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<P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Well, I finally got back to civilization from a great weekend with my family. Unfortunately my brother was not able to make it but my dear friend whose mother is suffering from Brain Cancer was more than happy to come. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> I made it up early on Friday to go check my new spot and after a little scouting around I run into a Father and Son coming out the same area my stand was in. I get a little concerned and go talk to them to find out where they are set up. They were very nice and showed me where they were and wouldn?t you know it they were less than 200 yds away from me, and I would be right in the line of fire. I was a little annoyed but after thinking about it, I decided to not make a big deal about it. They were really nice and it was their first time hunting together and I thought what the heck there is always Monday and Tuesday. I am so glad I did because I had a ball with the younger hunters. Well about 5:00 or so my wife and youngest show up and I snatch her and take her to one of my nearby stands. She was able to sit still for over an hour (she is 5). It paid off for her big time. I nice little fork came in and pawed around for a while then a couple of good sized does rolled in. She just could not stand it anymore and had to yell "DADDY LOOOOOOK"and we did as they went bounding away. It was a really great memory I will never forget. Most everyone else comes in later in the evening. My buddy Taylor, and then my nephew and finally my daughter and her boyfriend show up. We get the game plan together and head off to bed. (After about 20 or so beers, ouch my head). 5:00 rolls around and we are up and adam. I make biscuits and gravy for everyone and off we go the woods. Pretty much no one knew where my stands were so I had to escort them in myself. Took a little longer than I thought it would but just before sun-up I got everyone situated and decided to head to deeper parts of the woods since my spot was taken for the weekend and I did not have anything better to do. I was able to stalk up a couple of young 6's just about daylight and watched them for a good long time, hoping big brother was trolling along behind them. No such luck but just about 8:00 it sounded like the 4th of July. There were shots from every direction, and some of them much closer than I would have liked. Turns out 2 of the 4 hunters got a shot and one hit. I was not able to receive cell service because I was deep in a valley but my 17yr olds boyfriend hit a 5 pt. Unfortunately I was not available and he was a little inexperienced at tracking. Well 11:00 rolls around I decided to head on back to camp and as soon as the 4 wheeler fired up, so did my phone. In an extremely excited voice my daughter tells me Justin shot a deer and they need me to come help find it. So off I go and the whole time I am thinking hmmmm I wonder how long they have been looking. That question was answered quickly. Justin shot the deer at 8:00, I figure the coyotes got there about 9:30 or so and we got there about 12:30. Not much worth eating at that point so we pulled his rack and let nature takes its course. Crying shame but it does happen. I did however learn a lesson when hunting with less experienced hunters and that is to stay available. The rest of the day was uneventful but all of the young hunters did see deer, so that is at least a good day in my book. <o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> The evening is filled with what-ifs and a lot of beer and stories. My wife and I grilled up burgers and dogs and we stayed up way to late but had a ball just the same. Sunday morning rolls around and when I get up, it is raining cats and dogs so instead of making the young ones hunt in the rain, I opted to let them sleep until about 6:30 when the rain broke. Up and out we go, same routine but I put everyone on different stands. Not a creature was stirring not even the squirrels. A long day of seeing nothing but that is hunting is guess. My wife makes a great lunch ( I was starved) and after a lot of hugs and handshakes everyone but me and Taylor head for home (they all have school on Monday). Well another night of friendship and bonding and off to bed for the next days hunt. I put <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taylor</st1:place></st1:City> on my best stand but he admits he was not able sit still and ran off a trophy 8pt. He is heart broken but excited none the less. I was able to finally hunt my new stand and the morning was incredible. At exactly 7:00 on the dot a deer comes up behind me and I was not able to turn around. He finally comes around and I can barely see him but he is charcoal gray and has a rack you could put a couple of basketballs in. I did not get a point count because he stayed right in a tree line angling away from me. Then he turns left and gives me a glimpse of him from the side. He was unbelievable. Still no point count but that rack looked like a forest on top of his head. Needless to say I am a little disappointed but not for long. About 7:30 a small 8 and 6 come in together. I put the scope on them but decided they were not wall hangers so I let them walk. I figure the action is over but I was wrong. Shortly after this another small buck moves across the creek just on the other side. I could see his frame but not his rack, but I knew he was not what I wanted anyway. At 8:00 a very nice 8 pokes his head out about 200 yds away. I could not get the scope in him because of all the brush, but I know he is headed my way. About a 100yds away he stops and starts looking back. I now see what he is looking at. Another hunter about 500 yds away is making his way down the mountain. I think it is all over and this bad boy is gone. I was wrong again. He moved a few feet into a draw and then starts move directly towards me. His is not running but is moving at a pretty good pace directly towards my scents. I took aim at his neck from about 60 yds and kept the scope on him a few more seconds hoping he would pause. I whistled and he just kept coming. Well my shot was off by about 2 inches and instead of hitting his neck I annihilated his left shoulder. At first I thought I had missed completely then I saw him limping. He made it about another 40-50 yds and crashed into the bottom of a creek bed. My heart was racing. I waited another 10 mins or so then went to check on him. I dragged him out of the creek bed thinking wow he is really heavy. I dragged him a few more yds and then I thought man he hung up on something. Then I get a really good look at him and realize he is the biggest deer I have ever killed. I have never had to gut a deer before to get them to the truck or 4 wheeler but I was thinking I may have to quarter him right there. So instead he was gutted and the dragging began. This spot is about as far in as I could get and reasonably expect to get a deer out by myself. There was nothing reasonable about this. I pulled him/carried him and heaved him up the mountain to my truck. Stroke or heart attack was what I was thinking. After about an hour I finally got him up the mountain to my truck and loaded up. Back I go to get him cleaned and was I in for a surprise. For those of you who have not met me I weigh about 225 or so lbs. I usually use a heavy duty pulley to string them up and I was dangling in the air trying to get him off the ground. Finally <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taylor</st1:place></st1:City> showed up and we were able to get him tied off. Man I had no idea he was that heavy. I suppose it was the size of his rack that threw me off. Not as big as you would think for a deer of this size. Anyway after a great weekend with friends and family this is the only one that made its way into the freezer. BTW, I was shooting my 30-06 with 150gr PSP corelock. I have never in my life seen this much damage done to a deer. The bullet must have hit directly on the socket because the socket was up in the neck and the meat was destroyed. The bullet split in two and exited through the spine and the lower chest. How this deer took a step I will never know.<o:p></o:p>

