Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To shoot or not to shoot

So. There's a monster buck roaming our property. I've been seeing his tracks for a year, but never see him. He nearly destroyed my bean pole teepee this spring, rubbing his antlers. His tracks show up in the garden, down the trail, and over in the center of the woods. So, rifle in hand yesterday, I was walking the trails and checking on a couple of our trail cam spots. I'd seen a little spike when I got home, and was hopeful that the deer were finally venturing out in the rain. Coming off a trail into a cleared area, I startled the monster buck. He had been picking his way down a trail to my right that dumped out in the same spot. He took two big bounds and stopped behind an alder and some brush a short way away. I brought up the rifle to sight on him, only to realize that, despite being careful, my scope lens had gotten wet. One big blur. Slowly, I wiped the lens and sighted again. I couldn't get a clear shot on any part of him but his butt, and even that was iffy. So, take a guess through the brush? Maybe hit the tree? Maybe just wing him and have him run off and die somewhere? I didn't take the maybe shot. I took a slow step to the right, to a better line of fire, brought up the rifle, and he took a huge leap and was gone. :( My big buck... Sob. LJ tells me I did the right thing, as bad as I wanted that buck, trying to make sure I had a clear and clean shot. I know I was right to not risk a bad shot, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I hope to see him again this season, but won't get my hopes up too high. Maybe next year...

9 comments:

LindaG said...

*hugs*
If he's on your property, I bet he'll be back.
I think you did right, too. If you'd wounded him and couldn't track him, you'd have felt a lot worse.

Patience, young grasshopper. ;)

Heidianne said...

You did the right thing. Why have him wounded and die slowly somewhere in the woods to be eaten by coyotes? It benefits no one but the scavengers, and maybe a mountain lion who would nab him. I know it sucks, Iam clueless, but is the season over? can you go out again?

Rae said...

Thanks, Linda. Patience is not one of my top 5 talents, but I'm trying. :)

Heidianne- Yeah, I know it. He was pretty magnificent. At least I know he's still out there. Season is on for another week or so, then a week off, then back on for a bit. There's time, but I don't know that I'll see him again. The deer are thick on our property because of all the tree and brush cover. Only problem is that the tree and brush cover makes it difficult to take a shot. Ah well. Hopefully one of us will get a deer this season. *fingers crossed* As LJ says, there's a reason it's called "hunting" and not "killing". :)

LindaG said...

Just like it's fishing and not catching, Rae.
I'm not good at hunting, but once we retire I know that hubby will be doing just that. :)

Hope you all have a good evening!

Paula said...

Hey- do you have a scope cover like a lens cover for binoculars or something? I wonder if you could get one.

I'm sorry you missed your buck. But I have to remind you that you just slaughtered four hogs- where in the world would you keep all that venison?

I have to admit though, that I'm pretty proud to know a woman who went out after a buck by herself. Pretty cool, amiga.

Swamp Dog said...

You did the right thing. Besides, if he is on your property, he will be breeding new monster bucks just like a prize bull on a cattle farm. I'm a new blogger and I know what you mean describing the problems with grammar and spelling. I thought I was better than this! Guess I'll just keep practicing.

Robin said...

Hope you get him. The deer have been staying away from our property this year. Which I am just as happy with.

Lindsey said...

Ever seen that movie "The Professional"? it's all about the scope cover! Never flick it up until you're ready to aim.

Of course, they were hunting crooked cops and thugs...

Rae said...

Paula- You crack me up. As to where we'll keep it, I think we can squeeze two hogs, a couple deer, 4 turkeys, and an elephant into the monster chest freezer we just bought. The thing's HUGE! :)

Swamp Dog- LOVE the name!!! If I don't get him, the prize bull analogy will definitely make me feel a bit better and give me something to look forward to next year.

Robin- Yeah, our property is sort of a deer sanctuary, given that we're overgrown/ brushy mixed forest surrounded by mature timber on all sides. Our place is the perfect environment in which to hide. :) Other than the bean pole teepee disaster, they've pretty much left the garden and fruit trees alone. Too much doggy stink, probably.

Lindsey- Unfortunately, no scope cover. :( The .308 I shoot, while a fantastic rifle, is not young, and I think the little fixed scope was installed when the gun was purchased new. :) I've solved the problem by switching to my shotgun and slugs. I'm on a pie plate at 40 yards, which is about as far as any line of sight we've got on the property. Added bonus, it's smaller and lighter, and with open sights I don't have to worry about getting it wet! :)