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OK, everybody loves stories, and hunting stories all the more so...well at least for we hunters.
I have many but a favorite begins with walking into the woods of Wisconsin, early on an October morning. All my gear on my back - treestand and all. while walking past a large downed pine I hear rustling in a very quiet morning that I am certain is a buck rubbing. I drop to my knees behind the pine and put an arrow on my bow. I wait a few minutes...seems like hours. I hear a buck walking...the sounds seem to indicate it is headed toward me. Then I see it...antler tines are just on the other side of the downed pine. The buck, whose antler tips are all I can see, seems to hang up...seemingly sensing something. My bow is back at anchor point waiting for him to step out. Intuition seems to say that it is too quiet - so I rub the toe of my boot against the ground back and forth like a squirrel foraging on the ground. Apparently the sound sets the buck at ease and he steps out about 5 yards from me. I release. I can see him running and I can see he is mortally wounded. 50 yards later it's over. I never did set up my tree stand that day...instead cleaning and dragging my "trophy" to the truck. What a fun memorable hunt God gifted me with that day. My kids were young at the time and made me re-tell the story many times. Now I am 66 and still love bowhunting and stories. Please share some of yours.
 

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This will be my first year hunting so hopefully I can have a story and n early October.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Once when I was a kid bow hunting from the ground, I had a squirrel run up next to me and wouldn't leave. I stuck my thumbs to my head, wiggled my fingers, and make the NA NA BOO BOO gesture while making a fart noise with my tongue. Next thing I know a big 8pt is crashing toward me all bristled up looking to fight! He saw me and didn't know what to think, turned sideways in confusion, and I let the arrow zing. It went precisely where I was looking, too, right between his antlers to infinity. That was my first real life lesson on grunt calling.

Even though I never got that deer I remember the hunt as if it was yesterday. A thousand hunts since then with lots of good deer in the bag, but that one is my favorite all time.
 

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My wife shooting a 191" buck her first time archery hunting.

My 6yo grandson shooting a 165" buck his first ever hunt.

Those 2 come to mind first
 

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Back when I was a 18. Second day of rifle season. My dad harvested a dinky 6 pter the first day. Had me go to his stand with him on the second. Full blown blizzard out. I killed a 10 pter, then immediately behind him was a 8 pter I didn't see till I fired. Upon firing the 8 took off full speed down to my dad's best friend, which he got. Incredible hunt I'll remember forever
 

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Mine goes back to my first ever hunt. I was 7 maybe? and bow hunting. There was no I was pulling enough poundage to even kill a deer. Anyway, my father and I took our ground blind out, set it up the same morning on an easy to access spot. Now he tells me he didn't think we were going to see anything but just wanted to take me out. So we are sitting there, and out of the buffer strip about 20 yards away this very average 8 point steps out. Walking closer and closer and I am getting more and more nervous/excited/who knows what, but I start laughing. Laughing quietly but laughing, while the deer is getting closer and closer and my dad is getting antsy telling to me settle down. Being my 7 year old self, I can't the laughing is getting harder and harder to the point where my dad is laughing too. It gets to where we are laughing at loud even after the buck had run off.

We have a lot of good memories from hunting that ended in kills, however that has to be about the best one and no kill even happened.
 

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Watching my daughter take her first deer and then making her clean it.
 

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Gun season in Illinois I was hunting at the top of a hill with my father at the bottom. I heard a 'boom' and a few seconds later, it sounds like a stampede coming up the hill. Then a beauty of a buck breaks through the brush and is headed right for me, 80 yards away. I flip the safety off and raise my 20-gauge and hold for a close shot since he's coming right for me. 50 yards I have a clean shot, but he's getting closer. 30 yards my finger is on the trigger quivering. 20 yards, right before I press the trigger, it stops, staggers sideways a few steps and falls down, stone cold dead.
 

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My first archery buck....
A friend got married on November 12th and I was obligated to attend....despite my desire to be in the woods that day. Since it was a late morning wedding, we got out of the reception by mid-afternoon and I hustled my gear together and picked up a buddy to head to his uncle's old cabin for the remainder of the weekend. We arrived too late to hunt, but did a bit of quick scouting and I fashioned an impromptu ground blind for the next morning. Setting my old style battery alarm for 5:30, I must have done pm instead of am because it never went off. When I awoke, it was already daylight and I was really upset with myself as I hustled to don the insulated camo coveralls and grab my Widow recurve. My buddy was too cozy in his sleeping bag and just watched me get ready while staying in the warmth.

