Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First rifle whitetail buck

It's been said that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. Well, I reckon I can relate yet again.

I've done things backwards... I've managed to arrow a few bucks with the ol' stick and string, but for some reason a buck with the rifle has always eluded me. I can think of a few misses and close calls over the years, but it just never happened.

Well, I finally got it done yesterday in my 16th year of huntin'.

This buck came over the hill to my dad, who was a few hundred yards away. He didn't have the best shot, but he threw one at him and missed. About five minute later, I saw the buck sneakin' through the brush, and as soon as I got a clear shot, I laid 'im out with one of Jesse's special handloads.

I still think that bowhuntin's where it's at, but I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't shakin' like a dog shittin' razorblades before and after the shot. He's far and away my best buck, and I'm just tickled. I'm equally as pleased to finally have a buck accounted for with my deer rifle, which I've had since I was 14. I'd have been just as happy to see Dad get him, but he killed an equally nice eight-point off of that hill last year so he wasn't too bent outta shape about the miss.

This buck wasn't that old, but he'd definitely been ruttin' hard... his neck was the size of a basketball and there was hardly any fat left on him.

Me with the ol' man, my favorite huntin' buddy.

Reflectin' for a few moments before the drag

Mainframe eight-point with a small droptine - 16" inside spread

Truck fulla buck.

153 lbs dressed.

Jesse's Barnes TSX loads did the job again.


  1. Damn well done...interesting to note that it is warm enough that you have bare sleeves...with a few exceptions...Buck opener seems to be too damned warm in recent years.

  2. Congrats, dude. Very nice buck. And serious props for being a bow hunter. That's a skill I haven't been able to master.

    But seriously, 16 years of rifle hunting with no joy? There's got to be a story in there somewhere. Is it that hard to shoot a deer in PA? Or is there something else going on behind the scenes?

  3. Thanks guys!

    MLS, I agree... I wore that same outfit basically all day. By the time I cooled down enough from the walk up to put on long sleeves, it was after nine in the morning. I shot just before lunch, and the sleeves went right back off for the drag:)

    CenTexTim... It might be that hard, I don't know. I'm admittedly not the best deer hunter, and I'm much better in the woods with a bow than a gun. Seems I've just never been in the right place at the right time.

    Like I said, there's been a few misses; a few years I'd already tagged a buck in archery so I didn't even take the gun for a walk; there's also antler restrictions in PA... a legal buck must have three points to a side (four in some areas), otherwise I probably could have piled up a few spikes and forkhorns. Due to school and then work over the years, I'm usually lucky to hunt three days each season, so time hasn't been on my side either.

    But then, we're back to luck. If my older brother hadn't gotten a buck in bow season, I'd have never been in his tree:)