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  • My only 2012+ buck, but happy

    As you may know, my usual comment to the pics of the big bucks i see here is something like 'Holy cow/Good gracious! If I ever see such a buck....'.

    Well, I DON'T see those, and in fact the pictures below are of the biggest buck I've ever seen (apart from growing up in Ontario, Canada. but I didn't hunt then). :(

    So, a few weeks ago, I got invited to hunt a friend's property in Halifax Co., and this is the result. He popped out at 704am, at 100+ yards, and I popped him with the .308. When the smoke cleared, he was leaping between the trees, looking like he hadn't been hit. I was shaking, and worried I had only hurt, or gut shot, a deer on my friend's property. He texted me and said it sounded like a hit, but let's play it safe. We went out for breakfast, and I could barely concentrate. We drove up to the field two hours later and there he was. 15 yards into the woods. Crumbled. Turns out it was heart and lungs. (I shouldn't doubt myself or the Ruger!).

    So, he's not so big, and shucks darnit, his brow tines were busted. One almost healed, and the other sharp. Actually, when he ran, he ran smack into the tree he eventually died 'between'. His antler has shredded bark stuck to it at the base!

    Thanks for the great photos all year. I pray I'll shoot a big one sometime!
    Not a thing wrong with that Buck in my opinion and at this stage of the season..I would say, he's a great wise Buck and you did a great Job!!! The Hunt is what makes a Trophy to me!! Great Buck and great Shot...Anyone can Kill a Big Ol Buck if they spend enough time where a Big Ol Buck is but as you know...such places are few and far between..I'll say it like this...I have alot of friends that Hunt but I can't think of anyone of them that would pass this Buck up...Congrats again!!!
    nice buck
    thats a nice one,.congrats!!!
    Hey man congrats!
    wow that is wild! I am picking here! You sure that deer didn't get stuck and then you saw him and shot him? ;) Was you using your climber?
    Very nice rifle! 308 is my fav cartridge.
    I shot a buck one time and he ran 25 yards and I was tracking him and I looked 6 feet to the right of blood trail and there he lay. Right as he died he ran in a 15 foot circle.
    I figure the forked tree is your lucky tree. That deer might have ran 300 more yards if it hadn't gotten stuck! :) You should put your climber on that very tree! Bet you will kill a lot more deer from that spot! Worth a try! Very cool pics!
    Unique, eh?
    I was surprised to see him wedged in there like that! I don't think he'd have gotten 'much' farther, as the shot had obliterated his heart and punctured both lungs. Notice all the blood on the initial side of the tree, but none on the side where he lay. I think he was pretty much spent, and like you experienced, made a desperate lunge as his final move.

    He had been in an open field with oats planted. I had expected to see a bunch of does/spikes, as that's what the last guy saw out of that stand (before he shot a wall-worthy 9-pointer out of it!).

    I saw an ear twitch just inside the tree line, which woke me up! A tail swish. Thought it was a doe. As he turned into the field, I thought I could make out some head-bone. I grabbed the binos and was surprised to see it was a shooter buck. When he turned broadside, I saw it was a heavy, big-bodied deer. My buddy estimated him to be 175#. We didn't have a scale, though.
    Nice job
    They don't all have to be mammoth to be trophy hawkman. Real nice deer.
    Big buck
    Hey nothing wrong with that buck!! 9 out of 10 hunters will
    Blast this buck to have as a trophy
    congratulations !!!
    nice buck. nothing wrong wirh him. a successfull hunt is good whether the buck is big or not. keep hunting the biggun will show , man i've hunted some yrs and not see anything to shoot.some yrs i've shot some i wish now i hadn't. but now i've set my standards higher and can let'em walk hoping for the biggun. good luck !
    You may never see one wedged like that again! I love memories of hunts like that! I have recently given up 'trophy hunting' as it left me disappointed and with a foul taste for deer hunting with the competition of other hunters and near misses or not recovering trophies like the one I shot in 2009. Now I prefer to shoot doe and pass on small bucks (since I won't hang their horns, and I eat what I kill) in hopes that it may pay off and the big boy will show or grow. This has brought back the good feelings I had about deer hunting in my earlier years and I enjoy it now more than ever. Some hunters may agree or disagree.
    Now about your buck, the only way I would have let him walk was if he was in your old home, Canada. That's a fine NC deer, busted up or not. You had a good hunt and story to tell. Nice 3 year old. If you passed him up, he may have been shot by someone else, hit by a car or never showed again. I would skull mount him AT MINIMUM. But that is your choice and we all have different ideas. I am thankful to even have a place to hunt these days as hunting spots are hard to come by and many folks oppose hunting and our gun rights are threatened. My main goal is to teach my unborn son to enjoy hunting for what it is, even if he doesn't exercise my practices. My dad used to run dogs and had the time of his life shooting whatever ran by. Our methods are much different from each other, but we share the same goal...having fun!
    Way to go and Congrats, my friend!
    One more thing...
    I did connect on the JoCo buck of a lifetime this year and was only hoping to take my 1st deer with a muzzleloader. If I hadn't seen him that day, I would have ended the season with a pocket full of filled doe tags and it still would have been the most enjoyable season I've had with my 2 1st crossbow kills on doe. I still love to try mock scrapes and trail cams but that is to see what's out there and not for the trophy hunt. If I hold out until I see trophy class bucks, I will not be shooting much and have less fun. Sorry to preach, but I hope that everyone including you, will look back and be proud that they did it honest and had fun. You owe it to yourself for putting in the effort. I have a buddy that held out on killing his 1st deer for a big buck. He didn't put in much time, got bored and stopped hunting. Either way, I hope you do it the way you want and it pays off even if it means killing the new state record. Telling you that as a friend because I learned the hard way over a lifetime of hunting. Good luck and I hope that your next seasons are filled with awesome hunts and maybe even giant bucks! God Bless You, buddy!
    Thank you, and Happy New Year!
    Well folks - you are a good bunch. I didn't expect any less than that of course! It is a pretty big deer, and certainly my largest. Some of the other great things about the hunt occurred before and after the hunt: 1) Hunting in a different area than my 'home' territory, 2) Hunting with a friend I've never hunted before, 3) Getting invited to hunt his property/farm, 4) Knowing I was in a region where bucks tend to be / can be bigger than what we have in Beaufort Co typically, 5) the affirmation from the friend that he thought 'it sounded like a hit', 6) the lesson learned about giving the deer time - we didn't need to wait 2 hours - even 15 seconds was enough apparently!, but he told me that hurt deer will sometimes lie down just inside the woods and you don't want to bump them, 7) a great breakfast that actually enjoyed while I couldn't even think straight!, and 8) finding that the deer died very very quickly.

    Also - I have to admit I've gone to the freezer a few times to check him out!

    Thanks for your encouragement and advice. May God bless each of you in the year to come. Happy Hunting, and I hope you/we all are safe in our coming adventures!

    (PS If I mount him, I'll post pics!)
    Great job Hawkman!! Definitely nothing wrong with that buck....It is all in the eyes of the beholder...Happy for you man!!
    Congrats on the buck! He's a nice one and equally important (if not more) is the memories. Congrats again buddy.