This deer story ain't worth a crap. But I'm telling it anyway

RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior MemberPosts: 4,646 Senior Member
It's ML season here, through Sunday. So I go out this morning and get set up. I'm standing on the ground not still hunting this time. It rained last night and the trees are still dripping and it's foggy. The Sun is technically up but it's still gloomy in the woods. I saw a deer way off but couldn't tell what it was.
Then a 6 point came in. I watched him for a while as he fed along. I could have nailed him but he's young and his rack was small so I let him walk as I've seen some really nice ones.
Then I saw movement way off in the gloom. I caught him in my binocs and saw he had a nice rack. So I slowly got my rifle up and got on him in the scope.
He was coming right at me and I let him come. I was prepared to let him come into contact range if he wanted to. And let me tell you why.

I've lost two deer that I shot. Both were shot with a ML. I've never lost one to any other method. And I can only think of one bow kill that required any real tracking.
So after my second lost ML deer, and they were both nice bucks btw, I started thinking about things and how many ML kills I had to track. I'd been using sbot's pistol bullets. So I decided to switch to pure lead hollow points in the sabots. And I also decided that a ML has just a hair more range than a bow.
Say what you will but that's my decision. The tracking didn't end but I didn't lose anymore. The only DRT ML kill I ever had was a doe I shot in the neck one time.

So where was I, yes, the buck is coming right to me. At something just under 20 yards he sticks his head up and looks right at me. He's facing me head on so I dropped the crosshairs to his chest, right on the sticking place and squeezed off.
As the smoke cleared I saw him running off like a scalded dog, not flagging. A sure sign of a good hit in my experience. Based on my shot selection maybe even took out the plumbing over his heart. I watched til he disappeared in the woods. Then started reloading. It was then that I heard him fall and let out that Meeeehhh, they sometimes do just before the lights go out. Yes!! I thought as I contemplated what sides to serve with the tenderloins. tonight.

I waited about 30 minutes and slipped up to where I thought he was when I shot. I found no blood but was not surprised given the shot angle. Long story short, I never found him. I pulled out every old Indian trick I know trying to track him. I saw 2 more shooter bucks and 7 or 8 does but I ignored them. I've tracked and found a bunch of deer both for myself and others so I know my business. If you want to know what all I tried just ask and I'll tell you.
When I finally gave up after looking all day I thought I should check my zero, even though I knew by his reaction I had hit him solid. So I set up a target board behind the barn, got one of those pink flags on a steel stick things they use in marking rights of way and so forth for a target. I paced off 50 long steps and fired standing on my hind legs just as I did this morning. The results are below. I only fired once but there are 2 holes because the breeze had folded the flag thingy in half.
Now I'm gonna go fix a drink and either clean my rifle or slit my wrists. I frankly haven't decided. I am literally sick to my stomach over the tremendous waste of it all.

Edit: looks like I'm as good at posting pics as I am at killing deer.
Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs

Replies

  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    Sorry to hear, what rifle, bullet weight and powder load are you using. I would think at that range an BP and a solid lead HP should blow up like a grenade when it hit and he would drop in his tracks.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,889 Senior Member
    :angel:
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    timc wrote: »
    Sorry to hear, what rifle, bullet weight and powder load are you using. I would think at that range an BP and a solid lead HP should blow up like a grenade when it hit and he would drop in his tracks.

    Thanks for the condolences timc. I'm using a Knight Mk 84 inline in .54 cal with a Bushnell Scope Chief 1.5x4.5 it was set on 1.5 at the shot. I'm shooting 80 measured grains of Pyrodex RS, it gives me the best accuracy. I started out years ago with 110 grains but over the years I've had to adjust the charge to maintain accuracy.
    The projectile is a Buffalo Bullet Company pure lead hollow point, 252 grains, sub-caliber in a sabot.
    I've used that bullet for years now. On the package they suggest a few loads, one close to mine is 90 grains, where they say you get MV of 1344 and Me of 1003
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,698 Senior Member
    I feel for you. Especially after you minimised the variables.

    Any chance of finding a buddy with a dog that you can take for a walk tomorrow?
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,243 Senior Member
    He's got to be laying there dead. I'm not questioning your abilities but is it possible he didn't go down where you thought?

    I had a deer that was found about 40 yards over from where I WATCHED her fall....

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I feel for you. Especially after you minimised the variables.

    Any chance of finding a buddy with a dog that you can take for a walk tomorrow?

