Another quick buck Nov 22, 2009 11:45:50 GMT -5
Post by dougedwards on Nov 22, 2009 11:45:50 GMT -5
This is what I walked up on less than 5 minutes after I climbed into my treestand this Saturday, which sits in a tall lonely beech tree in the middle of a very large and recent timber cut. It is a Virginia tradition to hunt whitetail deer with hounds which really messes me up as I am a stand hunter and the rut is at it's peak this week. But the state allows it so I must roll with it and usually choose hunting areas that don't allow dog hunting but on this day I was in a hurry.
After completing my honey-do list at about 1pm on Saturday I quickly headed out picking up my Savage muzzleloader on the way. But wait........because I had read a recent thread on this message board concerning the hazards of leaving the 10ML loaded overnight I had shot my load after my last hunt. Not wanting to take the time to load I quickly decided to pick up my Winchester model 70 in 30-06 which sports a small 3-9x40 Nikon Monarch and this rig is really light in weight. Even though I had not shot this rifle in a while it seemed like a good choice.
I arrived at my hunting destination which is at my sister's farm at about 3:10 in the afternoon and decided to hunt from a tall stand that was situated in the back of a very large clear cut. I had previously seen deer here and had already killed one buck trailing a doe. It was quite a walk to the stand and I was hearing the sound of hounds in chase in the distance. As I approached the stand and attached my draw rope to my rifle I heard the hounds drawing closer. I wondered if I should stay there on the ground or continue to climb the 22 feet into the elevated stand.
I decided to climb and as I did I heard the hounds proceed past me staying well into the pines to my left and while climbing the the voices of the hounds suddendly stopped. By this time I was pulling my rifle up to me when a really nice buck snorted at the dogs and bounded into the cutover not wasting any time. I still had not untied the rope from my rifle!!!
With rope still tied to my rifle sling I put the crosshairs low on the bucks chest as he leaped and bounded over fallen trees. When I squeezed the trigger the buck tucked his tail and kicked it into high gear. He was totally stretched out and I knew I would only have time for one more shot before he was gone. My only hope this time was to lead him a little. This time I bent down to rest the forearm on the shooting rail and put the crosshairs slightly lower than his nose. This time the buck tumbled on his head and did not move.
Funny thing about deer hounds. Most of them have no real interest in the actual deer but can't resist trailing one. As I stood there lowering my rifle back down the tree the hounds picked up the trail and came into the cutover. They showed absolutely no interest in the deer and proceeded to try to pick up the scent of another deer. As I descended from the tree I was reminded that just less than two or three minutes before I was climbing up. I may have broken Wilmsmeyer's record on this one. I looked at my watch which showed 3:25 pm.
As I walked up to the fallen animal I noticed that he was hit high on the left shoulder. I proceeded to flip him to see if the bullet had exited and there was another small hole through the rib about mid way into the lung area. The shot could not have been placed more perfectly and the Remington Lokt Cores did their job. I had a Leica range finder in my coat and ranged the stand from the place of kill. Two hundred and eighteen yards.....Yikes!
I have no idea how I missed that first shot as I thought for sure that I had squeezed at just the right time. I won't call the second shot pure luck because I believe that the hours spent concentrating on cheek weld and form at the bench helped me with this particular shot. Alot of the information provided by Ozark and Rifleman and others have helped me become a better shooter but I don't think I could make this shot one time in a hundred, if that.
All in all a good day except I was planning on a relaxing fall afternoon in a tree stand but instead found myself pulling a hefty carcas about 500 yards over blown down trees. All things considered I will take a buck like this one anytime and thank God that he has blessed me with the good health and the leisure time to do things that I love to do such as deer hunting. This was a whole lot of words for such a short occurance wasn't it?