This year I learned that every bow hunter will have a year where it seems that nothing goes the way they want it too. Well this year was my turn. I went the first part of the season without any shots at all, then I had a few shots and either lost the deer or missed the deer entirely. I practiced with my heavy clothes on, I practiced out of treestands, and I would shoot 3 times every week but nothing I did would change my luck! As you can imagine I was frustrated by late season, but I kept practicing and doing anything to give me an edge.
On the last Saturday of the January antlerless season, my mentor, Neil, and I went down to a spot that we were confident about, but the stand was already taken down. So instead I went 70 yards down the 2-track road to a 12 foot tall ladder stand with no brush around it to break up my outline. It was about 5:00 in the afternoon and I hadn’t seen a single thing yet. I look back over my left shoulder and down in the valley behind me there is a big doe coming up out of the bottom. I stand up and grab my bow but I think that there is no way that this big ole doe will get anywhere close to me. She comes up to the road and looks like she is going to go north (to where the other stand was) but instead she walked down the road that is 12 yards in front of me. Now she’s coming straight down the road right to me and I’ve never been so nervous! She stops at 15 yards and looks right up at me but doesn’t pay any attention to me and keeps on going. She walks right in front of me like nothing is wrong. Once she passed the tree branch in front of me I shift my weight to try to get a better shot and the stand creaks and there is no wind to cover the noise. But she doesn’t look my way so I draw my bow back and stopped her with my mouth. She stopped 13 yards away, quartering away so I hold my pin 2 inches behind the shoulder crease and let the string go. The arrow entered right where I wanted it to and came out right in the middle of the shoulder and the blood-coated arrow stuck in the ground on the other side. The monster doe bounded 40 yards away and looked back at the point of impact like nothing had even happened. She was mine! I finally tagged a big doe on the last weekend of the season!
I still had 1 more tag so Neil and I went to a different spot on Monday since I didn’t have school. We hadn’t seen anything till the last 5 minutes of legal shooting light when a few does came off the hay field. The first one was 35 yards away and got downwind of me, but didn’t know where I was. She went back and circled back north where she had come from. Then a few bucks came from the north on a trail that led 11 yards from my tree but they were not legal to shoot. Then a few does came off the hay field and walked right in front of me. I draw back, shoot and the doe bounded off to Neil and stands right in front of him. He shoots at her but barely missed. We got down a few minutes later and looked at the arrow that was coated in blood and started tracking. We found her bedded down about 120 yards away, but she wasn’t dead yet, I took another shoot that put her down quickly and cleanly.
Right when I was about to give up for the year, I end up tagging 2 deer on the last weekend of the season! Now I’m gearing up and practicing for turkey season. See y’all out there!