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Wasted Tag!

3802 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Body Bag
We were hunting on one of our hunting clubs properties yesterday. This property is 750 acres on a mountain with some rugged terrain. I dropped my buddy off at one end of the property so that he could do a long walk to try to push something my way. Then I drove around to the other end, where I parked the truck at the bottom of a quarry road. This is not a public road, just a road cut into the mountain for access to the quarry. As I walked up the quarry road toward where I was going to turn off & set up to wait for my buddy I was keeping an eye out for deer. I was about 3/8 of a mile up the quarry road when I looked up & saw a deer just off the right edge of the road. It was a long ways out, standing there looking at me. I froze & watched it, then slowly lowered to a kneeling position. The deer still stood there. I tried to take aim, but I was breathing too heavy from the hike up the mountain. I couldn't believe the deer was stood there while I waited for my breathing to slow down enough to attempt the shot. Finally, i settled down enough, took a steady aim & squeezed the trigger. BOOM! The gun fired as good as you could expect it to. Thru the smoke I saw the deer turn & run away & to the right. I stood up & reloaded, then started walking up to where the deer had been standing. A few step that way I saw my patch on the ground. I continued on up until I found the tracks in the snow. I realized just how far that shot had been & started wondering if I had missed. Following the tracks, I went about 20 yards before I saw any sign of a hit. Then there was blood spray all over the place. The deer had run down over the bank to an old log road & was traveling the log road. As I followed the tracks I kept hoping that the deer didn't turn down the mountain. It would be a really tough drag to get it back out. Wouldn't you know it....that's what it did. This was a steep enough grade that I had to hold onto trees while working my way along the track so that I wouldn't go sliding down the mountain. Here's where things took a turn for the worse. I looked forward along the bloody trail & saw a big red smear on a rock edge. It looked like the deer had gone off the edge! Nervously, I carefully approached the rock edge, hanging onto every tree that I could. When I got near the edge I peeked over & couldn't see anything, so I moved a little closer. That's when I saw what could have only been worse if I had slipped off too. The deer had gone over the edge & was straight down about 20-25 feet laying there on a shelf. I looked for a way to approach that shelf & it was impossible. There was no way to even get to this animal, much less try to get it out of there!
I went back out to where my buddy would be coming thru & waited for him. When he got there we discussed the situation & decided that it wouldn't be worth the risk to try to recover the deer. This is a shame even if it wasn't a trophy buck. It was going to help fill the freezer. To add to that disappointment.....I paced off the distance of the shot. It turned out to be probably my longest ever flintlock kill of a deer at 110 long stretched out paces. The deer only ran about 75-80 yards before it went off the cliff. With the amount of blood that was spraying, I don't think it would have gone much farther either.
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1 - 13 of 13 Posts
thats to bad. if its near elmira i know the type quarrys you're talking about.
It was further East than that. At the bottom of this mountain the Delaware river is right across the road from the hunting club land.
where i hunted in pa, not far from elmira, they had these old abandoned quarrys that would sneak up on you out in the middle of nowhere. a guy could get hurt going off the edge of those things. just thought it might be the same type terrain.
I didn't catch it before, but you burned a tag on that deer? interesting conundrum anyway. not sure what i'd do. i've had f&g officers say not to tag it if the coyotes got to it first. wonder if this would fall into the same category?
Well, I didn't throw the tag over the cliff or even fill it out yet.
I don't really know what would be the legal thing to do, but I did take one more deer out of the population, so I don't know if I should still consider that tag to be a good one. What do you all think?
Maybe I should make a phone call to a game warden to see what he says?
i guess if you can't recover it, you can't tag it. is the way i would look at it.
I agree with Ronn.
Yea, I guess you're right. Maybe calling a game warden would just be stirring up a hornets nest too.
really you got to ask what are the odds? sounds like something that would happen to me. truth is stranger than fiction they say.
If my fading memory serves me PA game laws start out something like "every effort must be made to retieve the animal" I think you did all you could and thats that. I wouldn't have fill out my tag either. Not every situation ends in a good light, I know I've been there and done that.
I wouldn't call. You didn't recover the deer, and go no benefit for it. Go hunt
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