As quickly and quietly as possible, I headed towards the ground blind location.....but only made it about half way. As I came down a grassy hillside, I heard a loud "burp" sound and froze in place. Glancing to my right, a decent 8 point popped out of the brush with his nose to the ground like a beagle after a rabbit. With nothing to lose, I slowly reached to my hip quiver for an arrow and managed to get it nocked. The buck was so focused on his pursuit of the doe that apparently passed that way, that he was oblivious to his surroundings.....including the big camo blob just 22 yards uphill. As he passed by enough so I was out of his direct vision, I drew back the Widow and settled my instinctive focus behind his shoulder. Everything was in slow-motion at that point....as I saw my arrow arch towards his vitals and blow through without slowing down. The buck didn't have a clue what happened and actually looked away from me towards the sound the arrow hitting the frozen ground on the off side.

He spun and bound off in the direction he had come....disappearing quickly but I heard a "THUD" just a few seconds later. After standing there for several minutes in complete disbelief, I turned around and went back to the cabin for my knife. My buddy had gotten out of bed and was warming up a cup of instant coffee when I hit the door. He figured I forgot something and did not initially believe that I had shot a buck just a few minutes after leaving the cabin. However when I went digging for my knife and rope, he figured out quickly that I was serious and scrambled to get dressed. While I checked out the arrow and first blood, he went zooming down the blood trail and called out, "Here he is!"....barely 75 yards from the shot location. :)
 

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My first year hunting and last year are probably two of my most memorable moments. First year hunting I was 14 or 15, and I was going to go hunt out of a permanent box blind the previous owners had built. I was walking from the house back to the woods carrying my Remington 870 and one of those 5 gallon buckets with a swivel seat on it. I'm marching along, and I'm super early so it's pitch black outside. I just get inside the woods and I hear this scratching sound, so I freeze completely. I hear it again and it seems close, so I take a few steps in that direction, looking all around with my headlamp on. I see this big dead tree, so I go a few steps closer and then I see these huge eyes diving at me. I drop my bucket and go to step back but trip over the damn thing and end up sitting in the dirt as a great horned owl flies right over my head. Definitely drove home the safety lesson of leave the gun unloaded until you get to your stand. I'm pretty shaken up at this point, but I gather my stuff and make it to my stand. Probably an hour later just after dawn I hear this crunching sound and I look around and I see the owl sitting in a tree and it is ripping apart a field mouse or ground squirrel and eating it like 20 yards away from me, just staring me down the whole time. Super cool seeing them up close like that, but I was definitely a little creeped out too.

My hunt last year was one of those mornings where everything goes wrong to start. Wife and I ended up sleeping in so I didn't get up in my stand until just after dawn on an early November morning. My wife and I always text each other once we are up in our stands so we know everyone is safely hooked in. I get up there, text my wife, and get my coat on and put my wrist release on. I'm not cold yet, but I figure I should get my facemask on in case something comes in early. For the life of me I can't find the damn thing in my backpack. So I'm standing up and looking in my backpack with my arm in there elbow deep when I hear a bunch of crunching. I look over and this big 9 pointer is 20 yards away and walking directly at my stand. He walks within 3 yards of my stand, as I'm slowly easing my bow off the hook. He follows this trail and pauses at a fork maybe 15 yards out. He's basically walking straight away from me so I have no shot. If he takes the right fork, he'll walk behind a tree and step out broadside at about 20 yards. If he goes left I have no shot and he's gone. Well I got lucky and he went right, I drew when he went behind the tree, I stopped him and zipped an arrow perfectly behind the shoulder. I'm on cloud nine as he takes off running, but as he runs off I see my arrow sticking a good ways out of him. So of course I instantly feel my heart somewhere in my stomach and I'm sure I plugged him in the shoulder. I text my wife to let her know I just shot the nine pointer, and I sit down, shaking like a leaf. Maybe 30 minutes later I've got a little basket 6 come walking in, and I watch him for a while until he leaves. After another hour or so I get down to start looking for blood. Nothing. I find my arrow and it's broken, with about 5 inches missing. I keep looking around for blood in the direction I saw him go, finally start finding a few drops here, a few there. Then it starts to pick up and look pretty heavy. I follow the trail for maybe 50 yards and it just stops. And I'm looking and looking and I'm not seeing any more blood on this trail, and I look over and he's laying there two yards off the trail. I was literally standing next to him for several minutes before I noticed him. Biggest buck I've shot to date and my first archery buck.
 

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My first deer (biggest buck too). 8 years into my bowhunting career and several misses that had stacked up saw me sitting in an oak tree on hillside glade with a small cedar patch in front of me with a tree line to my left. This was the evening before MO rifle season and I had a couple does come up the hill but out of range, then later a small buck that didn’t have enough to meet antler point restriction came walking from behind me down the hill. He walked and circled my tree at about 10 yards and walked back up the hill towards where the does went.