    Thank you. Regarding the dog, I actually once had help from a blood trailer. But i don't know anyone who has one now. We have 2 dogs, on of which I think might help. But it got warm enough this afternoon that the meat is no doubt ruined. I think I'm just gonna stay outta there for a few days. Maybe the crows or the ever soaring Turkey Vultures will help me at least find the rack.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,254 Senior Member
    Hmmm- - - -I shoot a .50 caliber flinter with a patched round ball, and just about anything within 75 yards or so is either DRT or drops within sight of the shot. Maybe you're getting a little too "modern" with that inline?

    Edit: He's got to be somewhere close, but I have managed to miss harvesting a few deer I know were hit solid. My SIL made a pass-through shot with a 70# draw compound bow, and we tracked his deer for at least 5 hours- - - -finally lost the blood trail. The buzzards found the deer 50 yards from the shot after he made a wide circle, in a patch of brush a rabbit would have had a hard time getting through! Bummer about losing that one today!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    It's a wonderful deer story......shows that you can do everything right, have accuracy, and still lose the harvest 'cause of the whims of nature.......and you show the respect of remorse......You're a good man Charlie Brown, this one just got away from ya.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • farm boyfarm boy Senior Member Posts: 987 Senior Member
    Sorry to hear that. It really sucks to lose a deer. I lost one during muzzleloader when I was just a young punk. Also has a lot to do with why that deer got lost to begin with.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,246 Senior Member
    It's a wonderful deer story......shows that you can do everything right, have accuracy, and still lose the harvest 'cause of the whims of nature.......and you show the respect of remorse......You're a good man Charlie Brown, this one just got away from ya.

    Well said. Sometimes bad luck just wins. Curious though, have you ever recovered a bullet from this ML to see how it performed?

    Sako
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    Thanks for the condolences timc. I'm using a Knight Mk 84 inline in .54 cal with a Bushnell Scope Chief 1.5x4.5 it was set on 1.5 at the shot. I'm shooting 80 measured grains of Pyrodex RS, it gives me the best accuracy. I started out years ago with 110 grains but over the years I've had to adjust the charge to maintain accuracy.
    The projectile is a Buffalo Bullet Company pure lead hollow point, 252 grains, sub-caliber in a sabot.
    I've used that bullet for years now. On the package they suggest a few loads, one close to mine is 90 grains, where they say you get MV of 1344 and Me of 1003

    Man that ought to do it! I guess your just having a run of bad luck. I had a little buck run almost 150 yards a couple years ago after he took a .50 Beowulf round using a 300 grain XTP to the base of his neck at 140 yards. He left a blood trail a blind man could have followed, I don't know how he got so far. Sometimes it just happens.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Well said. Sometimes bad luck just wins. Curious though, have you ever recovered a bullet from this ML to see how it performed?

    Sako

    It's funny you ask that question because due to the angle, almost immediately I worried about penetrating through to the paunch and possibly spoiling a little meat. Then my next thought was I might recover the bullet. Because generally on Southern Whitetails complete pass throughs are the norm.
    After I get them gutted I like to slice open the paunch and see what they've been feeding on. I already was picturing myself digging through that mess looking for a bullet, for once.
    So no I've never recovered a bullet from a Whitetail. But I think the autopsy tells the story just the same, vis a vis bullet performance.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    It's a wonderful deer story......shows that you can do everything right, have accuracy, and still lose the harvest 'cause of the whims of nature.......and you show the respect of remorse......You're a good man Charlie Brown, this one just got away from ya.

    Thanks man. It means a lot.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    I don't know a darn thing about ML ballistics, but it sure sounds like you did everything right. Darn thing's probably in a thicket somewhere nearby. Hey! Don't knock yourself up too much, at least you had a deer story to tell!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,451 Senior Member
    It's amazing how far deer can go. I saw one take a 1oz shotgun thru one lung and run a mile and swim a river. Next day it was still alive enough to get up out of its bedding spot and run far enough to not be found another day....
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,499 Senior Member
    That really sucks, RB. I'm sure you did everything you could, and the sucker is probably nearby. Sometimes they do really odd things right before they die. That's the worst feeling in deer hunting, sometimes you know dang well you killed them, but you can't find them. I've been there, feel for you bro.

    Also, I have about the same luck with my ML as you. It's the one hunting implement I own that I don't have complete confidence in.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,685 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Hmmm- - - -I shoot a .50 caliber flinter with a patched round ball, and just about anything within 75 yards or so is either DRT or drops within sight of the shot. Maybe you're getting a little too "modern" with that inline?

    Bummer about losing that one today!
    Jerry

    Jerry beat me to it. I hunt with a .50 cal cap lock, using a patched RB, over 65 grains of FFF, and I have never lost a deer from it. Most drop like they were struck by lightening. I now have a .54 cal GPR flinter that I want to try next. The only deer that I have lost was a 50 yard neck shot, with a .270. It gives you a sinking feeling, in your gut..........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
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