"Urban" Deer Hunt Freak Out

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I want to start by saying these boards have been awesome in helping a newbie learn how to shoot and hunt with my .54 caliber Hawken style Cabela's (Investarms) percussion gun. I hunted a special state park hunt for does only and would have had one if I only has remembered to pull the hammer all the way back before I shot! Frustrating but a funny story and learning experience now.

I also wanted to share my story about a recent hunt I conducted in the woods in my back yard essentially and how things went terribly wrong. I'll start by saying we only own 3 acres of woods behind our house but deer pass through it daily as part of larger, subdivided parcels that add up to about 40 acres and borders a large cornfield. Houses around but on the lake and I hunt deep into the woods. I triple checked and I'm legal to hunt (as do many others on neighboring properties) and I am a careful, responsible hunter. I know my target and I only would really ever take 30 yard shots or less given the terrain. And with no houses behind shooting lanes for miles.

Anyway, I slipped down into the woods for the last hour of light last Thursday and before I knew it, a group of big does heads my way. I get a great shot on the lead one at 25 yards in what I believe to be the lungs. Lots of blood spray on the snow and for several hundred feet before it headed for my neighbor's property and slough. So this is where it starts to go downhill, I call the neighbor, my wife's dad's cousin - and my son's confirmation sponsor - and his wife answers and she says sure and doesn't say much.

Ten minutes later, I see the neighbor's truck pull in to his property and the phone starts ringing. As soon as I pick up "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING DOWN IN "OUR WOODS?!?!?" I shot a deer I calmly told him. "You're shooting a gun? God-d#mmit! What the hell?!?!?" Yes, I was ML hunting I told him. I was careful and knew my target and shot a doe. He just lost it, going on and on about how irresponsible I was. He called me irresponsible probably a dozen times and I bet you he said God-d#mmit about 20-30 times.

He said "all you're shooting is a patched roundball, do you know how inaccurate those are. You're going to kill someone. You could have killed my wife who was just about to go for a walk in the woods. I don't care if you think you're careful, roundballs richochett all over the woods. You're luck to hit a deer shooting one of those things!"

Next he goes on and on about how they like to watch the deer and feed them from their birdfeeders. You're feeding deer, I said? I believe there's a ban on right now because of CWD. He told me to quit trying to change the subject and then said "God, look at you, you big hunter. How unethical. Shooting tame deer. I wonder what your FIL would have thought of you (he died of cancer 2 years ago, thanks for brining up)? He was a real hunter. I'M a real hunter, not like you shooting deer down in a neighborhood!" Then he told me he couldn't stand to talk to me anymore and hung up.

I forgot, he reminded me at one point that he clearly told me two years ago he doesn't like guns anywhere in "our woods." And believe me, this is the cliff notes.

Why am I sharing this? I don't know, just to get it out. lol. What did I do? So I called the guy the next day. I told him I'm sorry if I scared him and his wife or made him uncomfortable in any way. I was excited to try my new ML but since most of my shots are under 30 yards, I can just use my bow from now on and if I do use my ML, I will give them notice. However, know that I am a very responsible hunter. I don't take chances period. My family lives down here too. He apologized profusely and said you can tell he has a temper. He then told us he loved us and that I can hunt his farm anytime I want to. He then asked if we're all good? Yes, I said and hung up.

But it ate at me since then. And really started pizzing me off. Especially as my wife thanked me for "being a man and sucking it up." She suggested maybe no more shooting, just archery, but that her relative was totally out of line for acting that way. Or rather treating me the way he did. "It's settled," she said, "but he could have just calmy asked you not to do it anymore. Things will never be the same and now you know what he truly thinks."

I'm almost over it, but it's hard to even look at the guy in church I'm so sick about it. I felt totally disrespected and my first ML deer is laying dead, rotting in his slough. I could have looked for it the next night as temps were in the 30s all day but as my wise wife said, just let it go. No need for round two.

Thanks for listening. Just thought it was worth a share.
 
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BTW, the guy also accused me of wounding deer and being a bad shot. Oh, I got it I told him. I dont think so he told me if it ran more than 100 yards into our woods. It's wounded. Ok, then.
 

Straekat

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Your neighbors wife was about to take a walk in the woods when it was getting dark during hunting season?
 
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Your neighbors wife was about to take a walk in the woods when it was getting dark during hunting season?

Yes. During the first call he yelled "God-D#mmit! I take my grandaughter for walks on the park land right next to you! What if she was there and you didn't know? You could have killed her!" This is during the Summer mind you that he takes her for walks. I guess I didn't think they would be doing that during deer season right before dark. But on that first call, I kept my cool and just let him go on and on before he hung up.
 
