Buck Fever.......

todd kelly

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
749
Location
B.C.
Does any one have any good or bad buck fever stories?

I had bad buck fever a few years ago on a spring black bear hunt here in BC. It had been 6 years since I had hunted spring bear, so I decided to go on a backpack hunt into a road closure area in May. It was a 22km hike into my camp area and I had 5 days to hunt the main valley. On the 4th afternoon I spotted a nice non-rubbed bear working his way down a clear cut. After 20 minutes hiking up the road leading to the cut, I spotted the bear around a bend in the road feeding on a small bank. I set up my camera on the tripod before the shot. At 45 meters the video tells the rest.


[video=youtube;yyyu-w93g_4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyyu-w93g_4&feature=youtu.be[/video]

So much for making the first one count.
 
Last edited:

CaseyU

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
689
Location
Reno, NV
What a great hunt. Haha thanks for posting i am sure this will be an interesting thread. My big buck fever story was a long 10 day hunt and on day 10 i got thirty yards from a muley. When i pulled my bow back he pegged me and jumped the arrow and stopped him in his tracks spine shot. Well i could not telll from where i was how much he was bleeding so i snuck down and realized he needed another arrow. I was ten yards pulled my bow back and he lifted his head and gave me the eye! I missed at ten yards! then i missed again haha. Well i got him on the next one. Something about that deer staring in my soal gave me the jumps lol. Never happened again though. Lets hear them boys
 

Snyd

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
705
Location
AK
I've been hunting for abut 40 years. I posted this on the Handgun Hunter forum a couple years ago....

Okay, well now I'm hopelessly hooked! I went on my first "official" handgun hunt. Rifle stayed home. I was packing my 45 Colt Bisley Hunter w/355 wfn's as my hunting gun in the Wyoming Combo Holster and of course as any other time I'm in the woods here in Alaska - my 4" 454 Redhawk was on my hip in the Simply Rugged Pancake, my "Oh $4it!" gun. On to the hunt.....

3rd solo moose hunt in a spot I've killed 2 meat bulls before with my rifle, a 40 incher and a fork. I motored in on my atv, pitched my tent and was ready to hunt for 5 days. I saw a cow and calf headed in the first day, nothing that evening. Did some calling that night. I didn't see one moose the second day, saturday.... bummer. But, I had done some exploring and found a moose freeway through the woods leading to a saddle where there was a nice little treed, rocky overlook into the old burn area from 6 years ago.

Sunday morning I still hunt my way down the trail to "rocky point". It was pretty warm so I took my long johns off, stuck em in my pack and out of the still clam air I hear RAKE- RAKE, SNAP! RAKE RAKE!!...... A bull!! Unmistakable sound. It sounds like someone using a 5 gal bucket to tear the woods down.. My heart starts pumping and my mind starts racing...." is this gonna be it?!?!l..... a bull with my pistol?!?!?"

I peek up over the rocky point, peer into the woods with my binos and bingo! I see the bull now on the move left to right about 150 yds. I get a quick look at him, probably 45ish, nice palmated brow tines. I also see a glimpse of another moose's head, looks like a cow.

I head off paralleling them down my little ridge through the woods hoping to get in position....

.....I was looking for a shooting lane and a spot where I could scrape the brush and hopefully pull him in to 50 or so yds and hopefully have a kneeling shot. Well, you know how things go, critters don't always cooperate. I got to a spot, saw the moose still on the move through the brush… I scrape… he stops, then keeps going… somewhere along the line I ranged him at 92 yds. I grunt, he stops then picks up his pace. He doesn't want to come in. I figure he doesn't want to leave the cow he's with so I attempt to close the gap to get closer…. I close it some… maybe 15-20 yds but everything is happening very fast and I feel like a kid on his first deer! I find a shooting lane, the cow slips through fast…. there's the bull! ug, long way out, I can't get a shot if I kneel, it's offhand I line up, he whips around and as I pull the trigger BANG he's quartering away on the move back the way he came….AAAAHHHHH!!!! Not good, I see the other moose follow him and get clear view and it's a forked horned bull, not a cow afterall….. what just happened…. I think I screwed up is what happened…. Did I get to excited and impatient?… probably… did I wound the bull…. I seriously doubt it….but the aching thought lingers….. man, this is going to haunt me… I should waited... I coulda got a better shot.... did they wind me? see me or just sense me?.... I continue up the trail feeling like a whipped pup…. or a kid who just screwed up his first chance at a deer.....

As I slowly crept up through the woods my mind returned to the days of still hunting whitetails, mulies and elk in the mountain woods of Western Montana with rifle in hand. That was over 20 years ago before I moved to Alaska. I found there are different and better ways to hunt moose up here which mainly include staying put in a good spot and waiting for them to move through within, or close, to range. Calling and lots of glassing distant areas. The woods are much thicker and brushier up here, moose have bigger ears and noses and….. most of all…. if one spends much time sneaking around in thick brush sooner or later you'll come upon a Big Brown Fuzzy that could ruin your day! We see LOTS of grizzlies here. Plus, with moose there are fewer scattered across a larger area than in the typical deer mountains so a guy doesn't want to limit himself to a small patch of woods for the day. I say all that to say this…. as I was kicking myself for how the situation had just played out, I realized that my still hunting skills have not really been used in years. Getting close to a critter in the brush takes patience. I got impatient. I was wondering if I'd get a second chance on my hunt. I figure the bulls were down in the thick stuff now…. and then…. what's that!?! No way! the bulls had circled back up to the saddle and were in the woods about a 100yds out standing, looking right at me. It was weird though, the small one was directly in front of the bigger one, I could see one body, two noses and sets of eyes and a tangle of antlers. It looked like a two headed moose! Here we go again! I get a second chance!


