Ok so I have to say I hunted hard gun season last year on public land, never even got to see a buck. This year ended up pulling quotas, one for each season and wasn't planning on hunting too much on the non quota areas after my many failed attempts last year. Saw many nice bucks during archery on my quota but never got a shot.
Anyway, I have a good permit for ML next weekend and wasn't going to hunt this past weekend at the local non quota wma. Needless to say I changed my mind and decided to go out for a couple of hours on Saturday in the 75 degree morning soupy mosquito filled air. Got into my stand about 30 minutes before daylight in a spot I had found last year bird hunting with the dog. I knew I would be sitting in the sun at about 8:30 am and wouldn't be able to take the heat long.
So after sitting for about an hour at 7:30 I see a big bodied deer crossing a shooting lane at 50 yards. Antlers! I was just a little too high to have a perfectly clear shot so I made an awful noise that was supposed to sound like a grunt and stopped him in his tracks. I had a shot at the rear part of his vitals so I took it quickly and in a weird position. When the smoke cleared I saw no deer.
I was hearing noises like someone crashing through palmettos off and on for the first little while after the shot. The noises seemed to stay in the same area so I was hoping it was my buck. I waited about an hour before getting down (shaking the whole time)
Upon getting down I could not find any blood where I shot, so I headed towards the noises I had been hearing about 50 yards from where I shot at him. As I came around a palmetto flat 20 yards away there he was! Laying down facing away from me, still alive. I put a second shot through his neck to end his suffering quickly.
Turns out I missed my target horribly the first time and shot him through both hams, destroying the second one and shattering bone. If you look closely you can see the slug under his hide on his rear leg. My first ever buck! Ended up being a 7 point. Stoked!