2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck

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dpms
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2014/11/16 11:08:13 (permalink)

2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck

Well, this year was a humbling year for me in the archery woods. After enjoying opening day success with a special regulations doe, I was given a good does of reality checks at how difficult this sport of archery really is. I have been on a hot streak over the past 7 years and had just about accepted the fact that I was going to be toting the Browning 7MM-08 after thanksgiving when I hit the cold 11 degree woods on the last day of general archery 2014.
 
I have been hunting hard every day except one over the past two weeks, most most days being all day sits. I saw 15 bucks, passed on 5 different legal bucks, and saw a true giant at 60 yards that had no interest in my calling. The first week of November I saw most of the deer. The second week has been slow for me with some lock down taking place, I suspect.
 
The alarm rang and I headed off into the frosted woods to a stand that I hung on a point that connects two ridges that the bucks like to use this time of the year. It was cold, and I was quite chilled by 9:00 without a deer seen.
 
I caught a glimpse of some legs up above me and saw a few does milling about. As I was watching through the binoculars, trying to pick out a buck, I glanced over my shoulder and this buck was already at 40 yards and closing. Thankfully, he was tired, with his mouth open and gasping for air. I had time to slowly grab my bow and settle in. I saw 5 points on his right beam but noticed his left being odd. With the size of his body and head, I knew he was one I wanted to take.
 
He stepped into my 25 yard shooting lane and stopped to pant some more with the bright morning sun glistening off his broad body. A picture perfect shot opportunity. I settled in, and squeezed off. At the shot, he lumbered about 30 yards, not knowing what had happened to stop and look around. I could see the blood already. Within seconds, his back legs begin to sag and it was soon over. Another great example of how effective a well placed arrow is.
 
As his movement came to a halt, a 8 point that I had passed earlier, cruised on past, gave him a quick look, and moved up the hill to the does. It was a magical morning. After settling my nerves I climbed down to look him over.
 
The arrow went completely through. This was the same arrow that I shot the doe earlier with that my daughter had signed the fletching "good luck".

 
The view back to my treestand high in a maple.

 
Where he took his last breath.

 
And a few hero shots. He had a big acorn knot on his left beam right at the mid point. He certainly suffered some injury during velvet. That side ended up looking like a crown on a red stag. He is my biggest bodied buck ever with a huge mule head. A buck I would be happy to tag at any point in the season, but to have it happen on the last day, after so many hours in the stand, was almost surreal. It was a great day to be alive!! Thanks for looking.
 
Shot with the TenPoint Vapor, Easton FMJs, and a 2 inch Swhacker. 2A, Washington County.



My rifle is a black rifle
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19 Replies Related Threads

    S-10
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/16 12:22:51 (permalink)
    Some more of that "FREE" meat as I explain it to my wife. Congrats---The fifth and sixth week sure were night and day for action in this area too.
    #2
    DRod
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/16 13:47:24 (permalink)
    Great story and buck dpms!  Congratulations!  
    #3
    Esox_Hunter
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/16 14:31:51 (permalink)
    Congrats on an awesome buck!   
    #4
    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/16 19:42:49 (permalink)
      Very nice dpms...... very, very nice.  Enjoyed the story and the pictures were great.   Here's to ya.

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
    #5
    ChromeBandit412
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/16 20:53:44 (permalink)
    How awesome to tag up on the last day congrats!
    #6
    workcanwait....
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/16 23:42:19 (permalink)
    Good job I figured you were due to get one!
    As always you explained it well and added some quality pics.
    That's a true trophy mature deer with his own style of head gear!
     
    I tagged a 8 last morning of early archery 3 seasons ago it was a surprise as I had already been day dreaming about rifle season then he appeared.
    It aint over til its over...
     
    WCW
    #7
    BloodyHand
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 06:59:53 (permalink)
    Nice buck dpms! I got deflected on a smaller half rack on the last day. I didnt see the branch between me and the deer until after I shot :(  Time to get the thunder sticks out, bang bang seasons comin.
     
