I had one lone goal in the 2014 season and that was to finally get a harvest on video. I had been trying for 3 years prior and just was not able to seal the deal so to speak even though I kept getting closer and closer (I actually videoed Paul from the tree while he sneaked up on and shot a button buck we had come in and lay down, but it just looks like he is shooting at the ground in it). But that all changed in a matter of 2 hours, if that, into my first hunt last year. Watch it for yourself and I hope you enjoy!
Instead of doing a month by month recap of my hunting season after early October I've decided to highlight the small failures I encountered on the way to today, the day after Christmas, as I prepare for my final hunting trip of the year that starts this afternoon. All in all this has been a freezer-filling year for me, being blessed with 3 does and a spike (that I thought was a doe actually) and seeing 27 deer to date, making for one of this public land hunter's best seasons ever. But along the way I ran into missed opportunities that I would love to have back, with none more so than the one that happened last Thursday. First, however, we must start in October.
Prepared for battle!
I set off October 11th for Raleigh to hunt the NC Eastern Zone with my muzzleloader. I got a taste of it when I hunted the morning of the 9th in the Western Zone up at South Mountains Gamelands in Rutherford County and was ready to get to a more familiar place with a better deer population. I had made up my mind the night before that I would hunt where I shot a 9 point on Butner-Falls of Nuese Gamelands back in 2009 so when I saw a small buck laying in the ditch not far from the parking area I knew they had been moving and felt good about my chances.
I travel for work. A lot. And for the past month and half I have been working in Indiana, from the Louisville-area in the South to Bloomington and now Terre Haute. In my "adventures" I have seen many deer, too many turkeys and some amazing scenery, so who could blame me wanting to share with you just fraction of what I have been able to see. Let's just say it's a good thing we have an unofficial company policy to use our Iphones to capture the beautiful, the amazing and the down-right weird.
In celebration of the Eastern NC muzzleloader season starting tomorrow, here is the story of Paul's first buck with his CVA Accura...yea, we know it's a NY buck, but it's still a good story to get you pumped down here in NC!
I bought a CVA Accura muzzleloader in 2008 and hunted with it during the Regular New York Deer season. I headed out on Opening Day in 2008 with only my muzzle loaded I had decided that since I just spent a good chunk of change on this new "toy" I'd better hunt with it! I had spent many hours at the local range sighting this gun in and I was confident out to 200 yards with the Accura.
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!
How many of you have ever heard of the King Buck from Wisconsin? You know, the state home to the most B&C-listed bucks in the United States. That state where James Jordan shot his 206-inch monster back in 1914, holding the world record from 1971 (when it was officially scored; Jordan wasn't declared the person who shot this magnificent whitetail until 1978 - unfortunately, he passed away one month before being declared the successful hunter) to 1993, when it was knocked down to number 2 in the world by Milo Hanson's 213-inch brute of a 12 point from Saskatchewan, Canada. So you haven't heard about this possible world record buck being taken back in 2006? Don't worry, a lot of others haven't as well. But don't you fret, Deer and Deer Hunting has brought this beautiful specimen of a deer to light and documents the entire scoring journey of Johnny King's 6x6. This is a must-read article and one that stirs up a bit of a conspiracy theory in my mind, but that's neither here nor there. What do you think? Should the King buck be panel-scored at Boone and Crockett's 28th Big Game Awards Program in 2013 to settle the on-going debate once and for all? Leave a comment and let us know!
Just wanted to share a link listing the top bucks brought into the 2011 Dixie Deer Classic. Held every year at the beginning of March in Raleigh, NC, the Dixie Deer Classic has been around since 1980. It was a pioneer in the outdoor show phenomenon and 31 years later is the premier hunting show in the nation along with the Iowa Deer Classic . While no Boone & Crockett entries were brought in from NC this year from what I have heard/read and saw this past Saturday, there were numerous hunters lucky enough to tag a Pope & Young buck with their bow. The top buck list was recently released and some of its highlights include: A typical NC mountain buck scoring close to 160 B&C, a "booner" from IL and a 200"+ B&C non-typical from just across the NC border in southeastern VA. Check out the full-list of categories and winners here.
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Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
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