This is topic Bitter Sweet find,,,ending a two year search! Pictures added, 03/18/18 in forum PowWow at Trad

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Posted by Zwickey-Fever (Member # 44896) on :
This story begins in the early summer of 2016. Every evening, I watched a buck grow into a beautiful ten pointer from my roof top. He became a regular in my upper pasture about 300 yards behind my house. Every evening I would sit and watch him enter the pasture at the same time and make his way across the corner heading east. Come the middle of August, I decided to make my move and hang a stand and do some limb trimming if needed. I took all the precautions of entering the deer woods. It took me about 30 minutes to hang my stand and vacate the area. Come that evening, spotting scope in hand, perched on my roof waiting for the ten to make his daily appearance and "nothing"! He was a no show! I watched that buck nearly every evening for a month & half and he's gone after my short intrusion? It was an entire week before my next sighting of him.
Fast forward to the evening of October 1st, 2016, Iowa bow opener. With my bow in hand, I made my way to my stand for a evening meeting with that ten pointer. About an hour before sunset, I noticed movement to my left, a eight pointer made his way up the ridge towards me. At about 25 yards the eight snaps up his head and looks behind him. I knew as soon as the eight pointer jolted that it was the ten pointer that I have been watching and waiting for! He comes up the ridge at a steady pace. At 18 yards the ten snaps up his head and the only thing I can think is "up-oh" he's getting hinky. He took a few steps back looking around as I draw my Surewood shaft tipped with a Zwickey Delta. I release to watch my arrow disappear several ribs back. He goes crashing down the ridge out of sight. I waited until it was dark before climbing down. I decided to try to find my arrow. I found it covered in dark blood, liver hit. So, I backed out quietly and waited until sun rise before tracking. The blood trail was constant and easy to follow until he reached my neighbors CRP about 80-90 yards away from my stand. I called up my neighbor to let him know what was going on before I entered his property. His son showed up shortly after. We got through the CRP and a bean field where the blood was more obvious but started trickling off towards the wood line. Then nothing!! We circled around several times and called in a few more people and still nothing. I relived that shot countless times and thought that it was a solid shoot. I walked and searched for several days, looking for buzzards, listening for coyotes, standing down wind of thickets smelling for something dead and still came up empty.
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon, the phone rings and my neighbor asking me to meet him up behind his horse barn. He said come on John, I need to show you something. As we was walking he asked me do you remember that ten pointer that we tracked a year or two ago? My reply was, yeah, lost a lot of sleep over that one. He just chuckled and said come on. He said he was up on his tractor and noticed something white along a ditch. He hands it to me, a vertebrate. He takes me to the side of a ditch, a ditch that i walked passed several times looking for my ten pointer. There, 5-6 feet down in the ditch was bones and the skull of a buck. Its been there for a long time, about 17 months to be exact!! After a phone call to a DNR Officer to tell him whats going on because deadheads can be a serious offence here. He made it about 175 yards to a ditch that I walked right passed numerous times looking for him. The last blood was found about 15 yards from his last resting place. His rack was perfect, not a nibble. Bitter sweet end.
Thanks for reading.
Posted by Michael K Miller (Member # 34387) on :
Unfortunately that's the way it goes sometimes. Glad you got the closure though. I have been studying some videos on YouTube about re coloring sun bleached horns, thinking of giving it a try on some sheds I've found over the years. He looks like a great candidate for it. He will still make a fine euro mount.
Posted by Thumper Dunker (Member # 13601) on :
Atleast now you know what happend.
Posted by Chad Orde (Member # 21806) on :
John, thanks you for taking the time to share the story sir. I have heard of it happening seen it happen and had it happen to me. Glad you got the rack in the end but most importantly the memory. The ones I have lost or missed haunt me the most but also in a weird mean the most.
God Bless
PS I have found when the blood runs out they can be real close by. If they are dead that is. May all your arrow fly true. Lord willing I pull IA this year!
Posted by Steelhead (Member # 9220) on :
Very fortunate for you!
Its very painful to loose a deer.
I would do something special in a skull mount for that buck and yourself
Congrats on the happy ending [Smile]
Posted by stujay (Member # 23799) on :
Glad the rack was found and it looks nice...agree with steelhead do something special with it, it is a nice trophy.
Posted by Zwickey-Fever (Member # 44896) on :
Thanks everyone. I am truly going to do something nice with his skull. I feel its the right thing to do. I was just in shock that no critters nibbled on his antlers.
Posted by arrow30 (Member # 22657) on :
congratts! on finding your treasure.
Posted by Chad Orde (Member # 21806) on :
Originally posted by Zwickey-Fever:
Thanks everyone. I am truly going to do something nice with his skull. I feel its the right thing to do. I was just in shock that no critters nibbled on his antlers.

