What would you do?

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Rynamo
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What would you do?

Unread postby Rynamo » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:10 pm

I was out on public land today, looking for fresh sign and quietly still hunting along a creek bottom. As I walked along the edge of the public border I saw an empty tree stand, about 40 yards further along I looked into the tree line and see a dead buck. It was not at all hidden from view, and very easy to spot. I rolled him over to see if maybe he got hit by a car, as it was only about 150 yards from the road. He had a perfect double lung shot with the broad head still stuck in the opposite leg, he couldn’t have gone 50 yards before piling up. He was stiff but not frozen, temps the night before and all day today were in the low to upper 30’s. Literally 15 feet from where he lay, there is a trail camera pointing directly at the spot he died. In my mind, there is no way that the person who shot him wouldn’t find him. He was spread to the ears on a mainframe 10 point rack, with a double brow in one side. There were no other hunters in the area that I could see, so I called the warden to tell him what I found, and ask if I could keep the meat. He met me at the parking area and I walked him to the spot. He tried twice to call the neighboring landowner but got no answer. So he told me I could keep the buck and use my tag on it. That’s what I did. I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I really only hunt for the meat, but big bucks usually have more meat so I’m also after mature deer. I still have a doe tag, and a buck tag for gun season so I’m not done hunting. What would you have done? I didn’t want such a nice buck to just rot, but I also feel like I cheated to get the deer.
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Dewey
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:47 pm

Sounds like it was shot from that treestand. Very odd. My first guess was the guy went to get dragging help or maybe decided to let the buck sit a bit thinking he made a bad shot. You would think the guy would have been back by the time you were talking with the warden. Whoever owns the camera will now obviously know what went down.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby stash59 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:49 pm

As long as you tell the real story, your good. If you needed/wanted the meat why not.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby backstraps » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:52 pm

Very odd! Glad you were able to salvage the meat.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:16 pm

Dewey wrote:Sounds like it was shot from that treestand. Very odd. My first guess was the guy went to get dragging help or maybe decided to let the buck sit a bit thinking he made a bad shot. You would think the guy would have been back by the time you were talking with the warden. Whoever owns the camera will now obviously know what went down.


My thoughts as well. I shot a hog once deep in some public once and couldn't move it by myself. Didn't have signal either so had to drive a ways out till I had signal then had to wait till the help arrived before we drove back and hiked back in. It took a while but we got it out. Could be what had happened.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby gsquared23 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:32 pm

Most likely out getting help. If they knew it was dead, they should have tagged it to claim it.

I would have left it personally, but I don’t disparage you at all for claiming it to make sure it didn’t go to waste.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Groundpounder » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:52 pm

I have found blood trails that I've tracked to dead deer plenty of times. Have always found the stand it was shot from and wondered how the the person could have left the deer or not found it. In all cases the meat wasn't salvageable or I would have gotten a salvage permit. Lazy or sloppy hunters who shoot and don't put the effort into finding a deer are disgraceful. You should consider yourself lucky that you were able to salvage the meat. Good on ya. No reason to feel bad about it.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby may21581 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:56 pm

I think a very important part of the story not mentioned yet is it was not tagged. There was no temporary or permanent tag on this animal. If someone went to get help after finding it then there should of been one on it.
If it were a double lung hit the blood trail should be very easy to follow so tracking it should not of been an issue either. They could of found it very easily. If the deer was cold then it had to of been there for atleast 6-8 hours I would guess. Someone looking for it would of surely been back by then.
You were even lucky to be able to harvest this buck. I'm surprised coyotes and varmints hadn't found it already. I think you did the right thing, at least with this animal dying someone and others can eat now. It always ticks me off when it goes to waste.
Hard to tell what the story behind this deer is, we can only speculate. I'm sure some on here are prolly close to the truth though.
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Rynamo
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Rynamo » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:33 am

In my opinion it was shot either on Friday evening or sometime on Saturday. I found it at around 3:30 Sunday. It was basically laying out in the open. If someone put even minimal effort in, it should have been easy to find. After my post last night it occurred to me that I probably could have given it to the warden to donate, and kept my tag, but too late now. Thanks for the feed back.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Kraftd » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:57 am

Not my nature but hard not to assume the worst at times. Could have been someone left it lay because they thought it was bigger when they shot, too lazy to drag it out, any number of things.

Good on you for salvaging it. I'd have probably done the same. I am kind of curious why the warden couldn't give you a salvage tag though.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby may21581 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:25 am

Kraftd wrote:Not my nature but hard not to assume the worst at times. Could have been someone left it lay because they thought it was bigger when they shot, too lazy to drag it out, any number of things.

Good on you for salvaging it. I'd have probably done the same. I am kind of curious why the warden couldn't give you a salvage tag though.


That was my original thoughts as well. X2
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Hawthorne » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:37 am

I think you did the right thing. I found a dead 10 point deep on some public one year in winter. 100yds behind it was a sled someone left in the woods since fall. I could only think someone shot it and gave up tracking it and said the h@&? with the sled and left it. Was a nice buck for Michigan public land. I had a friend that found a gut shot deer still warm. He did the same has you and kept the deer. He went around and asked the neighbors if it was them. Nobody knew anything. I have found dead deer in CRP fields that had perfect bullets holes in the lungs and weren’t recovered. The meat wasn’t salvageable
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Kraftd
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Kraftd » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:43 am

I think there are also folks who are both really bad at and really lazy about tracking. Basically if they don't see it fall they assume it wasn't a lethal hit. Even a double lunged deer can close up and not leave much of a trail, especially without an exit. We all like to have a high view of sportsmen, but there are a lot of lazy ones out there.
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Dewey
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby Dewey » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:47 am

Did you ever figure out who owned the trail cam? The memory card will show if somebody walked up and found the buck before you did. If the card slot isn’t locked I’m surprised the warden didn’t pull the card and check the pics. That should answer a lot of questions especially when the buck died.
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Re: What would you do?

Unread postby muddy » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:54 am

Weird story. I'd have left it but don't hold anything against you for salvaging the meat. Good for you.
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