By Charlie Pace
I hunt because of my passion for the outdoors and the numerous other things I experience when I am in the field. I do not harvest a buck every year but I do enjoy my hunting every year. I especially enjoy hunting on the ground and pursuing a specific buck on his terms. The buck I harvested was a deer we have been hunting for 3 seasons. My hunting ethics include numerous hours of practice and fine tuning of my equipment. With all that said things do not always go perfect.
This hunt went that way. Although the buck was perfectly broadside at under 25 yds when I released the arrow it hit more forward than I would have liked. Once the buck was hit my buddy assisted me in the initial following of the blood trail. The buck went into some thick pines where I decided we should leave him for the night. I contacted a couple of my other hunting buddies to assist me with the recovery in the morning. I spent the night sleeping out near the area the buck went into to make sure coyotes would not be involved in this buck's recovery. The next morning to my amazement the buck was still alive. He was dispatched and recovered.
I take responsibility for my actions. I never intended to hit this deer where I did nor would I take a shot I did not feel would humanely and quickly dispatch any animal (I actually had a shot at this buck at 26 yards per my rangefinder and passed it up because he was quartering to me). Even with all the practice and time spent making sure everything I had control over was as good as I could make it, things still did not happen like I had hoped.
After playing back numerous times in my mind the whole scenario I still do not know of anything I would have done different. I wish there was a way to change things but the best I could do is deal with the situation that was in front of me which included the recovery of this buck in a timely fashion. To that end we were successful. I sincerely thank my hunting buddies and my son who helped me. If there is one thing I enjoy more than the pursuit of a mature buck it is the friendships I have made while doing the thing I love, hunting!!
Charlie's buck was taken in Madison County.
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