Early Season Success and Mixed Feelings

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It was October 6th, 2010. I had decided to go out for an evening hunt. It had been raining for quite a while and we finally got a break in the rain so I figured it would be a pretty good evening. Up to this point in the young season it was fairly uneventful as far as the hunting goes. 

I got to my stand right around 4 pm. I saw one deer going into my stand so I knew it would be a good evening. Right around 4:45 I began to see some deer coming from the oak ridge and they were filing into the alfalfa. The deer were going back and forth, into the oaks, then back out to the alfalfa. Suddenly something spooked the deer and I saw what appeared to be a nice doe coming my way. The stand I am in is facing the sun and the cloudy skies disappeared around 4:30. This doe came through the thin set of dogwoods and came to within about 20 yards of my stand. The other deer out in the alfalfa were running around like crazy. So, I figured I better let an arrow fly at her. After moving in and out of the trees a few times I finally had an opening to take a shot. She was about 22 yards away. Forgetting this older bow I have shoots high I shot and hit her in the spine. I quickly got down and finished her off with another arrow.

Then came the disappointment. I realized the doe was not a doe but a button buck. Alot of things came into play here. My son is home form Afghanistan on leave. He really wanted me to get a deer before he goes back. All the fawns I had been seeing were still the light colored brown instead of the darker brown of the more mature deer. My grandmother had just died and I attended her funeral earlier that day. I didn't even look at the head because I thought for sure it was a doe. Shortly after my son came home from Afghanistan he unexpectedly went into respiratory arrest and we had to do CPR on him. We got him back and he is doing great now. So, as you can see I've had a very tumultuous last 2 weeks. Oh yeah, I will add in there about mime and my son's bows breaking. So, after I saw it was a button buck and all the crap that has happened the past 2 weeks I was very dejected.

Then when I came home my son from Afghanistan was very happy I got one down before he left. Even though it was a small one he encouraged me and said you did this for me so don't let anyone make you feel bad about what you got. Then my grandson came out and he was screaming and going crazy. I had never seen him so happy in his life. I really made his day. Seeing the smile on his face and hearing my son's comments, I suddenly realized it wasn't all that bad. I hope you all enjoyed the story and the pics.   


ManOfTheFall's picture

It counts as an antlerless

It counts as an antlerless deer. So, I still have my buck tag. Yeah!!!!!

hawkeye270's picture

I am sorry to hear about all

I am sorry to hear about all your misfortune. I am glad to hear that you were able to fulfill your son's wish of seeing you take a buck while he was visiting you. That is worth more than taking a big buck anyways. Are you only allowed to take one buck a year? Does that count as a buck under your regulations or as a unantlered deer? Regardless, it is going to taste great and congratulations on the great bow hunt. Good luck for the rest of the fall.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Thanks for the compliments

Thanks for the compliments Gator. I will tell my son. He had to leave back for Afghanistan on Sunday and now we won't see him again until next summer. I would also like to thank you for your service as well.

gatorfan's picture

Cool ending!


So sorry to hear about all of the misfortunes that you have had to endure recently!  It sure seems as though you have the same feelings about hunting as I do though.  Sometimes when the world around me seems to not be going the way I wish, I like to go hunting or fishing just to re-charge the positive thoughts in my mind. 

I also made a similar mistake on a cull hunt at a friend's property in Texas a few years back.  The property owner invited me and several others to his trophy whitetail ranch in order to cull out some of the over-populated does.  We were, however, given strict instructions not to shoot any bucks.  Well, within 30 minutes of sitting in a blind, I had a doe come out and I dropped her in her tracks.  Upon walking up to the deer, my heart quickly dropped to my boots when I immediately saw the small buttons on his head.  Had I not been given the instructions of not shooting bucks, I wouldn't have thought much about it because it was still a legal deer.  But, because I was a guest on his property, I was pretty disappointed in myself.  Live and learn...

On a side note, thank your son for me for his service and dedication to our great country.  As a retired VET, I can surely appreciate the sacrifice that he is making!


numbnutz's picture

good story MOTF, theres

good story MOTF, theres nothing to be ashamed of there, thats a fine looking animal. sorry to hear about all the stuff you've gone through in the past few weeks. hopefully everything works out and you can get back into the woods, again congrats on the fine deer.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Thanks for the story, sorry

Thanks for the story, sorry for the lack of luck you had there, but I always look at my all my time in the field as a sucess, whether it be a doe or buck I love it all.  And to boot you took it with a bow so a great accomplisment in itself...congrats on your deer.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Thanks for the comments guys,

Thanks for the comments guys, I can really use them right now.

Critter done's picture

It's called Memories

I've seen bigger smiles on some of the smallest deer than I have on the big boys. It just lets you know that memories are a lot better than trophy's. Great story. I'm also sorry about all the bad luck you had.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

It's tims like that where you

It's tims like that where you see that it's not about the deer, it's about something more important.......Family.  Whether it's a button buck or a 10 pointer, it was a memorable hunt for you, and made your son happy.  Congrats!  Nice story.