Delayed recovery of a buck I shot Jan. 2nd.....
We all have hunts that don't turn out just the way we want them....some worse than others. And those can seem to haunt us eternally.
Sometimes fate is just belated, and a late victory, although not as tasty as an instant victory, is still mighty sweet.
I got a call last week from 'Peanut' Campbell at Solana Ranch asking me to describe my buck's rack that we never found. I did, and he said my description of the rack looked a lot like the one he was holding. I asked him where he found it, and he said "Only 50 yards downstream from where your buck crosses the river on his escape". It made sense it was mine, being in the back yard basically of my tree stand, and the fact that we were on the last hunt of the season.
Peanut sent me some pics, and I was pretty sure it was him, but I couldn't tell for sure. There was one pic from overhead that sure looked like the shape of the main beams as I remembered it. Peanut was kind enough to send it to me to have a look in person.
Soon as I opened the box and looked in I didn't even have to take it out, there was no doubt it was him. I immediately had the vision of this buck standing below me broadside in the opening. He was magnificent!!! I've never experience a recovery like this before, a recovery after the fact, but I'm thrilled let me tell ya.
We can only speculate at this point, as it 'seemed' the buck was held up in some really nasty stuff in the river bottom in his death bed, and he somehow eluded 4 of us and a dog. I'm still not sure just how that happened. But after we left, the rains came and they came causing a big flood that evidently drug my buck out of the thicket coming to rest in the edge of the river just a stones throw of his crossing. That's Peanuts take on it.
Sure, I'd love to know the real story, but I wont. I'd love to have had the thrill of the recovery, the photos, the camp celebration, and the fine venison, but I can't get any of that back.........
Well that's bowhunting. Spirits and all mystical beings aside, there's many a slip 'twenna cup and a lip. All we can do is take the right shot at the right moment, practice to get ready for that shot. When it comes it sometimes doesn't work out. It's a fate we accept as hunters, and at times it is heartbreaking. There's no dishonor here...it's a bowhunter who gets some small piece of the animal as a reward. We'd all love to have the hero shot, thank the animal for giving us meat and life, but sometimes even when you do your best the animal has other ideas. These are living, breathing creatures who do crazy stuff from the time an arrow leaves and when it gets there!
Terry, same thing happened to me 2 years ago. A neighbor found my buck a week later in his pond. I felt remorse and a bit of sadness. I slept very little during that week. After I finally held his horns I knew I had killed this beast. I knew that I had done my best and felt lucky to have the closure. I killed a nice 8 last year and those deer are now melded into one: his cape and a 160 inch 8 pt rack from my pond buck. LONG LIVE THE KING! It makes me appreciate every animal I kill. I hunt big bucks only, with trad gear, and at times (I hope never again for the both of us) stuff happens. Enjoy the old boy on your wall. HE'S YOURS HONORABLY.
-------------------- Mike Davenport Posts: 3163 | From: Southern IL | Registered: Jan 2006
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Similar thing happened to me last year in Alabama during a Jan. rut hunt...made what i thought was a "dead in a hundred yards" doublelung...ended up being one lung...pushed the deer too soon...hunted with a dog that night & on horseback the next day sick about losing him. Some quail hunters found him maybe 75 yards from where we stopped. Am i proud of him...you betcha...did i him mounted...absolutely... That is one fine animal you took there Terry! Congratulations...Randy
He was totatly broadside when I released, and I aimed and the white patch or his arm pit, and as usual he dropped right into the shot..but as TX deer do, they drop - lean - and turn away...and I think I got only one lung as he was severely quartering away when the arrow impacted.
It looked as though it was perfect as he wheeled way and I though I double lunged him and jammed the off shoulder....I too expected to find him within 60 yards.
-------------------- "An anchor point is not a destination, it's an evolution to execution" - Me
"It's important, when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia
Way to keep things in perspective. As previously said, nothing goes to waste and to be able to recover it later is a bonus. Great buck.
Posts: 2474 | From: FL | Registered: Oct 2007
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