Monday, November 12, 2012

If you cant get bag a monster

then bag a freak :)

Deer season 2012 is underway and I'm happy to report that I am now 2/3 for buck slaying on opening day. 

But don't let that fool you....kinda had to work for this beast....kinda....

P.S. If you don't like hunting stories, or deer hunting, guns, bad words or anything else that might could around during hunting season, please stop reading now.  If you keep going, and then send me nasty notes about how could I shoot a helpless unarmed animal, my response will not be nice because you have been warned.

We took off early in the morning, thanks to Grandma U and Grand Dad Bud for watching the runts children over night.  We went out Friday night for our anniversary and headed to Cabela's for some last minute (as in season starts in less then 12 hours better get more bullets, range finder and a sling for my gun) supplies.

Opening day started off windy.  We had a deer picked out that Shawn had less then awesome luck getting during bow season   we had seen several times but not been able to nail down his routine in the morning.  Afternoons, that down, but not the mornings, so it was a crap-shoot (aka hunting) as to if we would see him in the AM.

Negatory....and the wind and impending winter storm wasn't helping....critters weren't movin' that much.  It was foggy, windy and cold.  Typical hunting in November.  We found some does, and usually, where they are does there are bucks.  Which yes, there were some bucks, but no shooters.

Just so everyone knows, "shooters" are not just big ass bucks that will score huge for B&C and give us bragging rights.  "Shooters" are older, possibly crippled and freaks (that is important in this story) and yes, big ones.  In short, they could be big, well within' shooting range but young, so we let them go...go and grow, so that they can make it into the other category of BIG AND OLD :) 

We choose to keep on looking walking 6 hours, 2 full pastures, approx 5 miles.....up and down the sandhills...nothing.  Well, not nothing....we made it into a hill that Shawn said "always has lots of deer" and we found some.....but they found us first and before I could get a shot off.....damn wind and crazed whitetails!

Took a break for lunch, watched the first half of the Huskers game, got pissed and went out to see if the bigin' had come out from hiding per his usual after plan. 

And the storm arrived.  It was 28 degrees, 20mph winds (you do the math)....freezing rain/snow/what-ever-the-hell-it-was-it-hurt-when-it-hit-my-face crap had arrived.  We got to our spot only to find that the calves had jumped the fence and 20 of them were standing right where the bigin' would be coming.  Which meant he wouldn't be coming.  Which meant I had a very unhappy hunting partner because the stupid calves had just screwed everything up. 

The calves, not mother nature.

We started walking out to try and get around them.....which would have worked had they scattered like they should have.....moving away from us and towards the gate we needed to get them in....but they didn't.  Oh no...they choose to follow us around like little lost puppies calves.  We knew there were some does on the south side, so started walking that way, thinking we could shake the calvies and for a bit and I thought we did. 

Then Shawn grabbed my arm and said, get down, get ready, there he is!!

WTF, I couldn't see anything but 5 does and 2 fawns but apparently there was a buck bedded down on the other side of the hill we were standing on.  Shawn was high enough up to see the tips of his antlers, I could not (because I was told to get down and get ready to shoot before I could see anything him.) 

Enter the calves....and exit the deer.  They took one look at the calves and took off.  Hunt over.

A furious Shawn stalks after the calves to lock them into the pasture they were supposed to be in to begin with, and I follow.  With the wind and crap coming from the sky and the fact that we just chased off what turned out to be 9 head of deer, we were now longer being quite or subtle.  We were stalking (on of us was using bad words) chasing the stupid calves (not word for word how someone referred to them) back into the stack yard when suddenly,


For what?

This big deer, get ready, he is running right at us!

And he was....from across the meadow (where the calves were supposed to be) he jumped the fence into the stack yard (where the calves were going to be), kept right on cruising over the other fence, into the pivot with us...on this windy, foggy, snowy, nasty night.  Us and 20 calves who had his attention completely drawn to them (the one helpful thing they did all day), so he had no idea we were down (well, I was, Shawn was still standing) ready to shoot.  But he also wasn't stopping.  He must have winded the does that we chased off about a minute before and he was chasing.

If you get him in your sites, take the shot.

I had to reposition my gun several times because he never stopped....he would slow down, but never stop or even break to a I kept trying to get a lead out on him and finally the third time he came right into my cross hairs at 125 yards. 

Deer Down.

I didn't remember a damn thing.  It all happened so fast...from chasing off the first group of does to harvesting this guy was maybe 2 minutes.  3 at the most.  After 6 hours of wandering and walking, we saw more deer in 3 minutes and got one down.  When it happens like that, it happens fast.

I didn't even really get a good look at him to we got up there since it was now a full on winter storm.  Shawn knew the deer as soon as he got a good look at him as he saw him a few days earlier, and knew we needed to get him out.  He is more of a freak that anything else.  I'm sure that's not the kindest way to put it but he is....he is a 3x7 and has a shovel antler coming out of the front of his head.  Really strange, but not totally unheard of as just a few weeks ago we watched someone on a hunting show chase their "caribou buck" (caribou have those shovels).

I was happy to see how old he really is....his rack is starting to shrink, he was big BIG bodied(probably 250lbs is what we grunted guessed as we were lifting his heavy ass into the big ol' pick up).  He had some battle scars from fighting....he was a good deer, but a good herd management deer.  Definitely not the biggest out there, but a shooter and a rack with character to hang on the wall with the others.

Ok, back to the hunt (nope, not over yet!) we put the calves back (must more cooperative to go away from us after hearing a gunshot) and started out trek back to the house...which took forever as it was straight into the snow sleet crap! 

I asked him if he wanted to cut through the calving lot or head to the end of the meadow and cross the road there ...... 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other...just wanted to know which direction to head.....

Calving lot was the call and what a good call it we stepped out of the lot, I looked up (I had kept my head down for most of the walk because it the sleet hurt!) and voila.....4x5 buck standing right at the corner of our yard, looking right at us.

I hit Shawn in the arm, pointed, he put down his pack, raised his gun and BOOM....

Deer Down.

So we hunted excellent deer areas for 6 hours in decent weather (cold but not winter storm crap) and saw nothing.  Spent 30 minutes outside, in shit, saw lots of deer, shot one, walked back to the house, and shot another one. 

Got the pick up, got the deer before the coyotes did (ya...about them....6 was the total for the day....time to start shooting some coyotes), got everything home and Shawn and Piper cleaned them all up.

We will have jerky and venison for awhile, lol!  And we will probably go and each fill our doe tags because the whitetails need to be thinned out a bit.  Herd management. 

Time to start looking up wild game recipes....looks like Ill be cooking that for awhile!

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