Greatest hunting memory

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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby shaman » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:24 pm


Hmmm. I've got a bunch. There's this one:

The Savage Spoke

. . . and 4 years later, I repeated the process with an even bigger one:

The Savage Spoke Again

However, if you're looking for the hands-down best, it'd probably be my pursuit of Spike the WonderBuck.

Putting it All Together

2001 was my first year shooting reloads. I’ve got a new farm, a new stand, I’ve got my new loads too. I’d worked all the way from January to September getting it just right. Prior to finding the farm, I’d been thinking about a combination deer/boar trip out to the Texas Hill Country, and settled on 165 Grain Hornady SP’s over IMR 4895 loaded into Remington 30-06 brass left from my first boar hunt in 1984. This load was equally accurate in my Winchester Mod 70 and my Remmie 742.

Thirty minutes into the Opener, a nice deer I had come to name Spike, the Wonder Buck came up the trail. I took the Winchester Mod 70 and got it set on his boiler room and . . . “Click.” Spike walked off. Spike wasn’t a spike. He was just a little 6 pointer that had been bugging me all through bow season. I named him Spike, because he was feisty and tenacious with the ladies– been chasing them since October.

Spike had gotten wise to me early in October and started showing up at my stand at the most inopportune times. He had an uncanny sense that allowed him to pick the one direction off the stand that I could not get a bow. He had an annoying sense of timing– showing up just as I was getting up for my mid-morning stretch. He also could slip in on my blind side and start eating acorns under my tree so that I would not notice him until it was too late.

Spike got wise to me, and I decided that a change of stand was in order. I knew which way he was coming, so on the last weekend before season I put my climber on a new tree 80 yards further back on the trail.

There he had been, at 30 yards dead-on in the crosshairs, and I’d had a primer fail on me. Drat. At the time, I blamed the rifle, but I cycled the next round when I got back to the house and got a satisfying bang. I tried the round that had Spike’s name written on it, and it was a dud. I tried another round and got another bang.

In 10 years I haven’t had another dud. It was just one bad primer out of hundreds. In fact, I went out on Sunday morning and bagged a nice fat doe with one out of the same batch out of my Remington 742.

Spike? He got a one -week reprieve.


The next Saturday, I was back in my buddy stand with Mooseboy age 9. This was his first time hunting with me in the stand. We got to witness an awesome once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower that was still visible as the sun was rising. About a half hour later, a herd of doe came tromping through with Spike taking up the rear!

“It’s a buck!” hissed Mooseboy.

“I’m taking him.” I said. I brought the Remington 742 up. Spike made the mistake of following the doe a little to closely, down the hill. I caught him in the brisket at 10 yards. Spike’s rack was the the first to go up on the wall. I dumped the powder out of that one bum round and it sits on my bench now as the reference I use for calibrating my ’06 die. We looked for the ejected brass, but it went into a sticker bush.

In the end I could not complain . I got my first buck at the farm with my first batch of reloads and had my son get to see it all being done.

Since that day, I have not taken a deer with a factory load, nor have I had a misfire, nor have I had to substantially change the load I fired that morning. It has been through 4 deer rifles including Mooseboy’s M1 Garand. I keep swearing I’m going to go to a 150 grain bullet to get a little velocity, but I just never seem to get around to that project.
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Ohio farms
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby Ohio farms » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:08 pm

I took my 12 yr old daughter bow hunting to my cousin's farm one evening. She was not hunting, but I put her in a platform stand with a whistle, can of pop and binoculars. Her instructions were not to get down until I returned at dark. ( This was way before cellphones)
Just before dark a doe came within range and I shot her. She ran off, I wanted 15 min. and went to get my daughter. We returned to where the deer was standing and followed the blood trail in the dark, finding her 50 yds away. My daughter took the flashlight and the compass and guided us back to the field, with me dragging the deer behind her. It took maybe 30 min. to get out. We field dressed the deer under the lights of my truck and checked it in. She had never been in the woods in the dark before, let along with a dead deer in tow. Holding a somewhat bloody flashlight while I field dressed the deer was a first for her too. She loved every minute of it, as did I.
I wrote a story about that night and sent it to every hunting mag that I knew. I still have all the rejection letters, except one. Archery World accepted it and I will always keep the two copies of the magazine that I have. It was called "Sharing the Thrill" My payment from Archery World....a free hat. I have since lost the hat, but the memories I will keep forever. I consider myself a professional outdoor writer since a was paid for my work, even though it was only a hat. That counts, right?? :lol:
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pine valley
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby pine valley » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:12 pm

Some of my best hunting memories are from the deer camp and hanging out with my friends after getting back from a long day in the woods. We always have a good time whether we bring back a deer or not. Every night we would stay up late and tell stories and laugh until we cry. Of course everything seems funnier when you're tired from the early mornings and late nights. I love every second that I am in the woods so it is hard to pick my favorite memory while in the field, but the good times had back at camp always stand out. I can't wait to have everyone back out at the farm next season!
"The appointments can wait; that meeting can be rescheduled. So slow down, breathe deep. As the wind in the pines just reminded us, there's plenty of time." -Mossy Oak

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Buck Commander
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby Buck Commander » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:37 pm

Great stories guys!

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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby kellory » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:22 pm

I could post great memories for hours, but I haven;t had my greatest memory yet. ;)
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Woods Walker
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:52 pm

I should probably post more of mine while I still can remember them! :o
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby pgchambers » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:39 am

Easy one for me.

