My Deer Season Diary

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Sharpshooter
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This thread will be long, but I will be making several posts about my entire weekend.

I started a new job in January. The company is owned by 2 individuals and there is an annual company hunt for management at one of the owner's property. Management is invited across 12 states, but most either don't hunt, or just hunt locally. This year only 5 of us traveled in. Property has just over 1,000 acres including 17 planted food plots, several hay fields, 2 ponds, a creek and 2 power lines that cut through the property all neatly divided by various wooded areas to allow separate hunting areas. There are 11 elevated, insulated Banks hunting blinds and another 6-8 homemade elevated hunting blinds. All of these will sit 2-4 people and have windows to keep you warm and dry. The Banks units are extremely nice. To add context, I've hunted from maybe 8-10 years old until my late 20s, then took 15+ years off. I've killed 1 doe in those 15-20 years of hunting. Before I agreed to drive several states away, I asked what the chances were of actually seeing anything and was simply told it was a "target rich environment". They have a very long hunting season (rifle is several months) and the owner is wanting to remove 30-50 does to help correct his doe/buck ratio.

Day 1:
The owner has asked all our hunting backgrounds. There are two of us that suck at hunting. The other guy has never shot a deer, but lives closer and will be staying more days than I will. So the owner takes me to his "best" feed plot. It's 1 P.M. There are several deer in the field when we arrive, like 5-6. These run off as we approach. We climb into this nice, Banks hunting blind that sits in a tree-line located about 5 o'clock on the perimeter. By 1:45, 2 does walk in from opposite directions. Good enough for me. Let the killing begin!

Nope. Owner tells me to wait for the party to show up. By 2:30, there are about a dozen deer in the middle of this field with at least 2 bucks. Still told to wait. For context, the furthest point on this field is about 125 yards away. Most of these deer are within 75 yards and there are 2 within 20 yards of the blind. We watch these deer eat.... forever. The owner just tells me he wants to give other hunters a chance to get their shots off in other fields because once we come down, we get in the truck and pick all of them up on the way back to the house.

So now it's 4 P.M. I count 18 deer. Owner counts 20 (he's right, I don't see the tree-line as good). There are 4 bucks out there including two 8 points or bigger. The two that were close to us, we lost the spike buck. We think he may be under the stand. We stand up to switch seats, the spike is under the front window (that I planned on shooting from). This deer is so close, I could fix a bayonet and spear him. Owner wants to wait until he walks out further.

4:15 - Spike is now 20 yards out. Owner says when he opens the window, they will likely get a scent so I will need to shoot fairly quickly. He picks out a couple doe in a pile of about 8 and says either one of those will do. Distance is 40-50 yards. He's going to video the shot.

Window opens, rifle out, bang. Deer scatter with most of the herd exiting the field at 11:30 location to a trail. Owner asks which one I shot. Hell, I don't know. The brown one???? Nothing is down. We go look in the area of the shot, we find no blood. We review the video. There are 3 deer that exit at 8 o'clock, but these 3 were not part of the group I shot into. There is a lone deer that exits at 3 o'clock. The other 15+ exit at 11:30. The video also shows clearly a broadside deer jump with all 4 legs off the ground. Every other deer react differently. Really looks like I hit, but no blood. We walked the field, follow the trail a ways. Never see a thing.

I just shot sub-50 yards with a rifle that grouped sub-MOA at 200 yards about a month ago. WTF just happened? I also left my phone in the truck. No pics. That won't happen again.
 

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Sharpshooter
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Day 2: After reviewing the day 1 video that night, the owner asks my friend to search the where we had been at 3 o'clock location. Owner believes the lone deer that ran that way may be the one that was hit. We didn't look there and my friend will be hunting a field close to hit. I ask to be put somewhere I can see a long way. Mistake on my part as the Banks blinds are mostly on food plots so I end up in a homemade blind. Still nice, but not insulated or as comfortable.

I can see 450 yards to my left:
DSblindleft.jpg



I can see 250 yards to my right.
DSblindright.jpg

There is a small field in front.
DSblindfront.jpg


Around 6:30 A.M., I get some action. They come out of the woods about half way down on the left, come up the trail, into the field and continue up the trail. I have sight on them for at least a half hour, but I left them all pass.
DSturkeya.jpg
 

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Day 2 continued:

So after the turkey's I'm pretty bored. I pick up my rifle and start scanning stuff. As I'm scanning to my right, a deer walks into my scope. I bring my head up off the rifle and there are 2 does standing in the middle of the trail. They slowly walk across and I let them go. It's exactly 7:30.

