A Buck of a Different Color: Melanistic Whitetail
November 12, 2005

By : Donnie Rodriguez


At the end of the week we were ready to head out to our lease for a little hunting and Rest and Relaxation.

We loaded up our gear Friday after work and began or journey to the lease.
We had to make a stop to get some ice and this is where the fun began and our hunting trip almost ended.
I have always been a stickler on having sharp blades; knives, machetes, pruners, hatchets, axes, and broadheads all need to be extremely sharp for optimal performance.

We were filling the ice chests with ice and my double headed axe was next to the ice chest. It began to fall and figured I could move my leg out of the path of the Paul Bunion special. I moved my leg but not far enough. I felt the metal blade slide down the front of my right leg, just off the center. I knew it wasn’t going to be good.

Off to the Emergency Room we were.  My wife, Tammy, said, “I guess there goes camping this weekend.” I replied, “No! We have the truck packed up so we are going hunting!”

The staff at the hospital was great and after the doctor applied 10 staples to close the wound we were off to the lease!

We arrived after 11:00pm and got all of our gear set up and headed for the tent.

4:30am came early after hitting the sack at 2:00am. However, I managed to pull my tired body from the comfortable sleeping bag and air mattress.

After loading the gear on the four-wheeler I headed on my 2 mile ride to my new hunting spot.

I recently erected a quad-pod stand in an area that had lots of deer sign. It looked like a major travel route for deer in the area. I placed the stand on the end of a wooded grove of trees, which is on the edge of a small ridge and a small wash. I just knew this place had to be productive.

After day break I had a doe come out of the grove a mere 10 yards from my stand. I towered over her and thought about drawing my bow string and taking her. There was a limb that was going to be my only obstacle.

The big doe raised her nose and she was history.

About 10 seconds after she jetted off and 50 yards from where she came out I saw a really good buck walking the ridge. He was watching the doe that just paid me a visit. I pulled out my grunt tube out and gave a short buck grunt and he stopped.

I pulled up my binoculars to get a better look. I could see he was a nice 8 pointer with spread around 18” wide and some respectable G-2s.
“Hoss” was focused on the doe, and never came close enough for a shot.

I planned on sitting until about noon before returning back to camp.

At about 7:30AM I had a two doe and a spike show up. The spike buck kept looking towards the south.
I figured it was another deer within eye shot of the spike.

All of a sudden I hear a long grunt…b-r-r-r-r-r-r. I wondered what in the world was that sound.

I have heard deer grunt, bleat, click…but this was a new sound to me.
I continued to watch a doe and spike for the next 5 minutes. I then hear the sound b-r-r-r-r-r-r.
I grabbed the grunt tube and responded with a shorter version of the sound I heard, b-r-r-r. I waited a couple of seconds and called again b-r-r-r.

I caught movement to my left and turned to see a very dark brown deer.
I grabbed my bow off the hanger and sat ready.

The deer was behind a thicket and couldn’t see him. I watched and watched and watch again…Nothing!

All of a sudden the deer eases out from behind the brush only 10 yards from me. He stood in the exact spot the doe was earlier that morning.

I was stunned at the appearance of this buck. I had never seen a “chocolate deer.” This guy didn’t have any white on his face, neck, or belly. I didn’t know what I was looking at but the antlers told me it was a white-tail deer.

I did a quick count on the antlers…1,2,3,4,5,6,7, I’ll take it.

I began to draw my bow and he looks straight up at my stand. I froze!

He stared up at me but he never saw me. The camouflage I wear works!

This brown deer raises his nose and sniffs the air. I figured I was busted at this point.
He does this three times, but doesn’t get alarmed after “testing” the air. He just turns, quartering away from me and begins to walk off.  I come to full draw, aim and release. At only 18 yards the arrow is delivered and it hit hard. I could see the arrow drive deep into the body of this majestic animal and protrude from the opposite side.

The arrow had entered in front of the left back leg, pushed forward and exited the opposite side though the ribs. The Renegade Nugebow delivered the arrow which was tipped with a 100 gr. Magnus Stinger 4 bladed broadhead.

The arrow hit a little further back than I wanted it to. I was upset at the point of impact but at the steep angle I prayed for the arrow to have hit the vitals.

I waited about 5 minutes before climbing down from my stand to canvas the area where the deer stood.

I could see where he bolted from; the ground was dug out from his hooves. There is a drop of blood a couple of paces ahead. I crept along at a snails pace and continued to search for a more define blood trail.

I eased up the looking for any thing else that would indicate I had made a fatal hit. I found what I was looking for, a very pronounced blood trail.

At this point it was obvious that the deer had to be less than 50 yards away and expired.

About 30 yards into the blood trail I look ahead through an opening of a small clump of trees. I can see the orange fletching, of my aluminum arrow, standing at about a 40 degree angle. One more step and I could see the deer lying motionless…YEAH, There he is!!!!!

I watched him for a few minutes and didn’t see him move. I circled around and came upon my “Black Deer.”  I got down on one knee and thanked the Lord for such a wonderful animal and hunt.
I headed to camp, got someone to give me a hand in loading my new trophy.

Allan, Tammy and by two boys (Colby and Alec) made the trip back up the hill to help me retrieve my buck. We also brought our Miniature Schnauzer, Gracie, along for the ride. I have been working on getting her to track wounded deer. So, I wanted to see if she could work in a real situation. She worked the blood trail and led me right to him! 

Once we got back to camp I named him the “Staples Buck.”
The night before I shot him I was at the ER getting 10 staples in my leg.
I sure wasn’t going to have a cut to my leg keeping me from being in the woods.




Renegade NugeBow 63#
Easton XX78 2315s
Copper John Sites
Tactical Devices - Bowlight
SRT - Sidewinder Hip Quiver Adapter
Kwikee Kompound® Kwiver
Magnus Stinger 100 gr. 4-bladed broadheads
Swamp Tech Outdoors: "GetsItRetrieved"