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Deer Hunt 11/15/2011

Fantastic day! When I tried to make reservations for MAHA land in Bates County, it was already booked, so I decided to try the Vernon County property. Later, I received a call from another MAHA member who was hunting a different section of Vernon. He wanted to coordinate with me and it appears he wanted to hunt on the boundry of my section and his - about 200 yards from where I planned on hunting.

This didn't bother me too much as I'm pretty easy to get along with. As we were talking he mentioned he had reservations at Bates County, but had cancelled them to hunt at Vernon. I got on the other line and called the club. They confirmed Bates was now open and the other hunter and I switched properties for the Tuesday hunt.

I arrived and setup on the ladder stand I had placed in the NW part of the property. Just before 7:00, I glanced to my right and there was a 6 pointer watching me. Since Bates is a 4 point rule county (at least 4 points on one antler to be legal) I just watched him feed around for a while. Eventually he wandered off to the east.

Shortly thereafter, I saw two deer coming from the east, but well behind my stand. I had an Any Deer and an Antlerless tag, and the first deer didn't appear to have any antlers, so I shot as it passed through an opening in the woods. It took off and ran to the west of me, then due south. I heard it drop off to my right, and heard it makeing loud wheezing noises. The second deer turned out to be the 6 pointer.

Pretty soon the deer began wheezing again, and not wanting it to suffer, I got down to go ahead and take care of it. But as I approached it jumped up and took off. I fired a shot, but missed. I blood-tracked the deer for another hundred yards or so out to an overgrown field. I jumped it again, but this time it could barely rise. I shot it in the back of the neck and dropped it for good.

It turns out the deer was a button buck. I field dressed it and drug it back to my truck. I discovered I only had one shot left (I had more, but didn't realize it at the time), but since I had left my backpack up in the tree, I decided to go back and set in until about 10:00.

About 10 minutes after getting back into the stand, I saw a buck coming from the north, moving to the west of me. I could tell it was a good buck, and since I only had one round with me, I waited for the best shot I could get. Fortunately, the deer turned to the east after passing me and presented me with a walking broadside shot. I placed the bullet right behind his shoulder and he only ran a few yards before piling up about 30 yards from my stand.

I've taken bigger bodied deer, but the 10 pointer had a nice rack - one of the best I've taken in Missouri. I called the club to ask if it was ok to drive down the trail through the field to pick it up as it was still a few hundred yards from the truck. The said ok, so I only had to drag the deer about a hundred yards. Since I currently cannot eat venison (special diet), I donated both deer to Share the Harvest.

It was a great day!!

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