Last night was my 27th sit in stand this year, and I finally got a shot at a mature deer.
A yearling came bouncing thru the timber, and pulling mom in tow. As little bambino was passing behind me the doe came inside the 20 yard range and I slowly drew my bow. She sensed something and turned 180 and stopped. Of course she stopped exactly where the only tree between us was perfectly covering her vitals. And she stood there. And she stood there. And my arm started to shake from holding the draw. And finally I slowly leaned as far as I could to expose a small route to the kill zone and released my arrow. And the mystical flight of the arrow glanced off the side of the tree and the arrow flew to destinations unknown. I never saw where it went. Never located it again. And it had a lumenok on it. Baffling. I think it might have flown out into the standing corn field behind me.
The doe jumped and ran about 50 yards down into the timber behind some brush. The yearling jumped and ran the other way behind and passed me.
I slowly retrieved another arrow from my quiver, and nocked it on my bow. Bambino had no clue what just happened and returned to browsing directly behind me about 10 yards. The doe worked up the hillside and then started circling back towards me, searching for bambino. She stalled at what I guessed to be just over 30 yards. There was one small opening in the brush about 2 yrds ahead of her. Finally she stated to take steps forward and I again came to full draw. As she entered the gap in the brush I touched off arrow number two and watched as it skirted just under her belly and stuck in the ground. Shit! I just missed again.
She turned and ran back out to about 50 behind the brush. Bambino was still clueless. She stood behind me and continued to browse. While she walked around nibbling on plants I nocked arrow number 3 and the yearling entered my desired shooting lane at just 10 yards from me. I could see mom in the distance, and she was starting to approach, still searching for bambino. Mom was now on my bottom side bordering the corn field and reluctantly closing the distance and periodically stomping her feet. I knew this wasn't going to last much longer.
Mom finally entered an opening. An opening I had walked off just the evening before and knew to be 30 yards. I came to full draw once again, put my 30 yard pin in the pocket, and released. BAM!
Just like that, the doe lowered while turning and had to almost be rubbing her belly on the ground, ducking the arrow that just barely passed thru the crook between her neck and her shoulder blades. Miss number 3!
Frustrated I knocked arrow number 4 and watched as bambino once again entering my preferred shooting lane. Broadside, bambino stood at a mere 10 yards and still totally clueless as to what has just transpired or where I was located. As tempting as it was, it wasn't what I wanted. Mom had just bested me three times, I would not reward her by taking her baby. I returned my bow to the bow hanger, and watched as bambino leisurely walked back to mom. The two circled wide and out of range this time, as I sit in my tree and reflected on my failures.
Who said hunting was easy?
Today the winds are finally right for the stand I have killed my last three bucks out of. I haven't hunted it yet this year. I think I know where I'll be headed this afternoon.
Live to Hunt, Hunt to Live.