Saturday December 10th was opening day for anterless only portion of Missouri deer season. With 2 tags still in my pocket, I really wanted to take at least 1 more deer. There was a couple inches of fresh snow on the ground and it looked promising.
Didn't see anything that day but spent the night at the farm and hoped for a better day on Sunday. Had the farm to myself so about 9 AM, I moved to my brothers tower. Just didn't feel like I had any deer in my scope of the woods.
I hadn't been in his tower 10 minutes when I spotted a doe at about 150 yards. She had no clue I was there so I took my time. Slipped my ear muffs on, cranked the scope up and prepared to take a shot. I was using my Ruger 243 with a Simmons Aetec on it. I didn't check to see how far I had turned the scope up but could see her plain enough. She had turned toward me now presenting a chest shot.
When I squeezed off a shot, she turned her head to her right and perked her ears up. She did not fall jump or run. So I cycled the action and tossed another piece of lead her way. Still no response. With the 3rd and final shot, she bolted to her right with her tail in the air.
I had no idea what had just happened. She was behind a little bit of brush but not enough to concern me. I waited 20 or 30 minutes and rode the 4 wheeler over there close to where she had been standing. Walked the last 30 yards or so, found the exact spot and found a little tuft of hair.
Not exactly encouraging. I started tracking her to the west through the trees and brush. Not a drop of blood anywhere, no shuffle of the tracks to indicate that she had been hit. After about 75 yards the tracks became mingled in with a zillion other tracks but I continued best I could to follow her course. The trail lead me up and over the crest of a hill and down into the next draw. It became obvious I was trailing a deer that was covering ground and had no intentions of stopping.
Special, I finally get a shot and blew it somehow. I still have not really figured out what happened. I back-tracked to the starting point. Found what I thought to be bullet pathes in the snow but could not be sure if I had shot over or under her.
Later in the day, I made a trip up through the draws in the direction of her travel but never found a thing. Thought maybe she might have laid down with a gut shot or something.
Midweek, I fired the rifle at a target. It grouped well but maybe a little to the left. Left however would not explain the bullet paths I found in the snow behind where she had been standing. The next Sunday, a misserable windy day, I sat with my brother in that same tower and looked over the path of the shot, again. Though brushier than I remembered, I still did not see what went wrong. I did not go back over and inspect the ground and tree limbs. While checking it out with binoculars, I did think that I spotted a busted twig in front of where she had been standing but even still, that wouldn't explain 3 bullets.
I played bird dog for my brother and pushed a couple of deer out. Got him 1 shot but he said the deer was running about 90 mph when it came into view. She too, got away. My brother played birdog on another scope of timber but drew a blank.
We called it a day and headed for home.
The following week, I was coyote hunting over some deer carcasses. Had just gotten sat down when I spotted a yote about 300 yards out. I was well hidden except for the wind being at my back so I didn't want to waste too much time. I was packing my Remington 700 .243 so I cranked up the scope and settled the crosshairs. The coyote was now at about 200 yards or so and walking but dangerously close to crossing my scent. I missed him too but unlike the doe, he didn't wait for a follow up shot. He remained visible in his retreat path for about a nano second.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 7, 2009 11:34 PM