Well not much has changed since my last post, the deer movement is still rather slow, but I have seen a few. On October 17th I made my way to the tree for another morning’s hunt, it was a calm, quiet morning. I had a good feeling that I might see something that morning. Daylight had arrived and the time for the deer to start moving through was near, and at 8:45am that time had come. It was a doe and her yearling doe fawn, they popped in out of nowhere. I hurried and fixed the camera on the two deer and grabbed my bow to prepare for a shot. They were closing the distance quickly and I was following them with camera. They went to the one spot I didn’t want them to go, right below the tree. You would think that would be a good thing, but not in my set-up. I was sitting in a hang-on stand above a 2-man ladder stand and the side rails of the double stand were blocking my shot. The does were directly below me munching on some acorns, I could hear them breathing, I could have spit on them if I wanted to. Just as I went to turn to look at the adult doe, the young one picked me off and started back-stepping away from the base of my tree. She had her tail flared out, meaning she wouldn’t stick around for long. The momma still hadn’t noticed me and she was now a little further behind me. I stared to follow the young doe with my camera and I decided I was going to try taking a shot before she bolted. I fixed the camera into position the and drew back, and with the release of the arrow I realized that I had just made a bad shot…No excuses, I just downright made a bad shot and wouldn’t you know I didn’t even get it on film. She had taken a few extra steps and made it out of frame right before my shot went off. I hit her high, below the spine and above the lungs. She ran about 20 yards and stopped to look around, I ranged her at 40 yards and tried to slip a second arrow through a small window of brush….THA-WACK! I managed to hit the one branch I thought wouldn’t be in the way. I knew that that the first shot wouldn’t be fatal and that she would more than likely recover from it, and run off with only a little more knowledge than when she arrived. I got down and tracked her a ways anyway, just in case I some how managed to get a lucky artery hit, but no such luck. There was some good spots of blood where she stood for a few minutes but after she took off again the blood turned into tiny trickles here and there. I left the stand that morning wondering if this season would ever get better, I felt like I finally had an opportunity and all I did was make a mess of it…But I kept on keeping on and headed out the next day in hopes of some redemption.
Over the next few days I didn’t see any deer until my evening hunt on October 21st, it was a fairly warm evening with a perfect north-east wind for our stands in the valley. Around 5 o’clock that evening I spotted a buck standing at the top of the hill to my right. The sunlight was bouncing off the buck’s antlers as he stood overlooking the valley. This was not a buck I wanted to shoot, it actually turned out to be the same buck I had an encounter with earlier in the season and the one of the same bucks I had filmed during the summer velvet season.
He made his way down the hill and munched on acorns for about an hour or so and then eventually made it across the creek to the other side of the valley and out of sight. I left that evening with nothing more than some good footage and a thankful spirit for the sighting of an awesome buck.
Abel made the trip home from Cleveland again on the morning of October 22nd, but he got back a lil to late to make it out for the morning hunt. After showing him the footage of the buck I had filmed the night before, he decided that it was a buck he would like to take if the opportunity presented itself. With Abel having limited time home to hunt this season and never have taken a buck with his bow, this buck met his standards. And with me sitting in our stands in the valley two different times, seeing him both times and the buck having the same routine, we decided to take our climbers in that evening for a better chance at sealing the deal. We headed out early that evening to allow ourselves plenty of time to pick out a good tree and to get all of our stuff set up.
After getting climbed up the tree and all of our gear set up, we sat in wait for our buck to show. The wind was perfect that evening and it was warm but with a cool breeze, seemed like a great evening to be in the stand. As we waited we were entertained by the dozens of squirrels and chipmunks shuffling about. We were also surprised by the unusual sighting of two different minks, one of them was chasing a gray squirrel and the other was diving under a log to catch a mouse. I managed to catch some footage of the second mink as it made off with its dinner.
Around 5:50pm I noticed a deer walking along the edge of the woods about 100 yards off, but I couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe. I got Abel’s attention and told him I saw a deer, we both watched as it made its way down into an opening. We both then realized it was a doe. I was able to get some decent footage of her before a second doe came out from the same place. We watched and filmed them until they made their way out of sight, and those would be the last deer we would see that evening.
Abel and I didn’t get a chance to hunt Sunday before he had to head back to Cleveland. Its a major bummer that he doesn’t get to hunt more than once or twice when hes home, but he only has another five months left of college and that will put him home in perfect timing for shed season.
I ventured out again on October 23rd, Monday morning, but I never saw a deer. I went again that evening, but again, nothing. The same went for the next day, no deer…..So on October 25th, I headed out to a stand we set up on the edge of a standing cornfield for an evening hunt. It was as windy as could be that evening and about 60 degrees out, I really wasn’t expecting an eventful evening.
I had pretty much given up on that hunt before it even got under way, but I sat it out anyway. I really truly hate hunting when its windy out, yeah I know sometimes it can be good, but I hate not being able to hear anything around me….It was so windy out that evening, that I could barely hear the squirrel running around on the ground floor below only ten yards away from me. Luckily, the wind died down a little before dark. Just when I thought the evening was pretty much over, I heard the unmistakeable sound of a deer stepping into my midst. I instantly looked over my shoulder to see where it was, and there she stood, a beautiful young doe. She was slowly closing the distance and I was definitely going to take a shot if the opportunity presented itself. I had the treearm handle in one hand and my bow in the other, I followed her with the camera as she snacked on some acorns. She finally stepped out in an opening at 35 yards, I set the camera and got ready for the shot. Due to some branches, I had to crouch down and flip up my seat to lean up against the tree just to make the shot. I drew back, took aim, and let my arrow fly…..THA-WACK!!! I smoked her! She jumped up into the air kicking back her hind legs. She only made it about 30 yards before falling over and expiring. I threw fist up in an act of victory and redemption, thanking God that I was finally able to make good with an opportunity. Man, was I pumped! I had finally conquered my seemingly bad luck of a season. I know that its only a doe and a small one at that, but for me its not about how big or how small…I get just as pumped over a doe like this, as I do over seeing a big buck. Its all about the thrill, and the passion of the hunt. Even seeing a little spike buck is amazing to me, like I said big or small, it doesn’t matter God made them all. To even have an opportunity to see one, is being able to see an amazing animal that God created. You gotta know that God made allot of amazing things in this world for us to see and enjoy, and for me its getting to be in the woods in search of these awesome creatures during the days of October and the beginning of November that I enjoy the most.