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2020 Gun/Rifle Harvest Thread


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Opening day 6 point, zone 9f, 12 gauge Marlin 512. , 36.5" chest girth.



I had to use my grunt call to bring this guy closer to make sure he had at least 3 on a side.  He obliged, but made for a tough, wet drag after taking my slug and running 100 yards into the swamp, prior to splashing down.  He dont look so big in the photo, but nearly gave me a heart attack dragging him out. 

I was very thankful for the meat as it has been a pretty tough season so far, starting over a month ago, with early ML, up north.


Edited by wolc123
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Opening morning started with 4 deer coming in early, picked out the biggest and shot, she ran 30 yards and down she went. The 3 others scattered and then made their way back to me. Looked them over and picked what i thought was a good doe, bang flop. Unfortunately it was a button buck but we will definitely enjoy eating him. Best part was my son was with me, he was shaking from excitement. 

This morning went out with my son again. Had a group of doe and a spike working around near us then a 4pt came out and walked by at 30 yards. Around 815ish a buddy txtd me to see if i could come help track a friends buck he shot the day before. He has let me hunt yotes in his fields so i was definitely going to return the favor of generosity. My son was freezing so he was fine with walking out. Got to the house, unloaded the gun and walked into my kitchen. Looked out the front window in time to see a doe ripping across my front lawn with a horse chasing after her. I said "Holy sh*t"! Spun around ran to my rifle slid open the door, loaded the rifle, took a knee on my patio as the deer entered my field. He was running directly away from my and i took the texas heart shot, he dropped, tried to get up and i put 1 through his lungs and heart. First shot hit his hip joint and exploded. Very thankful for the opportunity, i know it wasnt a glorious hunting story of waiting out the buck in the woods but i hunted my ass off during archery, very happy to get this big guy on my wall.

21.5" inside spread

Also i went to help track and we didnt find the buck. Most likely a brisket shot from the story and blood.






Edited by Gencountyzeek
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Nothing glorious.  Had 5 does sneaking through  this morning  last one was the biggest.  Didnt present  a great shot but paused in a thin spot at 40 yds . She was angling towards me i settled the red dot  on the point of her shoulder. Planning a cross shot exiting far side ribs .  I cocked the hammer on my 480 ruger super redhawk and squeezed. She dropped on the spot .  The 400 grain slug entered high hitting spine exiting low behind far side shoulder.20201122_085322.thumb.jpg.4cc095a25b151cae91b6156721325f13.jpg

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First year hunter at 16, first shot and first deer! She passed on 3 other bucks one was a nice 8 pt. She thought shots were not great. I applaud her. Nothing my girl can't do!!! FYI we are on the George Washington bridge and she says U-turn I need to back it was so great!!! I have two girls and just love how they are so cool with Dad! Congrats Teddi!!!!!




Edited by First-light
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Sittin about 100 yards apart, basically being a second set of eyes for dad. Text message says it all lol. After he dumped his (I watched it through binoculars) the second one came right too me at 15 yards 15 mins later. Outa doe tags in 7s, got one more for 7p.  
the photo makes the top one look small, there nearly the same weight. Must be the angle.



Edited by Hock3y24
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Well decided to take the day off today and get a bunch of small jobs done around the house and spend some family time together. Around 3:45 my boys started to get punchy so I asked them if they wanted to take the 20ga. for a walk in the vineyard we hunt. Deer can usually be found in the grape rows and the boys have wanted me to shoot the deer we have seen in there numerous times with the bow.....but I had to explain they were just out of range. Well today we hustled and got their before 4:30 so that gave us a solid 15 minute walk at a stiff pace to cover some ground. On the way down the access road we didn't see any deer in the grapes and made it to the end of the vineyard but kicked up two doe who were in the edge of the hardwoods and bolted off in a hurry. Well we kept walking and looking down the rows from the other side now and my boys made sure to keep checking the dips for deer. We passed my Dad's stand and my 4 year old wanted to sit and chat about it and I knew time was running out so I had to hurry him along. After walking another 30 rows we end up looking down a row and a deer was standing broadside. I alerted the boys, dropped to a knee and settled the Savage 220 on the shooting sticks and put the cross hairs on the vitals....she was around 50 yards out and after I told the boys to plug their ears I let the 220 bark. She took off like a bat out of hell and now being in a vineyard from the ground you can't see where she went to save your life. The boys and I got to point of impact pretty quick and only found a puff of white hair.....now I went into mini panic mode since the drizzle picked up and I knew letting her sit may wash away anything if there was blood. Since it was around 5 I called my buddy who was close, went home real quick to get some flashlights and met him there approximately 1 hour after the shot was taken. We got back to the puff of white hair and quickly got on blood the next row over. Well the blood was good to start and then got real real thin. She ended up doubling back and at one point we were only finding pin drops until it totally faded. We figured she was headed to the woods so we got off the track and made last ditch effort by searching the wood lot....well we came up empty and the boys who were completely bought in for the entire track were now starving, soaked and getting tired. We came up with one more game plan before leaving for the night.....my buddy would head down a grape row and make his way east to the road and hopefully stumble some sign and the boys and I would walk the road between the woods and grapes until we got to the end and eventually make our way back to the truck. So after walking another 12 rows shining the flashlight down each row we hit the jackpot. There she lay.....white belly facing us piled up under some grape vines. We shouted for my buddy Fish and my boys were screaming Uncle Fish we found her!!


