Story of a buck (Very long read)

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Schultzy
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Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Schultzy » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:50 am

As some know on here I hunted one particular buck only last year. Here's the story as It actually starts In 2008.

On September 25th 2008 I got a trail cam pic of a real wide 8 point. At 1st I thought he'd go In that 130 Inch range but after seeing him In mid October at 15 yards I didn't think he'd break the 125 Inch mark and plus I don't really care to shoot 3.5 year olds on the land I hunt unless their very big racked which generally they are not here. Most don't make 120 Inches here as 3.5's.
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Fast forward to 2009 all I had on my mind was this buck and what he'd look like this year. I was hoping like heck he made It through the 2008 gun season and also made It through winter. Last year In 2009 I started messing around with mock scrapes and also started using Buck Fever Synthetic Scents for the 1st time. On October 11th 2009 I got a picture of a big 10 point on one of my mock scrapes. After looking at the picture I knew right away It was the 8 point from 2008. I was shocked he turned Into a 10 point as I figured he'd stay as an 8 point. He also grew a kicker point on his G2 on his right side. I figured he'd go right around 150 Inches as a 4.5 year old buck. In 2008 I let him go by but no way he was getting the pass this year (2009) I said out loud to myself when I saw the pics.

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After thinking long and hard on where I thought this buck was bedding I threw up 3 stands. A week later I did my 1st hunt for him and It ended with nothing and right away I took the stand down as I didn't like It where I had It. My 2nd hunt for him was In a different spot that I was real excited about hunting but needed a NE wind to hunt which Isn't all that common of a wind to have here. I got the NE wind and the hunt got exciting but didn't end to well. 20 minutes before dark he came exactly from the area I thought he would and he came walking by at 10 yards giving me a perfect broadside shot with my recurve. I drew back and picked my spot and let the arrow fly. I thought I might've been high and a tad back but figured I'd be ok with the shot. 2 hours later we hit the blood trail and It wasn't a good one. Hardly any blood. The next day I went back and took him another 300 yards. The majority of the blood was high but there wasn't a whole lot of It. I searched for 6 hours that day and a bunch again the next day but I was pretty sure this buck was alive and well as I must've hit him to high. I was really bummed out as this was my very 1st deer In 25 years of bowhunting that I've wounded. Never had I lost a deer prior to this one.

2 weeks later I got a trail cam picture of him trailing a doe and man was I happy. He was alive and It was go time once again!! 2 days later I was on stand In the same exact stand I had hit him from 2 weeks back. I had just texted a friend and told him I'm back out hunting again as my spirits were up and a few minutes later a nice 130 Inch 8 point came by at 18 yards. Normally I would've never passed him up but I was on a mission and hunting only one buck. After he walked on by action was slow right up until It was almost time to get down. I heard sticks breaking In the opposite direction he came from last time so I got up and ready. Out comes 3 doe's which stop directly under my tree and start feeding. I can still hear another deer coming and out this deer steps to my right. I knew right away It was him as I saw his long white tines. I looked at the doe's and none were staring at me so I got ready to draw on this buck again. I got 3/4's drawed back but backed my draw back down as I wasn't 100% Impressed with the lighting conditions. It was still legal shooting hours but I couldn't tell for sure If I could see that shoulder crease or not so I elected to pass and not screw up another shot and watched him for 30 minutes feed with the other doe's 10 yards In front of my stand. As frustrating as It was It was actually pretty neat watching this buck.

My 3rd encounter happened In a different stand where I thought he'd possibly be bedding. Sure enough my 1st sit at this stand proved right. He came out following a doe at 18 or so yards. There was some tiny branches In his vitals so I decided to pass. More then likely my 680 grain arrows would've went through just fine but I've always been one not to push the limit on my shots.

