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cowboy38231's picture
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Location: West TN
Joined: 11/27/2011
Posts: 105
My TN muzzleloader buck

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.

 

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hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
Congratulations on what

Congratulations on what loooks like a geat buck to me. I don't know much about scoring but would have thought he would go higher than that. I love th eway you guys have so much more deer hunting opportunity than we do out here. I would never give up my mulie hunting at home but sure wish we could do more of it. Your right about the packing as it took me quite awhile to get mine out this year. But in Texas I did like you and pulled the truck right up. I was alone also but was able to use the timer in my camera and balance it on the tailgate to get a pretty good couple of shots with me in them.

Welcome to the forum by the way and hope to hear a bunch more from you.

saskie's picture
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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
Congrats

Congrats on an awesome hunt; I agree completely with your strategy of hunting the edges rather than trying to get in on top of his sanctuary, in my experience unless you're VERY good all you'll do is make him more alert and, if you compromise his safety zone he'll be more likely to bug out.

Well done!

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
Great Buck

Congratulations on harvesting a GREAT Tennessee buck! He will make an awesome mount, without a doubt.  Thumbs up

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5743
Well, he may not be a monster

Well, he may not be a monster in your book, but that would be the deer of a lifetime for many hunters out there.  Heck, I would take one of those right now!  Congrats on a fine buck!  You have shown us some great animals in the posts you have made, and you write some great stories.

Glad to see that Tennessee produces some good deer for you.  Between you and TNDeerhunter, you are putting up some great deer.  Just out of curiosity, what are you shooting for a muzzleloader? And, are you allowed scopes out there?  I have found that most eastern states allow it, like in Vermont where I am from originally, but out here in California and other western states, they are not allowed.

Well, congrats again!  Thanks for the photos and story!

cowboy38231's picture
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Location: West TN
Joined: 11/27/2011
Posts: 105
I use a CVA

I use a CVA Optima 50 cal in stainless with a 3x9 Bushnell Trophy scope.  I can group from 1" to 2" at 120 yards with 100 gr of pyrodex and 295 gr powerbelts. I am very pleased with the accuracy and the ease of operation and cleaning. I really didn't much like the fact that both shots were through the lungs and he didn't go down any quicker than he did.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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That's a nice gun.  I have a

That's a nice gun.  I have a CVA also, but I just have the bare bones CVA wolf. It's a basic gun, but shoots straight and is good for what i need it for.  Like I said though, we cannot use scopes in California, so that's not too good.

Tndeerhunter's picture
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I wouldn't worry

cowboy38231 wrote:

I use a CVA Optima 50 cal in stainless with a 3x9 Bushnell Trophy scope.  I can group from 1" to 2" at 120 yards with 100 gr of pyrodex and 295 gr powerbelts. I am very pleased with the accuracy and the ease of operation and cleaning. I really didn't much like the fact that both shots were through the lungs and he didn't go down any quicker than he did.

 

It's my opinion that a buck "on a mission" and hopped up on testosterone can do some remarkable things even when hit well. I shot this buck, also with a CVA Optima, 100gr and 295gr Powerbelt and he managed to run 100 yards with that heart.  Huh?

I have no idea how he did that!

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cowboy38231's picture
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Location: West TN
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Posts: 105
That's what I was thinking

I was figuring that was the reason he didn't go down easily. It was mainly the fact that he was still standing after each shot just hanging his head like he was gutshot. After each shot he went around 30 yards and stopped, just stood there each time and after the second shot he just layed down. Deer can do amazing things after shot. I've shot several through the heart and am always amazed at then running dead afterwards.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
I think any animal that I

I think any animal that I have seen only lung or heart shot usually averages about 50 yards. Very few have dropped from the shot. I lose a little meat sometimes but I like to hit at least one shoulder and drop them if I can when there's no snow on the ground to help with tracking. 

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