Meet "Fabio"

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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Sam Ubl
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Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Sam Ubl » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:46 am

I have called this buck "Fabio" since 2011 when I first caught a series of pictures of him feeding in a soybean field on a piece I have been leasing the last few years. The name was justly so because he showed up on camera so often is was almost as if he liked having his picture taken, like the real Fabio.

This would be the second season of hunting this particular piece and Fabio was officially on my radar. He was a promising buck at what I guessed him to be 3-years old.

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But when I saw him from the treestand for the first time on November 7th, I knew he was the boss in this neck of the marsh. In the picture below, Fabio is on the right as he squares up with another 10-ptr, "The Colic Buck", as I called him because of an obvious colic in his hide on the back of his neck.

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I had gotten pictures for the last 2-years of the colic buck (pictured below as a 2-year old) and this was the first year I figured I might shoot him if I could get on top of him.

The "Colic Buck" at 2.5-years old)
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Well, this particular morning these pictures were taken, I listened to Fabio corral his doe in a small cluster of popples not 60-yards from me as the sun was coming up, only to exit those popples as he followed his doe out into the marsh.

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In the first few minutes of being out in the open, that doe he was with was pursued by 3 different bucks, which Fabio had to fend off. One of those bucks, as shown two pictures above was the "Colic Buck". The "Colic Buck" was the only of the three pursuing bucks to square off with Fabio and actually lock some horn. Well, Fabio was the boss as expected and managed to gore the "Colic Buck" in the back of the head with his antler - a bleeding wound I saw close up after I killed the "Colic Buck" not 5-minutes after their fight (pic below).

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You might be wondering why I didn't wait to score on Fabio. Let's just say he was hooked up to the point no calling would lure him in. In fact, he seemed to not want anything to do with fighting, as if he only did it because he had to, not as if he went looking for it like the three other intruders he fended off.

Later that year I managed to capture a pic of him late season with one busted tine. Who knows if he broke it in a fight or on a tree, all I knew is this was absolutely the big man on the block.

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Fast forward to the next season, year 2012. Fabio was all over our cameras again.

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I had scouted hard and located a couple of beds, one of which I was able to put the better of plans for attack into. I didn't hunt until the first September day after opener we got the west wind I was waiting for and I ended up killing a big 6-pointer that rose from that particular bed I had scouted. I didn't know "who" was using the bed, just that it was a buck bed. The plan came together so perfectly I would have slapped myself had I not taken the shot. That's the thing with bed hunting, you don't always know "who" sleeps there...

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I spent the majority of the 2012 season filming buddies hunts, but a "bonus buck" tag I got from killing a doe allowed me to continue to pursuit Fabio, but I vowed I wouldn't take any other buck but him with that "bonus" tag. The problem - I had burned the beds I had scouted and on 125 acres burned out I was literally hanging on a prayer, thus is why I spent so much time filming - so I could let my private rest.

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That gun season, however, I had Fabio at 250-yards from my stand and there was no way I was going to throw a slug at him from that distance. I never saw him again in 2012, plus I got sick and couldn't hunt late season to deep.

Last year a new buck took over the bed I killed the "Big 6" from the year prior and I had no idea if it could be Fabio or not. I assumed he had his core area locked down and had probably called wherever that was his bedroom for the last couple of years - at least. I set up the same way I did when I killed the 6-ptr the year prior on that first September west wind and like clock-work, a mature buck rose from that bed and came down the line. I killed him only to realize he was the towering 8-point I had trail camera pictures of back in 2011. That was a sweet deal!

Here he is in 2011
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Three years later... 2013
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Both my cameras and my brother in-law's were acting up this year, they're getting old I guess. We literally left them out for weeks without checking for obvious reasons only to find no pictures had been taken. It was a sinking feeling for the most part because there were some mega tracks I figured might be Fabio's walking past them on the food source they were hung. That being said, we did not get any pictures of Fabio in 2013, however, a friend who hunted the rut around the state with me this last season for a week long adventure sat a stand I call the "observatory" when we circled back to my neck of the woods as our rut hunt trip was drawing nearer to a close.

I was watching a busted up 9-ptr cut across a CRP field behind me when I heard a super loud snap. I had set myself up only 75-yards from my buddy to tag-team this particular area.

Now, when you hear "observatory", don't overthink it. This stand is positioned in a bottle neck of popples the bucks cruise every year during the rut and I've killed a few bucks from that stand with my bow (including the "Colic Buck", which is the stand I took the pictures of that buck right before he locked horns with Fabio).

I immediately turned towards my buddy as that is where the sound came from. Did he fall from the stand? What happened?

That's when my phone vibrated in my pocket and I looked down and read, "TV deer walking along the edge of chopped corn field towards dogwood by powerline pole".

After that morning hunt and we had a chance to talk, he told me he busted the biggest branch he could reach to get the attention of the "TV deer" to see if the buck would turn and come in to investigate who else was in "his" neighborhood. He called it the "TV deer" because that's how my brother in-law refers to bigger-than-the-norm bucks we see in our real world of hunting.

Now, this friend of mine is all too familiar with "Fabio", and he told me with a straight face that this buck was no doubt, Fabio.

When he pointed out the route "Fabio" was on, I exclaimed that it was the same route I had witnessed him walk several mornings in the past and had trail pics of him coming from and going to, as well. It was like a light bulb went off in my head that for some reason wasn't wired properly before now! How could I have misread the signs. For so long I had known about one little area only visible from aerials and only 50-yards from my property line.

So today, as I write, I'm suggesting that with everything I believe in, Fabio is bedding in a spot I can pinpoint with a pen on an aerial as it is the ONLY possibility I can surmise for the direction he is traveling to and fro, and to be honest, it's THE perfect spot for a big mature animal to be totally secure.

He is my quest once again this season, so long as he made it through the winter, and I'll do my best to update this thread as my journey with Fabio continues.
Last edited by Sam Ubl on Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:55 am, edited 3 times in total.


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BigHunt
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby BigHunt » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:51 am

Awesome

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Black Squirrel
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:56 am

8-) ,Good luck with Fabio.
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:01 am

Great quests can sometimes take longer than anticipated...

Spectacular experiences in-between CAN happen too! :clap:
Expect the Unexpected when you least Expect it...
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Swampbuck » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:06 am

Great write up! Keep us posted on your pursuit of that beast!

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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby mheichelbech » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:07 am

Great post!
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Dhurtubise
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Dhurtubise » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:16 am

Awesome post. Best of luck with Fabio. It was a great read.

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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Beast-Mode » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:38 am

Great History with Fabio. Good Luck.
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby headgear » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:46 am

Cool post, go get him!
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Stanley
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Stanley » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:48 am

Really enjoyed the story & pics.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Bucky » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:08 am

Sept 2011 to Sept 2013 is two yrs not three ;)

Looks like a great spot... with good buck bedding it will produce year after year... did your area go from slug to rifle this past gun season? If so it will be interesting to see if your age structure conts.
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Sam Ubl
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby Sam Ubl » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:44 am

I kind of look at it like three, because it was the 2011 season, 2012 season and 2013 season come and gone... Maybe I should have said two seasons later.

As for rifles, local ordinance put the kaibosh on that immediately.

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hunter_mike
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby hunter_mike » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:10 am

Awesome hunting story
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:02 am

Great story and history Sam! Good luck with Fabio this season.
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Re: Meet "Fabio"

Unread postby JoeRE » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:31 am

Swell story! To me those multi-year pursuits of a buck are the best. You really get to know the deer.


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