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Old November 15, 2009, 06:43 PM   #1
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Weird, thrilling and ultimately disappointing day afield.

One of the things I love about deer hunting is that no two days are the same and today was no exception. I've been watching does and a fork-horn all season in the pasture behind the house and ultimately killed a very nice 8-pointer one evening last week. I was watching the same pasture this morning and noticed a clump of grass that got darker after first light. I raised the binoculars and spotted a decent buck bedded down. I ranged him to see that he was almost exactly 300 yards out. He wasn't as big as the first one this season and he wasn't presenting much of a shot. A few does came out and milled around and he didn't seem to notice them.

He wasn't in any hurry and I wanted to get a better look at him so I waited... for two hours. The sun finally got high enough that I got a good look at him and I decided that he wasn't a shooter. He didn't have much mass and his width was just inside his ears. I finally got bored, went in the house and made waffles.

After breakfast, I went out and worked around the shop for a while. Just before noon, I spotted a buck next to the pond at 150 yds. He was big enough to be a shooter and I started getting excited. Then I noticed that he was standing kinda funny. I moved to grab the rifle, he saw me and started trying to get up over the dam but wasn't making much progress. When I looked through the scope, I saw that he was dragging a front leg and hopping as best he could. I touched the trigger on the 30-06 and he went down like he'd been struck by lightning.

As I drove up to him he started looking better and better. Not a trophy but a very respectable 8, none the less. On closer inspection, he was skin-and-bone and covered with ticks. One leg was shot through and broken. The other was a through-and-through. Both wounds smelled like road-kill and it was obvious that he'd been like this for a while. It also quickly became apparent that I wouldn't be taking this one to the processor. At the end of the day, it's not worth my family's health to take a chance eating tainted meat. I know I did the right thing by putting him down but it was a bitter pill to see a nice deer go to waste.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.

Last edited by lockedcj7; November 15, 2009 at 06:48 PM.
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Old November 15, 2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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Nice job! Nothing disappointing about taking out an injured deer, and the fact that he has a nice rack is great! Any pics??
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Old November 15, 2009, 06:52 PM   #3
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That Deer's Injuries were from poor shot placement, from someone else. Had You not downed him, he could very well have infected many-a-deer, along with dying a long, painful death.

You did Your part in Culling the herd and keeping it healthy, just unexpectedly. Your Proper Shot Placement took up slack of/for someone else. You (and many others) will reap the rewards for years to come.

Thank You, LockedCJ7, Bro, for Your fine shooting. We ALL appreciate it!!!
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Old November 16, 2009, 08:53 PM   #4
James R. Burke
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No doubt hard feeling for the deer etc. You did the right thing, and your correct on not eating it. Does make you think, and glad you shared it. No doubt you did the correct thing to do.
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Old November 16, 2009, 08:57 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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That is a bummer.... the first buck I ever took was in very similar condition, except he had been hit by a car to add to his troubles. Giving him to the DEC was a bitter pill to swallow, made more bitter by my not getting another buck for.... 16 years. I'd still rather put him out of his misery though.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
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Old November 17, 2009, 05:24 AM   #6
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I am glad you were able to put this creature out of his misery.

This is the only downside to hunting, when bad shots are made and these beautiful creatures have to suffer in the woods.
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