    BH
    #8
    Panfisher
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 09:48:09 (permalink)
    Awesome buck Gene. About how much did he weigh?
     
    Slow season for me here in Somerset County. Saw 3 smaller bucks and one half decent buck but no shooters. 

    The only thing better than 1 day of fishing is 2 days of fishing.
    #9
    DarDys
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 11:25:01 (permalink)
    First off, congrats on a great buck. You deserve it.

    But.......

    You knew the but was coming, didn't you?

    Your title says it all -- 2 weeks, 99 hours. A second job would read 2 weeks, 80 hours (or way less).

    What fraction of a percentage of PA hunters can -- time off, honey-do, favorable weather, financially, etc. -- let alone are willing to turn what was once a sport into work of that magnitude?

    I know, I know, you do and so do a few others, but not very many.

    The poster formally known as Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
    #10
    S-10
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 15:12:09 (permalink)
    That's just the new reality for those who are consistently successful on 2yo or better bucks that do not have access to private property DarDys.
     
    I have averaged well over 100 hours on stand for each of the last five bow kills and had 272 total hours for my last rifle kill. That is after all the pre season stuff I do every year.
     
    I have been successful every year but one since AR/HR (and should have been that year) but have made it a full time job and most folks have neither the time or desire to do so and they really shouldn't have to just to have a chance for a Pa buck. 
     
    Of course we are getting all that excellent regeneration as a result of HR.  LOL
    #11
    World Famous
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 17:35:55 (permalink)
    There's as many as there was 12 years ago....WF....No, we reduced the herd for regeneration...No, there's as many before because the harvest is the same...No, EDH and CWD has reduced the herd...No, the same amount get killed by cars as before............I just don't know what to think...PGC, please help me; I know I can trust you.
    #12
    dpms
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 18:08:12 (permalink)
    DarDys
    First off, congrats on a great buck. You deserve it.

     
    Thank you.

    But.......
    You knew the but was coming, didn't you?
    Your title says it all -- 2 weeks, 99 hours. A second job would read 2 weeks, 80 hours (or way less).

    What fraction of a percentage of PA hunters can -- time off, honey-do, favorable weather, financially, etc. -- let alone are willing to turn what was once a sport into work of that magnitude?



    Here is the thing. You are right, not many devote the time to it that some of us do. Scouting, stand placement, vacation, time in the stand, etc..... Some of us make it a priority because we enjoy the challenge and the sport of archery hunting. 
     
    Obviously my priority is my family. With that said, I am fortunate that I have the ability to set aside time during early November to pursue my passion if all is good with the family. 
     
    I took of from November 1st- 12th then hunted the afternoon of Friday the 14th and planned an all day Saturday the 15th when I shot the above buck at 10:30. 11.5 days with most all day sits. Not a job but a experience I enjoy. 
     
    I passed up a 8 point on November 1st at 25 yards on my first sit of my vacation. My hunt could have been over in 3 hours and many would have taken that buck and be as happy as a lark. If I elected to take that buck and said, "1 day, 3 hours, nice buck" some would have said, "man, that was easy" with not much work involved. But, in the end, those of us that spend a lot of time archery hunting know that the sport of archery hunting was never easy, even when we had more deer. Some approach it as work, some as sport. I enjoy it as my passion and I hope to be able to continue to enjoy doing what I do. 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #13
    dpms
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/17 18:11:54 (permalink)
    Panfisher
    Awesome buck Gene. About how much did he weigh?

     
    No idea, Pan. I did not tape him or weigh him. I do know he was my largest bodied deer ever though. 
     
    Slow season for me here in Somerset County. Saw 3 smaller bucks and one half decent buck but no shooters.

