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Thread: Opening weekend

  1. #31
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    image.jpg
    Now that he's dead I'll show this...

    I too had the opportunity to hunt "Big Mo", as we named him. We first spotted him about a week before archery opened.
    Saw him again halfway through archery season and got to put a good stalk on him.
    I got within 82 yrds of him but only had an extreme quartered away shot which I passed up. Wasn't able to get within shooting distance before he bedded down in an area that I was unable to get on him in. I knew the area that he was in but couldn't connect with him in archery season. I attempted to hunt him again opening week of rifle during his activity schedule but it was too foggy.
    Then I hear someone killing a 4x3 in B1 and confirmed with a pic that big mo was down.
    I'm Extremely disappointed and bummed that the person who killed him didn't follow through and inspect the scene. Poor hunting practice. It's a good lesson for all of us.
    There are many other smarter quality bucks out there. Big mo was not a very smart buck. He liked attention.
    Good luck to you all.

  2. #32
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    Not sure I understand. Are you saying he was shot and left in the field. If So that's very sad. Should always do all you can to recover.

  3. #33
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    Hello all. I just recovered my password as I haven't posted here in quite awhile, but would like to set the record straight about the 4x3 buck shot in B1 as I am the guy who shot him. Before I begin, please know that I am sick over how I found this guy and he truly deserved to have a better ending. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I respect that, but know that I have never lost a wounded animal before.

    I first encountered this buck the 2nd week of archery where I jumped him at 83 yds, but that was outside my effective and ethical range. I took a photo of him and attempted to locate him the following day unsuccessfully. I came up the next weekend, located him and had him feeding toward me when he stopped, quartering toward me at 50 yds. Again, I did not shoot, but observed him until he fed away, presenting a 60 yd broadside shot, which I missed. He spooked a bit as I shot, so I backed off and tried to intercept him later that evening. I had an ambush setup where I thought he would come out to feed, but he cut the corner and came in behind me at 15 yds. The only problem is that there was a hanging eucalyptus branch between us and I couldn't get a shot off.
    I saw him one more time that weekend hanging with a big forkie, but they were out of range.

    I came back again the following weekend and didn't find him. I was determined to get this buck. I then came up for the gun opener and was unable to locate him until Monday morning. I first saw him at 300 yards and put a stalk on him. I located him bedded in some thick brush at 138 yds. He saw me as I glassed over a sand dune ridge. So I glassed without moving for about 5 minutes to give him time to settle and slowly lowered myself behind the grass I was looking over, and backed down to get a better shot. He was the only deer I observed in the brush or the oak 'island' behind him. I worked in to 100 yds and when I peered over, he was standing broadside. I put my gun on the shooting sticks and squeezed off what felt like a good shot from my Savage 220. As the gun recoiled, I saw him break to the left and I chambered another round. I briefly lost him in the scope but found 'him' breaking right and busting into the oaks. I heard 4 hops in the dry oak leaves and three doe busted out of the oaks. While I could tell the deer that ran into the oaks had a big rack, my attention was focused on his body looking for observable blood, which I noticed none. I sat down for a few minutes to let things settle and went to look for him. I went directly to where I saw him enter the oaks as I had a good landmark of where he went in (mistake). I picked up the tracks and closely looked for blood, there was none.

    I then tracked through the oaks and around the back locating where the buck ran. He stayed low and went from one island of oaks and skirted the edge of the next one. Keep in mind that it was very sandy. I had no problem tracking 'him' but there was no blood!After following tracks for about a 1/4 mile with no blood, I backed out and went back into the oaks and around the perimeter. I went to his bed where I first saw him and searched seeing nothing. I did find it peculiar that the deer started left, but then ran right. I replayed the shot over and over and simply couldn't understand how I 'missed' the deer. Ask my friends here...I was sick to my stomach and couldn't figure out what went wrong. So please put to rest the story that I didn't look for him.

    I had to leave to go back to work, but planned on coming back on Thursday night to continue the quest, hoping I didn't move him out of his core area. Friday morning I started my same approach toward where I last saw him and saw two does in the vicinity. As I approached the area where I shot at him, I saw a vulture fly nearby. I immediately had a sick feeling and then saw another. I knew he had to be dead somewhere on the other side of the dune. I crested it and saw one land in some thick brush about 30 yds from were he was when I shot him. You all have seen the photo now of how I found him. I was devastated that this magnificent animal went to waste. It turns out that I hit him perfectly and he must have fallen as I chambered a round and lost him in the scope. The deer that bolted (which I hadn't seen) must have been the big forkie I saw him with a few weeks earlier. That explains why he went from running left to running right and also why I didn't notice a disparity in rack size.