Just after sunset but before last light I looked down to the edge of the thicket and saw movement. Tall times working from right to left just inside the tree line. I was able to glass him up as he moved through the brush and it was as the biggest buck I had seen while hunting. He continued to walk just inside of the edge and when he came to where that thicket met the tree line to my left that came up the hill he stopped and turned to come my way.

As he made his way in somehow all those misses and thought in general faded away in the adrenaline rush. He made his way up the tree line but inside the glade where my stand was. He was going to give me clear shot. I drew back and at about 23 yards put my pin on vitals (somehow) and let it fly. It was not my best executed shot but the arrow flew true through both lungs.

He lunged and took off but when he tried to jump and old fence in that tree line he stumbled and hit the ground. Dead with in seconds and made it about 15 yards. I was shaking so bad with adrenaline, excitement, and disbelief. I called my Dad who was in another stand and told him I just shot a big buck. He helped me load get it loaded after I field dressed it.

This buck gave me the confidence that I could seal the deal, which coupled with becoming a better archer in both form and execution as well as growing knowledge of bowhunting strategy, led to many more deer falling to my arrows.
 

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My last hunt with my dad. He couldn't hunt anymore but he went along because I asked. I shot a decent 8 and got dad from camp to help track it. We went slow which was good because he could not walk without a cane. I thought it would be an easy track but it was pretty long and ended at a beaver dam. Sign indicated that the deer crossed the dam but when I looked over there was someone on the other side. Turned out to be a trapper who hollered across the dam that he saw what we were looking for. Just then the buck jumped up out of the water and lumbering back our way, passed between my dad and I (we were only 20 yards apart) and dropped another 80 or so yards past us. Dad lived another six years but talked about that hunt many times and he had lots of hunting stories. Incidentally, I ran into that trapper again last year and even though it had happened ten or so years ago, he remembered the incident.
 

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Corripe Cervisiam
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Oh man...so many in over 3 decades......animal charges, crazy kills, I've been blessed.

One of mine was on a hunt for Water buff in Australia...a hunt /I highly recommend BTW...Australia is a great place to visit.

The readers digest version....I had killed my bull...my buddy was up. He was shooting and underpowered 60# recurve with a 560gr arrow [bad idea] He knew he had to get a quartering away shot to be effective.

The herd with a nice bull was in a large billabong [flooded meadow] that was impossible to stalk close. We had seen the whole herd leave the meadow and pass through a point of trees that jutted out towards the billabong multiple times- predictable. The guide would walk around the other side while we set up in the trees for an ambush when they sauntered by.

Right spot...but they didn't stroll by...for some reason they stampeded and we had 60 HUGE 2,000# buffalo stampede us while we hid behind tress with buff thundering by 2' away. You could feel the ground moving...it was intense.

They stopped running only 100yds in and we ran and looped around with my buddy getting a shot but it was back...buried in the back ham. The bull split from the herd and went into some thick jungle type stuff. We all split up todo a grid search, my buddy Robert and I along with the assistant guide were together....the AG carrying a video cam on a tripod trying to film everything...and no weapon. The guide had his open sighted .375 but he was off with the other group of 2 guys.

I was walking with the AG when he decided to walk into this thick brush patch- 6' high bamboo type stuff. This old hog hunter wanted nothing to do with that so I trotted over to Robert 50yds away. We exchanged a couple of words then BAM....we hear the AG scream, huge thundering in the brush about 25 yds from us and I could see the brush getting knocked down like there was a skid steer in there doing a donut...just mowing the brush down. That bull had been hunkered in the spot and the AG walked right up on him.

After trampling the AG, the bull who had obviously heard us....comes charging right at us with brush parting. I jumped behind a 12" tree and robe took off running down a trail. The bull went charging past my not 3' away out into the open...and gone.

I went in to get the AG and through he was dead, all curled up beat to heck.I checked for a pulse and he came to groaning incoherent. I could hear the other group yelling that they see the bull about 100yds out and all I could think is I needed to get Jonanthan out of there before the bull come back to his hiding spot. I did my best to check for a broken back...he din't want to leave, just curl up. I could hear the shouts closer now-not good....so I somehow hefted the 190# guy on my shoulder and trucked him out to a clearing....complaining the whole way of course.

The guide came walking over and I told him what happened, all he said was "Thats not good" he told the AG you will have to tough it out as we need to get that bull killed before he kills the station owners kids...he couldn't have a ticked off bull running around killing the family.