These boys were absolutely unreal tonight and totally bought in from start to finish. Some of you know and have seen I take them out anytime they wanna go. They eat a ton of snacks, talk loud and are using causing some type of ruckus! But in the end I would never trade any of that time for a deer.


This time it all came together.....not a huge doe but this deer means to world to the boys and the I! With such a bummer of a year 2020 has been, this just turned it around in a blink of an eye....went from a zero seaon to being a hero Dad with the click of a trigger!




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Kids, they have no filter.

I wanted to hunt some new places this year and one of the places I had on my list was my cousin’s farm in 7M. She and her husband had purchased the old family homestead awhile back. I grew up hunting it when I was young so I wanted to get back there and hunt. They are devote Christian homesteaders who home school their seven children. Their farm is a menagerie of cows, goats, chickens, ducks, pigs, cats and dogs. All of the children understand where their food comes from because they tend to it daily. The two boys, “O” (12yo) and “R” (9yo) are very interested in hunting but their father’s time is limited working six days a week and he’s self-professed “not really a hunter.” Well don’t you worry boys, Uncle E’s gonna show you this fall how we gather up and cook some wild game!

I started showing up at their place this summer and put up a pop up blind in a nice spot not far from the house. The place was thick with sign and I knew chances were good something would walk past the blind at some point. My plan was to get father and his sons in the blind for opening day so they could get some quality time together watching the sun come up, eating snacks and goofing around. Killing a deer was secondary really.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, opening day. I was pumped! I get dad and the boys in the blind at first light, all set up ready to go. I left them and settled in not far away on a hedge row in the same field. Well I don’t have to tell you that we hunted most of the day Saturday and saw nothing! Not a tail, an ear or let alone a deer. Drats! We all talked on the walk back to the house that night that we all had a good time even though we didn’t shoot anything. Before I left I made sure it was ok with the father that I could come back the next day and hunt in the morning. I knew the family would be busy with church and didn’t expect them to hunt with me, just wanted to get his thoughts about hunting on Sundays. He told me I was welcome anytime. I told him I’d see him in the morning when I would need to grab the boys quick to have them help me track my deer. His eye roll spoke volumes lol.

Sunday, 11.22.20. 7AM. I’m in the blind less than 20 min and out pops a doe, broadside at 50yds. After the shot she face plants and plows back into the brush where she came from. I was very confident she would not and could not have gone far. If you’ve read this far you know the feeling. We’re on the board now baby! Ain’t nobody goin’ hungry because we just put some jerky DOWN! Somewhat high on adreneline I text my cousin at 7:10AM. No response. 7:20AM I find myself knocking on her back door. I think it was about 7:22AM when the first of the family was up, and then very quickly EVERYONE was awake, including a not so happy father. Apparently not everyone gets as exited about killing deer as we do, especially very early Sunday mornings before church!

Now the humor begins. I grab the boys and off we go in our orange vests, down the tractor path to where I thought we’d find the deer. I’ve got my rifle because you just never know. First thing young R decides he gonna take a header in the creek as we cross it looking for the trail. Soaked him head to toe lol but onward we go! I’m trying to coach them some telling them to go slow and look for blood, a white belly or a white tail. About 15 yards in I see the deer laying stone dead right off the tractor path. I asked the boys to stop and look real hard. “See anything?” I ask. “Nope” they say and off we go walking right past the dead deer! We get 20 yards further down the path and I tell them I KNOW she’s back there, we just need to look harder. Turn around, walk back and O see’s her and lets out a whoop. I don’t believe either one of them had seen a deer that close before.

R walks up to the deer and says “Hmmm, it doesn’t look that big. Not much bigger than a goat really”. First time on a deer track courtesy of Uncle E and now he’s a hunting critic! I tried to tell him it was an adult deer but he wasn’t buying it.

O asks “Where’s it’s horns?” “Antler’s you mean? This is a doe, a mother deer, not a buck or father deer.” I say. “Oh” he says, “I can see she’s got teats but that’s a small udder. She probably wouldn’t give much milk.”

