2016 Season Recap- Tagged Out in the Land of Giants......

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
I have been reading and participating here and there on this forum for a little bit now, and thought I should contribute something instead of just reading all the time. Here is a write up from another site I frequent from time to time, on last year's deer season in Michigan. Two years in a row, 2015 and 2016 I have tagged out on some very good bucks. Looking forward to 2017 season!


The hunting gods have truly blessed me, 2 years in a row now, tagged out with some pretty incredible bucks and some awesome close encounters. 11/9/16, I officially tagged out on my combo tag for this season. I took off from work November 3 and headed out to our hunting grounds and returned home tonight Nov 13. During that time period, I watched better than 70 deer, including perhaps 15 different bucks between the properties we hunt. I passed on all but two. I spent a few days checking out some of our usual haunts and did some glassing while I was on stand, prior to making some decisions on which stands to get aggressive and move in on target animals when the time and wind were right. The weather was a little screwy for a few days, very warm in the afternoons, while the mornings were crisp. On Nov 6, I decided to back out and try a different property that no one had hunted this season. It was a good move, as the wind was perfect for the pinch I set up in and the fog was rolling around and obscured my entrance into my stand. Just at first legal shooting light, I had a buck working the cut corn edge and he was on his way towards me. I assessed him and he looked to be a respectable buck and I made the decision to take him if I was given the opportunity. He closed the distance to 12 yards, and when his vision was blocked by a tree, I drew. At 12 yards broadside, I gave him a quik brrurrp, he stopped and looked my way, but it was too late for him. The arrow was on its way and found its mark, double lunged him and he jumped up and did a mule kick and took off on a run. As he ran into the field, the fog began to swallow him up....but not as I could watch him lean into his run and flip over into the cut corn, where at that point he disappeared into the fog. I was pretty pumped, and gave him the standard 30 minutes prior to getting after him. I was fairly confident I would find him, and I did after a track job thru the corn and fog, at 120 yards...there lay my buck...little known to me.......would be my first buck this season.

8point2016.jpg

A respectable 8 point buck, I field judged him to be approximately 3.5 yrs, and 118 ish on score. I wouldn't be shocked if he turned out to be 2.5 yrs old. After all...we hunt in the shadow of some giants............
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
In the days that ensued, I happily watched several bucks whom were clearly yearlings. They are a fun lot to watch, as it's their first season to be involved in the rut, and they look and act like awkward teenagers. It's quite comical some of their antics. I saw some other respectable bucks of which I would have been happy to take and one in particular I wanted bad. I saw him on 6 different occasions in as many days...I simply called him 'Big 9'. I'll throw up some pics of some of the youngsters and 1 buck in particular I got leaned on by some hunting partners why I did not kill, but you as they came to see, why I did not.
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
Here is the youngster I let walk. He has alot of promise but just wasn't old enough. I guessed him to be 2.5 yrs of age, or a complete yearling stud.

yearling9pnt.jpg
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
While he certainly is a good looking buck, and sporting 9 points, he just doesn't have the age I was hoping for. Then this guy show up in the field of golden rod tending a pair of does. The pic isn't good quality, but I think you'll get the gist of his size. Pic was with cell phone and he was 125 yards.
23531-1479076144.jpg
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
So you can see why I had no intentions on killing a smaller younger buck, when you are in the midst of giants. Big 9 had showed himself to me several times, and it was getting aggravating. However, I was also aware of a real good wide and tall 8 that would do nicely, if he would just cooperate and show up. He had gone missing for the past several days. I thought perhaps a car or another hunter got him, but my stepdaughter saw him the following night. Cat and mouse chess match was in full swing at this point.

I get down out of a stand the other morning and notice a buck hiding in a fence row. He is oblivious to my presence and I want to get a better look at him. Stalk is on. I get within 35 yard of him and decided he is too young as well, but it sure was cool to stalk a buck to bow range and pass on him. I actually video taped it via my phone. Here he is without a clue at 35 yards.

23531-1479076911.jpg
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
I managed to catch a beautiful sunrise that took me back to a time when I was a young man and care free. It's not always about what you load into your freezer or wall. The sights are enough some days to carry you thru sluggish sits.
23531-1479077135.jpg

Moving forward to the evening of Nov 9th. Deer and buck sighting have gotten sporadic, and I think largely due to the warm ups in the evenings, the does coming into heat some. I watched Big 9 breed a doe three times in one sit thru an afternoon, so I figured some lock down was going on.....until tonight..........
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
On my way into the stand, I still hunted and timed my steps into a particular stand that is dicey. Deer tend to bed nearby, but it was go time and all stops get pulled. I would step when the wind blew and rustled the trees and leaves significantly. I got to the bottom of the ladder and began to climb, and three deer get up out of their beds at a mere 60 feet. A young 6 point and a pair of does he bedded with for the afternoon. They were unaware of my presence and I froze on the ladder halfway up, they yawned and stretched and went on their way quietly and peacefully. That in itself was a rush! Little did I know what was in store to happen in about 2 hours.