    I put him in my truck and took him to the GW office. Moses said I didn't have to tag him, but ethically it was the right thing to do and I wasn't going to shoot another one. You are all well within your rights to criticize me and my actions, but those who know me know I value the animal and it's sacrifice when I hunt. Every hunt offers lessons, and I've learned from this one. I tell you the truth when I say that I did not sleep a wink that Monday night. That is the story of what happened, for better or worse...

    I can't say that he was a 'dumb' deer or he would have lived to be that big, but everybody is entitled to think what they want. I do know that there were a bunch of people after him. Good luck to all for the rest of your season and thank you for sharing the photo.
    Last edited by cjmassari; 08-25-2016 at 05:20 PM.

  4. #34
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    Sounds like you did all you could buddy. It's cool that when given the opportunity to not tag, you still did. Anyone that try's to talk down to you is crazy. You did all you could and sometimes things do not work out the way everyone thinks they should.

  5. #35
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    Chris,
    You are good in my book. Your hunting practices are ethical and solid.

    Jim

  6. #36
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    Chris, thanks for setting the record straight. We had heard the story from a couple different sources and you know how that can be...
    Sounds like you had a great hunt and did everything you could. I'm sorry that it played out the way that it did. I've never lost a buck but have hunted with a buddy who had and I know it's an emotional roller coaster and can be a very bad experience. At least you didn't go home empty handed.
    Now it's time to go get you a meat buck! Good luck.

  7. #37
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    Chris, thanks for setting the record straight. We had heard the story from a couple different sources and you know how that can be...
    Sounds like you had a great hunt and did everything you could. I'm sorry that it played out the way that it did. I've never lost a buck but have hunted with a buddy who had and I know it's an emotional roller coaster and can be a very bad experience. At least you didn't go home empty handed.
    Now it's time to go get you a meat buck! Good luck.

  8. #38
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    Idk why that posted twice...
    Chris do you have any other pics of your buck dead/alive?
    Also what were his dimensions?
    image.jpgimage.jpg

  9. #39
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    Here are two. This one Is the first time I saw him (in the trees). The other one I received from another hunter who saw him a day before the gun opener.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #40
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    Found this guy in B1 last week as well. Don't know how long he had been there but there wasn't much left of him. Wish I would have seen him alive.

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  11. #41
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    Found this guy last week in B1. Don't know how long he had been lying there but there wasn't much left of him. Just a few bones. Wish I could have seen him when he was alive.


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  12. #42
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    Sometimes we have to remember
    We are human
    As much as we try to be perfect in our hunting, things happen in nature that humble us

    Sounds like all that could be done was done

    Good Luck

  13. #43
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    Looks like opportunities just got slimmer on base.




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  14. #44
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    Current Harvest as of noon, Sunday, 4 September, 2016.
    Total taken: 68
    Bucks taken: 35
    Does taken: 33
    Dave Gray
    Webmaster
    Unofficial VAFB Rod & Gun Club

  15. #45
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    Is this a permanent closure, what's the deal?

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    Life's short . . . Hunt hard

    Quote Originally Posted by ltdann View Post
    I can't find a "Nuke the baby gay whales for Jesus" T-shirt anywhere!

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltdann View Post
    Is this a permanent closure, what's the deal?

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    Hopefully not, looks like it has to do with a launch.



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  17. #47
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    Default Another Mountain Lion Sighted

    For the second time in three weeks, my hunting partner and I saw a large mountain lion. We watched it for about 20 minutes from 400 to 500 yards away. What a beautiful cat it was. Once it walked out into the open, we could see very well that it was a large cat. The first thing I noticed was the white breast patch showing through the dead grass We were hunting in C4.

    BTW: Only C1 is closed now, as well as Z5 till 1 Oct.
    Last edited by DaveGray; 09-05-2016 at 09:25 PM.
    Dave Gray
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    Unofficial VAFB Rod & Gun Club

  18. #48
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    Default Opening weekend

    Wow, I've heard of more cat sightings on VAFB than anywhere else put together.
    I don't know if the numbers on base are really high, or the cats are just really not concerned about being stealthy.

    Either way, it's kinda scary.


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