     
    Some my wonder how I can say this after being successful but the first two weeks of November were on the slow side for me as well. One of the slowest I can remember in some time. I saw young bucks cruising and occasionally giving chase, but i never saw any real intense rut activity despite pretty good weather. It worked out in the end though. 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #14
    wayne c
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/19 13:54:21 (permalink)
    Humbled D?  You humbled yourself the day several years ago, when you decided you "needed" a "crossgun" to hunt the archery season. lmao.   Just think, if you could stretch that arm another 6 inches, that scrap rack might look like a p&Y, although you also might dislocate your shoulder...  J/K...  Couldn't resist. lol   Seriously, Congrats!
     
    Been a hard season.   More "deerless" sighting stands than I can remember.    Put in a chitload of hours.  Once again, no time to get traps and gear ready to run a line, no small gaming, no early fall pred hunting...  Just as in most recent years, been basically like a full time job.  Every hour that I wanted to hunt was spent in a stand.   Didn't get to pass on too many shooters, just a couple early on, pickens slim.   Really poor year for our buck sightings and deer in general.     Didn't want to go rifle season with the bow again, getting close to burned out with this lackluster results so far, so just pretty much took an "out" and whacked an averagish 8  somewhat below my usual standards for bologna and jerky early the last week.   Game cam pics coming from our groups cams spread across 5 properties in parts of two counties since august showed ONE buck that I thought was a "good one" and considered a shooter for most of the season and saw no what I consider to be good bucks from stand this entire season.
     
    Rut activity, I saw one distant chase with a very small buck after a doe hot and heavy one morning...  That was it.   Used to be able to count on seeing this regularly during last two weeks.
     
     


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    dpms
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/19 21:09:56 (permalink)
    wayne c
      Game cam pics coming from our groups cams spread across 5 properties in parts of two counties since august showed ONE buck that I thought was a "good one" and considered a shooter for most of the season and saw no what I consider to be good bucks from stand this entire season.

     
    We have two 125 or better on about 250 acres. My buddy missed the biggest one the same day I got mine. Open it up to about 400 acres, including a few of the neighboring farms and we think we have maybe four in that class. The buck I shot none of us had seen before, including the farmers.  He was probably traveling through looking for does or a hot doe drug him into there. The guy was winded so he was on the move that morning. 
     
    Rut activity, I saw one distant chase with a very small buck after a doe hot and heavy one morning...  That was it.   Used to be able to count on seeing this regularly during last two weeks.

     
    Pretty weak rut for me as well. Young bucks moving pretty decent. Some half hearted chasing. Never saw a real chase with several bucks on one doe and I was in the woods for almost two solid weeks. 
     
    Good news is I saw more does while archery hunting than I usually see. We have laid off of them the past few years but I think some are going down this year. The one farmer said he took some crop losses this year and wants to knock them back this year. Saw a doe with triplets. Pretty cool as twins have been rare with all of the coyotes these days showing up. 
     
     

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #16
    BeenThereDoneThat.
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/19 22:31:09 (permalink)
    I am, most likely, one of the luckiest archers when it comes to having time, land, and health for hunting.  I have stands in the thickest of 'river bottom' growth, along with access to open woods and, farm fields.  From my back deck I can see acres upon acres of this land and, at times of the year I can see different groups of deer and tell you what direction from which they'll come and, which direction they will go.  I have pictures, taken by hand held and field cameras, of deer showing up almost the same time every evening or morning during certain times of the year.  This past summer/fall I captured pictures of 5 different legal bucks (two wall hangers) less than 120 yds from my favorite shooting stand (my back deck).  Doe and other bucks were constantly milling, lounging and, feeding in my back field into late summer early fall.
     
    My field was certainly not free from strange scent as I, and my two 'Bumpous Hounds', frequent the area weekly.  If not mowing the 8' foot wide cartway around the field I was shooting guns and/or bow on my shooting range.
     
    These critters have some form of built in 'Day Light Savings Time' that changes their habits like something flips a switch.  No more seeing them in their regular patterns or catching them on fieldcam.  Well used areas now become abandoned and the abandoned areas become well used. The million dollar question; where will they be, during legal shooting time?  Silly me, that's why it's called hunting!
     
