Thursday, June 3, 2010

Second Chance Buck

Sometimes we get a chance to correct serious mistakes, not often though...

I shot a nice nine pointer in North Dakota on the 11th of November in our favorite river bottom hunting spot. The second largest member of the local bachelor herd he would have been a ten pointer but he had broken one of his tines leaving only a nub. After a bit of cat and mouse I struck a clean double lung hit at 15 yards from a ground blind. I used my new-to-me pre-owned Hoyt Havoc. As this bow came already tuned for mechanical-tipped carbons I gave in and used them too, for the first time (a big leap of faith for a fella who started this game shooting cedars tipped with Magnus 150 grain two-blades from a recurve, let me tell you). At the hit my buck took off in a startled sprint up a rise out of the river bottom. He began to wobble about fifty yards out. He jinked hard to the right, stopped after ten yards, shuddered and collapsed.

Things got much more interesting when we skinned him. High on his back, just above the spine, in line where a fella ought to plant a double lung hit, there was a mass of yellow tissue where one would usually find backstrap. Could it be? We cut away the tissue to find that the spinous process of one of the vertebra was missing, cut off square. Might be him. An inspection of the hide disclosed a small open wound that the buck appears to have chewed at over time. And on either side of the wound were three-lobed scars. It's him. I have shot my buck before…

Three years ago in the same little woods I wounded but did not recover a six point buck. I stuck him with the arrow high through the backstraps just behind the shoulder. The arrow struck with an audible snap and stopped halfway through him. After a moment of shared shock and dismay he took off like the proverbial scalded cat. When he ran past a buddy sitting another ground blind seconds later there was no arrow in him. As we worked the buck’s trail we found where he had snagged the Muzzy three-blade on the branch of a downed tree and yanked the aluminum shaft from his back. I never saw him again – until a week ago Friday - but always hoped he had recovered. Seems he did. Did he gnaw at that irritating bit of spine until he plucked it from the wound with his teeth? Had he suffered all this time or had removing the offending shard of bone eased his pain? I’ll never know, but I’m glad I got to set things straight with a proper shot, a solid hit, and a clean kill. Good hunting!

No comments:

Post a Comment