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Author Topic: Rancid's 2010 archery Buck  (Read 2029 times)

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Offline Rancid Crabtree

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Rancid's 2010 archery Buck
« on: October 31, 2010, 06:53:39 PM »
Thursday Oct. 28th

I worked a half day and then headed up North for a 5 day Bowhunting trip. I have a lot of vacation and planned to work only 2 days a week during the month of November.  Each year I save the bulk of my vacation for bow hunting. I got to my stand at 3:45. It was still very windy from the tail end of the big wind storm on Tuesday and Wednesday. There was a steady wind from the West. This was the first time I was hunting this ladder stand. I was facing due North.

At 4:45, I spotted movement to the North. I could see two deer milling around one of my other ladder stands. I could see both were bucks working their way along the river. I rattled a bit and before I could give a grunt, both bucks (That were up wind of me) took off like I lit a firecracker under their feet. Both were small and I only hoped to draw them in closer to video. One was the fork I saw opening morning and the other was a small six.

A few minutes later I rattled again and gave a couple blows on the grunt tube and then sat swaying in the wind. The hemlock I am in is only 10 inches across at my level but its the only good tree for the trails I was watching. At 5:10 I again saw movement in the same place the two small bucks were earlier. I could see this buck had a bigger rack. I gave a few loud grunts (because it was windy) and the buck headed my way. He stopped when he got to a scrape under a old apple tree that is more dead than alive. He gave 3 long raking scrapes with his front foot to clear the ground and then tangled with some overhead branches. I was hemming and hawing over taking him so I pulled out the camera and took a very brief video of him. Then I zoomed the camera a bit more to take another video.. I began the 2nd  video but he started to walk up the trail in a direction that would put him in a opening exactly 35 yards from my ladder and at that point I decided that I was going to try and take this buck. I stitched the two videos together. You can see them below.

I pocketed the camera and grabbed my bow and clipped on the release. He stopped mostly broadside (only slightly quartering towards) at 35 yards. I have never shot a deer further than 18 yards in all 34 years of bow hunting. Not because I can't make the longer shots but because I like to see how close I can get to deer because I find that challenging. I only have a 35 yard pin on my bow because of the WBH Ultimate Broadhead challenge novelty shoot where archers have to put a broadhead tipped arrow through a 3.5 inch hole in a plywood target at 35 yards. I have made that shot in the past at the WBH shoot and I practice out to 50 yards in my back yard so I felt very confident in my ability to make the shot on a calm deer. I placed the 35 yard pin half way up and right above the front leg. The deer was facing to my left and a strong wind was blowing in his face from my left. When I released, the deer was not at all aware of my shot and did not duck or move at all. The strong wind did however push my arrow back (to the right) a bit and I hit a few inches behind the point I was aiming at.

The Rage head makes a very loud noise when it hits a deer and the blades deploy but by then its too late for the deer. At 35 yards I heard the loud crack of smashing through ribs. The arrow passed through both sides of the deer but did not exit the buck. As he turned and ran straight away from me I could see the bright white fletch and crest sticking out of his left side and the shiny Rage head and some shaft sticking out the other side. It was a good solid hit even if it was a few inches back from where I aimed. As the buck ran straight away his legs were wide and his rear end was low. He busted out of there on a dead run. I watched him cover about a 100 yards toward the river and then disappear into the tall river grass. I marked the time on my watch (5:15)

During the time I videoed him and made the shot, I was cooler than the other side of the pillow but as soon as he was out of sight, the wind must have picked up because the tree started shaking and I needed to sit down. After 15 minutes I placed a call to my wife to let her know I had hit a good buck. Then I called a friend that was on his way up North on vacation for a few days and would be hunting a mile or so away from my location. I told him the tale and he wished me well and said to check back when I had the deer. I needed to kill time to keep me from taking up the track.

At 5:45 I got down and very quietly walked to where the buck stood. I could see the deep track where he made his turn to run and a few feet from there I found a pile of hair shaved off by the Rage head. To keep from taking up the trail I inspected the scrape the buck worked.

I had not brought a flashlight with me but I did have a small LED on my key chain. It was still light enough out to see but the little LED made the blood a bit easier to see. I had a steady blood trail to the tall river grass where I lost sight of him but the little light was not going to cut it anymore in the swampy hemlocks and cedars. Not wanting to rush it and jump the deer, I left a marker at the last blood and headed back to the farm house. My Sister, her husband and their 11 year old son had just came in from Bowhunting and the boy was eager to tag along and trail the buck.

My friend arrived shortly after and we headed back to the woods to take up the trail. 2.5 hours had elapsed from when I had made the shot. I took them to where the deer stood so the youngling could take up the track. 4 good flashlights showed even more blood that I had seen with my little bulb. When we reached my marker, we put the youngling in the lead and began tracking. The yellow grass gave up the blood very well. Small saplings were coated red 3 feet high. Larger trees were splashed and the bloody leaves on the ground made it easy to follow. The buck took us out to the edge of the woods where he must have stood in a large mud puddle because the water was red. He was bleeding out both sides. A few feet ahead, I shined my light into the grass along the edge of the field road and picked up the sight of an antler tine. We let the young tracker take us to the downed deer. He was quite pleased with himself. This is what we found. The shot was not as far back as I had thought.

The Rage head had done a great job.

Live weight (estimated) 205 Lbs. Dressed weight almost 24 hours later was 175 Lbs. Organs hit, Lung, diaphragm, liver. I had planned most of the month of November off to bow hunt and tagged out in the first hour and a half of day one. Now I can start working on getting my dad a deer.

Any day in the woods is a good day.