Highest of highs... To Lowest of Lows...

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by deep woods goat hunter, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter PMA Member

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    I was at work Wednesday 11/21 when my phone started pinging from one of my cell cams, I pulled it up and its Tubby hitting a scrape at 9:04 am just 30 yards from one of my stands.
    I finished up a few things at work and used a half day. I got settled into the tree at 12:40, I text a couple buddies, slipped my phone back in my pocket, looked up to see the buck walking down the acorn flat right to me. I grabbed my bow as he made his approach. The wind was out of the SW and he was directly north of me, he could catch my wind at any moment. He got to about 30 and turned broadside as I stopped him in a small opening. I settled my 30 on him and touched off the release. The shot looked true and his reaction was good, tail tucked and running like a mad dog.
    I couldnt believe it, almost too good to be true. I checked my phone and it read 12:46, I was in the stand less than 10 minutes. I stayed but til about 2 oclock and walked directly out without checking anything. I gathered two buddies and went back to inspect the scene of the crime. after about 10 yards he had snapped about 2" of arrow off and 9-10" of penetration. I would have liked to see more P but was still optimistic. I just knew there probably was not an exit hole. We got on some pretty decent blood and followed it to about 180 yards from my stand. Thats where it quit. Not to find any more, no bed no nothing.
    We backed out and I called in my buddy with the thermal drone. We saw 2 deer bedded that could have possibly been my buck. I marked those spots on the map.
    I returned Thanksgiving Morning at 9 am to check those spots. Neither yielded a dead buck. After that a buddy and i went back to the last blood and were unable to find any other blood, we gridded for 7 miles in an attempt to find any trace of the buck with no luck.
    I am was completely deflated at this point, considering hindsight:
    1) I had just moved that stand based on the encounter I had with him on 11/17 and was too cautious to make noise trimming good lanes, I should have taken the time to trim lanes.
    2) I could have let him keep walking for a possibility at a closer/more clear shot opportunity, risking wind swirl and flirting with disaster as the 11/17 encounter.
    The shot looked good in flight, (just a hair high of center and straight up from the armpit.) the only thing I can imagine happening was that I did deflect off of a twig or something.
    This is the first deer that I've lost since I believe 2009, just so happened this one will leave me more sick than all those previously.
    My gut tells me that the deer will survive as long as infection doesn't get the best of him, and show back up on my cameras in the coming weeks. I am going to check for vultures and crows tomorrow and Sunday to see if they may lead me to him.
    Needless to say, i am pretty sick about it... would have easily been my biggest buck in my 14 years of whitetail hunting.
     
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  3. Kaleb

    Kaleb Active Member

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    Is a tracking dog legal in Iowa? If so that should always be the step taken before grid searching. You don’t need blood or hair with a good dog


    Hope you find him

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter PMA Member

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    I am in MO, it is legal. Though finding one on thanksgiving day was not possible.
     
  5. Ried#3

    Ried#3 Member

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    Pretty sure tracking dogs are not legal in Iowa for some reason.
     
  6. mrush

    mrush New Member

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    This deer is dead, just not found yet. I’ve made the same shot and lost blood after 150 yards. Look for the thickest places and hiding places within 200 yards of last blood.


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  7. hillrunner

    hillrunner PMA Member

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    If you are behind the shoulder and beneath the spine with 9-10" of penetration, that thing is dead somewhere.
     
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  8. isu22andy

    isu22andy Active Member

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    Agreed, triple check the area with multiple people . Youd be be surprised how many times you can walk by a dead buck in the weeds 10 yards away. Also find any good dog with a nose for blood and take it for a walk.
     
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  9. Trapshooter1

    Trapshooter1 Active Member

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    This deer is dead more than likely. Sounds like you ve searched hard. But I wouldnt give up on him.
     
  10. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter PMA Member

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    I dont think thats where the arrow ended up. Walked for another 3 hours today with no luck, no crows or buzzards.


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