At 7:37, they are coming back across. I decide I better take one of these, so I take a shot. I see it disappear into the woods. Am I jerking the trigger this bad?

I wait until 8:15 to leave the stand, walk down and find blood. With my rangefinder, I'm 221 yards from the stand. Here I am standing at the blood, looking back at the stand.
DSdeer2bloodtoblind.jpg


I walk maybe 20 yards into the woods and find an old barbed wire fence. I call my buddy to help me search for the deer. When he shows up, I'm telling how pissed I am because I missed one and wounded another. He tells me he found deer #1 about 50 feet outside the field from the day before. Coyotes had gotten to it, but he had taken a pic.

Deer #1:
DSdeer1.jpg


We crawl through the fence and end up finding deer #2 maybe 50 yards from where it had been shot.

Deer #2:
DSdeer2.jpg

DSdeer2bloodtoblind.jpgDSdeer1.jpgDSdeer2.jpg
 

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Sharpshooter
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Day 3:

I'm back in the same location because I like the view. I've killed 2 now. I'm not looking to just rack up kills. Now I'm here to hang out with the guys and take pics. The fields are better places to get deer, so I'm going to leave those for the guys that want to get something. Of the group, I've got 2 and my buddy got 1. The other 3 have nothing, including the guy that's never shot a deer. Also, I'm only interested in taking long shots now. Most of the fields are set up for ~100 yard shots.

Anyway, I get bored and am going in early. We are supposed to stay out until around 10 A.M. It's 8:30 and I'm leaving the stand. I start walking to where I killed the deer #2 and there is a bend in the trail with another blind (empty) around the bend. As I'm walking in the middle of the trail and round the bend, there is a deer way, way down at the end. I freeze, but I'm in the middle of this clearing. I'm going to be seen shortly. My rangefinder is in my backpack in it's case. I don't know how far it is, but it looks further than the 221 yesterday. I'm thinking 350+.

I drop down prone. It rained the night before, so it's slightly muddy and the ground is still wet. So now I'm laying full prone, wet and muddy with a full custom built rifle and a deer 350+ yards away. THIS IS WHAT I'M HERE FOR!!!!! I'm laughing at myself at how ridiculous of a situation I am in over what appears to be a <100 lb doe. I look through the scope and realize I can't see over the slight hill in the middle of the trail. The deer is at a lower elevation over the crest of the hill.

So now I am trying to get up in a manner that gets me the least muddy while making all the noises a middle aged man does trying to get all the ground. Part of me wants to deer to just go away but the other part says I need it for the story of how I got so dirty.

Anyways, I walk up 20-25 yards, go to the edge of the trail and prone out. Hill is in the way. I walk up another 20-25 yards, cross sides, still a hill in the way. I walk up more. The entire time I'm doing this, the deer is walking around grazing in the middle of this trail.

The forth time I prone out, I can see from the body up. I cannot see legs. I've moved up a lot, but it's still pretty far. At least 1/3 of my shot will be traveling inches along the ground before it passed the crest of the hill. Good enough for me. LOL I take the shot and the deer disappears. I never see it run off. I get up on my knees and see the white belly. It never moved an inch.

This pic is me standing on the blood where I shot deer #2 showing my backpack that marks where I took the shot from. Deer #3 is down at the end of the trail. I'm going to laser back to the backpack because it won't pick up the downed deer. No zoom on this pic.
DSdeer3shotnozoom.jpg



Here is a pic of the backpack (shooting location) to the deer. This is a zoomed pic and you can zoom in the see the deer down and another deer next to it that came out to check on it's friend.
DSdeer3shot.jpg


Deer #3 turned out to be a button buck. Shot was 265 yards on the range finder.
DSdeer3g.jpg
 

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Day 3 afternoon:
I've taken 3 shots and killed 3 deer. I'm not interested in shooting anything. I'm here to take pics. My buddy and I are still the only 2 that have killed anything. We agree to take the guy that has never killed anything and put him in a good spot and we'll just go hang out together in the same blind looking over the smallest food plot and a large hay field. We pick this spot because it was the closest LARGE Banks blind (owner has a mixture of 2 person and 4 person versions).

So we park the truck, point the other guy to his stand and we take off walking into the hay field on the opposite site of the blind. We don't make it 100 yards and my buddy freezes and asks, "are there deer right next to the blind?" I'm near-sighted. I can barely see the blind and it's the size of a small car. Scope up and there are 2 does behind the stand. They are grazing the food plot at 1 P.M. I dig out the range finder. 505 yards to the blind. It won't even pick up the deer. They are 550-600+. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Buddy asks me if I'm going to shoot. Hell no.

