or so. The deers bottom jaw and tounge is hanging down and unusable. It was silouhetted against the sun so i couldn't tell if it was fresh or not. I was debating shooting it with my pistol, but it never got within 40 yards, and it would have been very illegal. It was a nice 7 point about 120 pounds. Finally it noticed me and was off like a rocket. It moved and looked to be otherwise healthy so it must have been a recent injury. When my friend showed up we tracked it for about 200 yards. We never saw any blood.

Things I learned.

Always throw a few slugs in the hunting bag just in case.

BTW If I were in your situation, Legionnaire, I probably would have taken that shot also. In my situation no way I could get a good shot at 40 yards with a usp compact
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Old November 30, 2002, 07:38 AM   #3
Al Thompson
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Join Date: May 2, 1999
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,604
I worked for the USDA a few years back as a deer shooter. We took deer in residential areas and off an airport.

Several deer that got collected had some sort of injuries, both fresh and healed. These injuries were not (high probability) inflicted by hunters. Some were from other bucks and some from climbing fences or some other type of obstacle.

Deer do not have easy lifes.
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Old November 30, 2002, 10:52 AM   #4
12-34hom
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Join Date: June 8, 1999
Location: Iowa - northeastern
Posts: 1,779
Injured deer.

After having to put down several deer after Car vs. Deer accidents, i'm always amazed at how much punisment a deer can take and still survive.

With ENC's example, if the deer would have come within range i would have shot it. Contacting the local DNR later with details about why i shot this deer.

Jugement call all the way on this matter.

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Old December 5, 2002, 12:55 AM   #5
Bwana Earl
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Join Date: May 8, 2002
Location: Ozark Mountains
Posts: 22
12-34hom,
Don't know your particular situation, but contacting the local DNR can cause serious personal problems unless you know the individual very well. Even the most reasonable agents can get very legalistic if they think another officer may catch wind of their resonable actions. I have seen too many examples where they get caught up in the law enforcement syndrome. The latest was issuing a ticket to a farmer who got off his harvester to help his neighbor load a deer into his pickup. Seems he wasn't wearing his orange while cutting the last of his soybeans!
In court, the officer explained to an angry judge that he had a new officer with him and didn't want to appear "soft on enforcement".
Case dismissed. But what if the farmer had just paid the fine? Would have been cheaper than getting a lawyer, and some guys wouldn't be able to get off work for the same kind of charge.
I've about given up on the Boys in Green. Politics, biology and law enforcement don't seem to have the same goals.
Makes me kinda cynical. You know, like reading the Constitution and the newspaper in the same day.
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