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LYON

PMA Member
This is a little long and somewhat picture heavy, so sorry in advance!

Trail camera pictures in 2015 revealed quite a few pictures of this decent buck (only while in velvet) that I never paid much attention to. Good looking buck, not what I was looking to shoot by any means and there were a couple others that had my attention. I usually keep track of younger bucks, but for some reason, maybe it was his early disappearance, I just completely forgot about him.
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Fast forward to shed season last year. I was walking a property that is about a mile away as the crow flies from where those pictures were taken and found a nice fresh shed with some good color! Since it didn't look familiar, I never even considered looking back through my pictures to see if it matched up with any buck.


Doc Ock 2015 shed.jpg

Again, not thinking much about that shed, it went in my basement living room with all the others. Thankfully I hung it up on a bookshelf rather than adding it to a stack.

Fast forward again to Summer 2016 and a camera pull on August 25th revealed this guy already in hard horn.

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After getting this picture he started to become somewhat of a regular and gave me a handful of other pics.

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I was still a little lost on the age of this deer, but a few of the pics made me really think he was at least 4 so I decided that I would take him given the chance. As weird as it may be, I do like to find names for bucks I'm familiar with. It just really makes it easy when talking with other people about them. I pulled out my inner nerd and dubbed him Doc Ock due to the big crab claws he has between his G3's and main beams reminding me of the grapple's on Dr. Octopus's (spiderman villain) tentacles.

Enter bow season and the only couple of pictures I had of him were these two. Both of the two bucks on this farm that I would have shot walked by this camera (and stand location) during shooting hours on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of October. Guess who wasn't in the stand?

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I had two sightings of him all season. The first came on November 9th and he never got closer than about 150 yards. I had a decoy set out in front of me and really had his attention with some grunting, but he couldn't see the decoy. I was sitting up on a hilltop and he was down in the bottom by a creek. Due to the decoy being up over the crest on a flat spot, he never saw it. I believe he would have come in had he gotten the visual. I saw him again on December 1st feeding in a field in the afternoon. If I had gotten to my spot about a half hour earlier, I would likely have gotten a shot at him, but it wasn't meant to be.

Also on December 1st I found out that the neighbor had shot the other buck that I called CJ from that farm. So now Doc Ock was the only buck that I knew of on that ground that I would consider shooting.

As usual, I had my 2 weeks away from hunting during shotgun season and was ready to go once late muzzy rolled around! The first couple weeks of season were pretty uneventful other than a good day of hunting last Wednesday with some friends. We did some pushes and were able to take down a few decent bucks. This past Sunday I asked a couple of my kids if they wanted to hunt with me in the evening and only Jack, my 4 year old, said he wanted to go. I was just planning to sit in a shack that's only about 700 yards from my house that we have set up in a pasture overlooking a cut bean field, but for one reason or another Jack really didn't want to sit there but wanted to sit in a different blind below our house by the creek. I didn't expect to see much in the creek blind so I asked him if he would rather sit there or just do some driving around and see what we could find for deer. He chose the driving around option so we loaded up around 3:45 and took off towards a couple of properties that I hunt. As we neared the property where Doc Ock lives I noticed a single, big dark bodied deer out feeding in a cut corn field. So I swung around to a spot where I could get a better look and sure enough it was Doc Ock out feeding in the same spot he was when I saw him on December 1st. The only issue was he only had his left side and was hobbling around really badly on an injured foot. Nobody wants to shoot a half rack buck, but after seeing that he was not in good shape, I decided to give it a try and attempt to sneak to within shooting distance. So Jack and I drove around to the opposite side of the farm where we could begin sneaking from. We were able to walk and crawl along a tree line and get within about 175 yards for a shot. I set up, ranged him and let it rip. At the shot I saw he acted like he was hit but he only went about 30 yards and stopped. I couldn't see any blood on his body, but I did notice some blood on his lower jaw. My immediate thought was did I hit his jaw? I hope I didn't break it and he runs off and dies a horrible death.... I don't recall his exact positioning at that shot, but I believe he was quartering to a bit and I ended up just cutting his lip open and just grazed the side of his neck. I'm pretty anal about knowing where my gun shoots at longer distances and really am not one to just lob shots a deer, so I was pretty miffed that I missed that shot. I was shooting from an uphill position, so maybe that affected my bullet drop more than I realized. Anyway, so after the shot he hobbled off about 30 yards and just stood there. I was able to reload and take another shot, now at a little over 200 yards and put a great hit on him. He went about 10 yards and just started going into a creek and fell over in a place that I couldn't tell for sure if fell over or just walked down into the creek. Jack and I waited a few minutes just to give myself some time to calm down and reload again before we walked over to where I last saw him. Once we got within 30 yards I snuck up to where he disappeared and sure enough there he was just laying there! I'm really miffed that I didn't get any harvest pictures with him. My phone was acting up and would die every time I tried to take a picture. I would love to have had a picture or two of Jack and I with the buck. It's not everyday you can put a spot and stalk on a buck with a 4 year old in tow and make it happen! He did incredible by the way! To add more to not being able to take a picture, the side he was holding popped off as I was loading him as well. So now I have a shed buck in the back of my truck and his antler in my hand.

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To continue the story, Monday afternoon I was sitting in my basement and I happened to start looking at that shed hanging on our bookshelf. I realized it was looking similar but I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had found it. So I went back and started looking through my shed thread on here and found it. Then I compared it to the shed that had popped off Doc Ock when I was loading him and sure enough, it's a match!
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Adding a little history to a deer's story is always a cool deal! So now I am at a point where I need to find the right antler that he shed. The spot on his head already had a black scab on it, so I'm assuming he had shed it at least a couple days prior. My hope is that with the condition he was in, he wasn't traveling very far and it will be within a few hundred yards. I'll be sure to update this if I find it! Regardless of finding the other side, I am very fortunate to have been able to harvest a buck that I was specifically after. I do believe it was a good kill to make as well as he was way skinnier than he should have been and it would not surprise me if he wouldn't have made it through the winter. Thanks for reading along and sorry for the lengthiness!
 

soil

Active Member
Congratulations! Sounds like a hunt you and Jack won't soon forget. Good luck finding the right side.
 
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