2019

JDK

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Ok, I have decided to come clean and atone for my 2019 mistakes.

Mistake #1

My seafaring son put me is a smoking spot and I mean smoking. Sign everywhere on this large oak flat. There is a knoll with a giant rock, which I leaned up against, that would be a perfect spot to sit, except for the fact that there is a deer trail running right by it. I moved out further on that flat so I could see both the knoll and a decent portion of the flat. Sat for about an hour and four does fed along to my right. They wandered off.

About 10 minutes later I hear a twig snap off to my front left but didn’t see anything. Looked and looked and looked but nothing. Looked back to the right for a few minutes and then back left. Caught the glimpse of a very large, very dark deer and a large antler. Got the gun ready just as he stepped behind that huge rock. I was going to deck him as soon as he stepped out. Nope, he must have smelled where I leaned and stopped. He then wandered back the way he came but it was thick enough I couldn’t get a shot.

Just before the edge of some thicker green growth, about 60-70 yards away, I saw him turn hard left. Then I saw a front shoulder, head, and what I thought was a brow tine. Rifle up, crosshair on the shoulder and CRACK. Down like a sack of potatoes. Walking up to where he was, I was running the acceptance speech through my head and trying to figure out how to pay the taxidermist bill. Get to him, taking my gloves off so I have enough fingers to count points, and see….a spike. HUH???

Apparently, that spike was following the larger buck and was pushed out to the left. Judging by the tracks in the snow, I would not have seen the larger buck after his left turn.

Please do not misunderstand, I am extremely grateful for what is provided to me and there is no such thing as a bad deer. However, knowing what was in front of me was a disappointment.

Mistake #2

The next week at deer camp. I quickly determined that there was no way I could sit around for a week and play cribbage so I decided to go see if I could find a bear. I was very, very careful to try not to be around a lot of deer sign, usually pretty easy to do where I hunt. I went to a beech ridge where I had seen bear before and sure enough, it was loaded with sign. It was snowing hard, there was about 16-18 inches of snow on the ground, and it looked like a rototiller had gone through. I decided to poke along and see what I could see.

After about an hour, I caught movement about 100 yards ahead of me. Was not sure if it was a squirrel, bear, deer, partridge, or bigfoot. Took 3-4 more steps and could see it was a bear lying down and scooping up nuts. Rather than take 3-4 more steps and lean up against a tree for a steady shot, I figured I would make it a lot harder than it had to be and shoot. BOOM and gave him a snow shower. He stood up and walked maybe 10 feet and stopped. BOOM. He ran off like a scalded cat. I followed the tracks for about a mile with no blood and only a slight slowing down. Went back to where I shot and noticed that I had clipped a beech whip.

Certainly, missing a bear is far better than wounding a bear and I’m glad that was the case. Killing one on snow has been a bucket list item for me. Funny part is the camp I stay at was broken in by a bear this Spring. I figure that was his way of getting even.

There, I feel better now. Can go into 2020 with a sound mind and clean conscious.
 

SportsmanNH

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NICE ! Great stories ! I have always found that screw ups make way better stories told in camp than the ones that everything went right ! I have my share of those " everything went wrong " stories !
 

802-603hunter

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As the old saying goes: there are many a slip between a cup and a lip.

Hopefully clearing your conscience sets the table for 2020. Good luck!
 
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longbow

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Thanks for sharing JDK. I remember you shooting the spike and then MGK saying there was some mistake made. :) I did something similar once. A real nice buck was trotting in circles chasing some does. A lot of bodies going back and forth thru an opening 90 yards away. I could tell he was a big 8 point or better. Then all the deer stopped and I could see the buck, but only a small portion of his rack. I shot. I knew I got him. I walked over and found a big dead spike buck! Must have gotten in with the does and big boy. Well, at least my season wasn't over because we can shoot multiple bucks here.
 
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Mountain Hunter

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Mistakes I've made in the woods(tons of them) tend to be just as memorable as the successful moments. The best we can do is learn from them and move forward.
 




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