10-24 Success

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by tom_the_chemist, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. tom_the_chemist

    tom_the_chemist

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    Here is the story. Typically I wouldn't write up a story like this but there were some things I learned today that may benefit others.

    Got it in the stand about 6:55 am. It was still quite dark and I was facing nearly due west allowing a excellent view of Orion, the hunter. The stand was sitting over one of our three small food plots at my family's property in Tuscola County.

    Around 8:15, I heard the crunching of leaves directly behind me. This wasn't necessarily a direction I would have expected deer but soon enough a pretty large doe popped out to my right. She was in some heavy brush and because I am right handed I would have not easily been able to get a shot. Eventually three more does popped out behind the first. As they were walking I grabbed my crossbow but they kept heading away.

    As they moved off, I hung up my crossbow and grabbed my phone to text my brother to let him know that I had seen the does. As I started to text, a buck popped into the food plot catching me completely off guard. I silently put my phone away but the buck was moving through the plot at a fast walk. He stopped to nibble some of the rye but there was no mistaking that he was following the does. As quietly and stealthily as I could, I raised my crossbow. I stopped the buck with a whistle settled the scope on his vitals and pulled the trigger. The entire encounter lasted less than 30 seconds.

    At the shot, he was off. He ran about 50 yards and stopped then slowly walked out of sight. I stopped for a moment to collect myself and then decided to find my arrow as I couldn't see it from the tree. It was about 8:30. The arrow was stuck in the ground and bloody but not covered in blood. I searched a bit and eventually found some blood but there wasnt a ton. I then got back up the tree to retrieve my things and went home.

    I then posted about the shot in LFTS. Several posters gave some great advice about waiting, especially November Sunrise. Telling me to wait for 4 hours was the right advice I needed to hear. My initial thought had been to go home, change, get the kids and wife and head back right away.

    Well, I waited until 12:30 and headed back to the property and started tracking about 1:00. Given the nature of the potential difficulty of the recovery, I started the tracking job on my own and left then family at home. I immediately found the blood from the morning but started looking and didnt find a single drop after that. The blood had dried over the intervening hours and I needed to recalibrate my eyes to look for dry blood. Slowly I began to find specs and drops. At each drop I left some toilet paper to mark the drop and then moved forward.

    It took time. At first the deer was moving through the woods in a haphazard fashion. But likely at the point where he stopped and began walking he started following a pretty obvious deer trail. Methodically, I followed the blood specs and drops. After about 160 yards, I could not find any more blood. It seemed to simply stop. Not sure why this was, I fanned out to look in other directions to see if he had moved off the path. Still not finding any blood, I decided to follow the same path a little farther to look for drops of blood. About twenty yards further, off the trail he had fallen. It was 1:30. A rush of relief overtook me.

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  2. tom_the_chemist

    tom_the_chemist

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    What I learned:

    - It was not a good shot. Too far back, it hit the stomach and then the liver and then exited. In hindsight there was some grit on the arrow which would have indicated liver.
    - Waiting 4 hours was the right decision. Had I rushed in, I almost certainly would have bumped him.
    - Surprisingly, he seemed to expire quicker than the shot would have indicated. He was in rigor mortis when I found him. Also, it appears he had fallen over and not necessarily bedded. I do wonder if I hit an artery.
    - Using the toilet paper really helped to track the blood.
    - Our habitat work is actually having a positive benefit.

    Thanks everyone for the guidance on tracking. My impatience may have led to me bumping this deer and eventually not recovering it.

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  3. tom_the_chemist

    tom_the_chemist

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    A couple pics[​IMG][​IMG]

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  4. tom_the_chemist

    tom_the_chemist

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    As I stated in the LFTS thread, this is my first buck since 2016 and first buck with a bow in more than a decade. Today was good day.

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  5. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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  6. deepwoods

    deepwoods

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  7. KingHingeCut

    KingHingeCut

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    That's great Tom, congratulations!!!!
     
  8. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    Good story. We'll done..
     
  9. Sasquatch Lives

    Sasquatch Lives

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  10. LabtechLewis

    LabtechLewis

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    Nice job, all the way around. I have been in the same exact situation a few times. Wow! What a relief when you find it, eh? All the questions, uncertainty and second-guessing come to a screeching halt. Closure.
     
    gatorman841 likes this.
  11. Badfishmi

    Badfishmi

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    Awesome story awesome buck hell of a day congratulations!!
     
  12. don

    don Premium Member

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    Well done and congrats on the recovery, you got great advice and put it to good use.
     
    Flight of the arrow likes this.
  13. stickbow shooter

    stickbow shooter

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  14. Horseshoe

    Horseshoe

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    Congrats! I know that anxiety very well.
     
  15. Shagy

    Shagy

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    Awesome! Great write up.