R starts in on me again about how small it is and how much meat is on it ‘cause they have “three freezers and one’s empty. Looks like all that would fit on one shelf in there” he says. At this point I’m starting to feel deficient lol.

A quick picture and back to the house we went. Dropped off the two new hunters in time for breakfast and church. I was laughing to myself on my walk back to the woods to take care of the doe. Young kids are sooooo funny because they have no filter. They just tell it like it is. My last words to them was I’ll be back soon to kill a buck. And we’ll keep on putting them in the freezer until it’s full. All smiles when I left.


Edited by Enigma
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Been a rough year for me this year., took last week of crossbow off and 1st 3 days of gun with a total of 110 hours in treestand  and no shot opportunities.Only saw deer in 2 of those days.Took my climber yesterday and went on the state land that borders my property and found a swamp with lots of sign and found a perfect tree to watch from.Got there today at 2:30 this afternoon and this buck came out at 3:45.



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At 8am my good friend takes a shot at the lead deer in a group of 4. He felt the shot was a bit back and was down on himself pretty hard. He still won’t tell me how far of a shot it was so I assume it was a chip shot. I tell him to stay put and don’t move we need to give it time.

We get a text group going to devise a plan to get on that deer mid day before the rain comes in. The plan gets assembled and now it’s a waiting game.

10:45 hits and the game plan goes into motion. We got boots on the ground so I decided to come out of the hut and stand on the balcony leaving my daughter inside nice and warm with the windows closed.

No idea why because our guys where a good 400 yards out yet but this Big buck gets out of his bed. I’m instantly tracking him in the scope but I don’t have a shot. He gets behind a bunch of trees so I look back inside my hut hoping to make eye contact with my daughter to tell her to stay still and plug her ears. She’s already up out of her seat ears plugged looking at me. I give her a thumbs up and turn my attention back to the buck. He hits the main trail and I instantly know where he’s going but I don’t have a gun rest out on the balcony. He gets behind another tree and I drop down to a knee and take the best shooting position I can given the situation. He steps out from the tree offering his head and front shoulder. I just want one more step from him so I can see his entire boiler room and tuck a shot just behind the front shoulder.

Wouldn’t you know it he catches something and snaps his head over looking right at me still only offering up his front shoulder. It’s now or never he’s only moments away from bugging out of my life for good. I squeeze the trigger zeroed in on his shoulder. Bang the gun pops off and he drops down into the infamous death run. I can see red coming out of the exact spot I was aiming at.

He travels 20 yards in a heart beat and all of a sudden his legs are under him and his head and tail are up running through the woods. He jumps up onto the dike slows down and walks out of view.

WTF just happened I’m dying inside! This is going to a very painful wait.

The guys on the ground are blowing up my phone. I tell them what happened and to continue with the game plan and let’s find the first deer shot. The buck and myself need time.

Thankfully we recover the first deer and now 3 guys are headed my way 45 min after the shot to check out the hit sight and walk the dike where the buck was last seen. No blood and no hair at the hit sight but blood on the dike. Seconds later one of the guys on the dike spots the buck getting out of his bed and he tosses a shot down range in desperation just before the buck hits the water and runs out of life.

We now have a dead buck in the creek that needs recovery. A 200 year old row boat and one very very wet hunter later the buck is on land and I have my hands on bone.

My initial shot went though the shoulder hit 1 lung and nicked the heart. The desperation shot never connected. I’m very thankful for the group of guys I hunt with and to be able to share this moment with them and my daughter.


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I got up this morning and really didn't want to hunt with forecasted winds in the 20-30 mph range, rain, and temps in the 50's. It is always been the tradition to hunt Thanksgiving day so I dragged myself to some state land I have been hunting pretty regular. Got there before 6: 00a.m. and there were already guys in the woods with sunrise being 7:14.

 I'm not a big fan of gun season and after spending 58 hrs. in stands during bow; not seeing much, and only having shot opportunities on small ones I was not very optimistic.

 I have scouted this area a lot and hunted it enough to know there are deer here. I was also pretty sure I had their travel routes figured out despite all the pressure they have been getting and from hunters, hikers etc.

I decided to leave the climber in the truck and hunt from the ground. The last thing I wanted to do was to sit in a tree in 30 mph winds. I got in by 6:45 and am thinking to myself what the hell am I doing hunting on a day like this. The wind blew for about an hour and then it started to rain, Shots started ringing out between 6:50 and 7:00 with sunrise @ 7:14.

Finally at 7:20 things quiet down. I started thinking about Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays and how dismal it will be without the loved ones I have lost in the past year or so and miss dearly, not being able to celebrate with family members because of all the covid business, how messed up the world has become, and how much worse it can get in the future.

