Finally connected with the Bow (Shed Buck)
Now before anyone says that is a shame that it was a shed buck please finish reading, this was a special case that I just could not pass up for 2 reasons.
This morning was a warn January day, 44 degrees, I had decided to go hunt over at one of my controlled bow hunt areas called California Woods after being convinced by a good friend to use his stand!!
I got there around 6 in morning as I could not sleep, and I proceeded to get to the stand location and up in the tree by 6:30 (legal hunting hours start around 7:20), Jon thanks for the great directions to your stand!!! Right after I got on stand I had deer movement all around, I could just make them out as the light reflected off the low low clouds this morning and helped to light up the woods a little. They moved along behind me and down the hill. As I was pulling up my bow, I again heard the distinct crashing and crunching of leaves, this time it must have seem me pulling up the bow because it stopped abruptly and began blowing at me and then proceeded to take off.
Legal shooting hours came and went with nothing but squirrels running all over the place, until around 9 when I saw a face and a nose pop out of the honeysuckle. I watched this deer from about 100 yards, and you could see he had a limp, and it was easy to tell it was a buck with no antlers. He had a good size body, and as he closed in you could distinctly see the spots on his head from where his head gear had been attached.
Now to fill in the reasons why I decided to take this buck, as he came closer, I noticed he was only using 3 of his legs, one of his back legs was severely injured, this deer just looked pathetic (it was worse then I thought once I walked up to him) at that moment I decided I would put him out of his misery. The second reason why I decided to take him is because this was at one of my controlled bow hunt locations, and a shed buck is considered a doe tag, so he is counted as a doe which automatically gets me back in the program next year.
He came within 15 yards, and presented a nice quartering away shot, (Jon check your camera, the shot could be on there by the way) I released an arrow and it hit true, full pass through, in through diaphragm area, and out the back lung. I was a little surprised on his reaction as he just stood there after the arrow zipped through him. He began to lick at the wound which was just pouring blood. So I figured I would nock another arrow and put another one in him if he did not drop, my logic is the quicker and more humane I can put him down the better. So he turned full broadside just standing there and I released another arrow which clipped the top of the heart and went through both lungs. This did the job real fast, he dropped within 5 yards where he expired quickly.
After getting down and getting up close with this deer, it was evident he had a rough time, I don't know if he had been hit by a car at some point in his life or what, but he had huge scars on the sides of his body, and he was thin for a buck his size. Granted he was still a pretty good sized deer, I could only imagine that he had been a very formidable buck at one point in his life. The spots on his head where not huge, but not bad, more then likely most of his nutrition went to his body due to his accident and not his antlers. All his scars where healed and there were no open wounds so he had to have been living with this for some time.
I was nervous at first after seeing his hind leg that he was diseased or maybe had an infection. I began to field dress him, and I was happy that he had no fowl odor of any sort, so he seemed alright for consumption (confirmed with processor as well). I did notice that his paunch was much smaller then most deer that I have cleaned, showing that he had not been eating a lot lately. I am no vet or anything, but something tells me should our winter become harsh again this deer would not make it.
I felt good about my decision to take this deer, as to me it was an ethical choice. I think in some strange way he is better off, as it was evident he was struggling just to survive, and this area is over crowded with deer and not enough food for them to remain healthy as is.
Thanks to DuckBuckGoose (Sean) for taking some pics which I will post after he gets a chance to send on over, and for helping me load him up. Also thanks to Outonalimb (Jon) for the use of the stand and the hunting location!!!!