A22 Success

Bonejour

Rut - Me worry?
Staff member
Jan 27, 2013
4,498
228
63
#1
Well after a season mostly dedicated to archery deer, I have more respect than ever for bow hunters. Getting it done when the buck (and sometimes a whole group of does) is only a few yards from you is intense!
Matagi gave me great advice, as always, along with a recommendation for a good spot. After I wasted a shot last week, I passed up a couple of opportunities where I thought the shot was too risky or I didn't have room to draw and anchor properly.
This morning it came together. I was in my spot before first light. My doghouse blind is just too cramped for bow hunting, so I didn't get into it. But I set it up, and used it for cover and as a backstop. I also laid out some other camo material and brush to help break up the scene as I stood in the shadows next to a tree trunk. It seemed to work pretty well, as I was surrounded by does most of the time leading up to my shot, and afterward, while I was giving the buck time to settle after I'd shot him, the does and spikes circled back around.
A few minutes after sunrise, about 8 does raced through the meadow, with a few more following. At first I thought they might have spotted me or been spooked by something else, but then I realized they were just playing. I let the stragglers get just out of sight, but I was afraid they were headed out of my area so I gave an estrous bleat. I thought about the possible consequences, but figured I'd rather have them nearby and alert, than far off and relaxed. The call got their attention, but it was a tense few minutes till their scouts relaxed a little.
There are two spikes that I've been seeing in this particular group, and two forkies that hang out nearby. The larger fork was the one I hit last week, and he didn't show today. But the smaller forky was out, and followed them into the clearing after they had settled. It took awhile for me to get set up because of all the eyes. I had already ranged all the landmarks in the area, and I couldn't risk the extra movement of ranging and then drawing, so I drew and fired. Unfortunately, i shot clean over his back. They spooked, but then settled and after a while they circled back. Again, the fork was trailing at a short distance.
When he reached the clearing, I released. He jumped the string and turned, and the arrow struck him just in front of the left hip passing obliquely forward to his right flank. He took off like a rocket, weaving his way through the oaks and the other deer. I watched him go into a small ravine and didn't see him come out.
I checked the spot where I'd hit him and found a small amount of blood. I marked it, then backed out for about three hours.
When I came back, there wasn't much of a blood trail but it seemed to be a steady trickle. I lost it after about 160 yards, so I headed down hill to see if I could find the place where he had gone into the ravine. I was looking for him to be bedded down, but he appeared to have collapsed in the middle of his run. There was very little blood even where he lay. It was all still inside him.
 
Likes: msailor

Bonejour

Rut - Me worry?
Staff member
Jan 27, 2013
4,498
228
63
#4
A welcome sight after following a pretty scant blood trail:
IMG_2480.JPG


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Bonejour

Rut - Me worry?
Staff member
Jan 27, 2013
4,498
228
63
#10
I am extremely grateful to all the members of this forum who taught me how to use a bow, hunt and track. I have always been an outdoorsman, but had rare opportunities to hunt, and only in the east, until recent years. Lungpopper, Randomshot and Sherpa have practiced with me a lot and I learn from watching them; they rarely miss the mark. Bruce, Jim and the boys at Bow n Arrow shop have kept my gear tuned up and Bruce is an incredible teacher of technique. Sprig and MJB have been extremely generous as well with their time and insights. I was very lucky to meet these guys when I took up bow hunting as a regular pastime. I'm very thankful.
 

Matagi

Active Member
Mar 1, 2011
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#12
Great job Don! I'm so happy for you. Huge congrats on your first archery deer. When I got the phone call yesterday I had a feeling you got a deer. I'm so happy you were able to find him.
 
Likes: Bonejour

Irvine

Active Member
Oct 28, 2011
377
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28
#19
Don, great job. You just tagged a deer in the least likely state and city in the U.S. ....with a hunter success rate less than 5%...
 
Likes: Bonejour