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First Buck! Long Story


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This is my first buck.  If you want the short version here it is:  Got this buck in the last hour of light on a 3- day muzzy hunt in eastern shore of MD.  The outfitter is Talbot County Outfitters and a highly recommend you check them out if you’re interested in an eastern shore whitetail hunt.


Now the long version…


This is my 4th season hunting.  I got skunked my first season and got a doe a year (with a crossbow) each year since including this one.  I have some close encounters with bucks; but for one reason or the other I’ve failed to seal the deal.  I did a muzzy hunt on the MD eastern shore with Talbot County Outfitters this past Thr – Sat.  All 3 days I hunted from 500 am to 700pm without a break.  That’s 42 hours of hunting.  On the 42nd hour I finally met up with this guy and put him down. (Lesson:  don't leave early)


Thursday was super-hot.  I was sweating just sitting in my stand all day.  Saw absolutely no movement until about 600pm.  Then, I saw about 6 does.  They all came within shooting range but they all got a pass because I was here for a buck.


Friday was also pretty hot.  Around 5pm the weather started to change.  A little rain and a good amount of wind.  Around 530 pm a lone doe came into view.  I glassed her and saw she was looking behind her.  Sure enough a small 8 point comes out about 80 yards.  He wasn’t very big but big enough for a first buck.  He was slowly moving in broadside.  I started to get my gun in place when the rain started again.  The doe bolted into the woods and the buck followed.  I was able to get the scope on him just as he was turning left and quartering away and I pulled the trigger.  CLICK.  Nothing happens.  I open the gun and there is primer in there (I don’t’ know what happened I still need to check…I think maybe I didn’t have the action closed all the way).  I switch out the primer and look up and there both gone.  As a desperation move, I pick up my grunt tube and let out 3 soft grunts.  Nothing for about 30 seconds and then the doe comes crashing out of the woods and the buck comes out and makes a straight line for me.  He stands staring towards me at about 70 yards.  He doesn’t see me but he definitely is trying to figure out where that other buck is.  I slowly put the crosshairs on him. I’m not a gun guy and I’m not used to taking a shot at a straight on deer.  But I know it’s a lethal shot so I take it.  I was rattled from the misfire and it being my first buck and its small target and I clean missed.  The buck took off into the woods.  I texted my guide and he came out and we did some checking and confirmed it was a miss. 


I was DOWN.  I cleaned my gun that night and dry fired two primers through it.  I had one more day to hunt and I needed to come up with a plan.  I decided if I have a shot on Saturday, I’ll wait for a better target and I’ll take a moment to calm down before I pull the trigger. 


Saturday is windy AS HECK.  Borderline scary windy.  But there was good activity in the morning.  I see tons of Does and a spike.  Nothing in the afternoon until about 530 pm.  I’m looking down for a moment and look up and there is a beautiful 8 point…really nice…broadside at about 100 yards.  The wind is swirling like crazy.  I get the scope up and rested and put the cross-hairs on his vitals.  Just as I’m ready, he moves and now he is facing right at me.  I’m like “SH&T!”….I told myself I wouldn’t take this shot but this guy is bigger than the guy I missed yesterday….Well, he made the call for me.  He did two quick sniffs, looked me in the eye, and bolted faster than I could pull the hammer back and pull the trigger.


I didn't really feel down about it though.  I had followed my plan and it just didn't work out.  I was disappointed but not down.  I figured it just wasn’t in the stars for me.  I texted my wife that I didn’t score but I still had a fun trip.  I kept looking to see if anything would come out but it was 545 now and there was only an hour of light left. 


Well, at 6pm this guy walks out at 80 yards.  I can’t believe it.  This is like the 3rd opportunity I’m going to have.  Of course, he is head on too.  I put the cross-hairs on him and pull back the hammer.  As I’m doing this he shifts to a quartering on profile.  Since the other buck winded me, I figured I didn’t’ have much time and this was as good as it was going to get.  I pull the trigger…


He just hits the ground.  He doesn’t even take one step.  I have to blink the smoke out of my eyes just to confirm that’s him on the ground and I didn’t somehow miss him run off.  He's there.  


The flood of emotions I felt then is nothing like I’ve felt since I was a boy.  It was joy, excitement, and relief all mixed into one.  This finally happened for me! 


When I got up to him and saw him up close, I was just ecstatic.  I know he’ll be hard to match in the wood lots of NJ and PA that I normally hunt.  But, that’s OK.  I got plenty of firsts left.  First archery buck.  First DIY buck.  Etc. etc. 


Sorry for the long story, but I don’t know a lot of people who hunt and my wife says “That’s nice” when I tell her….I know you guys will appreciate it.  



Edited by dlist777
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