First of all, I am going to be kicking myself for a long time for wasting my entire camera battery trying to take pictures through my spotting scope. Because later that evening I took my biggest archery blacktail to date... and I have no field photos of him (although they would have been timed shots in the dark).
Opening weekend I had a really nice 4x4 jump my string at 50 yards and my arrow cruised right over him. I wasn't too happy about it so the other evening I set out to redeem myself. I ended up finding more and bigger bucks than the one I missed. About 7:30 pm I was glassing from a high ridge and a group of bucks came out roughly 1/2 mile below me. I put the spotting scope on them and was shocked to see how big a couple of them were. I took off and got into bow range about an hour later. I cut the bucks off and they appeared on a trail 55 yards above me in the tall grass. I wanted to shoot the biggest one which was in the back. He was an awesome 5x5. But as i drew back he passed by the second to last buck and I didn't realize it. I shot and nailed the last buck and they all went over the hill. My buck still had the arrow in him and he was gushing blood right away. At this point I still didn't realize which one I shot. All I could see was big sets of horns going through the grass. About 30 mins later it was starting to get dark so I went over the knob to take a peak. To my amazement the bucks were right around the corner feeding... including the big 5x5 I swore I shot. Now I was confused. He was just 80 yards away and it was obvious he had no hole in him. Then it dawned on me that the big 4x3 wasn't with them... and that I must have shot him instead. I wanted to wait a little longer before searching which was fine since the moon was bright and I had no camera battery anyway. At 9:45 I took up the blood trail and found the buck just 50 yards over the hill from where I shot. He was laying in pile of debris at the bottom of a small slide pretty close to where the other bucks stopped to feed again. It took me forever to get him out, and I didn't get home from the ranch to shower and do a pitiful back porch photo shoot until 1 am. Skinned and cleaned him til 2:30 am and had to get up to go to work at 4:30. Worth it? Definitely.
Scores 132 5/8 gross.
On a side note, I hunted with MaxT and Dem1 on the opener and had a blast. Saw some nice bucks and also had a great front row seat in watching Demi kill his first archery buck ever. Thanks again for having me guys.