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Here is my frustrating story...

I headed out to zone 8 yesterday 12/15 to look for one of the two big bucks the property owner said are still there. He see's them in the fields every night. I figured with the aproaching storm and the very cold temps that the deer would be on the move early!

I got off to a late start due to something from work popping up at the last minute so I didn't get to the property until 11am. I decided to try a small corner of the property across the road from the main piece. This piece is mostly field with maybe 5 or 6 acres of woods in the far corner. This field is where the owner said he is seeing the bucks every night so it seemed like the best place to set up...As I walked into the woods with my climber I noticed a ladder stand on the property behind ours. It was about 30 yards into the other piece and there was a feeder about 20 yards in front of it! Nobody was in the stand and there were deer tracks EVERYWHERE!!! You couldn't take 2 steps in any direction without stepping on deer tracks! I was pumped!!

I picked out a tree about 30 yards off of the field on our property and about 30 yards off of the other property. I could see his feeder and had a pretty clear view of the woods and field edge..

I wasn't in my stand more then 5 minutes when the first group of deer came to the feeder. 4 big does. They made their way onto our property and then slipped back down the back the way they came. Off to a good start now I was really pumped!
About an hour later I see a truck pull up across the street from our field and a hunter gets out and heads into the adjoining property. I figured it was the guy with the feeder and stand so I got ready to move. The hunter didn't go to the stand and instead walked into a thicket across a small field on the other property... He then emerged from that thicket at the other end, came back across that small field towards me and entered the woods towards the feeder stand. He didn't go in the stand but was zig zagging through the woods away from me. I stayed ready just in case something broke out around him and came back my way!
While I'm watching him a truck driving down the road catches my attention when I hear its breaks squeak. I look behind me towards the road and see 9 deer running across the field in my direction. I'm facing completely in the wrong direction and in a sitting position so it's hard for me to turn. My only hope is that the deer enter the woods and come around me to give me a shot! They didn't! They got to the woods edge and started running along the edge heading for the other property! I swing my head around from looking over my right shoulder to looking over my left and then I see him! Big wide rack with at least 7 maybe as many as 10 points! If I were standing I might have gotten a shot at him at the fields edge but I couldn't make the move in time and poof he was gone! The deer ran through the hedge row seperating the two properties and into the first patch the other hunter had just walked through. Now I know this hunter is still down in there somewhere and his truck is up towards me so there is still hope he will push this buck back in my direction. About 20 minutes later 2 hunters come walking up the small field and head back to the truck. My heart sinks..."If I were standing I would have been dragging out one hell of a nice buck right now" I kept thinking to myself over and over! I was pissed. I never sit while in my stand but the wind was cutting through me like a knife and sitting kept me warmer!

Around 2:30 I see movement coming up the inside edge of that small field on the other property. It's about 100 yards away but with the snow I can make out the shape of deer coming up the field.. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9....Nine deer! It's got to be the same group!! They are too far to really see but they are heading my way! About 60 yards from me they enter the woods. They stand just inside the woods for what seemed like an hour but was probably 5 minutes or so. Then the group splits and some come my way and the others stay where they entered the woods. They are feeding and taking their sweet [no swearing please] time getting to me but 3 are closing in! This time I am standing and ready for what ever they will throw at me! At least I thought I was ready!
As the 3 get closer I can see they are all does. My attention now swings to the others that are now about 70 yards away feeding on the fields edge! The 3 does come within 15 yards of me and enter the field again! They then run across the field heading right back to where they originally came from! Another 5-10 minutes go by and still the other deer don't head in my direction! I'm freezing at this point and shaking like a leaf! Then one of the deer starts trotting towards me. He's heading right up the same path the other 3 did. ANTLERS!!!! It's him! Tall bright white antlers! He crosses the wall into our property, he gets behind a group of trees and a dead fall and it's time to raise my gun! I'm already thinking about the taxidermist and writing my victory post for all of you to read! Thats when everything fell apart! As I raise my gun I catch the stock on the bottom of my jacket. This makes me clink my gun on my gun rest on the stand! The deer slams on the brakes and is looking straight at me! I'm still struggling to get the gun to my shoulder and buck fever is setting in! My brain stops working! Panic sets in! I can't see the bucks eyes behind the tree just his rack sticking out on both sides! I'm already shaken from blowing my first chance at him and this chance is falling apart!
I finally get the gun to my shoulder. Two steps forward and he's a gonner! Instead he backs up a couple of steps!! I can see his [no swearing please] out one end and I have a clear view of his shoulder and neck between two trees! With all rational thought now absent from my mind I put the beed between the two trees and fire! BOOM! tree bark is flying everywhere and my buck is running full speed into the other property! At about 70 yards he stops and is joined by the rest of the group. They stand there for 2 or 3 minutes just looking around...I keep hoping he will drop... I can't pick him out from the rest of the group but I can see his antlers over the pack!! They all then slowly walk away!

I climb down and head for where I shot. No blood! I can easily follow where he ran to where the group stopped. No Blood! A clean miss...

If I had waited a few more seconds he would have walked to within 10-15 yards of me... Buck fever got the best of me! The earlier missed opportunity, the cold and one little mishap sent me for a loop and saved that big boy's life!

I went from feeling hopefull on my way in to feeling excited about seeing all the tracks in the snow to feeling sick for missing the first opportunity, to pumped on getting a second chance then excited that I was about to kill a good buck back to sick I had just blown the whole thing! Thats hunting for ya!
You are never too old to get buck Fever!
:(
 

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good story, that feeling is why we love to hunt. hope you get another shot at him, good luck[up]
 

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like i told you yesterday...that sucks dude. hopefully you get another crack at him. the 8 pointer i missed on tuesaday of 6 day i got some buck fever too. my legs started to dance around. i couldn't controller it but i did wind up getting it calmed down.

like you said, that's hunting for ya.
 

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Jim,

That stinks, but at least you got a chance at him. Now if you'd like someone to come over and show you how it's done, let me know. I'll show you how to do it :D Just kidding.

You'll get him, just keep on it.

David
 

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too bad you couldn't close the deal, but at least you had the opportunity! Hopefully this won't deprive you of sleep for the next couple of nights. Great story. I hope you get a second chance at him.[up]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hope you get a second chance at him
I already did!!![sad] Now I need to hope for a 3rd!!!
Sleep? Whats that?! I can't stop replaying it over and over in my head!!! My motor skills were off from the cold and it was enough to cause the mishap with the gun! Then I couldn't recover... My brain was telling my body to raise the gun and my body was too numb to act smoothly...Then my brain went into overdrive and reverse at the same time!!! All hope was lost!! LOL![down][sad] I'm really upset at my choice to take that shot... I should have let him make the next move!!! Buck fever got the best of me!!! Again, Thats hunting!
 

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look at it on the flipside. Say you waited and a shot did NOT present itself. You probably would have been even more disappointed. Saying you should have taken a shot at him. You got a crack at him and did not injure him leaving it a possibilty for the "next time". It would have been worse if you took a shot that was less than ideal and you wounded him without recovering him. That would have sucked!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It would have been worse if you took a shot that was less than ideal and you wounded him without recovering him. That would have sucked!
Very true! I'm thankful I missed completely but it doesn't make me feel any better about not getting the deer!!! LOL! If I had connected it would have been a good lung/heart and/or neck hit! The two trees looked like someone had taken a bite out of them! We are talking 1/4 of an inch in either direction and pellets would have found their mark! GRRRRRRRRRRRR![mad][smirk]
 

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this one is going to hurt for a while...unless you get him soon. Keep us updated if you see him again. And of course, if you need help harvesting him...I'm Here to Help!!!:D
 
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