1st Time Hunting With A Muzzleloader...

Chairman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
431
Reaction score
0
I went ML hunting Monday afternoon - for the very first time. About 10 minutes before legal shooting time was up, I decided to leave. All of a sudden, I heard some brush "snap"... Then I heard it again.... About a minute later THE BUCK that's been hanging around my property, stepped out at 40 yards. He froze - for what seemed like 30 seconds. He was staring to my right - he's looking at my truck. I managed to get my ML up, and put the sights right in the middle of his chest - he was standing straight on (barely quartering, but not much). I squeezed the trigger and.... a doe behind the buck jumped straight up! She was standing behind him (like a shadow). I didn't know she was there! Then, the buck jumped and started to turn around...and fell to the ground. He jumped back up...and disappeared.
We only found one blood trail - it looked like they were running together (?). Two hours later (dark-thirty), we found the doe laying in the creek licking her wound - in the right rear leg. I dispatched her, and took her to the house. I felt terrible about wounding her, but like I said - I never knew she was there. She must have come up behind him just as I squeezed the trigger.
We looked for the buck until 9 PM, but no luck. The next morning me, my wife & a neighbor looked for the buck some more. We looked until about 11 AM, then my neighbor had to leave. My wife looked the rest of the day. I didn't get much sleep the night before, so I didn't last much longer than my neighbor. My brother came all the way down from KC today, to help us look again. Nothing, Nada, Zip - Zero.........
I shot what would have been my best buck ever - and then some. But I ended up with a doe that just happened to be coming up behind him (a nice one, actually). There's no way I could have shot the doe, without having shot through the buck first. We figured out the path of the bullet - through his chest, out his left lung & into her right rear leg. My first hunt with a ML'r .....and look what happens.
I don't know how to feel, now. This bruiser of a buck has been hanging around my property for about 2 weeks. My neighbor & I have been keeping track of him since we first saw him. My neighbor has been hunting him hard during bow season. The buck came as close to 15 yards from him, but not in his shooting lane.
My neighbor has kept me informed of all the times he's seen the buck - what a great neighbor! We've both decided to hunt this guy - at the same time. We've really been hunting hard.
I bought a new ML this year - I wanted to try something new. I didn't hunt the opening weekend, mainly because I wanted to practice more - before hunting with it. I haven't hunted with open sights, for quite some time.
I was hoping for a chance at the buck during ML season - and I got it. I just didn't expect for him to come walking out the first time out!  Not only that, he stood perfectly still for me! I took my time, remembered to "breathe" and s-q-u-eee-z-ed the trigger.
When that doe jumped, I immediately thought "Oh My God - there was another deer behind the buck"! To me, shooting at a deer while another deer's behind it,is not an option. The doe must have come up while I was focusing on the bucks chest, or it was standing behind the buck - totally hidden. The buck had just come from some heavy brush into the clearing, while the doe was still standing in the brush behind him. That's the only reason I could figure out, since I didn't see her legs. This has never happened to me before.
What more could go wrong? Then I found out - only one blood trail.... How could I have shot 2 deer, and only have 1 blood trail?! There's no way I could have missed the buck, or I would have missed the doe, too. Go figure......
We searched for 2 1/2 days - nothing. I shot the buck, wounded a doe, found 1 blood trail, and found the doe - not the buck. Now that we didn't find the buck, I feel even worse. To top this off, it was my first time hunting with a muzzleloader. This is going to make one heck of a hunting memory - a very confusing one at that...
 

quackmaster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Messages
175
Reaction score
0
Checked your sights?
Not to make matters worse, but I have seen deer shot with a muzzleloader right in the vitals that never bled a drop. :cry-blue:
I feel your pain. I lost the biggest buck I had ever shot a coulple of years ago while bowhunting in Illinois. Made a clean pass through shot, never found the buck. Looked for 2 days.  My friend hunted the same stand a week later and shot the same deer. He had a little sore and a bald spot where I had hit him.  Well at least then I knew he didn't go die somewhere and go to waste.
Maybe you missed, pulled or something, maybe your iron sights got knocked around.
Big bucks are pretty tough.
 

Chairman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
431
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the reply, Quackmaster.  Believe me, I won't be hunting again until I check the sights.  I do have fiber optic sights, so the sight picture was very clear.  The buck just stood there - for a long time.  I took my time to do everything right.  Who knows.....

(Edited by Chairman at 10:18 am on Dec. 6, 2001)
 

Mnfshrman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
400
Reaction score
0
Sounds to me like you had what some people call "Buck Fever".  Are you sure you seen horns and it wasn't just what you wanted to see?

All kidding aside, I've heard of this many times growing up in MN.  I mean you never know, someone else could have shot that deer 2 miles from where you shot it.  Just keep reminding yourself, you did everything you could do without giving up.  Thats the number one rule.
 

kuff

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
I shot a button buck with my bow early in the season this year and had a well placed thru shot. It was about 10 yards out completely broadside. After the shot it ran about 10 yards, stopped, turned around to try to figure out what just happened, stood there for about 15 seconds and left into the  thicket out of sight. I could see the blood flowing out both sides as it stood there. I didn't hear it crash but figured it went thru and ended up in the grass on the other side. After about 30 min I got down, went to town to get my son and headed back out to retrieve it. It was about an hour later when I got back to the stand and started at the spot it stood bleeding out. I followed the trail thru the thick stuff and into the grass expecting to find it laying there. Guess what - no deer, and no more blood. I have shot deer with a shotgun that didn't leave any blood and were only about 20 yards away. This thing had a better blood trail than any deer I had ever tracked and then it just stopped. I looked all day and never found a thing. It didn't back track or anything. I still have no idea wher it went. Later in the season we didn't even find any carcass in the area that the coyotes had drug around. What a disappointment, especially with my son with me. I guess it was a good time to teach him about the other thing that could happen. For a shot I thought was "perfect" it was not a good outcome. Disappointing to say the least.
 

kc

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
A couple of years ago, my wife shot her first deer.  It was a doe standing almost broadside at about 75 yards just before dark and she had a .243. She is a good shot, so I knew she didn't miss. We both looked for blood for over an hour that night and resumed the search the next morning.  We never found any blood, even where the doe was hit.  We finally found it with a grid search about 100 yds from where it was shot. They don't always leave blood trails.
 

martin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
Messages
140
Reaction score
0
back in 1995, I shot the biggest buck of my life with a 54 cal Lyman, he ran off--I looked and looked and never found any hair or blood.  I know the area real well and had an idea of the routes he would take so started looking.. I finally found him down at least a half a mile away.  The Maxi hunter was just under the skin on the off side and he had never bled a drop.
 

Latest Posts

Advertisement



Top Bottom