In the dead center of this hay field, there is an old, wooden deer stand that the seat and floor is missing from. Probably hadn't been used since the 80s or 90s. There are a few very small trees around it that are missed when they bale the field. None of the trees are larger diameter than your leg. We decide that if we can make it there without spooking the deer, my buddy will take a shot. He hunches down and starts creeping out there. I just casually walk out there because IDGAF. I honestly just want to go to the blind. I don't think we should be shooting this early.

So we make it to the center of this field and now he wants me to shoot. In the conversation with the owner the night before, he tells me 265 yards is the new record on his property. So my buddy is telling me to set a new record. I offer him my rifle. He then tells me he wants to try to shoot both at once. I tell him he can't hit them from here with his rifle. He tells me he can do anything with his that I can do with mine.

Let's add some context here. My buddy and I have the same job title. We are tied for third in the company. Other than the owner, everyone else at the hunt report to the two of us. All the managers are paid well. There was some nice gear there and most brought small arsenals to play with. There was lots of conversation and questions asked. We were all honest because any one of the group can afford any of it. As it turns out, I had the most expensive rifle there and my buddy had the cheapest. He was using a .308 Win lever action from the 1970s? with a cheap scope. The guy makes good money but is cheap. Some jokes were made previous days. He tells me his $400 setup and can everything my *insert price* rig can do.

Anyway, I tell him I'm not interested in the 2 at once shot because I don't want another deer and I know he's going to miss anyway. We had also walked up a lot and I wasn't sure it would be a new record although it did look far. He keeps telling me how good of a story it would be and I finally agree. I prone out and again, there is a hill in the way. I can't even see them on my knees, only standing. So my buddy puts his rifle across a tree branch. I tell him there's no way that's going to work. I prone out probably 5 times before I find a spot 30 yards to the right and 5-8 yards back.

Now there's a new problem. He's shooting the deer on the left and I have the right. My deer is now behind the legs of the elevated Banks blind. I'm not shooting the owner's blind. Also, I can only see from the knees up. So again, I'm going to shoot ground level for awhile. The deer takes a few steps and now I can see him, but it's to the right of the second leg and to the left of the ladder. Bullet has to travel under the blind. 2 days ago I was convinced I missed a deer at <50 yards. Today it's right of the legs, left of the ladder, under the blind, can't see it's feet at an unknown distance of 300ish????.... yeah, I can make that shot.

I ask him if he's ready and he says something I can't understand. Now I'm yelling if he's ready and he's just yelling at me to take the shoot. He's supposed to shoot off my shot since I'm running the suppressor. I shoot. Deer disappears. I look over at him and he's looking through his scope. "You got it!" Why didn't you shoot you MFer? He said he thought it was too small. BS!

The second deer never ran off. It's still down there. No we're are arguing. He asks if I want him to take the shot. I say yes. He shoots and dirt flies up 4-6 feet in front of the deer. We walked down to the blind. The other deer stayed down there by it's friend for another 2 hours. When we picked it up, from the deer to the broken down stand was 319 yards. Shot would have been at ~325.

Deer #4
DSdeer4.jpg


So my weekend ended with 4 shots: 3 doe, 1 buck. My buddy got 1 doe. Another manager ended up with 2 doe on 2 shots. The guy that never shot anything had 2 missed shots Friday/Saturday. I haven't heard if he got anything on Sunday but he was staying for both morning and afternoon hunts.
 
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Sharpshooter
Special Hen
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Choctaw
In a hunting story, I like a better description of the gun, scope, and ammo used. :thumb:
Rifle was a full custom build from Alamo Precision.
APR Altitude
6.5 Creedmoor
24" Proof Sendero 1-8 Twist
5/8X24 W/ Blended Thread Protector
Defiance AnTi-X 20 MOA
Hawkins Hunter DBM
TriggerTech Special
NightForce ATACR 5-25X56 Optic
Zeiss Rings
Atlas Bipod
Graphite Black Cerakote
AG Composites Alpine Hunter- Black Multicam

Suppressor is SilencerCo Hybrid.
Ammo is 140 gr Hornady ELDM.
DSrifle.jpg


This is NOT my shooting position. My buddy took this photo as soon as I dropped down and I was still adjusting the rifle position. This is the 325 yard shot.
DSdeer4shot.jpg
 

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