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contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,207
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Well, today was one of those days that will stand out for sure.

Our deer season ends on 1/2/22. So, we are getting down to the wire. I still had one legal tag to use locally. I've been trying to get that last buck tag filled. The weather has been EXTREMELY warm & not very good for hunting. (A new Christmas day record high of 71 degrees which broke the old record by 4 degrees as an example. Plus,, so warm I actually caught a copperhead snake for a lady on Christmas day.)

Well, we had a Low Pressure front come through last night & it rained some,, and then was clearing out by daylight. Still overcast,, not quite as cold as it's been,, (55 degrees at 6:30 am,) a bit foggy & dripping wet everywhere.

About 7:43 am,, a coyote came strolling in. I will ALWAYS shoot a coyote anytime I can,, even if it means missing a chance at a deer. Well, I shot him, and he hit the dirt in his tracks. DRT. Made me SMILE! Well, about 9 am,, a buck I had seen on camera as one I'd like to kill, can out. I immediately identified him as a shooter,, and was settling in for my shot. He spotted the coyote, and stopped,, and turned to leave quickly. I rushed my shot,, using my El Dorado in 45 Colt, and hit him. I knew by the way he reacted,, it wasn't my best shot. He ran off. I sat back,, deciding to wait a bit.
After about 1/2 an hour,, I slipped out to track him. I went to where he'd been when I shot,, no blood. I headed the direction he'd gone,, searching for any sign. None. I know the normal trails & such,, so as I searched,, WITHOUT any sign or such,, I covered a good area.

Lo & behold,,,, I found a shed deer antler, typical rack for an 8 pt buck, lost last year. Not much rodent chewing & in pretty good shape. A NICE find,, but still my deer wasn't there.

I backed out & started over,, slowly & carefully trying to find ANY sign he may have left. And knowing I'd already covered much of the area he'd headed towards,, I decided to search a different area. Deer OFTEN circle back to a place they had just been,, knowing they had been "safe" there. Well, about 100 yds away from where I'd last seen him, in a different direction from where he'd been heading,, I found him.

I'd made a "bad" shot. I hit him further back than I'd been aiming. I think it was because he was moving & getting ready to high-tail it out of there. Basically I gut shot him. It didn't cause much meat loss,, but I felt bad for that shot. However,, I KNEW I'd hit him, and I KNEW he deserved to be found.
Now,, NORMALLY,, I use my T/C Contender & make neck shots, dropping deer in their tracks. And having dropped the coyote,, (as well as killing a deer a few weeks back with it,) I was comfortable in using my .45. Yet,, this type of shot where a deer can run off bothers me a bit. Yes,, I found him. Yes, it was a "kill". But in my way of hunting,, animals deserve a better shot placement.

So,, a banner day in the woods,, by killing a coyote,, finding a shed,, and killing a buck,, ALL made it good. But I'll NOT forget my bad shot placement.

PS; If I can figure out how to get the pics off my phone,, and onto my computer,, I'll post a picture.

 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,207
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
"Congrats on filling your last buck tag. Tag soup is not fulfilling"

I'm allowed (6) deer a year here. In my area,, it's (2) antlered,, and (4) anterless. Anterless is somewhat limited to specific times,, or methods,, so I only got one doe this year. And I took a buck with my crossbow earlier,, so, this last one was #3 for the season. No tag soup here! :D :D
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,118
Location
missouri
Good on you for being conscientious and sticking with the job. Sometimes those things 'just happen' and it's not your fault.
One of the freezer deer I tagged Monday evening was a similar scenario. I intended to break the neck but was off a smidge and shot it through the windpipe. Fortunately, there was an adequate blood trail which I followed for 150 yards and finished the deal with a better placed neck shot. I took 4 deer to the locker during this 'alternative methods' season- 3 neck shots and one full broadside lung shot. Literally zero meat loss.
The woman at the locker commented about the lack of meat loss and I replied "I just point my finger at them and yell BANG. They know there's no chance and fall over dead". Her response "Well, looking at the results, I've got to say your claim has more truth than some I hear." (chuckle, chuckle).
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,207
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Yeah,, I'm a persistent cuss. Plus,, I was using a revolver,, and didn't get the shot placement I wanted. But I knew I'd hit the deer hard enough to do serious & lethal damage.
And if I had been using my Contender (Like I've done for many years,) I don't think the outcome would have been much different. If I'd had my Contender,, I'm sure I would have shifted my aiming point,, and the deer would have still moved as I shot. And the bullet path would have been similar. The only difference,, MIGHT have been that the Contender bullet (which was a jacketed Ballistic tip,) could have expanded some. But since all I hit was skin & guts,, no bone,, I'm not even sure of that.
But, a bad hit like that,, can still be lethal. Just not as quickly as a "proper" hit.
 

Redhawk41

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
32
Location
Illinois
Sooner or later we all get a bad hit, but congrats on sticking it out and finding him. I still have a doe tag to fill and only have next weekend to get it done, and I'm not too optimistic at this point.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,207
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
" I still have a doe tag to fill and only have next weekend to get it done, and I'm not too optimistic at this point."

NEVER give up. One season,,, I still had 5 of my 6 tags left. We are in an area where there is no daily bag limit. I killed 4 does the very last day. Filled my freezer too. AND,, I was using a single-shot T/C Contender. 4 deer came in,, and 4 deer went home with me. Never give up.
 

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