Monday, December 22, 2008

Two Deer, One Morning

As of Friday evening, I thought my deer season was quickly becoming a total bust. Archery season came and went while I was in Houston, my first couple of trips to the lease had proved to be unsuccessful, and due to some unfortunate circumstances my Missouri trip had to be cancelled. I woke up on Saturday morning with the intent of taking a doe if I was presented with a shot.

There was a slight wind from the south as I headed to get in my stand early Saturday morning, not exactly the best scenario for the stand location I was going to hunt. I climbed up in the stand, got situated and watched as the stars faded into the light of day. About 10 minutes after 7:00 I heard deer movement to my right. I could tell there were multiple deer heading in my direction, but I couldn't tell exactly how many. I went ahead and reached for my bow so as not to make any more movement than possible if the deer did proceed to walk within bow range.

And that they did. The first one, a doe, approached on a trail that leads out of the woodline and skirted within ten yards of my stand. I could see out of the corner of my eye that a second doe was about 15 yards behind her, still in the thicker woods. The first deer continued crossing in front of me from right to left and I drew my bow as she walked behind a small mesquite tree. As soon as she stepped out from behind that tree I loosed my carbon arrow. The arrow flew true and the 100-grain Thunderhead broadhead connected at 14 yards. The doe ran about 60 yards before expiring in the clearing. There would be no need to track this one. The other deer apparently wasn't spooked by the havoc that was wreaked by the flight of the arrow. She continued in my direction but veered away without stepping into a clearing within bow range. A third doe appeared behind her, following her same path. I watched these two deer feed about 80 yards away for the next hour and forty-five minutes. Several times they appeared to be heading back in my direction, but changed course while milling around in the open area in front of my stand.

Finally, at about five minutes until 9:00, the larger of the two deer made her way back toward my stand. When she got within 25 yards I drew my bow and made a risky decision to take a shot at this deer as she was quartering to me. The shot was slightly errant to the left. Not a big deal if it were a broadside shot or a quartering away shot, but the angle the deer was standing resulted in the shot placement being way too far back. I saw the deer run off, and I was somewhat concerned about recovering this one.

I got down out of the stand about 15 minutes later and was able to locate both arrows. I walked back to the truck and met up with Shane, who snapped these awesome pictures. He took the pictures of me with the first deer, we took care of the field dressing duties, and then began looking for the second deer. Fortunately, we found her about two hours after I shot her, and she had only gone about 100 yards.
After taking pictures of the second deer, Shane took some of me with both deer.
The fact that both of these deer were directly downwind of me and never even knew I was there is evidence of the odor-eliminating abilities of the Scent-Lok clothing I was wearing.

The weather was progressively getting cooler throughout the day, and I knew there wouldn't be any chance of the meat spoiling, so I let the deer hang overnight at the bunkhouse.

Saturday evening I hunted out of that same stand and didn't see anything but an opossum.

Sunday morning we woke up to frigid temperatures. It was 15 degrees when I got in my stand just before daylight. A familiar situation unfolded Sunday morning as two more does walked in on the same trail at about 7:30. Both of them walked past my stand within bow range, but I had filled both of my doe tags the previous day.

I quit hunting at about 8:15 because I needed to allow myself time to get the deer to the processor in Muenster, which was a little over an hour away. I dropped both deer off and placed an order for ten pounds of deer sticks and ten pounds of summer sausage. I'm gonna need some more freezer space!

Two deer in one morning with the bow. I'd say that was a hunt to remember.

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