New to the site and thought I would post a pic of my muzzleloader deer from this year. He's not a monster by most standards but he's my biggest to date. I rough scored him at around 130 gross. He has right at 20" outside and 17.5" inside and 9" G2's. He weighed 168 dressed.
I had seen this deer a couple times during archery season and on opening weekend of ML season but never got a shot I liked. I hunted him pretty hard for the two weeks of ML season moving my location several times between his bedding and feeding areas. I was finally able to pretty much narrow down the bedding area he was using to a few acres. I didn't want to go in on top of him so I hung out at the edges. For the last week and a half of season he seemed like a ghost. I was seeing evry small buck in the area multiple times and seeing the does ever day. But the big boy elluded me. I had figured out exactly where the does were coming out into my cow pasture and knew it was just a matter of time before he was tempted to show his face before dark.
The final day of season came and still no luck yet. I was really starting to kick myself for not taking a 100 yard shot at him opening weekend. But I just didn't like what he presented me so decided to hold off. The last evening I came home from work to find a neighbor picking up pecans out of my yard. And naturally he wanted to chat. I couldn't think of anything but getting under that little cedar on the corner of the pasture. By the time he left, it was getting late for me to head to my location, which I can see from my house. And low and behold, I looked out across the way and a deer was already out feeding on clover. I decided to give him "a small buck" a chance leave my area of operation. I waited until about an hour before dark and slipped in to my cedar tree that I had made a little blind under and began the torturous wait for the darkness and my deer to finally show.
About 35 minutes of nothing but listening to the birds and other critters and whalaa. The first doe eased out into the pasture for a mouthful of green clover. She fed to the south away from the woodsline toward the pond for a few minutes then started easing her way back towards the woods. She just browsed around like she had nothing better to do for several more minutes at a distance of about 100 yards. Then she perked up and trotted towards the pond. I knew the gig was close to being up or I was sure hoping. The one by one 6 or 7 more does followed her lead and came trotting out of the woods toward the pond. I knew a buck was going to be close behind. But was it going to be the one I was looking for or maybe one of the many little guys I had seen. And out of nowhere he just appeared, head down in a sneek position with nothing on his mind but a piece of "white" tail. He followed the does exactly where I wanted him. I pulled the hammer back on the smokepole and steadied the crosshairs right behind his shoulder. As he stepped up the little rise and got clear of the tall grass, I squeezed the trigger. He bucked at the impact of the shot and ran down and out of site behind the pond levee. I slowly reloaded and just waited for a few minutes. I knew he was hit hard but never saw him run out from behind the levee. I very gingerly eased my way down to the edge of the pond and there he was, standing not 30 yards from where he was when I shot. His head was hung low and I knew he was done for but I was not about to track this fellow. I squeezed off another shot and he went 30 more yards and layed down at his final resting place. I finally got the buck I had been after for several weeks. I was able to back the truck right to him and load him where he fell. Much easier this way than packing them out in backpacks like out in Colorado.
Since I was alone I didn't have anyone to take a picture for me. So I had to just take a few of him in the bed of the truck.