Wow, where do I begin.
This is not the deer I was hoping to shoot this year, but this turned out to be my 2nd biggest whitetail deer ever. I have a 171 3/8” already.
This hunt began last weekend when we (my hunting buddy and I) shot this buck and couldn’t find him. He came out of a deep canyon with 3 does and gave us only a split second to get a good clean shot off. We shot him at 9:45 am on Friday November 13th. We tracked him with a good blood trail for 325 yards on our ranch (12 sections.) We gained permission to the neighbors (36 sections) and trailed him for 300 yards onto their ranch. The blood trail was getting thin and we were having a hard time finding blood. We called off the search at 11:00 am.
The landowner took my buddy up in the ranch helicopter to see if he could see it from the air but the search turned up nothing.
I called a good friend of mine who is also a TPWD biologist who has one of the best tracking dogs I have seen. He was free and we made a plan. He came out that night at 6:00 pm to start tracking. The dog immediately found the blood and went to work. Unfortunately at 10:00 pm that night we called off the dog as she was circling 4-5 times with no hot trail to follow. We figured he was not dead.
Fast forward to yesterday…Sunday November 22. After seeing several good bucks that morning we went and had lunch. After lunch I wanted to go sit on the edge of this canyon and rattle. I grabbed my antlers, binos and my gun. I hit the antlers together 4 times…….YES 4 times and he popped out of the canyon. I immediately knew it was the buck we shot last weekend. He ran a little ways before giving me a broadside 163 yard shot and I put it through the pump station.
We gave him about 20-30 minutes as we set up on the edge of the canyon replaying what had just happened so fast and watched both ways to make sure he didn’t come out. We seen the doe he was with and a smaller 8 point come out of the canyon, but no big boy. So I felt confident he was dead.
I had my buddy stay on the canyon edge to make sure I didn’t spook him out when I went down. I walked straight through the canyon….this canyon is deep deep deep with a spring fed stream running through it. I arrived at the evergreen tree I shot him at. I found NO blood. I was beginning to panic. I took a visual and surveyed my area to see where I thought he may run. I took a path after seeing a few deep hoof marks in the clay dirt. I turned the corner and BOOM, there he was piled up and dead. I was so excited. I had just killed my 2nd booner.
We finally got him out of the canyon and into the truck to go take pictures. We hit him in front of his right shoulder and it exited at the neck/brisket junction. Not clipping any of the lungs or shoulder. The wound was full of maggots and the meat was rotten along with the hide. These deer are tough and have a huge determination to live.
I was glad he was still alive and I rattled him out of the SAME canyon we had shot him the weekend before and I shot him within 100 yards of where we injured him last weekend.
He was 21” wide and scored 170 ¼”. His left side was weak due to a right rear leg injury. He also had a 3rd main beam on his left antler base he broke off. His right side was 81 5/8.
This is where I found him.
This is him.
This shows a good visual of last weekends bullet shot. Too far in front.