Friday, November 7, 2008

First Deer Hunt of the Year

This past weekend was opening weekend of gun season and there was quite a bit of deer activity at the lease. I wasn't able to go out until Monday afternoon, but some of the other guys reported that the deer were moving.

Chris was able to harvest two deer with his Thompson Pro Hunter muzzleloader on Saturday morning, one being a mature doe and the other, which he thought was a doe, turned out to be a nubbin buck upon closer inspection. So, Chris used his buck tag, and we hunt in a one buck county, which unfortunately means he won't be able to harvest another buck on the lease this year.

Lee saw the most activity of all on opening day - 3 bucks and 7 does. The bucks were a 9-point, an 8-point, and a 5-point, but none were big enough to be considered "shooters". Lee was able to get this picture of the 9-point.

My Dad only hunted on opening morning and had a 4-point walk by.

As I was driving across the front pasture Monday afternoon I saw a small 8-point chasing a doe on the east side of the hay field, headed in the direction of our free-choice feeder. About 5 minutes later, as I got closer to Tater Hill I saw the same two deer. The buck was chasing her across the ridge near my box blind.

I was finally able to get in one of my treestands at about 4:00 Monday afternoon. Shortly after 5:00 I had a 1 1/2 year old buck walk by at about 7 to 10 yards. He had an unbranched antler on his left side and a forked antler on his right. About 10 minutes later I heard something else walking in. I glanced back behind me to my right and saw that it was a very big boar hog at about 25 yards. He continued walking by on my right side as I grabbed my bow. I drew my bow and grunted at him with my mouth to get him to stop, which he did in a clearing about 30 yards away. I put the 30 yard pin on him and loosed the arrow. I made a bad shot and could tell that I had hit him too high and forward in the shoulder. I waited about 15 minutes and then got down to look for a blood trail. I couldn't find a drop of blood anywhere. I finally found what was left of my arrow about 30 yards from where the hog was standing when I shot. He had broken off about a 1/3 of the arrow as he ran by a tree. The remaining 2/3 of the arrow was half covered in blood, telling me that the arrow got about 16 inches of penetration. I called my uncle, Rusty, and he came to help me look for the blood trail and the animal. We never found a drop of blood or the hog anywhere. I think I hit him high enough that I missed all of his vitals and the shot was possibly not fatal. I suspect the hog weighed in the 250 pound range.

On Tuesday morning I saw three young bucks. Two of them were 1 1/2 year olds that looked like little 4-points (one of them was possibly the 3-point from the evening before). The other deer was a larger-bodied 4-point without brow tines, that I think may be a 2 1/2 year old.

Tuesday evening I didn't see anything, but Rusty saw a small 6-point hunting out of Shane's blind.

Wednesday morning I had a 1 1/2 year old 6-point walk by at about 15 yards.

I was able to check my camera and download the pictures. I found two fresh rubs along the tree line near my winch-up feeder, so I moved one of my lock on stands to that location. I also created a mock scrape and placed my camera there to see which buck is making the rubs. Here are some pictures from my trail camera. I can't tell if this is the same deer that Lee got the picture of above or not.


Here are some pictures of a unique buck from Shane's camera. This deer appears to have an extra main-beam on his left side.

I'm home babysitting the girls today and I'm gearing up for my hunt in East Texas that starts tomorrow.

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