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I wasn't about to go over there the way he acted, even if his wife initially said OK. I took his follow up call as a no. I could have called the DNR to come insist I get to look for it, but this is also my wife's family. And what I felt most sick about, other than his actions, was that this all upset her. She doesn't like conflict or awkward family situations.
 

Mad Professor

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I hope your wife does not have too much genetic material in common with her dad's cousin.
 
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Yep, family and freinds can turn sour quick when money or hunting areas come into play. He sounds inbred? or at least bi-polar and off meds? Just be polite and get along/. AND NEVER KILL A DEER AND LET IT WATSE AGAIN (this one we will put on him, now ya know).
 
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Based on what he said, I feel he’s probably kept in pent up feelings about me killing his “pets” all these years by bow. It’s the kind of person who thinks a wild animal traveling through residential properties is somehow different than one in a state forest a mile down the road. This is the second time a deer headed into his land of the dozen or so I arrowed on our land. Usually they go the other way. If I shoot one again by bow and it heads his way, I likely won’t be asking permission but conducting a 2 am drag out while he’s sleeping. Believe me, it burns my butt I let it go to waste. I should have done the 2 am option this time around. Lesson learned I guess. My wife claims she wouldn’t have wanted to eat the deer anyway given what happened but I would have!
 

Mad Professor

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We were hunting a swamp in a wildlife management area (WMA) and jumped a few deer into a nearby field and they fled into the woods on the other side. There was good tracking snow so we got on the tracks.

Near the edge of the field/WMA this woman comes out in her nightgown on her deck yelling; "You're murdering MY beautiful deer!"

This woman had also encroached onto the WMA property/field, had mowed an acre or so, swingset, picnic table, etc......just like it was Her lawn. We continued our hunt after giving her some "hand signals". When we got home we called up the environmental Police and mentioned hunter harassment, and her destruction of wildlife habitat; the field got cleaned up quick!
 
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MinnesotaChuck, I think you have 4 things going on here.
1) family
2) Property rights
3)waste of game meat

1) You will need to work it out for yourself, and to some extent I think your wife is right. It is good you are being the bigger man. But their is a fine line between bigger man and door mat, and most wives are as quick to lose respect for a door mat as your's was to praise a Bigger Man.

2) Property rights, I would think hard about Surveying & putting up a low fence. deer will pass just fine with say a 3 foot fence. When asked "why did you fence" Just point to old Bob over there and say, you know he called me up all upset that his wife or child might wander into harm because of what I was doing on my own property, It got me thinking about the liability, so now my property is clearly marked with a fence.

3)I think you had a responsibility to that deer, and you let that deer down, you shot it, you needed to exhaust all legal means to retrieve it.


Ohh I did say "4 things"

4) Be careful taking advice from people on the internet, I might get you in dutch with the wife
 
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Your property, your right to hunt it.
Move your aim into the lower shoulder, or at 25-30 yards you should be able to get a great neck shot. Your legal kill will not run onto your foul mouthed hypocritical relative's property. Yes you may lose a little more meat. But you will not lose ALL of your meat.
 
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Put it through the shoulders broadside and the deer isn't going anywhere but down. You lose a little meat but avoid the neighborhood hassles.

One time about 30 years ago we were shooing a 3D archery tournament through the woods with one deer target about 30 yards from a county road. A lady in a cadillac drove by, slammed on the brakes, hopped out and shouted at us "DON'T YOU SHOOT THAT DEER". We stood there dumbfounded, her husband got out and told her it was a fake deer to which she replied "I KNOW A REAL DEER WHEN I SEE IT". We walked up to the target, pulled our arrows and stared at her. She finally realized she was wrong, stomped back to the car and left.
 
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Put it through the shoulders broadside and the deer isn't going anywhere but down. You lose a little meat but avoid the neighborhood hassles.

One time about 30 years ago we were shooing a 3D archery tournament through the woods with one deer target about 30 yards from a county road. A lady in a cadillac drove by, slammed on the brakes, hopped out and shouted at us "DON'T YOU SHOOT THAT DEER". We stood there dumbfounded, her husband got out and told her it was a fake deer to which she replied "I KNOW A REAL DEER WHEN I SEE IT". We walked up to the target, pulled our arrows and stared at her. She finally realized she was wrong, stomped back to the car and left.

In Texas shooting a fake deer near a county road will likely cause a swarm of Game Wardens to descend upon you....
Maybe even if it is your own fake deer!!!
 
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You say you are in church and see your neighbor/relative there. With that in mind, I would pray for him and his family and give thanks for the deer. Ask for forgiveness for not being able to retrieve the deer and for His intervention with this situation. If it's meant to be your prayers will be answered in a way you will recognize, probably a peace will overcome you whether it is to hunt again the same way or let it go. This is something that can be sorted out in a bigger way than between two men. Be patient and be accepting. I am happy to pray for you too.
 

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