Heartbreak

lester2

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Yesterday I hiked up in where I left this buck track on Sunday, mostly in the dark. When I got there, there were two tracks coming down off the hill that they had been on. One was small, and one was bigger. I assumed it was the same two deer, but it was hard to tell because they were melted out a bit. I decided to take the buck track.

The deer zig-zagged through the hardwoods, feeding and bedding along the way. He eventually made his way up a 3,000 foot ridge. I kicked him up when we got to the very top.

I gave him a half hour, and then started my pursuit. This deer was a runner. He went a long ways before slowing down to a walk, and then bedded in some thick pines. We did this 3 times, eventually we circled the 3,000' ridge, and crossed my boot tracks from the morning.

By noon, I had realized that this was not the giant buck I had tracked on Sunday. I decided to keep going. I hadn't seen another deer track all day. I kicked him up at noon. At 1:15, he made an abrupt turn in to a stand of pines on the side of a ridge. I knew he would be in there, so I went really slow through them. An hour later, I could hear a deer walking through the crusty snow ahead, but I couldn't see him because the pines were so thick.

I followed the track to an empty bed with walking tracks leaving it. He continued up the ridge, feeding. It was now 2:30. I felt I was close. I followed slowly. Every time he fed, I'd gain on him. Eventually, I heard a stick snap above me. A short while later, he started bounding again. He took me over the top of the ridge. The other side was a beautiful mix of hardwood and softwoods. He kept zig zagging through the patches of softwood.

At around 3:00, I came over a knob, and 50 yards in front of me was a deer feeding. I pulled up, saw the bow of a main beam in my scope, and fired. The deer jumped in the air and took off. I reloaded, and went over to the shot site. No blood.

I started following and found a few little specs of blood. I went on him as fast as I could because I wanted to finish the job before dark. He went over a mile, all down hill, towards my truck. As we went I was seeing more and more blood. I kicked him out of a bed, and there was a lot of blood in it. When he took off, it looked like he only had horns on one side. I didn't see a shed along the way. At 4:05, I caught up to him, and was able to get one into the pump house. He had a nice rack on one side, and a straight antler on the other, with a fork at the top.

I cleaned him out, and started dragging. I ended up getting him to the truck at 6:30. He is technically a 5 pointer, and he weighed in at 138 fully cleaned out.

I'm happy I was able to take a buck tracking, but part of me is upset with myself for not holding out for that giant I missed on Sunday.

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Way to stay after him. This late in the season any buck is a trophy in my mind!
 

amclimber

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Great work! I wouldn't have held out either. You took a nice buck tracking, that's not easy.
 

Dirigoboy

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Great hunting stories. I enjoyed them both.
Regarding who uses what, ask a dozen questions you'll get a dozen different answers. As a long time muzzle loader, I would echo one point that someone else said earlier up the comment pike. Concerning my muzzleloader, it stays out in the barn for the season. If I'm driving anywhere, it goes in a scabbard and rides in the bed of my truck. If you don't do that kind of diligence, you'll find quite often that your barrel sweated with condensation or, in the cone where you place your cap.
I have been using Buckhorn 209 for several years now and really like it. The other one item I have always used are CCI caps. I've never had a problem with condensation with them, nor a ftf with this combo. As in all things, mileages vary.
The other thing I didn't hear comment on is where you keep your caps that you carry? I use a civil war leather cap box lined with lambs wool suspended from my belt, which is out in the cold, rather than inside my coat or trousers. It sits outside of my body heat. If you're dumping caps into your pocket for quick access, your body heat may be affecting those when again, heat meets cold. The other thing I have is a piece of small diameter wire. You get one speck of residual anything in that hole, you won't be firing anything.
Just my thoughts.
 

Mountain Hunter

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I just want to update this thread. A guy I keep in touch with hunts the same general area of GMNF that I do. He picked up a track on Friday, that had one toe longer than the other, just like the buck I missed. He caught up with him Saturday. I'm almost certain this is the same buck I missed. The rack looks the same to me. I'm very happy for him. He hunts hard and he definitely earned this one!

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Fixed blade

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That’s a great buck. Sorry it didnt work out for you on this one but my guess is that it will in the future. On a brighter note at least you know he wasn’t poached, hit by a car, or shot off a rd. And you now know he is not there anymore. So you won’t waste time next year obsessed over finding his track and pass on other tracks in the process.
 

Mountain Hunter

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That’s a great buck. Sorry it didnt work out for you on this one but my guess is that it will in the future. On a brighter note at least you know he wasn’t poached, hit by a car, or shot off a rd. And you now know he is not there anymore. So you won’t waste time next year obsessed over finding his track and pass on other tracks in the process.
I'll be hanging a camera or two in his core area. He took me through a natural funnel that was only about 60 yards wide. It was littered with snowed in big buck tracks. I figure it's worth hanging a camera in that funnel next fall. He may not have been the only big boy in town.
 

NoDeerHere

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I'll be hanging a camera or two in his core area. He took me through a natural funnel that was only about 60 yards wide. It was littered with snowed in big buck tracks. I figure it's worth hanging a camera in that funnel next fall. He may not have been the only big boy in town.
Absolutely hang a camera or two and good luck next year. I have a good feeling with your attitude you will be reporting a nice buck is down. I can't wait to see it!
 

Flatlander

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Congratulations on a great hunt. Can't imagine back in the day using a flintlock and your life depended on it.
 

sneaky_pete000

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I'll be hanging a camera or two in his core area. He took me through a natural funnel that was only about 60 yards wide. It was littered with snowed in big buck tracks. I figure it's worth hanging a camera in that funnel next fall. He may not have been the only big boy in town.
I'm not sure if I updated a thread with the story yet, but I tracked a stud into an area that I'll be hanging a cam next year as well. Already excited.
 




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