For those of you returning, welcome back.
If this is your first visit, you may want to catch the first half of this adventure HERE, and then come back to finish the story.
Having just pulled the trigger on the infamous buck that my brother, father, and I had been hunting; my heart was racing out of my chest. What made it more intense was the fact that as I looked up,I did not see him lying on the ground. Still confused on what had just happened, I tried to gather my thoughts while packing up my gear to climb down from the stand.
I returned to the house to find my oldest brother, who offered to help me look for sign that the deer had been hit. We put the dogs in the back of the truck and drove back to where I last saw him in order to begin our search.
With our flashlights illuminating the ground, the dogs began to work. However, my confidence began to fade quickly as the dogs were following every sent trail their noses could get a hold of. In the back of my mind, the lack of blood along with the fact that the shot was somewhat rushed had me frustrated and torn up inside.
As a last ditch effort before calling it quits, we began walking around in the woods focusing on the area that we believed he would have escaped to. After 10 minutes of searching with no sign,my brother called out to me from about 100 yards deep into the woods , "Adam, you found any blood yet?"
I responded in a frustrated tone, "Heck No!"
My brother called back, "Well, I got some over here!"
I recalled thinking “you better not be joking”, as I sprinted through the woods in his direction to see with my own eyes. Sure enough a heavy blood trail was present right there on the ground! We got the dogs on the trail, but at this point they were not worth much, so my brother and I began following the trail ourselves. The blood was very inconsistent. We would find the trail thick for 10 yards, then light for 40 yards, which went on for the next 400 yards as it seemed Droptine was zig zagging through the woods.
As we approached a neighbors a pasture, we could tell he had jumped the fence separating our property line. Since we are good friends with the landowners they allowed us to continue our search. Following a light blood trail through the pasture we decided that this deer had likely run straight across it. As we made our way across the pasture our spotlights found him lying down about 40 yards from the wood line with his head up looking at us.
(As sportsmen, we aim for a clean kill with every animal we harvest. However, there are times as hunters and fishermen when dealing with wildlife, that we will experience events and situations like this.)
When we started the search for droptine, we were caught up in the moment, and did not have a gun on us. My brother called his friends that live nearby to bring us a gun, as I was standing there with the flash light on the deer. After 5 minutes of waiting, the buck slowly stood up and trotted off before we could finish the job.
Talk about a heart drop/breaker! - I just watched Droptine trot off, just knowing that he was headed to the nearby swamp never to be seen again.We decided to back off until morning, in hopes that he would bed down again and succumb to his injuries overnight.
The next morning, despite rain and wet conditions overnight, we continued our search from the last point of contact. With no scent trail, no blood trail, and no clue where to start we just began to walk around the woods with the hope that the dogs would pick up something.
After 15 minutes of searching, my brother yet again calls over to me, "Adam, what are you looking for? We got your deer over here!"
Hallelujah! I sprinted yet again through the woods to see a Big Buck Down and was able to check off another item on my Sportsman's bucket list! (Take a Droptine Deer)
Comment below with some items on your Sportsman's Bucket List!
Until next time,