Headed over to Horse Creek yesterday afternoon. Intending to stay a few days, I pitched my tent around 3:30 and then headed to the swamp. When you’re all alone in camp, there’s nothing to do, so you might as well be sitting in a tree.
I was headed back to a hot Swamp Chestnut tree that I had found two weeks ago, just before the rain hit. It was as hot as anything you will find, at that time, with 7 or 8 piles of droppings under it. I was surprised that, even though it was extremely early in the season, the tree was dropping on its own.
This would be my 4th time sitting over this tree. I’m bad about trying to make something work, even when it doesn’t want to. There was just so much sign under this tree, I couldn’t accept not getting a shot over it. On the afternoon I found it, I was a little late climbing the tree, and spooked deer that were coming in to feed on it at 5:30. Other than that, I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of a deer.
Determined to give it one more chance, I got settled in good and early, around 5:00. The wind was as perfect as it could be, and surprisingly consistent. I had already made up my mind that this was the last climb over this tree. If nothing came in, I was going to walk away from it, even though I hated to.
Some turkeys came easing through around 6:00. That’s the one thing I had seen every time I had sat here. There were 10 or 11 birds in this flock, and they made their way on through the swamp. I sat for a long time after that, with nothing to see but the occasional squirrel.
The wind started to lay a little as darkness started to fall. With the super-dry leaf bed, I was now able to hear pretty good. Off to my right was an old clearcut, a little over 100 yards away. This is where I was expecting a deer to come from. I kept straining my ears for the slightest sound of an approaching animal. Suddenly I heard some commotion to my left, coming from deeper in the swamp. I tried to piece together the pattern of sounds and try to identify what it was that was coming closer. I felt almost certain that it was a deer. Daylight was down to its last few faint rays. I strained my eyes to pick up some movement from where the sound was coming from, which seemed like it was about 20 yards out. I couldn’t see anything, but whatever it was, it was underneath the far side of the chestnut. I kept waiting to hear the crunch of acorns, which would confirm to me that it was, indeed, a deer. As I was listening, I heard footsteps approaching from my right, toward the clearcut. I glanced back over my shoulder, and in a few seconds, saw a faint silhouette approaching. On its present heading, it would pass within 6-7 yards of my tree. The water oak I was sitting in was just inside the edge of the crown of the chestnut. I watched the deer approach through holes in the low-level canopy that was just beneath me. When it got even with my tree, it paused, and I heard it bust a chestnut acorn it its teeth. It was now just 6 yards away. The wind was very faint, but perfect, coming from the deer to me. I anticipated her path, and began looking ahead for a hole to shoot through. She picked up several more acorns as she eased along. I clutched the grip of my longbow tighter, anxious for an opportunity. My heart pounded. As she cleared the last bit of brush that had been preventing a shot, I strained to see in the fading light. There were three thing I needed to locate in order to make a good killing shot. The top of her back, the bottom of her chest, and the front leg. Feeling good about their position, I drew the bow back to full draw and settled in at anchor. The string slipped from my fingers, and the arrow was on its way. At 5 yards, it didn’t take long to get there. In the low light, I never saw it leave the bow. I did, however, hear a good “thump”, and the deer busted out, running hard back toward the clearcut. I could see her for about 15 yards before she disappeared into the blackness. About 50 yards out, I heard her stop. For probably 10 seconds, all was quiet. Then, suddenly, I heard a crash and knew she was down. Thank you LORD!
I gathered up my gear and climbed down. When I walked over to my arrow, I was surprised to see it covered in green slime. There was piles of green all over the ground, and on palmettos right near the hit. As I eased along, it slowly turned to good, red blood. Lots of it.
I followed it along for nearly 50 yards, and saw the white of her belly shine in the beam of my flashlight. This is a very memorable kill for me. My first deer with a longbow.
Check out the tips of her ears.
-------------------- Chris >>>>--------------->
The benefits of a big broadhead are most evident when things go wrong. - CTS Posts: 738 | From: Vidalia, GA | Registered: Oct 2006
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From the hole in her and how quickly she went down the shot looks good... Where did the slime come from? Did the shot angle back from the hole we can see in the pic?
Posts: 328 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Jul 2008
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-------------------- I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! Posts: 3021 | From: Stroud Township ,PA | Registered: Jan 2006
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