My 4th encounter was a frustrating one! I hung a new stand where I thought he'd travel through coming from the bedding area on the neighbors land. Sure enough I was right again and a few minutes before legal shooting time was over I hear cracks coming from my left. I got ready and tightened the string. This stand I'm In Is In very thick stuff. My shooting lanes/holes are very small and you can't see what you hear walking until their with In a few yards of the shooting lane. My recurve Is 62lbs at my draw so drawing before he gets to my shooting lane Is out of the question and plus I don't feel that's safe hunting anyway when drawing on noise knowing It could be anything walking. As soon as I knew It was him I drawed my bow back but by the time I hit my anchor point all I had was the back of his lungs and his guts to shoot at. Again I had to let down. I was soooooooo bummed out and mad. I should've started drawing another second sooner as he was on a fast walk. If he would've showed 5 to 10 minutes earlier I would've been able to tell It was him while walking through the thick brush before he hit my foot wide hole/shooting lane but light wasn't on my side.

My 5th encounter happened In the late season on December 18th. This time I was on the complete opposite side of the woods I've been hunting. I hadn't saw him for almost 2.5 weeks so I was trying another spot that other mature bucks have bedded In before. To my surprise 2 hours before dark he shows up about 60 yards east of me. He went and checked 2 doe's out but had no Interest In them after doing so. In the mean time I had 5 doe's and fawns directly down wind of me 15 yards. So far they hadn't smelled me yet and he was making a bee line right to them. I thought to myself finally, It's going to happen!!! All I said to myself was MAKE THIS ONE COUNT STEVE!!! He got to 30 yards and stopped perfectly broadside being the other deer started to get nervous as they must've finally picked up on my smell. All I could think was you've gotta be kidding me!!! Why all of a sudden now these deer are getting nervous as they've been In front of me for at least 20 minutes??!! 30 yards Is to far for me so that shot was out of the question. Finally the doe's and fawns took off running and he followed along with them. I was sick to my stomach again!! What might've been just as much sickening was that I could see exactly where I hit him October 19th and to be honest the shot didn't look to bad. It looked like I was a tad high and tad forward towards the shoulder blade. I was a little disappointed from what I saw thinking that should've been a dead deer October 19th with what I was seeing from the wound. This was the last time I saw this deer again hunting In 2009. I put trail cams out all over the place and looked all winter and spring for his sheds but never got another pic of him or found his sheds.


All winter and summer all I could think about was this buck. Did he live through the winter? Did he get hit by a car? All questions that I sooooooo wanted answers to. I put out trail cams early In July and never got a picture of him. In mid August bear baiting started so the trail cams came home and up to the bear woods In northern Minnesota they went. After bear hunting and elk hunting was over at the end of September out the trail cams went again over my mock scrapes. Still nothing showing he was around or alive but finally on October 17th I got the picture/video I've been so longing for.

Click on the picture and the video will play.
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On October 28th of this year I set up a stand close to where I saw him last year the last time and on my very 1st sit there (the 28th) he showed up directly north of me 60 yards and was coming directly for my stand. He got to with In 30 yards and stopped and turned perfectly broadside looking to the west. I thought what the heck Is he looking at and off he went. Again this was a tad too far out of my range and all I could think was here we go again continuing from last year. 5 minutes later I saw why he went In the direction he did as a 3.5 year old 7 point was over there and he went to Investigate. Damn I was pissed at that crappy gened 7 point.

On November 2nd on a morning sit I saw him again but this time he was bedded about 40 yards away with a doe. Him and a 115 Inch or so 8 point got with In 10 feet of each other and did a stare down for a while but that was It for the day as I never saw him again that day.

On November 4th I wanted to put another stand up In a different spot where I thought he could be bedding and when I went Into this spot up he jumped up with a doe and off they went. I threw a stand up close and came back 3 hours later to hunt It. 20 minutes later after being In stand here he came back but this time by himself. He came by at 15 yards but It was just to thick to get a shot off. He must've heard me walk In being he was looking everywhere for me. I'm thinking he thought I was a buck or a doe and wanted to find me. After 5 minutes of looking for me at 15 yards he decides to walk east of me behind my tree. He's now at 11 yards and he hits my walk In trail. I thought oh and after a few nervous looks off he went running to the north and then headed east not liking my walk In trail.

