Not sure if this will bake you feel any better, but here is my first choke of the season due to buck fever.
[font=calibri]Saturday the 27th was a day filled with a wide range of events that spawned a wide range of emotions.[/font]
[font=calibri]Weather conditions were N/NW winds 5-10 mph. Temps started at 49 degrees and wound up getting into low 80's by that afternoon.[/font]
[font=calibri]Arrived at my climber which i had left ready to go last Sunday at the tree I wanted to hunt out of. I was downwind and 10 yards of my drip bottle and mock scrape I created last Sunday. I had also left my trail camera in place.[/font]
[font=calibri]Upon I arrival I suddenly got the idea to go ahead and put my trail camera on avi mode to film 20 second movie files just in case I could catch the action. I also noticed the flash was set to off. So l turned it on and within a few seconds I was getting strobed with flashes from own camera! Talk about an illuminating idea! Well I quickly turned that back off and I sure every critter in the woods just saw the "Human Alert Beacon"... Not a stellar start...[/font]
[font=calibri]Things were very quit up to 8 am and then I saw at about 75-80 yards the unmistakable flicker of a white tail. There were one, two then three does coming at me from the east end of the wood lot. Last Saturday out i didn't see a darn thing now three! I was pumped. They kept out of bow range and then slipped into the thickets that were about 50 in yards in front of me. Very cool. That got the juices flowing. I sat down and picked up my book to start reading as I had some light. Not 5 minutes later I hear and then see two does coming in from the east again and what is bringing up the rear but a buck! Oh man now I'm shaking. They are not slowing down so I barely had time to get ready cause these three deer are cutting across my killing field quickly. I locked on to the buck and quickly decided to shoot as he enters the first shooting lane. He is going to be at about 25 yards. I am shaking. The action is just happening very quickly and frankly has kinda taken me by surprise. I draw and release without even thinking about it and send may arrow right over his back... Noooooo! I want that back. The buck bolts and hits the thicket and then stops looking back where he had come from and was looking for the source of noise. While I am keeping my eye on the buck hoping through some miracle I had not missed when I damn well knew I did. a group of four more does comes in from the east and starts rooting around about 40 yards out. They never got close enough to present a clear shot. In fact they were probably there for over 30 minutes milling around just out of range before they too disappeared into the thickets. Somewhere during that time the buck must have slipped deeper into the thickest as well.[/font]
[font=calibri]Completely disgusted with myself I sat back down.<sigh> I, at that point, was seriously considering quitting bow hunting all together. I had set myself up, planned this ambush, and at the moment of truth choked big time. Man am I loser. Get this I catch movement again! A doe is coming out of the thicket where the buck had run in. I started to shift to try and get into position when I notice another deer behind her about 15 or so yards back. It is the same buck. Unfortunately me moving got the does attention and she starts stamping and then the dreaded snort. That was it. Game over. Both of them about faced and took off blowing the whole way. Ummm, yeah. Can it get any worse?[/font]
[font=calibri]That's when I decided to get down and leave. Think it through. You just got your head handed to by a four legged critter with a brain the size of a tennis ball. Not a great feeling. So I went for lunch.[/font]
[font=calibri]On the way to lunch I also took down my trail camera and downloaded the pics. This turned out to be the key to the upcoming afternoon success. They showed a pattern of movement around 8 am in the morning and then again starting about 6 pm. What went into the thickets was probably coming out. [/font]
[font=calibri]Lunch was even part of the day as I ended up at my grandfathers' old restaurant in a small town about 5 miles from where I was hunting. He's been gone about 8 years now and they sold the place in the early 90's when he retired, but being in there and remembering him, and his life living as a kid through the depression, then at 18 being a soldier in WW2, and all the other challenges he faced in his lifetime kinda made me think my little failure at deer hunting that morning really wasn't that big a deal and if I just stopped, slowed down and thought it through I would eventually be successful.[/font]
[font=calibri]So still smarting from my morning's failure, but not feeling sorry for myself I got back to my climber at about 2 pm. I decided to move further up the trail which would give me a clear shot at the area were the does had been milling around. Sat down with my book and waited, sweating and getting hammered by the mosquitoes. Uhg, Can't wait for the first frost.[/font]
[font=calibri]Right on time at about 6:30 pm I see two good sized does coming out of thicket. I would not have had a chance at shooting them from my morning location, but they are now walking right towards me. I waited until the larger of the two was coming broad side at about 20 yrds. As soon as she stepped behind a small tree I drew back, and she stops for a good 2 to 3 minutes. (Must have heard me). By this time she steps out she turns and is now coming head on for a step or two then quarters away. I let loose as I have now been holding my draw for a few minutes and was getting shaky. That familiar and welcome thump and as I looked up I could see the arrow embedded in her rear hind quarter, but it was also coming out the other side! She slowly started to move off obviously hurt. I could see blood spurting. At first I thought to myself "You idiot, what kinda shot was that"! Nothing text book about it. So I waited a good 20 minutes and then called my cousin and asked to borrow a Coleman lantern because I knew I had along tracking job ahead of me.[/font]
[font=calibri]I got down and started to check the spot where I had hit her. I expected to find some blood, but there was a lot more than I had expected. In fact it was very easy to see where she had gone even in the failing light. I backed off at the edge of the thicket and marked my last blood with a practice arrow and some reflective tape. My cousin and uncle both grabbed flashlights and by the time we got back into the woods about 45 minutes had passed since the shot. Amazingly 20 minutes later and about 150 yards into the thicket I found her dead. The blood trail was two sided and heavy. I think I actually hit and severed one or both main arteries into her legs and she bled out pretty quick. I don't think she lasted more than 10-15 minutes or so after shot judging by how she was moving and how far she got.[/font]
[font=calibri]I've still got a lot to learn, but now at least the monkey is off my back this season. I put one in the freezer. I actually gave it to my cousin and uncle for letting me hunt their property and helping with the recovery.[/font]
Estimated dressed check-in weight was 120-110 lbs. My biggest doe to date.
Veni, Vidi, Sagittam Mittere, now I'm ready for my nap