I was settled into my stand and around mid morning I saw a very large buck come out about 150 yards away in the thick swamp area behind my stand. I scoped the buck and saw that he was in fact very large! He was moving quite fast and would not give me a good shot, the only shot I had due to the thick cover he was in was a head shot which I was not willing to take at that range, there are too many factors that could cause you to miss, especially shooting in the type of cover he was in. I watched as he walked around me and passed all of the other hunters I was with that day, all who were hunting with slug guns and non of them could get a shot either he was just keeping too much distance from us.
About an hour later I had a small doe probably only about a year old come right out from behind me and walk about 10 yards next to me. Although not a shooter, what better to draw in a big buck than a live doe decoy ;) I watched as she feed near me and kept a close eye out behind my stand where she had exited the thick cover hoping a buck would come out. Within about 10 minutes one did! He must have been walking right in the Doe's tracks! I turned around in my stand and got a solid shooting rest thanks to a branch in my tree! When we got within about 25 yards of me I had a great broadside shot and I took it, as the smoke cleared I saw the buck run right past my stand and stop about 50 yards in front of me, the doe was about 30 yards away from the buck and both had just frozen not knowing what had happened.
A million thoughts ran through my mind and the first was "Dang how did I miss him!!!!", the second being "Man, I wish I had my slug gun with me so I had a quick follow up shot" and the third being "How am I going to explain missing a deer at 25 yards??!!". I started to reload as fast as I could while both deer just stood there! I got the 777 pellets loaded and the sabot seated onto them and pulled out a primer and then he dropped!!!! Boy was I happy when I saw him go down! I had a double lung shot on him and it just took him a minute to go down! I took a huge sigh of relief as now I could relax and tell everyone on the radio that I had a huge buck down!
I'm not 100% sure if this was the same buck that I saw a bit earlier but it sure looked like it, the left side of his rack was pretty memorable and it looks to be the same deer but I can't ever be sure, but I'd put my money on it as we did not see another buck that large the rest of the year. I unfortunately was leaving to take a job in NC in a few days and was unable to get this deer mounted ( I still take some grief from folks for this ) but I have the memory and that is all that matters to me! I've attached some photos for your viewing pleasure, once of which is the antler mount that I put together that is hanging in my living room!
Soon after this hunt the muzzle loaded started to experience some mechanical problem, the firing pin spring was not working properly so I had to send it in for service. It was low down on my to do list and took me nearly a year and a half to get it sent out, however CVA got it right back to me and I have it in hand and ready for this upcoming season! I can't wait to get out with the Accura again, it's a great gun!