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Opening day for the Roush House...

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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SE Ohio
#1
Well, what a weekend it turned out to be for the wife and I. Figured I might as well make one long ass post and bore everyone all at once! So bear with me…

Neither one of us slept Friday night as I was worried about oversleeping and in the process, my tossing and turning kept Tracie awake most of the night. A sleepless night always makes for a lovely 5AM wake up call, especially when my wife is involved! ;) We managed to fight through the sleep deprivation and make it to the blind right as the first bits of light were cracking the horizon. Due in part to my success on opening day last year, and with the comfort level it provides, I decided we would start the 2010-2011 season by hunting the platform blind behind my parent’s house. By 7:30, I had my first look at the food plot we planted back in August in almost a month and it sure looked good! Add in the acorns that were falling by the second, and we had the makings for a great opener.

As the morning wore on, we watched the squirrels entertain themselves for a while and then laughed at a flock of a dozen turkeys as they ran back and forth along the ridge above us. Around 8:45, Tracie says: “There’s one.” A look through the Bushnells confirmed a nice mature doe was headed our way and her fawn was in tow. The doe took her time covering the 80 yards between as she followed the same trail we used to reach the blind. By the time she made it to the food plot, she was fairly relaxed and started to groom her fawn. By this point, Tracie was shaking like an epileptic throwing a fit and I was doing the same! (I was cold since I only had on a light Under Armour shirt, but I was also excited as hell that we were about to have ourselves a show down! Between the cold and excitement, I was shaking like it was my first deer hunt!!!)

I was trying to will the doe to walk down the middle of the plot and as if on cue, she made a break straight down the middle of the plot. By this point, I already had Tracie up and in position to draw and shoot. As the doe neared a small patch of brush that would allow Tracie to draw undetected, the doe locked up and turned to face the blind at 18 yards. It was as if she sensed something was up. She didn’t stomp. She didn’t snort, nor did she test the air with her nose. She just stood there trying to “sense” what was wrong. The whole time this is going on, I could not see the doe because of a 2”x6” on the railing of the blind and Tracie was in a stare down with the doe. With tension on the string and wanting to draw, poor Tracie was waiting for me to give the next move and here I had no clue what the doe was doing! Eventually, she turned and walked back out of the plot the way she came in leaving no chance for a shot. She started to circle the food plot and looked as if she would give Tracie a 25 yard shot. But once again, a mere two steps shy of the shooting lane; the doe silhouetted Tracie in the blind and made a break for safety.

Although we left empty handed, we had one hell of a good time in the blind. Tracie has killed 6 deer, including one with a crossbow, but this was the first deer she has ever had in bow range with a compound in her hands. She was so excited and it was truly an experience for me to see that excitement from her. I left the blind knowing our opening day was already a success and I had no idea of what was ahead of me…

Tracie says: “She was RIGHT there!!!”

 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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SE Ohio
#2
After we left the blind, we headed to the local fair (oldest independent fair in Ohio) to watch my sister show in the cattle ring for the final time in her show career. The whole time we were there, I was in turmoil on the inside. “Should I take Tracie to the farm? I don’t have any pictures to tell me I should go to Pinch and hunt Crazy Rack. If I go to the farm, I can check up on the situation out there and maybe catch that little trespassing bastard in action. But what if tonight is the night Crazy Rack reappears?” For nearly five hours, I debated and debated on what to do. Then around 2:30, Tracie sent me a text saying she was going to stay at the fair and I should go to Pinch since that’s what I had planned on doing for so long. I was sitting in the cattle barn talking to my old man when I stood up and said: “Fuck it. I’m going after him.” Dad just laughed and wished me good luck as I left the barn.

By 4:45, I was situated in the stand I call “Pinch” waiting for the wind to die down so I could actually hear something! Around 5:30, I started to hear what I thought was water gushing or something being drug through the leaves. With the wind blowing, I couldn’t tell what it was; all I knew was it was coming from the direction I was expecting Crazy Rack to come from. The sound finally stopped after a few minutes and I went back to watch the chipmunks screw and be marry. Around 6:30, the water noise started again. “What the fuck is that?” I kept saying as I went back and forth between water gushing, something raking a tree, or something being drug through the leaves. I decided that since it was coming from the area I felt any deer would come from and it was making such a racket, that I would get down at 7 and go see what the hell was making the noise. While I was preparing to back up, I heard what sounded like something heavy jumping over something and landing kinda hard. The noise was out of place and I think that’s why it caught my attention. I scanned the woods and didn’t see anything, so I went back to packing up.

At 6:45, I turn my attention back to the road that is directly to the north of my stand and I caught rack moving in the tall weeds along the road. My first thoughts were: “Ah, that’s that little 6-point that has been coming through every night…” and I went back to throwing shit in my pack. Before I packed up my binos, I glassed the buck and realized it was not the 6-point and just as I was thinking: “Damn that’s a decent buck…” he lifted his head out of the weeds and I was like: “Holy shit! That’s him!!!” For a brief period of 30 seconds, I was extremely nervous and excited. After several deep breaths, a short prayer, and some coaching, I was ready to rock.

It didn’t take long to notice how severe of a limp this deer had as he inched his way down the road. He was in no hurry and with that leg, I wasn’t sure he could do anything in a hurry! As he neared my shooting lane to the road, he turned and walked directly towards me. Another 5 minutes elapsed and light was beginning to fade quickly as he made a turn to my right that brought him into a perfect lane at 30 yards. As he stood there facing my 4 o’clock with his front leg back, I was putting tension on the string waiting for him to pick that front leg up, moving that shoulder blade out of the way and I was going to feed him a Slick Trick Magnum on the end of an Easton Axis! Then as if touched by the Gods of Bad Karma, in one motion, he lifted his leg and turned 90 degrees to face me and laid down!

