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Location: Florida
Joined: 08/02/2005
Posts: 85
The worst deer season...period

I am completely disheartened. I may throw my guns in the river. Tonight at dusk, I shot a massive buck with my muzzleloader at 40 yards. I was set up on the edge of a swamp and pines along a heavily used scrape and trail line. A buck came out of the brush and i shot him with a 240 grain XTP sabot pushed by 100 grains of triple seven pellets ( a combo that i get 1.25 inch groups with ). I brought up the scope and saw the massive rack on the buck quartering towards me. Instant buck fever. The gun went off slightly before I wanted it to, hitting him about 4 inches high in the shoulder.

Upon impact, the buck was knocked backwards into a sapling, knocking him down and knocking the branches off the tree. The buck came to his feet and ran off into the nastiest, most impenetrable swamp imaginable. He ran through standing water, leaving nary a trace. Blood and fur were at the impact site, but not a trace afterwards. We have recived over 2 FEET of rain in the last month here in the North Florida low country and it is raining now.

Add to that the 10 pointer i shot broadside, a pass through with a muzzy 100 grain that I also lost during archery, and I am at my wits end. Depression does not begin to explain it. 2 wallhangers lost in as many weeks, two of the biggest white tailed deer I have ever seen. I am going to spend the next three days or more looking for this latest buck, but this is getting bad. The gators have a better chance than I do where he ran into. I cant take much more of this....any suggestions? Is this normal in the deep south? I hope not.

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
The worst deer season...period

sorry to hear your plight coop. If you hunt long enough this will happen. Losing deer is actually part of the game. Dont be disheartened. If you tried your best at recovering the game, doing all that was humanly possible, and still couldnt find it then nature won. Just have to accept it, learn from any mistakes that you may have made and move on. Keep the chin up and keep practicing. I dont know what the laws are in your neck of the woods as far as tracking (blood trailing) dogs, But if you are having this problem, I would suggest researching if this is legal in your area. Im NOT suggesting you HUNT deer with a dog (said that before I get jumped and a sentence shortened to make it look like that) But a dog for tracking hit deer. There are several states that allow this and, if I remember correctly, some guys that actually retain dogs and are on call during deer season for just such instances. You may laugh when you read this, but the Jack Russel Terrior is one of the best dogs on the planet for just this purpose. But any hound can be trained for this. A good beagle, walker, blue tick, bloodhound, or any "nose to the ground tracker" would be very trainable and usefull in just such a situation. Chin up buddy. Thumbs up

Oh yeah, In most all of those states, it would be illegal to carry a weapon while behind the dog. That would be construed as hunting with the dog and not game recovery and in most all states a VERY hefty fine and loss of hunting license. Like I said make sure you research it completely by asking your local game warden and get him to sign a small statement that you spoke to him about this subject to cover your butt. Kind of a just in case measure. Heard a few bad cases where a GC officer told some folks one thing and then low and behold he was backwards in what he told them and they got popped HARD for it. Of course the GC officer denied telling them anything, so its always best to cover ya arse Thumbs up

Offline
Location: Florida
Joined: 08/02/2005
Posts: 85
The worst deer season...period

Well thanks. I actually own an english beagle, but all he hunts is biscuts. The problem is convincing the wife to let me take the family pet in the swamps. My area holds gator hunt permits as well, it is infested with them. Another hunter almost stepped on an 6 footer on the way to his stand in the dark, missed him by inches.

I am heading out now to look more, i think the meat will turn soon if it hasnt already.....assuming i get lucky and find it. Brick Wall,)

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
The worst deer season...period

If it has stayed above 40 and I think it has down there, then the meat is surely ruined. Its probably blown up with the gastrointestinal gasses by now. But Im sure if you downed it the gators have it by now. They have some pretty sporty noses on them and can smell a carcass a pretty good bit away.

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Location: Florida
Joined: 08/02/2005
Posts: 85
The worst deer season...period

Ha...the temp hasnt dipped below 60 in months except for the rare cool front. We hunt in the sweltering heat, especially bow season. I did have " limited " success today.

I didnt find my buck, but on the way out last night, I got the plates of a guy i snuck up on spotlighting, he pulled the trigger just as I came around the corner. Anyway I reported him to the FWC and the suspect admitted to shooting a buck...and he sold his buddy out who was illegally baiting deer.

The FWC told me that a guy had recovered a large 8 pointer rack where I had arrowed a deer during bow season, they also know where to find him. I thought it was a ten...but I am optimistic that I will get the rack.

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Location: Sneads, Florida
Joined: 11/13/2006
Posts: 122
The worst deer season...period

Good luck getting your rack(s) back. Usually when I am hunting somewhere that I think it will be hard to track I go for a neck shot. I have heard many people on here talk about not shooting for the neck, but I have always had great outcomes. I was hunting at the edge of a swamp last year and knew I did not want anything I shot turning into the swamp. I took a neck shot and the deer never moved after I shot it. Just a thought.

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Joined: 08/04/2008
Posts: 11
The worst deer season...period

I bow shot a huge buck one season in New Jersey , i shot with about 10 minutes of light left in the day i could see the silhouette of the buck at about 12 yards under my stand i drew my bow and could see my pin clearly so i let one go i heard a solid hit and heard the buck crash off threw some thick brush i listened trying to get a good fix on where he was headed, then i heard the plink of my aluminum arrow snap off, i didn't get full penetration and the shaft was sticking out, i waited for about 20 minutes and came down the tree and marked first blood and headed out of the woods to let the base game warden know i had shot a deer and needed to head back to locate him, me and the game warden went back and found my marker but the blood just wasn't there we searched for hours and decided to give it a try the next morning, i finally found the deer two days later in a huge briar thicket i thought i would never get him out when i finally did i looked like i had been locked in a phone booth with a mad mountain lion my camo was shredded and i was scratched up and bleeding everywhere, i still had the antlers mounted the taxidermist sold me a hide and we used a different hide for my mount but it turned out nice so i guess it wasn't a total loss

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