View Full Version : Buck Fever

December 4, 2000, 11:54 AM
I admit it, I got buck fever last Friday. I saw him about 80 yards away running across the pasture, head down, after a doe. The adrenalin was pumping, my heart began to race and I got the shakes. The buck moved around to the right side of my blind and was still in some brush maybe 90 yards away. I am still excited looking at a nice 6 point or 3x3 for non-Texans. The buck steps into the clear and I have him in the cross hairs, I think to myself "squeeze the trigger" as I jerk the trigger back and flat out miss the buck. He jumps and runs off showing no sign of being hit. My hunting partner and I check for blood, hair or any signs of a hit for about two hours and see nothing. We found his tracks, where he jumped at the shot and where he ran off. I am embarrassed.

As a consolation, I saw a medium doe later that afternoon about 80-90 yards away and dropped her in her tracks with my .243. It's amazing what squeezing the trigger and not being dazzled by antlers can do for you.

The backstrap I cooked Saturday night sure was tender.

Maybe the 6 point will be a 10 point next season. And maybe I won't be as whacked out when I see him.

December 4, 2000, 12:22 PM
Thats the kind of stuff that haunts you. I bet you were sick after that. You'll get him next year, a little bigger hopefully.

December 4, 2000, 05:26 PM
Hey don't worry about it. Just learn from it. There isn't a hunter out there that hasn't done the same thing. It's just one step in becoming a better hunter.

I'm glad you got the chance to put some meat in the freezer with the doe you shot.

Al Thompson
December 4, 2000, 05:39 PM
A clean miss does not bother me (other than chagrin). The sick part is when you knock one down and lose him. Luckily good pre-hunt prep can really reduce those occurances.

I missed a hog at 50 yards once. But my Dad scored it as a clean miss, so not a big problem....


December 4, 2000, 06:23 PM
I lost a buck when I was in high school. The rancher found the carcass a few months later about 200-300 yards from where I shot it. I have the antlers as a reminder to be a better tracker. It is a large rack (13 pts), and I am ashamed of it because I shot that magnificint animal and it went to waste.

On Friday, when this buck jumped at the shot, I hoped it was because I hit it. When I found no evidence of a hit, I prayed it was a clean miss because I am still bothered by the one I lost years ago.

I hadn't shot a deer since 1989, so the shakes got me bad. When I saw the group of doe later that evening, I got shaky again but had more time to take a deep breath and calm down before the taking my shot. When the doe dropped immediately, I was relieved. My confidence in myself and my .243 were restored, even though I still feel foolish for getting the yips over a set of antlers eariler in the morning.

I am proud of the doe I got, but will remember the one that got away.

On the way back from the trip we picked up the deer my buddy got in early November. The jalepeno deer sausage is incredible.

December 4, 2000, 09:35 PM
I've been hunting deer for over 30 years now, and I still get the shakes on a good buck. I hope I never lose that fever.

December 4, 2000, 10:19 PM
I'm glad people are being more kind to you than some board members (not all) were being to me when I admitted to missing a buck last month. Nobody's perfect, you still got meat for the freezer.

Art Eatman
December 4, 2000, 11:56 PM
Hey, guys have been known to completely run a gun dry--without even pulling the trigger once!

Once I stopped my truck to look at a really big buck; it was on the off side, so my passenger could take the shot. Not very far; the buck was unconcerned about us and just meandered along. My buddy didn't even raise his rifle. He just sat there, saying, "My God, look at that! Look at him! My God, he's huge!", and on and on as the buck wandered into the brush and gone, gone, gone...

:), Art

December 5, 2000, 02:47 AM
Hey patrick, I remember that post. Some guy tried to tell you how un-ethical you were. jeez. What a nut, we all miss. But sometimes it's not just a shot that you miss, but an oppurtunity.

I had lived and hunted for 10 years before we moved to idaho, and was very disapointed to find that I now couldn't hunt for two more years, and only then after I'd passed hunt safety. Finally I turned 12 and could hunt big game that fall (I hate to break it too ya, but I *may* have been hunting all along, just not carrying a gun in the field:D) So the hunter safety couses had pounded and pounded into my head "don't take a shot unless you're 100% certain you can make it. And only take shoulder shots" My dad told me that if I deliberatly shot at the shoulder, he would make me butcher the deer myself. He said behind the shoulder you ruin 1000% less meat and it'll be just as dead. So anyways, opening morning we're headed up the road to our hunting spot. I was sitting up front and had the rem600 in 6mm by me. It was really foggy and visabuility was about 30 yards. We spotted a herd of about 6 mule deer byside the road and I noticed a fork horn. Yeah yeah, just a forky, but my first deer, on opening morning, I was hyped. So we turned around and went back, and he was standing about 20 yards away, but kinda behind the burm of dirt along the road so I only had a head shot. I desided not to (only chest shots) and ducked down behind the little ridge and crept forward, when I popped over the top(about 3 seconds later) they were gone. With visabuility at only 30 yards, and not seeing were they went, we could only track them. We tracked them all morning, but the fog didn't lift till after noon, and we never saw them again.

Looking back, even seconds after it happened, I knew I should have shot. I only had a head shot, but I'd shot rabbits that size (the size of the deers head) at atleast twice that far, and without a scope. Well, chalk one down for uncertainty, by a kid who'd been over influenced to doubt his own skill. But at just 20 or so yards, I definatly Should have taken the shot.:( My next opportunity to bag a buck was 2 years later. He's on our wall:D

December 6, 2000, 07:28 PM
Actually, Stephen_g22, I hope you never lose that susceptibility to buck fever. Because when you do, you will probably give up hunting. Its the thrill of the hunt that keeps sport hunters coming back year after year. Take that away, and you might as well take up basket weaving.


Ron Ankeny
December 6, 2000, 09:27 PM
We all miss once in a while. This fall I was with my brother when a nice 7X7 bull elk appeared and then ran over to a ridge about 300 yards away, stopping broadside. I really got buck fever bad, and I didn't even have a license. My brother shot the critter, and I caped it out for him. We giggled all the way to the taxidermist's shop.

You ought to see me when I have a flock of geese with their wings set over the decoys 30 yards away. jbgood is right, when the thrill is gone, you might as well take up basket weaving...

December 7, 2000, 10:15 AM
Try to think about how heavy the Son of A Gun is gonna be to drag 200 yards to your vehicle, that always helps me (yes I am LAZY!).

Kind of like thinking about Baseball helps for other situations...;)

Like JBGood said...it's a sign that you truly love the Hunt.