thirty some odd years ago I shot the largest bodied white tail deer Buck of my life he had a nice rack a 5 x 5 but his body was huge with the head, legs, hide off just the hanging carcass was 218 lbs now you guys back east may get deer that big when they eat corn and crops but this is a legit mountain white tail and for this country it is the biggest Bodied white tail I have ever seen.
So this day it was thanksgiving and we always hunt that morning and this day I wanted to hunt Hoo Doo MTN. a really steep and tough place but had a good population of white tail took my nephew Bill and My dad and we left right before dawn knowing we had to be back around 3 for dinner. We get up the mountain and decide where we are going to hunt Pop is going to hunt the road with a coffee cup ,Bill and I are splitting up and agree to meet back at 1.00 to head home.
From the get go I know where I am going as I have hunted this place many times and have seen big tracks here it is November 26 about 18 degrees and snow on the ground and I am bummed because it got warm for a couple days and has now frozen and is crunchy! so lets get to it I hunt for a few hours seeing a few deer running as I am noisy as hell on this frozen snow crunch crunch crunch.. I am pissed off I can not be quiet it is ruining my day crunch crunch crunch on I go I happen to catch a glance of something looking at me from around a big Tamarack tree and there is a big buck at 40 yards staring at me with only his head and part of his neck showing, I am hunting with a Ruger #3 4570 single shot it is a light and very good thick cover rifle. I ease the gun to my shoulder and aim just below his chin on the white patch and BooM! he drops like a rock now I am happy got a big deer on Thanksgiving day.. so I make my way to him he is not moving it is steep about 40 degrees or so and I always carry a rope to drag with and to tie them to a tree so I can stretch them out down hill to gut them this way they don't slide on me.
Ok rope attached to his antlers I stretch him out down the hill and take a min. before I get him gutted and figure out which way I am going to drag him. Maybe 3 min. go by and I notice this deer is huge not much smaller than a spike elk on the hoof this deer is around the 300lb mark so i take out my western folding knife and grab the hair by his wanger and am going to make a cut from his balls to his sternum with the knife pointed up and my two fingers guiding the blade so I don't cut into the guts I grab that skin and start to poke the knife through being careful when all of a sudden I am airborne backwards! I throw the knife to get it away from me and hit the ground the wind almost knocked out of me I come to rest 20 yards down the mountain against some brush and am like WTF!
The Deer is flopping around but he is tied to a tree by his antlers I get my mind clear and look for my gun it is leaning against the tree the deer is tied too, so I make my way back up the hill the deer is not standing but thrashing against the rope I get behind the tree and snatch my gun up and shoot him again just behind the ear now he is still and done! my heart is racing my adrenaline is pumping and I am flabergasted! WTF just happened to me ,I am staying away from the deer now wary he will zombie back to life but I start calming down and realize he was not dead when I stuck him OH $hit my knife! I start looking it takes me a hour to find it if the snow had not been frozen I would have never found it but I did and got his gutted and now it is like 12:30 and I am a hour at least from the truck. So what happened was I shot that deer under the chin and glanced that 405 grain slug off his spine ,he was out and I believe paralyzed partially enough so that I could get the rope on him and stretch him out but when I stuck that knife just under the skin next to his pecker he drew both hind legs up to his stomach and kicked me right in the chest and away I went like a rag doll I was sore on my sternum for 2 weeks it could have been much worse with the knife but at least I got rid of it ....
Epilogue I could not drag that deer in any direction but down he was to heavy the more I tried the worse it got so know it is almost 2:00 and I leave the deer and head to truck to get help I got back and got my Nephew Bill he is a big kid and we went back and got the deer it took us another 2 and a half hours to drag him to the truck it is now 6.30 we make it back to a nest of angry women with Thanksgiving dinner waiting for us after our severe verbal abuse everyone sat down to eat...
What I learned that day was I was never going to shoot anything in the neck again and I don't I shoot everything just behind the shoulder and half way down the body with a pill through the lungs they die every time! and I carry two knives!
This could have been a tragic thing I was lucky deer and elk and all animals that live in the wild are stronger than you can believe.... always respect them and be careful .