SITKA Gear

Ground shrinkage, deer and elk version

TheTone

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A9C48C66-6D9A-406A-ACE8-2E520CCF8581.jpeg I shot this buck while I was in high school. Two years earlier I missed a really nice 24-26 inch wide 4 point in the same canyon. Hunting with my mom and dad one night we watched this buck chase a doe out of a side draw over a ridge. We only saw the deer from the back but thought he looked big and was probably the buck from 2 years before. My dad and I snuck over to where we last saw this one and I actually passed on a buck that I’m pretty sure was a fair amount bigger. When this guy jumped up, again facing away, he still looked big and wide so I quickly shot him. When he was going down I started to realize he wasn’t near the buck we thought he was. Still a fun hunt with my parents but a pretty big case of ground shrinkage.
 

huntin24/7

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Eastern Montana
This buck was as bad as any ground shrinkage incidents I’ve had, and I’ve had my share. Lol. I spotted him bedded on a hillside. The way his body was laid out, his neck looked really thick and his body looked big and it totally threw me off. I knew he wasn’t wide but he looked heavy and tall. I made a good shot and he stood up and I instantly knew I screwed up. His neck stretched out and his body looked small. He was a young small bodied 148” muley with great genetics. 🤦‍♂️ . Nothing new for me though.😂
 

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2rocky

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Hunting a LE Wyoming unit. Saw this guy trotting through the trees perpendicular to me 50 yards away. Saw big back forks and made a snap shot.

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But his main beam didn't measure up....

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Greenhorn

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MONTANA
Pretty much every animal I took in my first dozen or so years of hunting, was smaller than I would have guessed. I haven't had terrible ground shrinkage in last couple dozen years, unless you count the times shooting something without really looking at it well. Most of the small stuff I've shot recently, I knew they were pre-shrunk. I've had some mix-ups that ended up badly though. 2012 watched a jumbo bull 350++ 6X7, with a small 6 point feed into the trees. Of course 30 minutes later when I got closer, and even after telling myself to be careful before shooting, you can guess what happened. I ended up jumping the small one and shooting as it busted through the lodgepoles. In 2013 on mule deer, saw a huge forked buck in the timber, followed around in fresh snow for several hours and there were a lot of tracks, jumped a different buck and shot. Ugh.
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TheTone

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D2E80E98-5B7F-4F09-A468-6F513B75FC12.jpeg This one is even worse than the other I posted. I shot this buck about a week after missing the buck I referenced in that post. My dad and I were back looking for the nice four point and through some bad smoke and haze spotted this buck by itself cross canyon. We both just made a really, really bad judgement that it had to be the earlier deer and I started shooting. After it was down we both knew I shot too fast. I think this deer led to me getting way too picky for a while and actually passing multiple deer I shouldn’t have
 

Nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
I could write a book on ground shrinkage especially when I was a youngster. As a matter of fact in a attempt to come up with a more original username "@groundshrinkage" is tempting me. One that stands out I was whitetail hunting, we met up the truck for lunch and we watched a HELL of a buck head into the woods where I was sitting earlier. I knew I could sneak my way up a small ditch and right up to a dead fall and get close. The sneak worked flawlessly. Got up to about 80 yards. Peeked my head over the dead fall they were staring right at me quick decision dropped the buck, the doe that he was following took a few steps and stopped, dropped her too. Really thought that was something til I got up to the buck maybe 110" 8 point. Definitely not the buck we watched go into the thicket. Oh well, it was a hell of a belly crawl stalk by Midwestern standards.
 
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Stocker

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Nebraska
I could write a book on ground shrinkage especially when I was a youngster. As a matter of fact in a attempt to come up with a more original username "@groundshrinkage" is tempting me. One that stands out I was whitetail hunting, we met up the truck for lunch and we watched a HELL of a buck head into the woods where I was sitting earlier. I knew I could sneak my way up a small ditch and right up to a dead fall and get close. The sneak worked flawlessly. Got up to about 80 yards. Peeked my head over the dead fall they were staring right at me quick decision dropped the buck, the doe that he was following took a few steps and stopped, dropped her too. Really thought that was something til I got up to the buck maybe 110" 8 point. Definitely not the buck we watched go into the thicket. Oh well, it was a hell of a belly crawl stalk by Midwestern standards.
Similar deal for me. Sat in s stand all morning bow hunting during the rut. About noon a dandy ~150” 5x5 comes running by chasing a doe into some trees to my south. I grunt to get his attention, don’t even get the grunt out of my hand and see a flash of antler coming right to me from the south. I draw and pick the spot about 20 yards from me he’s gonna walk through, he hits it and I drill him. Then I watch a 100” spindly basket rack tip over about 60 yards away.

But honestly just killing something is quite a feat for me.
 

Treeshark

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Wisconsin
This one was crossing at a fairly brisk clip 100+ out through thick nasty crap, could catch glimpses of horns and what looked like a fairly big body.

Picked an opening ahead of him and as soon as he hit it, he got it. Can’t say I was super disappointed, more just like “huh… no s$&@?”
 

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hank4elk

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I'm always pleasantly surprised at how big a yearling cow can be. Blown away at some mature cows.
 

Redman

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Mar 31, 2017
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Indiana
Hunting hars in a new unit and was only seeing does and drinks. The evening before last day I found a pocket of deer that most people past up. I was seeing a lot of bucks and tons of does. As the sun was setting I saw what I thought was a decent buck skylined. I got set up and ranged where he would come out at 358 yds. Set my CDS accordingly and when he came out a perfect hit. When I came up on him I thought I had found a different deaf deer....oh well I was perfectly happy to put my tag on him...was the biggest deer I came across on that trip. FB_IMG_1555630955390.jpg
 

Redman

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Mar 31, 2017
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View attachment 228077
Idaho elk. Was lucky enough to draw a good tag. Reoccurring theme when you see animals in the timber or cover it is deceiving. When I shot this bull I thought he was huge it happened quickly, when I walked up to it everything shrunk. A lot. Also a very fun hunt.
Can I hunt with you and take those little bull's that you pass on? 😁
 
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