5 pm rolls in, and I catch movement on the far side of this bedding area. It's a doe and her two fawn. I watch them and smile with the fawns antics, until mom puts a stop to it and leads them thru the bedding area and into a transition zone. They pile into some heavy cover and wait a few and scan the cut bean field, then proceed to get their feed on. About 5 minutes later, back to the north, a buck appears and is heading into the field, my way. I take a look and smile and think...man that's a good buck. You know, lots of times you think you have a decent buck, then as they get closer and you get a better look...they aren't so good or they aren't quite there. Not with this fella...as he gets closer, he gets better, he gets older, he gets bigger. He cuts the doe trail and heads on a beeline towards them. Now I have a broadside view of him at 65 yards, and my heart jumps in my throat. I am staring at quite possibly the largest buck I have ever seen alive. Memories rip thru my head if I have seen this guy before on film or if I have ever seen one this big alive....I cannot recall and I move into action. I pull by call from my pocket, a Brushbuster custom (highly recommend getting one from Brad Robinson, great guy fantastic call) and give him a low deep grunt. He pitches an ear towards me but does not even give me a glance. I hit him again, same thing. I change up and hit him with an estrous bleat can...same result. Damn, I am thinking what a heart breaker. He proceed to hit the field and chase the does around.

All is not lost, another buck whom is definitely a shooter shows up...its the big 8 that my stepdaughter has seen the day before. I start working out a plan for him.
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
So as I am watching this buck, I hear a deep grunt behind be over my right shoulder. I slowly peek over my right shoulder, and it's a 3rd buck and he is a super 6. He is 3.5 yrs old and would score as a 6 point buck he is so big. About that time, another grunt over my left shoulder....another buck. At this point in time, I can feel the anxiety begin to work its way into my body and I can feel my palms getting sweaty and nerves getting ready to start. I close my eye and take a deep breath and focus, relax.......breath.....think.....keep it simple....wait...don't force anything. AS I start to get control back over my anxiety, a grunt comes from the cover in front of me, and the giant has left the does and is on his way to where he heard the doe from 10 minutes earlier (me). Now I am a mess. I have 5 bucks surrounding me, 3 of which are book bucks, and now a pair of does peel in under my stand and start bleating and winking at the boys.

I focus and keep my eye on big boy. He rounds a tree at 45 yards and I know if he hits the bush I ranged at 35 earlier, he will be at 32 ish yards....if he makes it to the corner, I am money he will be at 30 yards. The big 8 across the field snorts and the big boy turns his head and gives him a snort and wheeze....I draw my bow.....big 8 tucks his tail like a dog you just scolded and melts back into the brush. I am on big boy....he is moving slow.......he is now broadside and I give him a meep and he keeps walking....30 yards....I cant stop him! I get desperate and give him a road runner sounding meep meep. He stops and I am already on him and looking at a dark spot on his chest...not looking at anything else. Arrow is away and it's too late for him to react............BLAMMMMMMMMMMMM........
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
The arrow find its mark and I see it sticking out his left side. He is so thick and solid, the arrow doesn't pass all the way thru and he is off like a bolt of lightning. It looks a tad high, and I panic....all kinds of thoughts race thru my head and I settle down and picture vital anatomy and decide its probably ok. He is still running....75 yards......80 yards....the other bucks come out now to see what the fuss is.......90 yards.......GO DOWN ALREADY!!!!!!!.........100 yards...down goes FRASIER!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO HE GET'S BACK UP AND IS MOTORING AGAIN!!!! 110 yards....115 yards.......NOOOOOOO.....120 he crashes hard.........YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
At this point in time...the shakes start in like I've never had them before. I've killed alot of deer and my fair share of bucks...but this is different this time. I double check my harness I am shaking so bad...send out texts to let my buddies know and tell them I am tracking in half an hour. Longest half hour of my life I think.

I get down and find good blood immediately.

23531-1479078839.jpg
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
I work my way slowly and methodically thru the switchgrass field and at about 100 yards, I find part of my arrow. I assume it's where he crashed the first time.

23531-1479078953.jpg
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
At this point, I can start to smell him....the unmistakable smell of a rutted up buck. I begin to shine my light nearby and cannot see him, so it's back on blood....another 5 yards.....5 more yards.........there he lays!!!!! I can honestly say I knew he was big, but not this big. I pull his head up out of the grass and totally freak out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Laying before me, is the biggest buck I have seen alive...the biggest buck I have ever killed certainly. The more I look at him, he still gets bigger...no ground shrinkage here and I am starting to assess just how big he is. Not super good at scoring, but my mind starts wandering around he might go Boone and Crockett.

I see headlights of my buddies and they are on their way in and thank god they have brought the electric cart. We get out the cameras and the picture taking begins.

Do you believe in monsters?????

You should..........

10point2016.jpg
 
OP
soggybtmboys

soggybtmboys

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
151
Location
Upper Midwest
My taxidermist had green scored him at 157 1/2 and the processor stated he tipped the scale at 220 lbs..dressed.

This has been by far my best season of many good ones. Now my responsibility and joy is to ensure others success. Working on getting my stepdaughter a good buck as well as my hunting partners.

Good luck to all and shoot straight. Lots of season left, keep the faith.

23531-1479079771.jpg
 

NDGuy

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
2,567
Location
ND
Great lookin buck congrats on the successful season!
 

Lostinthewoods

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
361
Location
Coast to coast
Congrats on a fantastic season!
That's a beautiful buck!!!!!!!

I know the feeling of watching the bucks run away and you're just screaming in your head "DROP.... DROP!!!..... DROP ALREADY!!!!!!"


Good luck to you in 2017.
 
Top