So I love those hunting show where the guy shoots an "monster" and then it turns out to be NOT so big. The narrative then changes to "it's a mature deer". Well, that's my story of this buck..... he's a "mature deer".
It's been warm here in Iowa. Temps in the high 60's most everyday. Little deer movement. That doesn't deter me as I love to sit in the tree anytime possible. Went out last night and hunted 75 yards into the woods. I usually hunt the edges and food sources. This guy came into view 10 minutes before shooting hours ended. 75 yards away in the woods. I looked and didn't think much of him in the low light. He made 2 scrapes and then continued on to the right at 50 yards. I looked and passed. He then disappeared behind some brush with leaves (late fall in Iowa and lots of leaves still on the trees). He re-appeared at 12 yards to my SURPRISE I looked and thought... "bigger then I thought" He sniffed the ground as I looked at him through my 3x scope setting and then lifted his head and did the "lip curl" as he scented the wind. What a cool image in my mind.... I'll never forget that image......... than "bang", 5 minutes before shooting hours ended. I watched him bound off after the smoke cleared.
I waited in the dark for 15 minutes and looked for blood. Absolutely NONE I backed out and went home and said some prayers for a good recovery in the morning. Today I found him no more then 60yards from where he was shot. I thought that I heard a crash last night, however, I didn't want to risk it. The reason for NO BLOOD... I it him in the left lung as he was quartering to me and it exited the right abdomen, which makes sense as I was 20+ feet above him at 12 yards. All the blood stayed in the abdominal cavity.
18 inch spread, 8 point, small tines, nice long and heavy main beams. Not the biggest deer that I have shot, however, "he was a mature deer".
PS: NEVER shoot a deer where you have to drag him 300 yards up a river valley hill (unless you have lots of friends)
Good luck to all