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Author Topic: First success in hunting: blacktail buck  (Read 4742 times)

Offline ljsommer

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First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« on: November 15, 2019, 12:33:52 PM »
My earlier season hunting had been half-hearted, as I knew I wanted to hunt with my mom during late season rifle. I had a Weyco pass and had bought her one as well to accompany me, and as my interest in hunting has a lot to do with familial bonding and maintaining tradition, I really wanted to share that with her. The antlers hanging in my house are from my grandpa back in the 1960s and his legacy is one I am trying to honor (along with the hundred other reasons I hunt).

After a near-miss on a heavy bodied 3 point on Halloween, I knew where I wanted to be coming opening morning. We parked a ways off from the cut I wanted to hunt, and as the fog was blowing in I took out my phone to take a picture of my mom. This hunt was about time with my mom, not success on a deer.
As I photographed her glassing a ridge near the cut, she whispered "I think I see a deer!"

Now, my mom jokes like this all the time so I was 100% certain she was pulling my chain, and I said so. She responded "Honey, I think I see a deer and I think it has antlers".
Keep in mind this is about 2 minutes after getting to that cut. I pull out my binos and sure enough, a beautiful buck with a regal crown of antlers is standing on the opposite ridge staring at us fully alert. I immediately whispered to my mom "Don't move".
I slowly stowed my binos and went prone, only to realize that there was more of a hump in the hill than I expected and I couldn't see the deer through my scope when prone. I quietly removed my pack and propped the rifle on it - still no line of sight.
Sure that I'd blown it, I sat on my butt and propped the rifle on my knee to stabilize. Finally a shot window! Somehow the buck hadn't moved, and I settled my breathing and pulled the trigger. My scope didn't move much and I maintained focus but the deer had vanished. He'd vanished so quickly that I knew I had to have dropped him in his tracks. The shot was 176 yards with a .308.

My mom was panicking as she'd lost him in the binos and thought we'd wounded him. She wanted to track right through that cut and find out. Somehow, I was calm and composed and told her that we needed to stealthily loop around the road and come across to get a better approach angle on his position so that we can decide how to handle it.

We reached a hill that gave us a better vantage but neither of us could glass him up. I hiked through some brutal cut debris and eventually found him laying there, and my heart raced. I contained a loud yell of celebration but only barely. I hiked back up to my mom, told her the good news, and we went to get the truck.

My mom is fairly disabled so it took us a long time to get her down to where the deer was, but it was worth it. She got to share the entire experience start to finish with me and she couldn't be prouder. She said my grandpa would've had a big smile on his face. My mom fondly reminds me that my grandpa never said "I love you" to anyone until I was born, and then it unlocked something and he was able to express himself.

Last night we got home, stowed the meat safely and both slept like the dead. We get the rest of the weekend to hang out, talk, and celebrate.

I've been a whiny, petulant child about my frustrations with hunting. I learned a lot this season, and now I know: This is possible. I can do this. It won't be easy, but it *will* be rewarding.
Thanks for all the help. I've had a lot of support from these forums.

Special thanks: Rainier, 7mmFan, others I've chatted with

Offline ljsommer

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2019, 12:35:31 PM »
More pictures

Offline lamrith

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2019, 12:37:16 PM »
Congrats!  That's a nice buck!
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2019, 12:47:04 PM »
Fantastic! Great pictures, other than the ticks, you could have left those out. Just sayin.

Great job ljsommer. You asked lots of questions, got lots of mixed answers and advice, and were able to decipher it all, put the time and hard work in, and get the end result. A one shot kill on a beautiful buck in ground you knew and had seen animals in, all while with your mom, sharing and making memories and putting a bunch of healthy meat in your freezer.

It truly doesn't get much better than that.

PS: How did your wife feel about a deer head laying in the kitchen sink? Mine isn't real fond of that.  :tup:
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline cougforester

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2019, 12:56:22 PM »
Nice work! Glad to finally see you put it all together.

Offline BULLBLASTER

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2019, 01:07:18 PM »
 :tup: Heck ya! Solid work! Nothing better than putting in the time and effort and being rewarded for it! Hopefully the first of many! Great buck.

Offline Yelper Guy

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2019, 01:21:23 PM »
Well done - congratulations!
Thanks for the story & pics.

Offline Blacktail Sniper

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2019, 01:26:08 PM »
Congrats, nice job!!   :tup:
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2019, 01:28:41 PM »
My man👊  perseverance ALWAYS pays off! Did I or did I not tell you that archery sucks and focus on the gun :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:
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Offline Buckmark

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2019, 01:42:53 PM »
Good job  :tup:
Ticks  :chuckle: i have seen grown men see those on an animal for the first time turn into little pansies
To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam.

Offline Platensek-po

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2019, 01:46:06 PM »
Well done!! Extra points for getting your mom involved!!
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Offline ljsommer

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2019, 03:37:13 PM »
The ticks were a real surprise, I didn't know we had them over here. This fella was covered in them. Dozens. I found them fascinating, but between them and my sloppy knife-work I did not bring the cape home. Sad, because the fur on that animal was soft and beautiful. I couldn't be happier with how it all went down.

Offline hunting4sanity

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2019, 03:39:16 PM »
Congratulations! Great hunt report and great experience that you involved your mom. Thanks for sharing those photos, maybe not the ticks - I hate ticks.
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Offline OutHouse

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2019, 03:55:05 PM »
Nice job man!

Offline Buckmark

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Re: First success in hunting: blacktail buck
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2019, 04:00:39 PM »
The ticks were a real surprise, I didn't know we had them over here. This fella was covered in them. Dozens. I found them fascinating, but between them and my sloppy knife-work I did not bring the cape home. Sad, because the fur on that animal was soft and beautiful. I couldn't be happier with how it all went down.
Even a cut up hide could be used for something, next time  :tup:
Oh and dont worry about the ticks on the hide (all deer have ticks on them) they will die or move on due to the host being dead..
To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam.

 


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