We found the bull, he charged the guide from 20', and he put 3 shots from his bolt .375 in the bulls head as fast as I've ever heard anyone shoot a bolt rifle.

The bull, guide and Robert, if you look close you can see where one of the solids went through the bulls skull and through the hump of his back [then through a 8" tree and we never found the bullet] EDIT; Why my buddies second bow is in this pic, I don't know
rob buff w bullet red.jpg

The AG had to endure a 4 hour drive to Darwin on dirt roads.....he had multiple broken bones but he lived. He was lucky the bull was pushing him up against thick brush that gives instead of stamping him into the hard ground. Lucky..amazing the AG survived that.

____
 

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My son's first out of state hunt in KS youth season. Shot a 140" buck but didn't find it until the next day...huge roller coaster of emotions
 

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65 here. Also have a lot of stories. 2 stand out as my favorite hunts with success. Here's the short version of both to keep it readable.
Stood on the limbs of a cedar over a 9pt's rub line through an old apple orchard until 11:00. Wanted to stay through midday, but couldn't stand on the limbs any longer. Didn't go 100yds on his trail when I ran face to face with him as I crested a mound. Couldn't get a shot, rack blocked his body, and he turned around quickly without even looking up. Had a feeling he was heading for a patch of cedar. 2 hours later, I had circled to the downwind side of the cedars, a wet snow was falling, and I was crawling through them when I saw his big body laying down along with a doe standing 25yds off to my left. No shot through the cedar as she walked off over a hill with him in tow. I began to crawl to follow them when I felt something was watching me. Off to my right, just outside the cedars and watching me, was a 6pt heading the opposite way. After a couple minutes freeze, he circled and entered the cedars behind me. I turned completely around and drew when there was thick cedar between us. He came up from behind me, heading straight for me, when I took out his heart at 10yds.
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Another time, standing in a patch of cedars, a doe was running in circles around me, staying just inside the cedars with a buck chasing. 3rd time around she cut through and went right under me. The buck kept going to the outside. They must have met again above me, as the buck began long tender grunts. I got down and began a stalk on a trail running along the edge of a patch of bulrush growing in the middle of the cedar, keeping them to my left and staying ahead of them if they should start to circle again. A doe stepped out of the bulrush to my right, and stopped in the trail a few yards in front of me, looking right at me. I lifted my grunt tube that was around my neck and gave a soft grunt. She flicked her tail and started walking away on the trail. Another came out and followed her move. A 3rd doe wanted to come out on the trail right next to me off my right shoulder. I could have punched her. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the buck coming from behind me and to my left. I drew back and he gave me a 7yd broadside shot when he stepped onto the trail by the other 2 doe. They all must have thought I was a buck after that one soft grunt.
 

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For me, one of the best memories is the breakfast opening day of rifle deer season in PA. Every year the local sportmans club would put on a breakfast for hunters. It seemed like every adult male that I knew was there drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes. Admiring each others deer rifles, less guarded in their language. I think it was the first time I ever heard my Dad cuss. I grew up shooting groundhogs in neighbors hay fields and had been small game and turkey hunting before, but for me that breakfast was an introduction into a world that I had never seen before. I was still the untested kid and had to hear all about buck fever and was the object of some good natured teasing. For me it was a big deal to be included in the ranks with so many men that I looked up to.
 

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Corripe Cervisiam
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Good stories...bump this for more.

I was bear hunting with a buddy Dave in BC a few years back. He made a bad shot on a bear that then ran into a thicket. The [required] guide wanted to come back the next day for the wounded bear.

We did come back, ?Dave borrowing a open sighted Tika. We spent almost 3 hours looking for the bear that had obviously spent a Buch of time 60yd into the trees the night before leaving blood spot all over the moss.
wounded bear tr crop.jpg wounded bear beds red.jpg

It was obvious that he had shot the bear through the back hams as there was pools of blood on each side of the poops.

I found a line of blood...with fresh drops very close together...and went and rounded the guys up. Our guide had his lab on leash- the claim was the dog would blood trail...but when the dog veered off- that dog was worthless.

Dave and I came up to a huge downed log 10' away and I slowly peered over seeing the top of the bear just behind it. I whispered to Dave just as the guide comes up to our right and the bear false charged the dog peering under the log who ran in circles around our guide wrapping him up like a burrito and dumping his 300#'s flat on the ground helpless.

just then the bear comes leaping over the log at us stretched out like superman and slick as heck Dave at my side drills him like a flushing quail maybe 8' off the barrel of the rifle, the bear flops on the wet log and slides down dead on impact. Awesome shooting Dave!

Dave and his bear.....
daves bear red.jpg
 
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