I posted a photo of a button buck on the Bragging Board a few days ago and promised a story to go with it later so here it is.

This hunt really started on Saturday morning 12/22/18. My son and I were hunting a property that had not been hunted all season. It is a long story but we had stayed off of it so a friend could hunt it when he had time but he never did so on Wednesday before Christmas he told my son that we should hunt it Saturday morning. We had not seen a lot of deer for a couple of weeks so we were glad to try a different spot.

This property is special to my son because he has killed three trophy bucks on this property in the past including one eight point that had a 24 inch spread which is almost unheard of in North Carolina.

That morning was clear and cool I was suppose to hunt a elevated blind that we called "The Penthouse" and my son was going to hunt a ladder stand on a ridge in the woods. The blind is in the corner of a field hidden from the road by woods and has been a hot spot in the past but this was late season so we did not expect too much.

When we got there the wind was blowing and it was cold. Last minute my son decided to sit in the blind with me and asked me to take my rifle instead of my contender since we were going to be in the same blind and he did not have hearing protection with him. I was not real happy about doing that but we do not sit together very much any more so I did as he asked.

We got there thirty minutes before shooting light so we sat there talking lowly to not make much noise. This blind has shots that can be 240 yards which is the shot my son made on the big buck several years ago. That was another reason why he wanted me to leave my contender in the truck. He does not think I can hit anything much further that 100 yards with it just because he can not. I do not get a lot of encouragement to hunt with a pistol from him. He is a trophy hunter and wants to have the best chance to score when the time comes to make a shot on a big buck.

Just at legal light a deer stepped into the back left hand corner of the field at about 150 yards. I put my rifle to my shoulder but could not tell if the deer was a good doe or a small buck. I did not want to use my last buck tag on a spike or some two year old buck so I was waiting for the light to get better.

My son kept saying that the deer was a small buck but I could not see any antlers and told him several times that I though it was a mature doe. Then he saw movement back in the edge of the woods and said do not shoot that deer I think there is a bigger deer about to step out so I held my fire.

About that time the doe got nervous and trotted back into the woods where she had come out of and the deer back in the woods did not come out.

I remember saying that we would not see anything else but later that morning a small deer walked across the corner of the field to my left and crossed behind the blind. It was smaller than I wanted to shoot with anything and did not intend to shoot it with my 30-06. That was the last deer we saw that morning.

Move forward in time to Monday Dec 24th now. My son did not want to hunt that morning. He was burnt out from hunting so hard since the Saturday after Labor Day and wanted to sleep in. I decided that I would hunt the blind alone that morning and take both my 30-30 and my 44 mag contenders both with 14 inch barrels.

About 8:00 am I caught movement on the east side of the field about 175 yards to my right. When I looked thru my glass I realized it was a small six point. The buck looked back into the pines several times so I was hopping a larger buck was coming when a cow horn spike stepped out.

I watched as both bucks walked across the middle of the field and then walked down the tree line to the corn that I had spread on the ground 45 yards in front of the blind before we left Saturday morning.

I watched both bucks feed in the corn for several minutes before they walked back down the tree line and went into the woods at the back left hand corner of the field. I remember thinking that I would not see anything else but that was fine with me because it had been a great late season morning.

A few minutes later a mature doe came running out of the corner of the woods where I last saw the bucks with her tail straight up. She stopped in the field about 150 yards away from me and kelp her tail straight up in the air.

Then the cow horn spike came out of the woods and was harassing her. I was waiting to see if a bigger buck would show himself or if she would come closer when another deer without antlers came running out of the same corner of woods and into the field.

The big doe started moving toward the corn pile with the other two deer following. When she got to the corn she stopped walking and started eating corn. She was nervous and kelp moving and jumping around . About that time I caught movement at the back corner of the field again. I remember think ok here comes the big buck when the small six point came into the field again.

He trotted down to where the other deer were and started harassing the doe. She was nervous and continued to change positions and jump around. I had used my glass to make sure she was a doe but did not bother to check the smaller antlerless deer because I did not intend to shoot it.

After a few minutes I decided that there were no other bucks around and decided to shoot the mature doe before she decided to run off. I pulled the hammer back on my 30-30 contender took a steady hold and squeezed the trigger.

Nothing happened. The gun did not go off. I looked at the hammer and it did fall but the gun did not go off. I will be honest and say that until then I had been very cool but when the gun did not go off I got shook up.

I quickly put the 30-30 down in the chair next to me and picked up mu 44 mad contender. By then the deer were getting very nervous and the doe had changed body positions and I did not have the broad sided shot that I had when the gun misfired.

The other antlerless deer had turned broad side and I decided a doe was a doe and put the cross hairs behind its shoulder and squeezed the trigger.

When the gun went off the deer fell to the ground and deer went everywhere. The deer managed to get back to its feet and stagger to the back left hand corner of the field while the small six point stood at the back right hand corner of the field trying to decide what to do. He finally moved into the woods.

I then check the 30-30 and found a small ding in the primer. I unloaded it and reloaded the 44 mag.

After climbing out of the blind I walked over to where the deer was standing when I shot and found plenty of blood. The shot had been about 45 yards and the deer traveled about 90 yards after it got up. It was dead when I got to it and to my surprised that was when I first realized that I had shot a button buck. That is what happens when you get shook up.

That was deer number four for me this year and deer number 139 for my life time.

I am going to figure out what happened with my 30-30 in the next few weeks but I think I did not get the head spacing right on my reload.

That is the only one of my reloads that has misfired but it was the worst time for it to happen.

Edited by REDHAWK1954 (12/31/18 03:24 PM)
Michael Joe Moore