Sorry all of these pics are from my camera phone. I just dont think about pictures that much. Also my favorite of them all are of my two daughters.

That little red dot on his shoulder is the shot.







My two most prized possessions. God, I am a lucky man.



Sadly My UGLY MUG I was dead tired when my mom took this one. Dont know if you can see it or not, but yup that is a PFF sticker on the back of my truck.



All in all a great weekend. I got to spend some quality time with my family as well as in the woods. Best part is everyone got to see deer even if they did not get one. Those grinning faces will forever live in my mind. BTW, I was going to lay off this weekend but believe it or not my nephew and my daughters boyfriend have talked me into going back. I cant let them down so hopefully I will bring back pics of couple of young hunters instead of my tired unshaven self. Good luck and good hunting.
 

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awesome report michael...:clap...thanks for sharing and thanks for the pictures...VERY nice buck...sounds like a wonderful weekend & cherrish all those moments like i know you will...
 

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great read and pictures. sure wish my phone took pictures that well, i wouldnt take my camera with me some places... thats awful nice of you to take your daughter's boyfriend with you. im still looking forward to getting the chance to hunt with my wife's father in northern california. what part of ar were you in?
 

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Thanks a lot guys it was a great time. We hunt on Cherokee Land and my mothers land North of Greers Ferry Lake. It is about 90 or so miles North of Little Rock. WaterHazard, those should be some good woods to hunt it. Some huge Bucks come out of that area. Great Land. I am going to make a point of taking pictures and mentoring this weekend. Not really hunting so much as teaching. I am glad they want to go. When I was 17-18 yrs old, hunting was the last thing I wanted to do.
 

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Great job brother!!!:clap
 

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Great report Michael. Sounds like your having a great season. What happened to the bear you was gettin pics of earlier?
 

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Great report Michael!!!!:clap....Good looking family...:takephoto....Thanks for sharing...:toast:grouphug....you are having a great season so far....Congrat's...
 

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daddytime (11/14/2007)Great report Michael. Sounds like your having a great season. What happened to the bear you was gettin pics of earlier?
Tom, I am not sure, one was killed on the other side of the mountain that we hunt on. I think that might have been him. I did find his Den last weekend and over the next few weeks I will be setting up a stand nearby. If he is still around I am going to help him out!

Bill, thanks my family is everything to me. I cant wait to hear of the big boy you put in the bag.

From now on I am just gonna play teacher to teenagers. I cannot tell you how impressed I am that they would rather hunt than be out and about getting into trouble.
 

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Wow, congratulations Mike. :bowdown Great report and it sounds like you had the perfect weekend with friends and family. That gets me really excited about our opening weekend.
 

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Hangout (11/15/2007)Wow, congratulations Mike. :bowdown Great report and it sounds like you had the perfect weekend with friends and family. That gets me really excited about our opening weekend.
Heck Doug after the stud you got last year it will take some work to top that guy. Good luck and Good hunting. Tell Marshal I said hi!:toast
 
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