    The time I spend scouting and looking for a good spot to set a stand is based not, on hopes of getting that 'wall hanger' but, where I can find easy access to areas hopefully holding a legal shooter.   The easy access is for getting the animal out of the area and back to my house without, taking all day and night.  Don't seem to be able to drag em the way I use to.
     
    Can't complain, saw deer so I did, and I passed on several doe and was taken by surprise when a six point turned out to be a seven point.  Was on the ground lookin that critter right in the eye 20 paces out and let him go by, didn't see the third point on his left antler, so I didn't.
     
    Never saw that dude before, not even on film, and I sure didn't see hide nor hair of  him again or, the other shooters I'd been getting pictures of.
     
    Been here seven years now and this is the first year that I could take the time and scout my hunting area. Taking time to look for those areas of easy access, deer activity, as well as activity by other hunters.  As soon as the weather improves (this weekend) I'll be setting ladder stands in some new areas with hopes of getting my trophy in second season archery.
     
    As for firearms,  I'm surrounded by tree stands belonging to other hunters so, you'll find my azz sitting on my back deck!
     
     There's been times I walked into the woods and in a matter of a few hours was on my way home with my trophy.  There's been times I've hunted til the last hour before gettin my trophy. There's been times, like this year, I may have to wait for the next season to get my trophy. There's been more times, than not, that I didn't get a deer and that includes pre AR!
     
    However, I wish somebody had the AR rule shoved where the sun don't shine and I'm hoping someone in the PGC comes to their sense's before the remaining deer are completely anilated in my little piece of heaven.  Trust me, the tree stands have tripled over the past two years and when the deer are gone, those tree stands will move to somebody else's little piece of heaven.  Perhaps yours.
     
    post edited by BeenThereDoneThat. - 2014/11/19 22:33:53

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
     
     
     
      Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
     
    #17
    wayne c
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/20 13:40:17 (permalink)
    These critters have some form of built in 'Day Light Savings Time' that changes their habits like something flips a switch.  No more seeing them in their regular patterns or catching them on fieldcam.  Well used areas now become abandoned and the abandoned areas become well used. The million dollar question; where will they be, during legal shooting time?  Silly me, that's why it's called hunting!

     
    For those that are very knowledgeable on deer and the land hunted, along with their food sources and bedding areas, its really not all that complicated at all.   Nothing mysterious about it at all.   They're either there or they aint.  And more often these days in many areas....they aint.


    #18
    wayne c
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/20 13:49:45 (permalink)
    D, sounds like I need to head north.
     
    Which reminds me of how much I hate asking permission and seeking out new areas when I have so many properties to hunt now that SHOULD be better than they are and who knows, could be from one year to the next.  
     
    Used to be much easier to get permission too.   Now last coupla years after a road trip and morning or evening spent asking permissions, I usually end up just feeling like punching someone in the face due to some of the smart-azz responses even after having had to kizz****and be over the top polite.
     
    Had to go through Allegheny county this a.m.   Saw a very nice buck standing out in the wide open 60 yrds off the road.  Didn't bother counting points or even slowing down due to traffic.  But was the nicest buck Ive seen in over 2 years.
    post edited by wayne c - 2014/11/20 13:51:37


    #19
    dpms
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    Re: 2 weeks, 99 hours, last day buck 2014/11/20 20:30:15 (permalink)
    wayne c
    D, sounds like I need to head north.

     
    Herd is still way down from 8-10 years ago where I hunt in Washington County.  No doubt about it. 
     
    Which reminds me of how much I hate asking permission and seeking out new areas when I have so many properties to hunt now that SHOULD be better than they are and who knows, could be from one year to the next.

     
    My 2B spot has been drying up over the past few years. Been trying to find another good spot but it is tough in that area for sure.  
     
     
     

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #20
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