Let me say a brief few things to identify myself. I have been hunting some kind of game or another since I was old enough to carry a gun or bow. Mainly as a real young boy I took squires and Turkey. Into my mid teen years I came to love nothing more than a white tail deer bow hunt. I am now soon to turn 28. Though I have been hunting for years I had a 5 year gap of military service in between from 18-23 where hunting just was not available to me. I take very few shots. Its not because I only shoot big bucks either. I have only harvested a few deer and all small bucks.
However, there was one time when I put it fletching deep on a 12 point or better with massive spread and height. It was the biggest deer I have ever had the opportunity to take. If I had to take a guess at it I would say 165-170 buck. It all happened very fast. Backing up a little I was hunting public land that borders an old coal strip mine job. Big deer are killed on this old job and around it every year. Cons are dogs and coyotes. The terrain is not un passable but most anyone on foot will avoid it because of its severe steepness. It is a mountain covered in white oaks, hemlocks, pine, etc. As I said most will pass up the extreme walk it takes to get to the 3/4 top of the hill where hunting is more possible. There is only one place to park at the bottom of the hill to off load an atv so though it gets hunted its not by many very often but the challenge and big racks are there. The evidence is everywhere near the top. You had best pack a gallon of scent killer if you are heading up on foot because you will need it to kill the massive sweat you broke..
Ok now that I have hyped this place up (not a big fish story though lol) I will tell you what happened. I kept it simple and was hunting from the ground. I found a deer trail and planted myself against a big white oak right in the middle of the trail. Everything below was very steep but easy enough to turn your feet sideways to traverse down. To the front of me and up hill is not as bad on a natural bench that rolls over the hill about 50 yards in front of me.. All of the sudden I heard dogs barking in the distance. No big deal its a common thing up there for local dogs to get on a deer or bear trail. Within about 30 seconds later I heard a major crashing coming up over the 50 yard roll over in front of me but the barking was well behind it.. I instantly assume a bear or deer was about to be on me quick. I got my bow up and to the ready and to a full draw. 3 seconds later an an at least 12 point buck (possible 14) rolled over the hill heading straight for me. Its running so fast and head on to me I have no real shot on this buck. He drops down on the trail I am on and and is hauling tail straight for me.. I realized right then he has no clue I am there. He is about to run over me where he is being chased by these dogs. At 5 yards before he runs me over I did the best I could to act fast and set my pin just even with his front shoulder with hopes it would graze shoulder and catch the back of the lungs. So I instantly and quickly picked my spot and set the arrow free. To my luck I guess the flinch of my release the buck started to quarter broadside over the hill and it was enough to sink my arrow deep to the fletching. The only problem was I hit to far forward. The buck was not going to make it but it was going to be a track and with these dogs keeping him running it was going to be an even bigger problem. No sooner than I am freaking out about this monster buck that I just laid the aluminum shaft too here comes 2 full breed hounds collars and all. They are 70 yards behind him pushing him down the steep grade. I have no choice but to start my own tracking. I very soon after starting down the hill I hear about a quarter half mile to the bottom a car lock up its brakes with tires squealing on the main road at 55 mph. I instantly assumed my buck just got hit on the highway and lost all my meat and though I can not eat the rack well I was still pretty damn excited about that. I found blood from the deer all the way down the hill and down to the highway. When I get there I see blood and animal parts everywhere but none of them are from a deer. Both dogs pushed the deer across the road and was hit by a car on their way and killed them both. Blood continued over the railroad tracks beside the road and down into the river. This buck hit the river and swam for me to never see again..I had no sight of it from the river bank. I just lost the biggest buck of my life. I hope somehow he lived. I return there to hunt at least twice in a season each year but no avail. Maybe this year.
Just to add to the crap pot at this point I am at the bottom of this mountain with depression setting in when I realize I jumped up so excited to go after this buck that some of my personal belongings are still up there where I was hunting.. Back up the hill steep as "hill".. yeah hill is a misspelling.