2017 Missouri Muzzleloader Buck

Discussion in 'Out of state hunts' started by Jet08, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Jet08

    Jet08

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    I made three trips down to the Missouri lease this year; each trip was better then the previous. The opening weekend of Bow, September 15th produced high temps in the 90's. I was able to see some good deer numbers and passed on one 130 class 9pt which was a young deer. After final adjustments to a few sets I was feeling optimistic about getting back out in November.

    Due to conflicts with a new position I accepted at work I was unable to hunt as much as I would have liked but I make it down for four days, two of bow hunting and then the two days of the opening weekend of gun season for Missouri. A strange year on our properties had the deer sightings very hit or miss during this period. I was at full draw on the below buck, the night before the opener with a quartering away shot at 40 yards. I decided to let this buck live on to hopefully realize his full potential. I believe he is only 2 years old based on the pictures of him and the encounter on hoof.
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    The next two days of gun season were very slow on farms that were very productive during the bow season.

    Fast forward to December 26th, we were headed west well before the Michigan sun came up and reached our destination in time to grab a bite to eat and get the clothes warmed up before heading out the door. On Christmas Eve I was pleasantly surprised to get a text message from the land owner that stated, "Merry Christmas, Santa brought you three inches of snow". This was perfect, as the forecast showed high temps in the teens and lows below zero all week. A little bit of snow on top would make our remaining food sources gold for the weeks afternoon hunts.

    The first night, I headed to a large standing bean plot. This was the same location that I killed my Missouri buck last season (https://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/threads/missouri-success.578266/#post-6094976). As the evening progressed, as expected, deer materialized from every direction. I watched as a 120" or so 10pt cleared the field twice as he chased does around looking for one last willing doe. The frigid night came to an end with 30+ deer entering the field, no shots fired however. When I got back to the truck the thermometer read -4 degrees.

    We woke the following morning to frozen pipes in the bathroom and the weatherman on the TV displaying wind chills of -20 degrees. The truck read -12.. This was none to pleasant taking care of the standard morning business outside up against a tree in those temps..

    I decided to hunt in the timber on this morning just off of a bean stubble field. In front of me was a big thick valley that went onto a tall ridge side about 120 yards out. To my right was a thick cedar bedding area about 150 yards out. As it got daylight deer started to move about below me in the valley. It didn't take long for me to start questioning my sanity, was this the first week of November??? This morning produced some of the best rutting action I have ever seen. 21 deer total were seen, 5 of which were bucks, and everyone of them was chasing. And chasing hard! Does could be seen panting with their tongues hanging out; the bucks were relentless.

    At around 815 I caught a glimpse of the buck I was after on this farm. He is named "The Sticker 10". He is a 150" class 10pt with a sticker on his G2. This deer has been visible in the crop fields around this farm since mid summer. The sticker 10 chased a group of does into the thicket to my right. I watched the thicket as long as my fingers could stand before putting the binoculars down and my hands retreating to the warmth of the muff. The biggest struggle of this frigid morning was keeping the ice from building up on my eye lashes so I could see clearly through the scope and binoculars.

    A couple minutes later a group of does came from that bedding area with a young buck in tow. As I watched them move from left to right in front of me I heard something back towards the cedar thicket. As I looked that way pure panic came over me as I sat there hunkered down with my gun hanging next to me and my hands in my muff. Here came the sticker 10 on a full run trying to catch up with the does and the sneaky little buck that made off with his does. The buck was at 80 yards and closing on the same trail left to right. As fast as I could I pulled the fleece neck gator off of my face, got my hands out of the muff, grabbed the gun and got the hammer cocked. Just as I got the cross hairs on him he stopped to cross an old barb wired fence. In that moment I put the cross hairs just above mid way on his shoulder at 50 or so yards and had a brief thought of how tall are those tines?? That thought was quickly demolished as the gun rang out as the perfect shot placement could no longer wait. The buck dropped right where he stood! An amazing rush came over me as I couldn't believe what just happened and how fast it had happened. Amidst my adrenaline high I managed to get powder and bullet down the barrel. However, in the matter of less than minutes that my hands were exposed to the temperatures (I had a thin pair of under armour gloves on) my finger tips were totally useless with complete loss of feeling. As hard as I tried I couldn't get the cap out of the Thompson Center. Finally I hung the gun up and put my hand down under my bibs to get full exposure to my body heat. After a short time I finally was able to regain feeling and get the gun reloaded. Now that I was reloaded I eased over to the buck to make sure he was indeed anchored and didn't need any follow up.

    As I approached the deer it was clear that the first shot was right on the money through both shoulders taking out both lunges. However, to my disbelief as I approached my trophy, The Sticker 10 was not the buck that lay before me! My rush of adrenaline came crashing down... How could I do this? What a rookie mistake! I said over and over as I chewed myself out for allowing this 19" wide 8pt to catch me off guard and have me in a fluster as I feared what I believed to be The Sticker 10 was going to get past me without a shot opportunity as it hustled by.

    After a few moments of reflection and plenty of self criticism, I took the time to thank God for the opportunity and the trophy that DID lay before me. This may not have been the caliber of buck that I drove so many times to Missouri for, but it will still feed my family well and will be proudly displayed on my wall for reminders of the many lessons learned on this frigid and exciting late season Muzzleloader hunt.

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  2. Stubee

    Stubee

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    Good story telling, thanks for sharing.
     

  3. WMU05

    WMU05

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    Good story and nice buck.

    You look cold!
     
  4. rockafed

    rockafed

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    Great Story. You cant shoot deer if you are sitting on the couch. Way to go!! Nice Deer! Your 10" sticker buck will be bigger next year.
     
  5. old graybeard

    old graybeard

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    Great write up. Congrats a a really fine buck.
     
  6. kdholstein

    kdholstein

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    Great Buck & great story!
     
  7. deepwoods

    deepwoods Premium Member

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    Congrats and thanks for posting that. That buck is certainly no consolation prize. :) He is a beaut. Best of luck next year on the sticker 10.
     
  8. Jet08

    Jet08

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    I am very pleased with the quality of work and quick turn around on my Missouri buck that I killed on December 27th, 2017. He is the one on the left (Missouri 2017), the wall is starting to fill in nicely!! Buck on the right is 2016 Missouri. These two are a good example of how width can be a deceiving factor, the buck on the right has 15" more antler.

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  9. bowhuntingrules

    bowhuntingrules

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    Great story and great buck. That buck on the right is a couple years older than the one on the left IMO. They look awesome together.

    John
     
  10. Jet08

    Jet08

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    I would agree John, the buck on the right is what I believe to be a year older!