The following story happened this year in Kentucky and what a heartbreaking one it is. After hunting in Kentucky last season and not seeing a single buck (plenty of does however) I got connected with a farmer down there in Harrison Co. After many conversations over the phone I finally convinced him to let us hunt on his property and in return I would take his son on a NH bear hunt. They arrived in NH for the second week of bear season and just in time. I had two baits that were getting hit every day by numerous bears. They sat the stand for several days before the farmers son finally got a shot at a nice 150lb bruin. His sons shot hit its mark and the bear only went about fifty yards. His father later in the week shot another nice bear about the same size. With coolers full of fresh bear meat they headed back to Kentucky to get ready for us to come down and go deer hunting. They showed us picture after picture of nice buck scoring in the 150-180 range. Buck that we could only dream of seeing in our home state. I told them that it was great seeing all these pictures of huge bucks but that any buck that had horns was a great buck for us. See up here in NH if you have the chance at even seeing a buck, you shoot it because it will probably be the only one you see all season, or maybe even see in two seasons. So after many sleepless nights my girlfriend and I loaded up the car and headed for Kentucky for the opening day of deer season.
Arriving two days before the season and with plenty of time for some scouting we checked out every inch of the property we would be hunting. After seeing numerous deer and some very nice bucks we could hardly sleep the night before opening day. Opening day came and went and while my girlfriend managed to shoot two does with one shot (all on video!) we did not see a buck. We hunted this farm for the next two days but with no sightings of a tall tined Kentucky whitetail we had heard so much about.
On the fourth day we gained access to a smaller 50 acre farm. We entered the new farm well before daylight and set up on an old pipeline. We sat there for most of the day without seeing or hearing a gun shot. We were rather depressed and decided to go for a walk and check out the property in hopes of finding a spot to sit for the evening. After bumping several does from a ceedar thicket we decided that this is where we needed to be. I set my girlfriend up and put out a buck bomb. I told her to sit tight and that I would be back after dark to get her if she had no luck and I walked over the ridge to find another spot to sit. I wasnt gone ten minutes when I heard two shots ring out in the fadding light. I waited about ten minuted before I walked back over the ridge to see her giving me a thumbs up. After hearing her story we went down to see if we could find any sign of a hit. After finding blood and waiting a little while longer we picked up the blood trail. It didnt take long for us to find her buck! However, he had other plans for us and jumped up and ran down the ridge towards the road. We analized the blood and realized she had hit him a little far back and decided that we should let him lay and we would try and find him after dark.
We had probably and hour of light remaining so we decided to return to her perch on the ridge and sit it out. We were not even there twenty minutes when I felt and elbow poke into my ribs. I turned my head slowly only to hear her say “dont move, a giant is coming” My heart started pounding and I began to scan the brushy hill side for signs of this “giant”. As he moved through the brush she was giving me a play by play of what he was doing and where he would come out. I steadied my gun on my shooting sticks and waited knowing he had to cross the pipeline we were sitting on. After what seemed like and hour she said “get ready here he comes”. I caulked the hammer back on my pro hunter and steadied myself. As he stepped out of the brush he consumed every inch of my scope with huge white tines. I began to shake with excitement for this was the biggest buck I had ever seen in front of me. He walked across the pipeline without hesitation and after several attemps to stop him he stoped quartering away and with his nose right on the buck bomb can. I took aim, took a deep breath and squeezed. As the sound of my TC echoed down the ridge I looked up to see him rolling down the hill, coming to rest in some scrub brusch. I looked over to my girlfriend and was speechless. We started down and him for what seemed like forever before seeing him pick up his head. “oh no!” she said as I frantickly reloaded. Before I could get my gun up he had gotten his feet up under him and was trying to run. As he came back across the pipeline I took another shot at him, missing right over his back. Before I could reload again he had crested the ridge and disapeared out of sight.
I knew I had made a good shot on him for him to crumple up and roll down the hill but how could he have gotten up? As we pondered what could have happened the unthinkable happened. Two gun shots broke our train of though and they came from the same direction that my buck of a lifetime had run. As agony set it and the sun setted I was lost for words. I told my girlfriend we would wait till dark and then we would go down the ridge and look for her deer first. As light faded and we sat there astonished at what we think just happened to my deer, down in the valley where her deer ran the silence of the setting sun was broken by another disapointing gunshot. This one however was followed by the sounds of a tailgate shutting and taillights fadding down the old dirt road.
You can probaly guess what the conclusion to this story is and rather then having to relive it, I think Ill let your imagination write the final chapter.
Bone Mafia (www.bonemafia.com)