Up and Down Buck
by Ed Kelly

11/06 New York

I was faced with a new challenge this year, the wide open field I usually sit in for the opening day of shotgun season was full of standing corn, a situation I had never encountered in 12 years. The only view I had, instead of a wide open field, was a narrow path between the woods and the standing corn, about as wide as a four wheeler. I sat out all day on the opening day and let a beautiful split brow buck walk away. As the sun set that day i was dissapointed in myself for letting a buck like that go. The next morning I went out again with high hopes of seeing the buck I had let walk the day before.

About 15 minutes after legal hunting hours began, I raised my gun up and aimed as far as I could see down the path to see if I had to turn the brightness up on my red-dot scope, as I made my adjustment I looked through the scope again to doublecheck the adjustment and something walked right into view of the scope. I quickly let the gun down and watched as the animal walked in. I waited for ever, or so it seemed, for the animal to get close enough to count points.

When i could see him i figured he was a hi-racked 8 point perfect for the wall! I could see that he was an older deer. I began to shake uncontrolled as he walked into 20 yards, he was facing me head on and i didnt want to take such a poor shot. He walked in to about 15 yards and the turned and stopped. He was quartering away so I took aim and put the red dot on him, I shot and he bucked, then he ran infront of me and I shot again that put him down. He stopped moving in a couple minutes but I gave him 15-20 minutes to expire.

As I walked over to him I snapped a twig on the ground, his head popped up, he looked right at me and his rear end popped up and he pushed hiself away with his front shoulders on the ground, in a couple seconds he was running on 3 legs. My heart sank as I then realized I hade made a poor shot, shooting him through the shoulder. I let him run so I didnt push him out of the immediate area, and with 2 slugs in him I didnt think he would go far. I let 3 hrs pass befor I went to track him verbally beating my self up the whole time for wounding such a spectacular animal. After the 3 hours I began to track him, if there is a "good" blood trail this was it! I tracked and tracked and tracked for about 1000 yards. The trail went into some very thick brush and I stopped.

My friend called on the 2 way radio and I filled him in on the details. He said he would be right over to help. I brought him to the blood trail and we agreed that he would keep tracking the animal as I walked up-wind to a laneway cut in the brush by a pond and afetr a couple minutes he yelled "he's coming out!" I stood still and heard brush crashing, he popped out of the thick brush only about 10 yards away I knew it was him because he was standing with one front leg just hanging there so I put the red-dot on him and fired, he went down that time.

My friend walked up the laneway and he was first to reach the deer. I stayed where I was be cause I always say a prayer of thanks after I get a deer. My friend then yelled "HE'S GOT 15 POINTS!" Then I ran over to him exited out of my mind, as I looked at the buck I saw a split brow on one side with a ton of mass and the other brow had 4 points with a ton of mass. I began to count points 1...2...3...and so on.....he ended up having 15 scoreable points with a bunch of stickers. The biggest buck of my life was there in the picture with me thanks to a great hunting buddy.

Ed Kelly

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