Thank you all very much for all your help over the past 36 hours, it was of great assistance to me. No, didn't sleep much last night, think I woke up every half hour to see if it was light out yet. And thank you all for your compliments!! He dethroned my prior biggest buck by 7". But actually the best part of the story other than finding him in less than ideal conditions was the actual hunt itself.
I was hunting a spot which I was keeping for when the rut started kicking in, as I've always had luck in this funnel. I had trail cam pics in connecting fingers of one buck I would consider a shooter, but otherwise nothing much to speak of. Anyhow, I had just hung this stand in July for an easterly wind and had never hunted it before. It's within sight of two other stands which had been productive in the past, so I was confident from prior sightings it was in a promising place. My daughter shot her first buck with me on Sunday evening, so I was late getting in after all the festivities and debated hunting on Monday. I figured I won't get too many easterly winds in the next couple of weeks so I'd better go. I set out for an all day sit and had pretty constant activity for most of the morning. At around 9:50am, I noticed a doe to my left hauling tail towards my direction from the next ridge about 250 yards away. About 20 yards behind her was a large bodied deer hot on her tail. They were moving too fast for me to pick them up in my binoculars so I just waited till they got in view. They ended up passing in front of me at about 80 yards and I could tell it was at least a decent buck, so I stood and grabbed my bow. Next thing I knew the doe took a hard right and started running straight at me. She looked like she was running for her life, and he was grunting up a storm. Once he started getting close I could see the mass and tines and knew he was a shooter. I came to full draw expecting a shot at any second. The doe frantically jumped into a downed tree top and crawled on her belly about 10 feet under it to get away from the buck. She was about 15 yards directly to my right. The buck was in front of me to the right at about 30 yards, but was facing right towards me trying to wiggle into the tree top. He kept getting his antlers hung up in the branches, not allowing him to reach the doe. I stayed at full draw for about 3 minutes waiting for him to turn broadside, but he never did. When I finally let down, he started to walk around to my side of the tree top. I quickly drew again as he approached quartering hard to me. As he passed me at about 12 yards, he finally turned trying to get into the tree top from another angle allowing enough for me to have a decent shot. I figured trying to stop him with a grunt wouldn't work since he was locked onto this doe, so I had to take the shot as he was slowly walking trying to find a hole in the tree top. After the shot, he ran about 30 yards behind the tree top and stood there still staring at the doe. Seeing where my first shot entered and his lack of reaction to it, I nocked another arrow and had to twist something fierce to try a second shot. The second shot hit him as evidenced by a tuft of dark hair by my arrow, but the arrow got no penetration, cleanly breaking the outsert and broadhead at the carbon. After this shot, he took off booking it, with my last vision of him about 100 yards from my stand heading towards the creek. I ended up finding him within 20 yards or so of where I last saw him. He died in his bed, which was in an area with spotty cover.
Upon dressing him, I found I had clipped the rear of the near lung, caused some good damage to the liver and exited the gut. He still had a little warmth to his insides but the meat wasn't cooked and somehow the stomach wasn't too much of a mess. As me and a friend were skinning him, all but the tenderloins appeared to be fine. I ended up measuring him and with the help of good mass and long main beams he ended up at 157 5/8". The main beams ended up at 25 1/8" and 25 6/8" while 7 of 8 mass measurements were 4" or more (4 6/8" bases).
Sorry to be so long winded, but this was one of the most exciting hunts of my life, regardless of buck size. I had never seen a buck so intent on breeding a doe in 20 years of hunting, nor have I watched a doe jump into a tree top and belly crawl into a space barely large enough for her to fit to avoid it. I had no trail cam pics of this deer nor had I ever laid eyes on him prior to this date. Below is a little better picture of my buck along with my daughter's buck from the evening before. In all honesty, I was probably a little more excited about my daughter harvesting her first buck than mine, but needless to say it has been a good 2 days of hunting for my family.
Just found this thread, and was SO TEMPTED to skip to the end & find out if you found your buck. But I waited as you tried to sleep, and returned the next morning, finding that dandy buck! Great read all the way through (except for the off topic bickering) So glad you found him and shared the daughter's buck too. Way to go! Good job raising her, and sharing your love for the hunt with her. Both are very nice bucks!