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Youth Tag Filled in Ealry Muzzy


PMA Member
Warning...long story!

My now 9 year old son was able to take a doe in youth season last year and has been hooked ever since. He was wanting to hunt before that but is even worse now! We hunted 5 times in youth and early muzzy season this year before he got this nice buck 15 minutes before last light Sunday night. His confidence was shaken because he missed a doe earlier this year. He passed a shot on doe earlier Sunday night that he would have been able to make, but I was kind of proud he passed when he was not sure.

Fast-forward an hour and I spot this buck 50 yards to our left (son is siting on my right) and he has us pegged. I tell my son to not move I see a buck. He does great not moving for about 3-4 minutes while we have the dreaded stand off. During the stand off he asks me "how big is it?" I tell him "it's just a little one" in order to keep his buck fever to a minimum. Eventually the deer starts to move very slowly but is still watching us so I figure we have to go for it and hope he does not bolt. I set the gun on the ladder stand shooting rail and my son gets up and into place. He says I can't shoot he is too far. I say calm down you can make that shot. You shoot farther all the time. (The deer is heavily quartering toward us at about 45 yards). I remind him to shoot at the shoulder and after some more convincing him he can do it...mind you this is all at a low whisper with a nice buck staring at us 45 yards away...he does a nice slow trigger pull. After the smoke clears I see the buck running off in what looks like the 100 yard death run but he goes out of sight and I don't see him fall. He never did get a good look at the rack so I finally tell him he just shot a BIG buck. Of course we are both crazy happy and excited. Since I did not see it fall we waited 20 minutes and sneak out.

I go back with a friend 2 hours later to track it and we can't find a hair or drop of blood anywhere. The whole area we are in is covered in some 2-3' tall picker bushes with little red berries on them and the deer did not take off on a trail. We comb a 75 yard by maybe 50 yard area but give up after about a half an hour because I do not want to bump it in case it was not as good of a shot placement as I thought from its reaction.

Now I am sick to my stomach because these scenarios don't frequently play out good. Heck, I don't even know if he hit it for sure at this point. So I send an e-mail to work that I need Monday morning off and proceed to toss and turn and pray all night. I get back to the point of the shot in daylight and find some hair. Now I know he hit it. However, from the angle I also know there may not be an exit would and blood may be scares. I go back to grid searching the area for blood, or if I get lucky spot a body in 2-3' tall pickers. After about an hour and not a drop of blood I spot the awesome sight of a white belly!!! Oh tank you Lord!

The deer only made it about 125 yards and was dead in seconds, we could just not see him drop and I could not see it at night with all the picker bushes. Even after finding him I backtracked the blood trail. It was very sparse due to no exit wound and it being a high lung hit. No blood hit the ground for about 60 yards until he started blowing it out of his mouth.

I have never been so happy to find a deer. I was even able go by school for lunch and show my son the pictures. What a happy day!

He made a good shot and hit him just slightly high but hit both lungs and liver. The Barnes bullet was perfectly mushroomed just under the hide at the last rib on the off side. He was shooting 80 grains of pellets to keep the recoil down. (Don't tell him, but he practices with 50 grains but I bumped up his hunting load to 80 without telling him this year. Funny he did not feel any recoil either.) A good thing I did so because I would not have let him take anything but a broadside shot with only 50 grains.

Now he has to realize not to expect one like this every year. 151" and 220 lbs.

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I just noticed I don't know how to spell "Early" in the thread title.o_O Actually I can spell fine but my typing skills are horrible. :eek::eek:
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Great story, I especially like the part where "its just a little one". I bet he was pumped at school when you stopped for lunch and showed him pics!
Those muzzleloaders can be tricky sometimes! Love and hate them and glad you stuck with it and found him! Congrats to both of you!
Great buck, congrats to all!! I too have had "no exit" shots with muzzy's that don't produce much blood. It really plays with your mind, I have been there.
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