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Blog Post

A Successful Shot or Is It?

Wow Nice Shot

Day two broke into a beautiful morning.  Temps were expected to be in the 50s during the day and upper 30s in the evening.  No need for heavy clothing and this was the first week of January.


Before the first rays of light, a location was found in the dark next to a piece of fallen timber along the edge of the reserve.  The setup was 300 yards from my first position and abour 50 yards south of the tree line.  The west edge of the reserve ran north and south, so I was just south of the landowner's tree line.  The deer had stepped out of the timber to the north and moved southeast into the reserve.  Sitting along side a fallen tree, I would have a profile shot to the southwest and about 30 yards from where I was hiding providing they follow their usual path.


The usual cacophony of nose began as it started to show touches of light.  Out of the woods came the turkeys and off the roost they flew.  The noise was very very pronounced, but hunting deer was the goal.


A couple of bucks came out of the timber and in the really dim light, the antlers were just barely visible.  They moved right along the line that was anticipated.  This was good.  The location was just right.  The wind was calm.  Luckily, I had soaked my hunting coat in a product from Wildlife Research Center and sold by Bass Pro.
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I was not winded.  As it became more light, out of the timber stepped a nice sized doe.  She move forward and stopped about 75 yards from my position.  The timber was to my front, and the gun rested upon a shooting stick, but something was not right.  She looked straight at me.  Head on, deer give a really poor profile, and really bad shots.  I have done it before with a 30-06 in another state.  The muzzle loader was sighted in at 100 yards dead on.  She just stood there.  I waited to see if I could get a better angle, but my patience went out the window.  With the cross-hairs right on the center of the animal, the shot was taken.


Down she went.  The doe just folded up and laid there.  No movement was seen.  I should have waited about 5 minutes, but I headed for the doe with my field dressing equipment.  Within ten yards, she came alive, really alive.  Up she jumped, up went the flag, and off she went heading west, then turning north into the timber.


Immediately, the ground was examined and there was no blood stain. Then her movement west was tracked, and then north to the edge of the timber.  No blood trail was found.


Hearing the shot, the landowner came over to see me.  He gave plenty of encouragement and a couple of tips on tracking down the doe. He also went into the timber to find some evidence of the crippled animal.


For three and one half hours I weaved back and forth moving almost all the way to the highway to the north and the edge of the farm, but nothing was found.  That deer had folded when it was hit, and the expectation was finding her within 50 yards of the timber line.  Having them take off like this is not unusual, although I hate to see it. They are usually found.  I am still amazed how she folded up laid there and then got up and ran.  The fox and her cubs somewhere in the timber will have fresh venison to feast on.


The landowner told me to set up on the road into the farm as he had seen deer moving from the river into the timber.  After finding a couple of runs, I set up along the side of the road.

This would be a really quick shot if a deer stepped out of the brush and timber.  I kept the gun at my shoulder waiting for a couple of hours.  One came by, but it was a buck and my license is for anterless deer.





It was really getting warm and I headed in.


Good fishing, good hunting, and good luck.  Hank.

PS: It is the first week of march as I post this blog, and with the warm weather the snow geese are returning.  Squaw Creek Refuge in the middle of Feb. had over a million snows and blues.  We are looking for some of them to follow the Missouri River.

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More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!