This time I'm at a disadvantage, they know I'm there. I freeze, watch and wait. They seem nervous. I'm looking at them through my binos and they are staring me down looking kind of nervous. There is no noticeable breeze. Now that I know there are 2 bulls and not a cow and a bull I'm thinking that maybe a cow call will bring the bigger one in for a closer look. It's getting to be that time of year and a mature bull without cows has got one thing on his mind! Or, if they will just look away I could drop down and watch and wait or skootch around and get a bead on him. I decide to call. Here's where it's weird again, one of those split seconds where several things happen at once. Just as I start to let out a soft ..muhwaaa.. they turn their heads away but by then then I've let out the call, they snap their heads back and are on full alert…AAHH… I think I would have rather been undetected if possible. But I wait and watch, then the little bull takes a nervous looking dash off to the left quartering toward me. The bigger bull takes his attention off me, starts to follow the little bull then stops. The little bull bolts off…. the bigger one had moved to a spot where I've got what looks like a clear shot but he's still probably at least 90yds out. But, it's seems that it's now or never. Again, a standing off hand shot. Now I can put 3 in a 6 inch group at 100yds with a rest, consistently hit the 4 inch metal gong kneeling, sitting, leaning against something at 50-70 yds, and standing off hand consistently hit well inside a 12 inch box. But, I have'nt spent much time shooting off hand at 100yds. And of course now the adrenaline is flowing. But the kill zone on a moose is pretty big if you have a clear shot at it, 24 inches anyway. So, I line up at/behind the shoulder BANG! he turns around facing/looking the other direction, I have a second shot BANG… then a cow that I had never seen that the bull was obviously looking at, takes of and he busts out after her. I'm actually feeling good about my shots. a 1200lb moose can take a couple double lung shots and not even look like he was hit. I'm thinking I lunged him on at least one shot, he'll go a couple hundred yds, stop and try to catch his breath cuz his lungs are filling up and then fall over dead. Maybe farther cus he's chasing the cow. I head up through the woods to where he was when I shot. I can't find any blood. I'm still thinking he could be laying dead within a few hundred yds. I begin a grid/ zigzag search. The sinking feelings set in….. did I miss? did I kill him but can't find him? The nature of the woods there gave me good visibility, I did my grid search for over a half mile out and back and for for several hours. the more I searched and replayed the scenario the more I think I just plane missed. But at the same time I felt good about the shots, but then that leads me down the road of "did I hit him?". Any of you guys who have hunted for years know what I'm talking about.

I continued with my search for the possible dead bull that evening for a few more hours because I don't give up easy. I never found a drop of blood or the animal. I am confident that I just plane missed. Too far of a shot for an excited newbie handgunner to be taking offhand. I'd be butchering if I'd been rifle hunting. But, I don't regret my handgun hunt. I learned a lot and am looking forward to many years of a new found passion. What fun it is being in the woods with only your revolver. I feel a sense of newness in regards to moose hunting. Like the boy on his first deer hunt.
 

Broken Arrow

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
230
Location
Grain valley, Mo
First buck I ever had a shot at I completely lost it he came in chasing a doe from behind my tree stand I didn't think pay attention etc to anything and ended up with my bottom limb against the tree I was in. Well needless to say that arrow was closer to hitting the moon than him!!!! Lesson learned. Lol thanks for me remembering that memory and good laugh!
 

velvetfvr

Senior Member
Joined
May 12, 2012
Messages
683
Location
Nevada
Honestly my first buck (and only so far) I never had a chance. He popped up, put the gun on the tripod, waited for him to stop and shot. Took seconds and I didn't get to get shaky. Now bowhunting oh yeah, so bad one time I couldn't walk for a few minutes. Been so close with my bow but so far. I have been seconds each year from having a kill. But that's hunting and I will be out every year I can!
 

realunlucky

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Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
10,594
Location
Eastern Utah
Velvet I get buck fever every time part of why I love it. Missed the biggest buck ever killed on the farm at seven yards. Bother in law killed him a couple days later and put the mount where I have to look at it all season. Closer they get the more problems I have,I try and smoke them out around 30 and success has increased
 

Jon Boy

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
1,486
Location
Paradise Valley, MT
I used to get it really bad when I was younger to the point I would almost get sick lol Ive learned to control it real well over the years and it doesnt get to me too much until after the shot. Lets seem pics of that bruin Todd!!
 

Matt Cashell

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Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,180
Location
Western MT
Does it count as buck fever if you lose your ever-lovin' mind after the critter goes down?

I have done that.
 

CaseyU

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
689
Location
Reno, NV
BB i thought that was normal haha. after the shot i have fallen down before haha. i love it and it never goes away no matter what i'm chasing
 

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