We drew muzzleloader deer tags this year for the Metolius unit, doe or buck. So here's the story.
Up at 5:30 for breakfast, headed out around 7:00 and my father-in-law and I were dropped off by his friend at about 7:15. We hiked for about 1/4 mile and see our first deer; a doe, and she looked like a blacktail to us and was small, so we passed her up.
Meanwhile our buddy took the truck to another trail and was to meet us where the trails merge. We continued walking (very slow) another 1/2 mile or so. We see two more does. They were big enough but by the time we decided that, they were not in a good position to shoot at.
We take about 5 more steps and see a nice sized doe at about 200 yards, she has no clue we are there, so we move real slow and get within about 70 yards, still no clue we are there.
My father-in-law gets a good rest and gets ready to shoot, then the doe decides it's time for a nap and walks over under a tree and beds down. We were not going to take a shot at a bedded deer and try to figure out how to get her up without scaring her.
All of a sudden my father-in-law freezes. There's a different doe 30 yards from him. He raises his gun and tells me to shoot the bedded doe when she jumps up.
He shoots and my doe jumps up and runs 10 yards or so. I have a perfect broadside shot. I pull the action back again and set the sights right on her chest and pull the trigger....... pop.
Only the cap goes. I re-cap it, but she is gone by then. So I figure at least we have one deer on the ground. We walk over to where the father-in-law shot at the deer and see no blood sign.
We do circles to try and find blood, and find nothing. We looked for close to an hour and my father-in-law still says there's no way he missed. We decide to continue down the trail and meet up with our buddy. We let him know we are on our way.
A few minutes down the trail we hear a distant bang, and our buddy tells us they [the deer] are headed our way. We stop and watch, and a few minutes pass and we can see a couple deer out in the distance.
Then they start running straight for us, closer and closer. They are small, so we just watch. They get about 7 feet away and see me, turn 90 degrees and take off.
We start walking to where we saw them and arrive at the same time our buddy does. There's a nice sized doe on the ground, so we get to work cleaning her up and getting her back to camp.
12:00 We get back to camp and get her skinned and hung, eat some lunch, traded my gun for another we brought and get back out there.
1:45 We drive to an area, further into the woods, park the truck and start walking. We weren't out 5 minutes and my father-in-law sees a single doe, bang.... she goes 10 yards and she's down. We walk over to her and she's got blood five feet past where she went down, perfect heart shot. So, we get her cleaned up and back to the truck.
4:00 Back at camp, skinned her and hung her, snack and back out.
5:30 Decide to check out another area, park the truck and start walking. We are in deer right away. I pick one with a perfect broadside shot. I take the shot and she stands there. I think I had to have got her. We give her some time, and she wonders up the hill. We go to check for sign......nothing and she's out of sight.
It's now getting too dark, so we head back to camp. Sitting in camp, feeling kinda bummed, I only have Saturday and part of Sunday for this hunt, so we crash early.
5:30 comes way to early today. Eat some breakfast and get a game plan together.
7:00 It's much colder this morning. We start walking up the same trail as yesterday and see deer pretty quick, they are moving so we follow. We have a hard time getting a good stalk on them, there's always one looking in our direction.
After a bit, they bust us and run way ahead, letting everything in the woods know we're there. We try for a bit longer, to get in close, but it just ain't happening. Instead of walking the rest of the trail we head back the same way we came.
10:15 We come to a little trail that we had not seen before, our buddy asks what we think. At this point I'm getting really bummed, but my father-in-law says there's only one way to find out, so I walk down the trail maybe 300 yards and it goes around a hill.
I get around the hill and I see deer, there are four of them. I get a good rest and they come to within about 25 yards and..............I see horns! Now I'm stoked, I line up the shot and bang, the whole group bolts.
I reload and start in the direction of where I shot. There's blood and plenty off it. I start tracking the deer. Ahead I keep seeing a sawed-off log that looks like a deer butt. I get closer and realize for once, that sawed off log is a deer butt! He's down for the count!
This is my second year hunting and my first year taking an animal, I'm on "cloud nine" still.