On November 11th a week later I went back to this same exact stand and again he showed up early but this time he never got any closer then 50 or so yards. He went east of me going the same direction he went the week before. Little did I know this would be the last time I ever saw this buck alive again. :(

Gun seasons opened here November 6th so with me seeing him alive yet on November 11th was refreshing. November 14th the gun season was finally over so back out I went In hopes of getting my buck. We got some snow but for the life of me I couldn't cut his track anywhere. I knew his track better then any track I've seen as I've been following It for 2 years now. I was lost on where he went. I tried everything. I hunted a bunch of different hide outs he's used In prior years but he ever showed. While trying to find him I had some good encounters with 3 other mature bucks but passed on them all waiting for him.

November 20th the ML season opened here so here we go again with me getting nervous on him making It through the 2 week or so season It Is. I checked my trail camera on November 22nd and I got a picture of him at 2:45 In the afternoon. I thought wow this guy sure likes to move early this year compared to last year when he always waited till It was damn near dark regardless of the time of year or rut. As you can see In this picture he looks like crap as he's way run down. He must've really been a chasing machine!! It surprises me being he's a 5.5 year old buck. Another thing that surprises me Is I've never saw this buck chase a doe. I've saw him follow doe's but never chase them aggressively.
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2 days ago while hunting another new stand I put up 5 days prior I heard a ML shot to the east of me a 1/2 mile at 4:15 In the evening. I thought to myself, I hope that's not him getting shot. Well after getting home a friend calls saying so and so to the east of your land shot a wide 10 pointer with his ML. I knew the hunter he spoke of so I called him up and left a message on his phone. He called back later and told me that yes he shot a real nice buck. I asked If I could come over and look at It and he said come on over tomorrow evening around 4ish. Yesterday evening my brother and I went over there and as soon as when we opened the garage door I knew right away It was him. A lump In my throat appeared but never did I let the guy know. I congratulated the guy and told him I've had 9 encounters with this buck the last 2 years and had about 500 pictures of him the last 3 years. He couldn't believe It as I told him all of the encounters I had with him. I told him I had hit this buck last year and I really wanted to know where I hit him to get closure on that. He had the deer skun out already hanging and when I went to look at the right side of the deer I could see a huge calcium build up on the shoulder blade. I thought SOB, I didn't get enough penetration as the shot would've killed this deer If I would've. Last year I tried a bigger 3 blade head and I'm now 100% sold that the head was too big to penetrate that shoulder for my 62lb recurve. Never again will I shoot a 3 blade head that size, lesson learned. It looked as though I cracked the shoulder blade almost In 2 as the calcium build up went 3/4ths the length of the shoulder blade. I brought a tape with to throw a quick measurement on It but I 1st asked If It was alright. He don't believe In measuring his bucks but said go ahead and take a quick measurement. He measured out at 165 Inches. On November 11th his G1 was still there but he must've gotten Into a fight since then being It was busted off. You could add another 6 Inches to that score a few weeks ago.
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Left side

MB- 24

G1- 0

G2- 9

G3- 12

G4- 5

H1- 4

H2- 4

H3- 4 4/8

H4- 4

Total- 66 4/8



Right side-

MB- 25

G1- 6

G2- 12

G3- 9

G4- 6

H1- 4

H2- 4

H3- 4 4/8

H4- 4

Total- 74 4/8

Total Left side- 66 4/8
Total Right side- 74 4/8
Abnormal point- 3 4/8
Inside spread- 20 4/8

Total- 165 Inches gross


I'm not going to lie though. It's tough seeing someone else get him and It hurt the ticker some knowing me and this buck are done with each other. This buck dressed out at 145lbs. Crazy I know!! It just goes to show how much running these bucks do when their chasing doe's. I can just about guarantee you that this buck was easily a 200 to 210 lb dressed deer a month ago when I 1st saw him If not bigger.


