The forecast said “Windy”, and they weren’t joking. The wind was trying its level best to blow me out of the tree. The stand was bucking under me like a mad bull at a rodeo, but I was determined to ride it out. I held on for 8 seconds, and then some. I knew that the wind should die down close to dusk, and hoped I might catch a deer slipping through.
At about 6:20, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of movement. A quick glance revealed a squirrel to my left, about 6 yards away. He was ascending a tree that had died and fallen over at a 45 degree angle. I watched him work his way up, and then stop. I was up about 18 feet, and he was at about 12. I thought, “If I had a hammerhead on the string, you’d be in trouble.” He turned around and looked at me like he’d heard me, but didn‘t believe me. It sort of made me mad.
He turned his back to me, showing an absolute disrespect for my marksmanship abilities. That really made me mad. Right then I thought, “You ain’t too good for a TreeShark, little buddy.” I started easing my hand up to retrieve my bow from its hanger. In mid-reach, he turned and looked at me once again. I looked away like I wasn’t up to anything. He relaxed, and turned his back to me once again, this time with his tail curled up behind him, all nice and comfy.
I managed to get my hand on my bow, and get it off the hanger. I knew I couldn’t stand without spooking him, so I did a dry run with my bow, making sure my limbs were clear and wouldn’t strike anything if I shot from a seated position. They wouldn’t. I couldn’t really extend my draw with the way my body was situated, so I came back to about half-draw, and bore down on a spot center-of-mass on the rat. I dropped the string, and the bow made a very subdued “foomp”.
The arrow hit him exactly where I was looking, going in just deep enough to mess up my feathers. He fell from the tree, bounced once, and quit. The whole scenario had created no more racket than a pinecone falling to the ground. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and sent Dave a text letting him know his broadheads work on squirrels too. I don’t believe I saw another squirrel for the rest of the evening.
When the light started to dim, and the wind began to lay, I went ahead and stood up in anticipation of some action. Expecting any movement to come from either the front or right-rear of my stand, I was turned with my right shoulder leaning against the tree. At 6:57, I heard a twig snap behind me, and then a few footsteps in the semi-damp leaves on the forest floor. My heart immediately screamed “Deer!”, and went to pounding away. But I have been fooled before. I needed visual confirmation. I started to, very slowly, glance back over my shoulder. I scanned the area in the 12-15 yard range, but didn’t see anything. About that time, I glimpsed movement. The deer wasn’t at 12-15 yards, he was at 6!
The way he was pointed, he was going to pass behind me going from my left to right. If I could get turned around in time, I’d have a wide open, broadside shot to the left-rear of my stand, at about 4 yards. I tried to turn as fast as I could without giving him cause to look up. I was about halfway through my rotation when he decided to start walking. It didn’t take but a second to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to complete the turn before he got behind my tree. I would have to shoot him off the right-rear of my stand after he passed by.
I turned back around as quickly as possible, but before I could get all the way around, my safety rope started to bind. I wasn’t going to have enough slack to get into position to shoot! I started fighting with it, trying desperately to get enough slack into it so I could get around to make the shot. At the last second, I got just enough, and got my feet into position.
About that time, the buck hit a hole, and I grunted to stop him. It was too windy for him to hear it, and he continued walking. As a last resort, I made a loud, obnoxious bleat that locked him up. Just in time too. One more step and he would have been gone. I hit anchor and could see, in the dim light, a small sapling about the size of your thumb directly over the kill zone. It only appeared to be about 12-18 inches from his body. I figured if I got a deflection, it wouldn’t be enough to matter. I released.
I watched the orange feathers go to the mark, but not disappear into the buck. He immediately exploded, with the arrow banging on every tree he passed. It sounded like a game of Plinko. I listened to him run for about 50 yards, then all was quiet. I figured either he was down, or the arrow had pulled out. In another couple of seconds, I once again heard that “arrow slapping” sound, but this time it remained stationary. He was done.
After climbing down, I walked over to where he had been standing at the shot. 12 yards. I inspected the sapling that had been blocking my shot, and found a ¼ inch cut in the side of it. That explained the lack of penetration. I looked for blood at the hit, and didn’t see any. Then I looked to the left 5 feet. Wow! My son was hunting in another nearby branch. I decided to give him some more experience at bloodtrailing, so I went and got him.
This is the first blood after the hit. My son is standing next to the tree for reference. He’s 5’5”.
Then more like this.
When we found him, he had made it about 50 yards before piling up. There was no exit wound, but the entrance wound was big enough to stick my hand in (pictures upon request). After clipping the tree, the arrow had entered on a bias, robbing a lot of penetration, but still there was enough to get to the offside leg. The broadhead was bulging just under the skin.
-------------------- 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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-------------------- "Always feel the wind, and walk just like the leaves". ("LongBow Country"--Chad Slagle, "High, Wild, and Free"). Posts: 3961 | From: Sayreville, New Jersey | Registered: Feb 2007
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-------------------- You can hop but you can't hide. If it was not for rabbits I would never get a buck. Yip yipahooooo yipyipyip. Posts: 2681 | From: Modesto California | Registered: Sep 2007
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