After being there a short time the wind died down and now I am wishing I had my climber. Oh well I'll just stick it out for a couple of hours, go home and chalk it up as another day of deer hunting. At 7:40 this guy comes down one of the travel routes. He stops turns his head, and I can see how his rack is not symmetrical. Thinking to myself that he needed to be removed from the gene pool I took the shot. After eating my tags last year I didn't want a repeat performance this year, While I was hoping for a trophy I really did not want to take my chances like last year and end up empty handed.

After the shot he takes off and shows no indication of being hit whatsoever and I think to myself WTF. I wait for ½ hr. and knew I had to at least go check to be certain. I get to where he stood and it starts pouring rain. My day is only getting better. After looking pretty hard and not seeing any hair or blood I am thinking a miss for sure. Just when I am about to kick myself even harder for missing; I spot some blood but there isn't much so worse yet I only wounded him. The rain gets worse and there is only blood here and there. I followed it the best I could and finally had to start leaving markers so I could back track to try to pick it up again. After about 40 yards the blood is getting harder and harder to find. I look down through the woods and I see the white belly in a section of brush about 60 yards from the shot. Come to find out it was a decent shot and all the blood was confined in the chest. Both lungs were destroyed but the heart was not damaged at all.

The drag was long but luckily mostly downhill. By the GPS it was just a little over 3 tenths of a mile. Dressed weight is 129 lbs. He has a broken tine from fighting on the right side and one sticker that wasn't an inch so on the tag he is recorded as a 5 point.

Not as nice as most of the bucks taken here, not my biggest or best; but gave me something to be thankful for in these trying times; and happy I won't be eating all my tags this year.

A state land buck on Thanksgiving day.:o       Mossberg 9200 semi-auto 12 gauge/federal sabot slug.





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This guy literally snuck up behind me without me knowing.   I turned to look behind and it sounded like the Kentucky derby at the bell as he bolted.   I quickly saw a rack and hustled to turn around in the stand, holding the tree with my left arm and pulling up to shoot the shotgun with my right.  As he ran, he cut behind the stand giving me a 60-70yd ish broadside shot which I took one handed with the rifle quickly rested on a bow hanger.  Didn’t quite have the gun well shouldered and paid the price but it was a good double lunger.  Exciting few seconds.   Not a huge rack, decent mass but short tined.  Dressed at 177.2 less the gambrel so call him 175.  Good end to a season with far less hours in the stand than normal.   Forgot my tags so I had to head home and Natalie happily returned with me for the recovery.  

Maybe it’s time to shoot a doe.  With the little time I had, I didn’t want to waste it on a doe so far.  But if I get out again, the girls should beware.  





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Classic "heard a twig snap" and holy crap this may happen! He came in from due north and the wind was going north and or west. I let him keep coming to about 40 and he locked up so I sent it. I knew I hit, him he mule kicked nice but he stopped again at 60 or so and I shot again but I think I missed, but he piled up. At first I thought I hit him in the hindquarters but upon inspection that looks a day old or so. 0ea292cc4ccbc6a8f65d12569262d9b5.jpg&key=1c8332aea2db564775d644ca12b7b4c95848e1d75a04e94aaa2f43cc639ce08bce7a0e61725a2e2d162a4fcc4d7bbfae.png&key=2b5cca9faa7c3bc4193b980fdd86bc264a487d96a31b56d4d59645dfaa5c4ca98964107c2bd16a666d6af9a28f384c43.jpg



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Same setup as last year. I'm sitting on the ground facing south on the second Saturday of gun season. Second year where a ' good enough ' buck came in about 40 yds behind me moving west to east. I'm usually a little more picky, but with a new born at home, time is limited. That's two for the freezer this year and all i need. Wife will be happy because that means I'll be home on the weekends now.


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So I settled into the Buckform for the second Saturday of rifle season.  I didn’t really have high hopes as I hadn’t seen a good shooter all week nor had any of my cameras.  But usually the second Saturday in my area gets some folks out in the woods more than usual.  Also heard a lot of shots from the duck hunters this morning so think that got the herd on their feet.  I had seen 12 does and fawns and was watching some does enter my field into the food plots about 200 yards away.   A buck I call Hocus Pocus then casually walked out behind two does and started to feed.  I knew once I scoped him that he was a shooter for sure so I took a deep breath lined it up and gently squeezed the trigger.  There was a bit of smoke but I saw him kick his back legs like a mule and then run forward and the back and then he toppled over.  I got him on camera a couple of times over the past month but he definitely was Hocus Pocus.  Just glad to have been blessed to get him.
Good hunting to all still in the woods 




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