Grandma's 3 Acres
The West Island Buck
Pretty shortly after I started documenting and sharing my experiences and "knowledge" here at Small Acre Hunting I got to know a I guy I know as Goose. Seriously I know his name but I always refer to him as Goose...phone even has him in as such. Anyways Goose is a fellow Hoosier and was getting into bowhunting quite heavily and was hoping 2013 would be the year he finally would connect on a buck!
Well....I will let his own words share the story. (taken from a thread he created on a forum we both subscribe to *with permission of course)
Today was a roller coaster of emotions. (11-3-2013)
I wound up sleeping in yesterday and hunting at my grandma's in the afternoon, but saw nothing. I checked my trail cam and saw that I missed a chance at some does in the morning. My season had been very slow, so that only added to the frustration. I decided that I'd wake up and get over there this morning no matter what. I was a few minutes late getting over there, but still got in the stand before sunrise. I kept looking to my south looking for the does, but didn't see anything. A little before 8:00 I caught movement to my left (north) I saw it was a deer and then I saw antlers.
Goose with his awesome first ever buck!! (2013)
He was making his way right to me with his nose to the ground. I tried not to look at his rack to maintain my nerves. I was able to get to my feet and grab my bow when he was about thirty yards out. I thought he might go behind me, but he took a path that put him about ten yards pretty much in front of me. I waited for him to stop, settled the pin and let the arrow fly. He took off hauling balls for about fifty yards and then stopped.
I was watching, hoping he'd drop, but he never did.
I watched him for around ten minutes before he went behind some trees and I couldn't see him any longer. I heard some leaves rustle and thought that was him going down.
I stayed in the stand for about thirty minutes before I climbed down to check the arrow. I could see from the stand that it was covered in blood, so I was feeling pretty good. I climbed down and picked up the arrow. It was dark, red blood and didn't smell of guts, so again, I was feeling good about it. It looked like I hit him a little far back, so I figured it was a liver shot and that he'd need a couple hours to expire.
I want to interject into the story here for a moment. The last sentence above this paragraph is CRUCIAL as this is one of the time Goose makes the proper call in not pursuing this buck right away. I shared many texts with Goose and for being the first buck he was very composed and smart about it. While waiting on stand to get down he texted me details of the shot and such and I gave my opinion as to what to look for on the arrow and such. The dude hit a homerun though, by trusting his gut that it was farther back then he'd wanted and despite not smelling guts backed out.
I walked up to my grandma's house and she fixed me breakfast. I called my father-in-law to help me track and called the neighbors to make sure I could retrieve the deer.
About 10:00 my f-i-l showed up and we made our way to the woods. There was drops of blood and white hair at the shot location. We followed the blood to where I saw him stop and look around. We had consistent blood and a decent puddle where he stopped. He turned at that point, but we didn't find anymore blood.
We started to continue on when he blew and jumped up about twenty-five yards in front of us. He didn't bolt off, so we backed out to give him some time. We went back to the in-law's house while we waited. It was a pretty frustrating time, because I was worried about what happened after the buck jumped. It didn't sound like he went far, but we didn't press him.
Gonna interject again. Goose is nailing this one to perfection, he'd waited nearly two hours before first tracking, now upon jumping him he immediately backed out. He relayed to me that the buck appeared to move begrudgingly and I knew if it'd let them get that close and didn't flag when jumped that buck was gonna bed down asap and die. So Goose was a genius yet again and decided to give him 5-6 hours, because if he died with minutes he would still be dead when he came back. *Also noticed how when he could he brought in more eyes to assist in the track job, I've noticed the other set of eyes sometimes see more because they're not so amped up as the hunter typically is.
We made it back to my grandma's around 4:00 to take up the track again. My f-i-l's buddy was along for another set of eyes. We picked up some drops of blood close to where we jumped him earlier. We followed blood while my f-i-l scanned the woods with his binoculars. He finally told us not to move thinking the buck wasn't down, but he soon realized that he was down for the count.
My grandma suggested riding her mower back into the woods and hauling him out in her lawn cart. It worked like a charm. She was pretty proud of herself for making the suggestion.
He's not the biggest buck, but he's my first buck and I killed him, basically, in my grandma's backyard. The buck is a main frame seven with some kickers on his bases for a total of ten points. I'm pretty sure he's an older deer as well. My f-i-l said he thought he was at least five years old.
I was super pumped at the shot with it being my first shot at a buck. I hit a low spot when we jumped him after two hours.
Then came the ultimate high when I finally saw him on the ground.
As I found him...
Goose did everything right in this hunt. He made a good shot choice, knew he didn't hit exactly where he wanted to and followed sound post-shot patience. CONGRATULATIONS GOOSE! You sir set a fine example of how everyone needs to act post-shot...you push this deer sadly I bet our text conversations wouldn't have ended nearly as good! Thanks for communicating with me the whole day as the story unfolded!
All this happened on about 3acres of woods at Goose's grandma's house....so much for the idea you gotta have tons of acres to have an amazing hunt.
*Have a Small Acre Success story? Share it with me and maybe I'll post it!