Thursday am was perfect to hunt a stand on the very top of the highest ridge on my farm. So at 5.30 am i left the trailer in my underwear shirt and hunting trousers and every thing else in my pack on my back. After a 45 minute climb I was on the ridge top . I got dressed , climbed and made my self comfortable . This ridge top is a great bedding area and usually shows lots of rut sign. When the wind is from the west or North West it is a perfect place to sit. the stand is fifteen feet up in a shagbark hickory & over looks the trail on the very spine of the ridge. So with the wind in my face, and a steep downward slope behind me Any deer walking the ridge top would pass right in front of me. One hour had passed and I glanced over my right shoulder to the north to see this great 8 point closing in on me. He stopped at 8 yards and glanced up but never made me. He took 2 steps and as his head disappeared behind a small tree i drew, anchored and released. The shaft buried up to the yellow feathers. He spun to the right and I could see the stealforce head sticking out of his right side. He blew over the opposite side of the ridge and was gone!
I waited 10 minutes before giving three yahoos and then headed out of the tree and back to the trailer.I went down the ridge the way I came up which was the opposite one he ran down. My wife and I made some coffee and waited 2 hours before returning to gather him up.
We clawed our way to the top. i was looking forward to an easy tracking job. We found blood immediately and along with his skid marks in the forest litter followed his trail for 100 yards down the steep slope. Then the blood stopped and the long day began.
To make along story short, I looked for him till 6.15 pm without finding another drop of blood. I knew he never made it off the hill side but yet i checked the stream below, the gully between my farm and the next. I bet i climbed that bluff fifty times trying to grid the hill to find him or more sign.
i had almost given up but decided to make one more loop up above where I had been looking and around the face of the bluff. As I came off of a very steep spot and on to a narrow bench, I saw his butt sticking out from behind a tree and his right antler. I was thinking boy this is going to not be a fun gut job. I am literally ten feet from him and he powers up and out of his bed and is like a run away frieght train out of control going down the hill. i couldnt believe it. It was now 11 hours since I made a perfect shot ( so I thought)
I followed his blood trail to the edge of the woods and then out into the open hill side which has grasses about waist high. I could see where he passed thru and followed another 50 yards.
It was now 7 pm and daylight was failing fast. I had a good Idea where he was . ahead of me is a deep gully filled with some very large red pines, apples trees and lots of nasty buck thorn. This gully is less then 200 yards up above the farm house we are presently fixing up. I snuck back up the hill to the 4 wheeler and drove out the long way, so as to not to disturb him. I knew it was going to be a cold night and he would still be there in the morning. My only fear now was the coyotes howling in the distance.
When i went back this am, he hadn't even made it to the gully. I found him 50 yards from where I quit looking. About 30 yards short of the deep gully
It turns out my perfect double lung shot was a liver hit. The exit hole was plugged with fat and I was very fortunate to have bumped him from his bed when he was as weak as he was.