Last Friday 11/10 I killed my first deer. This was my first deer with any weapon and my first legit harvest with my bow. The following is my journey to killing this animal the amazing experience it was.
I did not grow up hunting, but picked it up in college about 16 years ago. I was hooked right away, but spent the majority of my time bird hunting. One of my hunting mentors turned me onto bow hunting and he hunted with a recurve, so naturally I got one as well. We hunted pretty hard the first year and had some nice encounters. One of the encounters was with a 1.5 year old buck that I we called in. I took a shot at him, but through the excitement I didnít see the giant bush he was standing behind. I hit a branch and the arrow deflected and hit high above the spine. The deer survived and my buddy is pretty sure he found his matured shed about 6 years later.
After that first year bow hunting I moved to Texas, sold my bow and didnít pick up another bow for about 10 years. While in Texas I got the itch to shoot again and ended up buying and selling a few bows, but finalized on my one and only bow, a Black Widow PCH Greybark. In 2012 I returned home to KS to hunt with my longtime mentor and hunted a week of the rut on some amazing private ground. I had many shot opportunities on does and yearling bucks, but I knew what was running around the woods. I did see two big mature deer chasing does that week and they are images that are burned in my mind forever. On the last evening of the last day we went to a bean field that my buddy had been seeing a nice 6 point. Sure enough he came out with about 30 minutes of shooting light left. The deer busted me as I was drawing and the game was over.
Over the next 5 years I moved back to KS and bow hunted as time allowed. I have three young children, so with work and family that time allowed in not very often. I saw deer on most of my hunts, but other than some missed opportunities at turkeys and one dead coyote, I had yet to shoot at another deer in 15 years. 2017 was hopefully going to be different and I had a week of vacation schedule for 11/11-11/19.
My hunting area is public ground not too far from my house. I spent the majority of my time scouting maps and had only been in this section of woods a few time. The area gets quite a bit of pressure and I was fortunate to gain access to the public land from some bordering private ground. This gave me an advantage and in the areas I wanted to hunt I found some very promising sign. My first sit was 11/4 and I saw four does and possibly a buck in the woods. I busted them out of their beds as I was coming out of the woods. I initially thought the majority of deer were feeding in some fields to the North and traveling South to bed. After going over the maps again with my friend and some road scouting, we determined there are deer feeding to the South and my game plan was to catch them traveling north to bed.
Friday 11/10 I had the morning to hunt and had to be back to work at 12:00. Knowing I had the week ahead to hunt, my hunt was actually more of a scouting trip. The wind was a SE wind and I got to within a couple hundred yards of a planted wheat field I believed the deer were feeding in. The field is to my South and I was hoping the deer would travel to the North in my direction to bed. I got set up right at sunrise with a scrape about 10 yards right in front of me. I had little expectations of getting a shot and was really just gearing up for the week ahead.
Sunrise was 7:00 and about 8:00 I heard some crashing in the woods to the South. A few seconds later a doe came running underneath my stand with a yearling buck right behind her. With a buck and a doe tag, I had made up my mind I was going to shoot any deer that game me an opportunity. My efforts to stop the two deer failed and they were out of sight in no time. I kept my bow handy hoping another buck would be along. Sure enough about 20 seconds later I see another buck coming from the South. The first two deer passed to the right of my tree and this second buck was going to pass to my left. I did not have any lanes on my left side and as he passed I could see he was a 10 point probably 2.5 year old deer. I grunted at him and he stopped behind a large Cedar tree and started grunting back at me. It was awesome! I could see him looking for me and we were grunting at each other for maybe 10-15 seconds. He came around the other side of the cedar and he needed to take two more steps for me to shoot. I couldnít believe this was going to happen and as I was ready to draw the buck smelled where the doe went and turned and left on her trail. So close, but what an experience.
I texted a few friends of my encounter and with my adrenaline lowered I thought the hot doe another buck may come by. About 5-10 minutes passed and I see a nice buck coming on the exact trial the doe ran. It all happened in a matter of seconds. The deer came from behind me on my right side. As he got closer I hear him breathing very heavy with each step. He was walking at a good pace and was going pass in the most perfect shooting lane about 12 yards right in front of me. When he reached the lane he was quartering away from me and I shot him on his left side. I donít remember picking a spot, I donít remember consciously drawing and hitting my anchor and I donít remember the release. I know I did it because I saw the arrow hit him about six inches behind his left shoulder and zip right through him. It was crazy how fast it all unfolded.
The buck bolted on a trail and I thought I heard a crash but assumed it was him going through the woods. My initial thought on seeing the hit was I hit him too far back. I texted my buddy, but he himself was hunting and not able to take my call. After my shakes subsided I climbed down, packed up my stand and sticks and retrieved my arrow. It was covered in blood and did not stink. At this point my experience here is only from what I have read and I was looking for three things. Bad odor, blood with bubbles or dark red blood. I felt good there was no odor, but the blood just looked like blood to me. I started to trail very slowly and found quarter sized drops about every 3 feet or so. After about 30 yards the trail opened up into a clearing and as I entered the clearing I could see my buck about 20 yards ahead.
I couldnít believe it. He died within 50 yards of the shot and maybe four or five seconds after he was hit. My shot ended up taking out both lungs. What a surreal experience it was to walk up on a deer I just killed. I was thankful I was by myself as I just sat there and admired this beautiful animal. Its fun to look at a mount on someone wall, but what a difference it is seeing one on the ground. My bow is Black Widow PCH. 56# @ 28Ē. I pull 26Ē. Arrows are CE 250 and broad head was VPA three blade 190 grain
If someone will post pictures for me, I would be thankful. Preferably pictures that are not red x, as that is all I see mostly now.
Posts: 148 | From: KS | Registered: Nov 2011
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Congrats!!! Awesome story!! Can't wait to see the pictures!!
-------------------- Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything. Posts: 28 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2015
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