Wednesday, February 08, 2012 2:30 PM
I might just be in the minority on this issue. I would not consider shooting this deer under these circumstances. Even after it (hopefully) gets out of the river and shakes itself off. Even if it is standing there, broadside and shivering. You see, I am a meat hunter. I can't eat antlers, no matter how nice they look. After the shock of crashing through the ice, the adrenaline rush, and then the high lactic acid buildup from the exertion of slowly swimming through the icy water, this meat isn't going to taste as good as it could. I'm going to watch this swim play out, and see what happens.
Now, if this deer makes it through the river to my side, I will be watching to see where it goes. If it is tired enough, it should bed down in some nearby cover. After giving it time to recover, I will attempt to stalk to the other side of the cover and see if I can't catch this buck in his bedroom. I grew up hunting in the wetlands and swamps of public land in Central Wisconsin, stalking a buck in heavy brush isn't as hard as it sounds. Once the sun has had a chance to melt the frost from this morning's cold snap, all the wet grass will really muffle my footsteps. I should be able to sneak within 100 yards, then use my Nikon Buckmaster scope to find my target. The TC Venture (30-.06) loaded with Federal Fusion 165 grain bullets will keep this deer from trying to swim across any more rivers.
Ok, yes, that was three shameless plugs in quick succession. But this is my real setup, and over the past 3 years I have taken 3 shots at 3 deer. All of them have been shots inside of 50 yards. None of them have run more than 20 feet. I don't like blood trailing, so I simply make sure I don't have to. :-)