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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Dabowhunter » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:32 am

Tough story for you to be sure. Amazing how much wt. he lost. Sounds like he made enough mistakes and was lucky to see 5.5. Thanks for the story.
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Sam Ubl » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:03 am

9 encounters is a lot of encounters - but such is life when you're staying mobil as you were with your stands. Way to stay on top of him and what a cool history you had with him. Isn't funny how after such a history, when he finally gets shot (especially by someone else) it's kind of like losing a friend.
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headgear
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby headgear » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:11 am

Great read shultzy, sorry you didn't get to wrap your tag around him but you have some great memories and at least you have some closure on your shot and what happened to this buck.
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:43 am

Cool story and even tho you didn't have the kill shot that brought him down, at least you know where he is.

I have a chased a few bucks thru the years but never had that many encounters or trail cam pictures. You did a of a job keeping tabs on him and that is something to be proud of.

As tough as it seems, off to the next buck.....go shoot that goofy 3.5 year old 7 point. It will make you feel better.
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Bucky » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:50 am

Thanks for sharing... great story... not so great ending (not the one I was hoping 4)
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Wrinkleneck » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:55 am

WOW thanks for the great story!! You really had one heck of a history with him. Sorry to hear the ending wasn't in your favor. You had him where he needed to be, just that the rest of the stars didn't line up for you. What does the latest buck look like that you are onto now? I'm sure he's another great one, so show us some pictures ;)
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Reflex011 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:58 am

Well Done Schultzy. That breaks a guys heart hearing that you didnt end up with the deer after all of your dedication. Awesome story, I will probably read this story at least once more. Good luck the rest of the season!
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:39 am

Heck of a story, Shultzy, you really knew him well. Too bad it didn't turn out in you favor. I'm sure with your skill, you'll be on to other impressive bucks.
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:47 am

Great looking buck, and I'm sure it was tough to take. Pretty cool that you had him hit one of your mock scrapes. Great story and thanks for putting it up. 8-)
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:57 am

Ahh man..when you told me he was still alive, I was really hoping you were gonna get to put him down, and I dont know if Ive ever heard anyone so excited about a deer! Heck of a story though, and a buck you will never forget (even if you didnt get to take him)! Your persistence will pay off with another big buck!
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby jigglestick » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:24 pm

I don't know what to say schultzy.
one way to look at it is you got attached with blood sweat and tears.
another way to look at it was it was a deer, not your kin.
part of the risk we take when delving into an adventure this deep whether intentional or not, is getting so attached to the situation that it drains you emotionaly when it ends this way.
what makes the risk worth taking is the thrill / joy of having it come to fruition. the challenge of the connection. of getting it done.

chalk it all up to life experience. it's a lesson. not one you lost, though it may feel like that, but instead, a lesson of respect which you showed this creature on numerous occasions with your choices not to take risky shots and your relentless persuit of this one animal.
by doing that you took yourself to another dimension of hunting.

I think I would like to say that I don't want to go there, but then again, I haven't encountered the buck/situation that has presented that scenario to me. who knows, maybe next year I will be thrown into that scene and I too will become obsessed with an animal as worthy as the one you danced with.

I almost hope not.

I don't need to stroke you and tell you you did a good job, your a good hunter. you know that.
the next adventure is right around the corner.
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Casper » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:36 pm

Great story, too bad you couldnt put your tag on him
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Re: Story of a buck (Very long read)

Unread postby Swampthing » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:46 pm

That is an awesome story ,As far as I,m concerned ,you might not be able to hang him on your wall,but you still earned him ,you figured him out ,you set-up on him right ,you got the shot off.That is nothing to be ashamed off.Picking a certain animal and putting it all together is an accomplishment in itself. I say hats off 2 you !
I had a deer that I had my sights on and ending up being shot by a neighbor. I was pretty upset.I thought it was my deer. Then i realized that i never once encountered him while hunting,none of my set-ups were right ,the only thing i did right was gettin' a couple pics of him.


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