My daughter's first deer. It was an evening hunt in a ground blind, but a ten year old can't sit very long, so we eventually decided to do a stalk over to a bean field to see if any deer were out there. As we crested a hill, we saw several deer feeding towards us, so we hunkered down and waited. A doe kept coming head on until she was maybe 15 yards from us. At that point she spotted us, and there we were, eyeballing each other in the middle of a bean field with nobody moving a muscle. After a few seconds(seemed longer) she spooked, but the other deer further away hesitated after seeing her run off. Hannah got on a doe at around 75 yards that turned broadside when the other deer spooked, and she was able to make the shot before she ran off.

That same year I shot the biggest buck of my life. At Christmas, my brother-in-law asked me which deer meant more to me. Before I could answer, my brother asked me if I cried when I shot my buck. I said no. He said he saw tears on my cheeks when we were field dressing Hannah's doe, so it was no contest. He was right.
Hannah's Doe 09.jpg
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby Deebz » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:17 pm

A picture's worth a thousand words, one of my best hunting memories ever is the look on my wife's face...
Erin with deer.jpg
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"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

Jon H.
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby Jon H. » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:29 pm

Like yall I have many of them! But the two I remember the most is. After I came home from a hunting trip. My wife said, your home early today! That's when my son jumped off the couch and said, because he got one! And ran to my truck. He might have been four at the time. And when my son got his first deer and turkey!

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Cut N Run
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Re: Greatest hunting memory

Postby Cut N Run » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:52 pm

I've had a lot of hunting memories too, but this one sticks out as one of my favorites.
The hunt happened on Opening Day of turkey season in 2007, but there is also a back story to go along with it. I had been deer hunting during muzzleloader season on our lease in early November of '06 when I heard a turkey's throaty gobble just past dawn. He gobbled 8 or ten times before he flew down, which seemed like a lot given the time of year it was. About a half hour later, I saw a gobbler come running hard along the deer trail which followed the creek bed I was hunting. It was an average size longbeard, though something had clearly terrified him. A few seconds behind that bird, a great big gobbler came striding along the same path looking pissed off and ready to kick that other gobbler's feathered butt. I knew right then & there I wanted to get a crack at that big boy.

It took everything I had in me not to tell the other guys in the lease that I'd seen that huge gobbler, for fear of them putting unnecessary pressure on him. Luckily, he was hanging out in the most difficult part of the property to get to, which didn't receive much traffic. That winter, as I was in the local farm store buying some new posted signs to hang along the property boundary, I met an old timer who asked me what land I was posting. It turns out he used to help out on the same farm almost 50 years before. He asked me about a big sawdust pile on the property from when it had been timbered back in the day that I had never seen & didn't know about. Later that day as I was hanging posted signs, I made it a point to go find that sawdust pile. I walked through some the heaviest briars and through some of the most difficult cover to penetrate on a flat above the creek where the old timer told me to look, when suddenly everything opened up, almost an oasis in the middle of the tangled brush. The soil was rich brown and the area was so kicked up with turkey scratchings that it looked like a landscape crew had been in there with rock rakes.The opening was maybe 25 yards across and 40 yards long with scattered dogwood trees growing up through it. There happened to be one sweetgum tree with buttressed roots at the far southern end of the opening that would make an ideal tree to sit up against. There were also a few dead cedars on the ground, so I dragged them up and made a low natural blind at the base of the sweetgum which would help break up my outline nicely. Periodically over the winter, I'd ease in there to clear a meandering access trail through the thick so it would be unlikely that anyone else might follow it if they found it.

Opening Day of the turkey season finally rolled around and I was able to ease back to the sawdust pile an hour before daylight without getting busted on the way in. It was an overcast morning with a light drizzle at daybreak. About 700 yards in the distance, near where I'd heard him back in November, came a series of gobbles. I knew it was that big gobbler. He was a long ways off, but when it was obvious he was off the roost and gobbling from on the ground, I threw out a series of cutts and yelps, which he answered immediately. Experience told me to keep cool and not reply to his calls right away. The next time he gobbled, he had already halved the distance between us. I cupped my hand over my mouth, turned my head left and let out a short series of cutts and yelps to make it sound like the hen he was hearing was behind my position. Then nothing...He was quiet for almost 15 minutes already. I knew better than to call too much for fear of him pinpointing my location. Just then, I heard a deer approaching through the damp leaves close behind me. My mind panicked because I knew as soon as that deer hit the scent of me covered in bug spray, it was going to lose it's mind, snort like crazy, and scare off everything on this side of the county. I could hear it getting closer with every step and I was bracing myself for the inevitable bust of snorts that was about to happen. Suddenly, I heard Pffft- VRoooommmm of a gobbler spitting and drumming RIGHT BEHIND ME. The spitting & drumming was so loud I could feel it in my chest. My already racing pulse was going into overdrive. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the gobbler peering through the brush at me. He was three feet away or less. I was already squinting my eyes so he wouldn't see them move. In my mind, I kept telling myself "Be the tree, Be the tree, Be the tree." as I barely breathed. I could see the color of his pupil as he examined the funny looking leafy blob up against the tree that was me. He lost interest and started walking further into the sawdust pile, as he had a lonely hen to service. He passed behind 3 dogwood trees that just happened to line up to afford me enough cover to get the gun up and be ready for when he stepped out the other side. When he did, the Benelli spoke and rolled him at 11 yards.

I knew it was a big bird, but had no idea until he pushed the scales to almost 24 pounds. With spurs 1 & 1/4 inch and an 11 & 3/4 inch beard, he is my biggest gobbler to date, and was part of the most intense turkey hunt I've ever been on.

I'll never forget it as long as I live.

Luck Counts, good or bad


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