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Old 12-04-2017, 12:10 PM
Dustin Pate's Avatar
Dustin Pate Dustin Pate is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default Bonus WMA Buck - 11-30-17

The buck I shot on Thanksgiving tagged me out for the year on regular tags. West Point was having an open check-in hunt this past weekend and I always like to hunt it if possible. This hunt usually falls right in line with the rut for that area and usually you see good movement.

I planned to hunt all day Thursday and packed a lunch. I was a little late getting in due to the fog and my mode of transportation. Being by myself, I don't like running in the fog without an extra set of eyes. It was probably 8:00 when I finally got settled. The fog was just as bad in the woods and I knew it might present an issue and ended up it did.

About 8:30 the woods in front of me erupted with deer running. Through the fog I could catch glimpses of deer hauling tail with the tail deer grunting and growling like mad. A buck had a doe pinned down and was chasing her as hard as I have ever seen a buck do. After about the 3rd pass through they finally got close enough with the fog for me to make out his antlers and just how big he was. He was all over 130" if not a tad larger...a great public land buck. When he slowed I had one very small window to shoot through and got on him. I shot and he just trotted off about 10 yards and looked around. I knew right away I missed him as he kept grunting and went back with the doe. I was absolutely sick. In the excitement, I just flat messed up and pulled the shot. One of the small trees in my gap took the bullet flat on.

Ended up not seeing anything else the rest of the morning. Around 2:30 I had almost gone to sleep when I heard deer trotting in from my left. Two does came with the lead one panting. I could see another deer behind them still running, but in a different direction. I figured it to be a buck but he didn't follow them in. They eased on through and things went quiet again. About 3:15, and from the same direction, I heard more deer coming. A yearling was being chased by a decent buck. I saw 4 on one side and he wasn't getting a pass. I shot him the moment he stopped. He plowed about 50 yards and was done.

He was a 3 year old 7 point and I was mighty proud to have him. I know that bigger deer was in the area, but with him running does, who knows if I would have seen him again in the next 2 days. I actually went back with my dad on Saturday (antlerless last day) for a doe, and neither one of us saw a deer all day. There were only a few shots all day on the WMA which was very surprising since it was either sex.
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Last edited by Dustin Pate : 12-04-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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