“Seriously?!? He just laid the fuck down in my shooting lane!!! What do I do now? FUCK!”

I was running a thousand miles a minute on the inside trying to think of a solution to this problem. Here is the buck I came in after, burning a hole through me at 30 yards while he chews his cud like a lazy ass cow! With the light fading fast, my eyes were starting to give me trouble and I knew I would have to do something to make this happen. So I decided to bleat softly. “Muurp”. No reaction. I waited a couple more minutes and bleated again, this time a little louder. “Muurp”. Nothing. “Fuck. What do I do now?!?” About that time, he turned to lick his pecker and I came to full draw. “I’ll click at him and he’ll stand and I’ll be ready to let one fly when he finally turns.” So I gave my best horse call: “Click, click, click” and in less time than it would have taken for my arrow to get there, he went from laying down to putting 50 yards between us. “What the FUCK?!?!? Where did I go wrong?!? Who saw that happening? Did that seriously just happen?!? FUCK ME!!!!!!”

I wanted to cry; I wanted to throw shit; I wanted to scream as I watched him walk away, but all I could do was laugh. I didn’t know what else to do. He never snorted; he never stomped; and I’m positive he never saw me move or smelled me. I moved a camera a little closer to his bedding area and picked out another tree. I returned last night hoping he might come back, but it proved to be wishful thinking. It is not over yet, but I’m a little deflated after that whole ordeal to say the least. All I can do now is hunt smart and hunt hard. And I’m prepared to do both…

When I first saw him, he was standing where the yellow X is and it took him over 30 minutes to work to the red X where he laid down. I never had a shot until then…

 
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jagermeister

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#3
Damn dude, that had to be frustrating as hell. I don't know what you did to deserve that kind of karma, but you better be kissing the karma gods' asses real quick to reverse that shit LOL. I have a feeling that hunt will make the chase for crazy rack all the better this season, though. I'm sure you'll get another chance at him. Thanks for sharing your story.
 

hickslawns

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#6
Good read Jesse. You still have time on your side. You know he is in the area and have had one close encounter already. Keep telling yourself these things. That is what I have been doing. I have to admit though, I still haven't bought into the lies I am telling myself! haha
 

CJD3

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#8
Great store Jesse. I felt like I just went hunting. Thanks for the adventure.
Relax... its still early. All he can do is add a few pounds from the acorns and food plot.
 

RedCloud

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#12
Great stories buddy. I feel you both will have other encounters and be able to get it done :D. It's just the opener and we have plenty of time till the end. I will keep rooting for you two to lay the smack down on a few good ones this year.
 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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SE Ohio
#13
Did you not want to just stick em while he was laying down? Did you not have a shot?
I could have taken the slightly quarterd-to shot, but I really didn't see the need to as every indication was I'd get a sub 30 yard broadside chipshot at a completely relaxed deer. I certainly didn't envision him laying down!

As for shooting him laying down, I can't do that. Sure, 99 times out of 100 I can hit a softball at 30 yards under perfect conditions. But to take that risky of a shot on opening day, on the buck I really want to see on the ground, I just couldn't do it. Maybe at 20 yards and under I would have thought different about it. I have no doubts I can make the shot, and that my Switchback will run that Slick Trick Mag and all 425 grains of Easton right out his asshole. I'm actually a little "ashamed" that I've picked up some PC ethics from the internet over the years, but that is a lot of why I didn't shoot. Beyond that, I didn't want it to be that 1 time out of a 100 that I fucked up, or have him flip out and move. Then I wounded the buck I was after while taking a risky shot and I would rather live with the "I could've" than the "I shouldn't have".

There will be other chances for me to stick a mature buck. At least I hope so...

One thing I will say, is the pictures do not do him justice. This deer is awesome and I think he's at least 4.5 after seeing him last night. His rack is something else! I'd gladly end my season for him whether it's on Day 5 or Day 120...
 

rgecko23

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Massillon, Ohio
#15
Hey dude. Nothing wrong with your hunting ethics. You'll get another shot. Good times.though huh? That's one for the books this season.
Kinda funny he laid down right there. So you said he was limping? Did you see what was making him limp?
 
#16
Jesse I am with you. A bowshot on a beeded deer broadside with a bow is a tough one, let alone facing you. Hell I had a heck of a time collecting a bedded buck I shot with my 12 bore.

I would rather pass a shot than fugg it up. I am going to see if I can find that pic from last year when some of you guys were texting me. Remember that one??

Quick backround. We had some great pics of a buck that imo was close to 150 on the BEC. When I hunt out where the livecam is I let buddies know. That bastard showed up and my phone was blowing up with texts: "shoot him", "are you sleeping" "why the fuck are you not shootin" "kill that bastard". Anyway only one guy had seen my setup and knew damn well I had no shot. I wanted to kill that buck sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad but I did not have a good shot. He walked and I never saw him from the stand agian. He may have been killed during the rut, IDK?? I still am happy with my decsion not to shoot.

Sorry for the hijack Jessica but sometimes the best shots are ones you don't take.
 

hickslawns

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#18
Dante- You are cracking me up bud!

Jesse- You were there. You know what you had to contend with. If you thought it was a low percentage, high risk shot, then I commend you for doing the right thing.
 

formerbowhunter1023

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SE Ohio
#20
I'm going to use this weather to my advantage and head back in there tonight. The wind is perfect to make a move and cut the distance in half from Saturday night. I'm going to get in early and do some quit, low-impact scouting, then hang and hunt. This is going to be my last aggressive move until the cams show me something I can move on. But this weather is perfect for an aggressive move IMO...