In Michigan the porcupines would have hammered that rack!
Posted by OkKeith (Member # 10984) on :
Seventeen months... that's a LONG tracking job, seeing as how you never really gave up on it in your head.

How boring would it be if it were a perfect world? The heartache makes the joy so much sweeter. Heartache still sucks though!

You're right... amazing that the field mice and cotton rats didn't chew it down to a nub!

Posted by kennym (Member # 2304) on :
Great you found it! Around here, the critters won't chew a deadhead' antlers for a couple years, must be the smell. The yotes don't wait on the rest of the critter tho.
Posted by J. Cook (Member # 20751) on :
Very cool!
Posted by Buckeye1977 (Member # 44686) on :
Nothing like a good ending to a bad situation. Nobody likes loosing an animal you've shot but you stayed persistent and with a little luck found your trophy. [thumbsup]
Posted by Homey88 (Member # 40473) on :
Great story! Sorry you didn’t recover the deer, but awesome you got the rack!
Posted by Cyclic-Rivers (Member # 21222) on :
Nice buck, glad you found him
Posted by Woodpuppy (Member # 46065) on :
Anyone mind explaining deadheads? In Florida deadheads are partially or fully submerged logs leftover from rafting logs down the rivers to a mill. You can get a permit to recover them, I hear they make good money.
Posted by Bisch (Member # 17432) on :
I know exactly how you feel! Years ago, I shot a buck that I thought I made a good shot on. It took me nine days to find him. In what is left, that is no different than 17 months!!!

Glad you got some closure!

Posted by michaelschwister (Member # 15446) on :
6 NOV 2016 had a nearly identical story on nearly identical 10 pt buck. Shot him with a homemade selfbow at 13 steps, one lung/Liver shot. Only difference is my son in law found him on facebook 5 days later. Trespassing ML season hunter dragged him off whole, long before I started to blood trail 5 hours later. Congrats on finding him!
Posted by Woodpuppy (Member # 46065) on :
Facebook - busting stupid criminals in real time.
Posted by Basinboy (Member # 19754) on :
Man that’s a fine buck! Glad you finally found him.
Posted by tecum-tha (Member # 5759) on :
Can you tell us what broadhead you were shooting at that buck?
Posted by Possum Head (Member # 23948) on :
He’s a monster congrats
Posted by Zwickey-Fever (Member # 44896) on :
Originally posted by tecum-tha:
Can you tell us what broadhead you were shooting at that buck?

It was a Zwickey Delta 2 blade, 75 grain steel broadhead adapter on a Goldtip Traditional shaft. I firmly believe that between the time of release until impact, the buck contorted to a less lethal angle.
Posted by Zwickey-Fever (Member # 44896) on :
Originally posted by Woodpuppy:
Anyone mind explaining deadheads? In Florida deadheads are partially or fully submerged logs leftover from rafting logs down the rivers to a mill. You can get a permit to recover them, I hear they make good money.

Deadheads are dead deer found in the woods mainly. The state of Iowa can be extremely touchy if you dont call the DNR officer. If you want to get it mounted, the DNR officer will have to you a salvage tag.
Posted by degabe (Member # 14857) on :
That is why I love my blood trailing dog. He has found a couple that would have been coyote poop.
Posted by rastaman (Member # 13385) on :
Been there, done that. The feeling is bitter sweet, but you have closure knowing the animal was found. Very nice deer by the way!
Posted by Zwickey-Fever (Member # 44896) on :


I finally refinished the 10 pointer that I lost in the 2016 season. I'm in still disbelief that nothing has chewed on the rack. I mounted him on a wall pedestal mount made of black walnut arrowhead design.
Posted by Mint (Member # 5900) on :
Very nice.
Posted by beemann (Member # 17328) on :
Thanks for sharing and glad you found him. I have a story like that, not holding my breath on the happy ending.
Posted by Tom (Member # 2405) on :
Look good and fitting display for a nice buck. Glad he was recovered, even if nothing in the freezer.
Posted by Colotrad (Member # 6617) on :
Wow. That is an amazing story. Glad you got the closure, but definitely bittersweet. Thanks for sharing.

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