REDEMPTION BUCK! - I screwed up a shot at a buck last Monday. It was a hit, but no success. A friend's tracking dog (not the one who helped today) stayed on the trail (with very intermittent, spotty blood) for a half-mile or more but the dog lost the track and after two hours trying, we could never get back on it. It's been a LONG time since I hit one I failed to recover. I was UPSET!
I passed up a doe early yesterday, and then this buck showed up. He is smaller than last week's buck, but I desperately needed some redemption. He actually went by me a couple of times but too far out for me to trust the shot. The third time he'd worked his way closer, in the wide open and I couldn't resist. It was still actually the longest shot I've ever made with my old Hawken, about 65 yards. Rolling Hawken smoke always prevents me from knowing what happened on the shot. I waited 15-20 minutes before going to search for sign of hit. Initially I didn't find anything but I reached the nearby woodline and immediately spotted the deer, laying down, but wide awake and staring at me. Before I could get on him for a shot he was up and gone. Grrr! I was going to freak out if I lost another one!
I backed out and called in my friend, Raymond Reed, and his tracking dog, Harley. As it turned out Harley really wasn't necessary. From where I jumped the deer, there was a blood trail Stevie Wonder could have followed. The deer only went another 50 or 60 yards and died. Harley still had fun. So did I. ??