Back story: So, I donate a management buck hunt at our ranch every year to a fundraiser auction for the youth hunt organization that hunts does at my ranch. The winner of the auctioned hunt came out this weekend to hunt a mature 8 point. In talking with the winner, I had told him that I had been hunting a huge 10 point that was mostly nocturnal since MLD season opened up. Friday afternoon we headed out to hunt and saw several bucks, including a big 11 point, but nothing that fit the management buck criteria.
About 5:30, the 11 point alerted and out walks the huge 10. The 11 shagged a_s, wanting no part of him. The mgmt buck hunter asks if that is my deer, and I confirmed, yes. He says, you should shoot him. I said no, I don’t want to ruin your hunt, plus I have no gun. We have some more conversation and he says, there’s only 20 minutes of light left and an 8 point is not coming in to challenge this guy. He insists I shoot the deer. We switch seats in the blind. He hands me his rifle. I ask him some questions about the trigger, and I get set. The 10 finally turns broadside. I exhale and squeeze the trigger. The buck runs forward and then turns runs directly away from us with his tail straight up. I asked what just happened? Did I miss that deer? The mgmt buck hunter said he could not tell. He said it did not hunch up or appear hit. I initially felt good about the shot, but it was not my gun, and I’m having serious doubts. We waited 10 very anxious minutes, and although I knew I should wait longer if it was a bad hit, I wanted to at least check for blood before it got dark.
We made our way around to the feeder, I check behind where the buck was standing and see a droplet of blood. I turned toward the direction he first ran, and there was a large swath of blood and some tissue. What a relief! I start following the direction he went. Found more blood and when looking for the next sign, I saw him laying about 30 yards out. Time for a happy dance! In my elation, I am also thinking I really need to get this hunter a deer or I am going to feel terrible. He was so gracious letting me take this buck, and he was the guest!
We head out Saturday morning to a blind on a wheat field. The wind was perfect. On the drive to the blind, we caught a mature 8 point in the mule’s headlights. He is blinded, and we get a good look at him. He is one of the management bucks. The buck finally trots out into the wheat field. We head on to the blind and get set up. Before light the same buck comes within 10 yards downwind of the blind and bolts. I’m thinking great. He’s winded us and is gone for good. Daylight comes and the buck is nowhere to be seen. A couple of young bucks come out into the wheat field and we watch them for a long time. Suddenly, I look to my right and upwind of us in the brush is our buck. He steps out about 50 yards from the blind and within minutes, the management buck hunt is over. What a great way to finish off the story of my best buck to date. The hunter who was so gracious to me, now had his management buck.
In the previous “My Turn” thread, many of you had this buck close to my previous personal best. I had him somewhere around 160-165. Well, we scored him yesterday. The verdict is 173 7/8 gross. He is super symmetrical and nets an even 168. He had a whopping 37 4/8 of mass. 17 2/8 spread and 46 4/8 in beams. That’s 101 2/8 down and tines were 72 5/8 with the longest being 12 1/8. He weighed 184 lbs and was 6.5 years old.
Here he was a week ago:
Here he is Friday evening: