Out hunting by myself day two as my brother had already shot his deer and my nephew had to leave us. Spent the morning in the double stand and saw absolutely nothing, cold and windy. Was hoping to see another big deer as had seen a rub on a very large cedar the day before. Around 10 a.m. with rain forecast for later that day I made a trip down to the plywood stand ground blind to see if it had a chair in it, and found it had blown over. So spent some time setting it back up. Made my way back to the barn, put a turkey in the smoker, and we went ahead and took my brother's deer the the meat processors. We were eager to get a weight on it.
Got back to the farm around 1 p.m. Thought about taking a nap, but passed on that. Started sleeting around 2 p.m. so like a good hunter I got bundled up and headed out on the ATV. That stuff stings driving into it at 10 mph.
Was torn between where to hunt, a ground blind on the New Plot, which always seems to show deer, or as my brother suggested down by the dozer trail where he shot his deer. Big scrapes all through that area. One huge one about a yard in diameter I had spotted walking to his stand to help him haul his deer out. I decided since I had to pick up a chair left in our tower stand I'd go ahead and listen to my brother and hunt the dozer trail. He had steered me right 3 years ago when he said he thought he heard a buck grunt down in a draw, then left to go home while I went and shot the deer.
I picked the chair up out of the tower stand and took it with me into the woods figuring I'd hunt from the ground. It was sleeting pretty good by then, and after about an hour and moving my chair 6 times I was cold and wet, then I remembered the plywood stand ground blind I had set back up earlier in the morning. So packed all my gear up and traipsed the 75 yards to it, figuring at least I'd be dry and I could hunt the side of hill that runs our edge feathering back into the woods.
Spent about 5-10 minutes adjusting windows and getting myself situated and being thankful I was out of the sleet. About 20 minutes in, the sleet finally started to let up, but it was still noisy enough on the blind to let me know I wouldn't be hearing any deer coming in. Was doing quite a bit of frequent calling, grunts and bleats with a can, but not seeing anything. I was being pretty loud figuring with all the weather the deer were probably hunkered down and my calling wasn't going to scare anything.
About 3:45 I caught a glimpse of two deer moving through the brush about 80 yards in front of me. I couldn't tell what they were, does or bucks, but got the scope on one as it stood still in the brush. Had a good sized body, but unable to see the head I had to let it pass. I figured where there were two, more might be following so I repositioned my chair in the blind to be able to look a little further to the left. In about 30 seconds two more deer appeared. Got the scope on the first one and saw he had enough points to shoot, but just wasn't sure about the size. I brought the scope down to locate the second deer and as he stood with his body behind a tree and his head sticking out my first thought was - cow - big bulging neck going straight into the head. I then noticed his antlers, three up on the side facing me and extending out to his nose. I was pretty sure he was definately a shooter. So got my scope on him and tracked him to the other deer. They did a little bit of jostling around, and then started to move away from me. At that point I saw those 3 points up on the right side, extending past the ear and said to myself "what are you waiting for, shoot this deer". So put the crosshairs on his right side as he quartered away and BOOM!
The recoil of my 300 WSM is such that I can never hold the sight picture after the shot and this time was no different. I pretty much rolled with the punch then came back down to see what I could see. I noticed a buck moving slowly off to the right and figured I had hit him, and needed to put another round into him. As I jacked another round into the gun a glimpse of white on the ground and kicking feet caught my attention to the left. That was the deer I shot. I kicked a few more times then stopped. From 70 yards away I could easily make out his white belly. I watched him for a minute or so more, then headed out to see exactly what he was. I crossed a small creek and headed up the hill, as I came up on him I could tell he was good size from about 20 yards away, but still couldn't see any antlers. I got a little closer and looked up and there was the other buck that had been traveling with him watching me from about 25 yards away. He decided to run off and I went on up to the deer.
He was a big boy and had been fighting. Quite a bit of hide rubbed off his back, several gouges in his hide, a gouge in his nose, a broken brow tine, and a bloody area behind his rack. A nice 10 point with 4 stickers and a broken brow tine, for a total of 14 points, would have been 15 had he had both brows. As I looked at him I could tell he was one of the biggest bodied deer I ever shot, he had a belly that was just bulging. Which of course let me to my next thought, I had gut shot him. But that wasn't the case - he just had a lot of guts, the gutpile nearly half again as big as my brother's deer.
Shot this guy at about 70 yards, quartering away, took out both lungs, liver and some of heart. Missed the gut completely. Filled with blood, but no external bleeding - could not find entry or exit wounds until we got him field dressed, and then only from the inside. Time was 3:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon, weather cold but sleet had finally stopped. Used a 300 WSM shooting Federal Fusion 165 grain bullets. He field dressed at 193 pounds, aged at 4.5 years. We scored him at 146 2/8, taking no deductions. Had he not broken that brow tine he would have cleared 150. He stumbled maybe 5 yards to the left of where I shot him before going down.
Perfect ending to a perfect weekend. Now we're sitting here watching the rain which has been going on since early this a.m. being very thankful we tagged out early and don't have to hunt in this weather.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”