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    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Our deer season’s only been in for about a month now, but I feel like I’ve been at it a lot longer than that. The third day of hunting for me would find me stumbling around in the woods, checking out some new ground, jumping bedded deer and surprising a couple of yearlings, one of which I was able to get an arrow loose on, only to miss.

      If you’d been in the woods with me on day 6 afield, you may have seen me standing in a semi-crouch in one of our natural ground blinds attempting a nearly impossible shot through an unanticipated ‘window’ on the heavily overgrown right side of the blind. I watched in grave disappointment as my arrow deflected off a branch and sailed over the back of a young buck harmlessly. Extracting the three blade Woodsman from the Osage it found left me with a fine chunk of finger skin removed.

      On day 7 in the wild, while sitting in head high tallgrass along the edge of a field, I’d have an experience that would almost ruin me for trad bowhunting. I’d seen a lot of deer and been busted twice, thanks to the swirling winds along the corner of a winter wheat field, causing me to change positions as many times. A running doe appeared with a large bodied forkhorn in hot pursuit and the route they were on would bring them onto the trail I’d positioned downwind of, as I’d seen the deer using this trail to access the field all morning. As they got closer, it dawned on me that the only shot I would have would come if I could stand up, so I did, in a rather informal fashion. The doe swerved and bailed into the woods. The buck, obviously a little too curious for his own good, stopped broadside, dead in his tracks, eyeballing me. I drew, anchored, and as I felt my fingers relaxing, the buck lunged forward, taking the arrow high in the right hip. As he spun around to head back the way he came, the arrow fell out of his left hip and he was off.

      I sat for an hour, partially in the company of my hunting partner who’d found me. When we took up the trail, the amount of blood grew hopes of a severed femoral artery. Two hours and a half mile later found us on a nearly dried up blood trail at the ‘halo deer trail’ on the sandy lakeshore. Checking for any blood in the sand in either direction proved ineffective and the deer was nowhere to be found. I trust the coyotes ate well that night.

      I prayed this would never happen to me again. No matter how many people tell me “it happens”, I don’t feel any better about it.

      Yesterday, I arrived late for day number 8. My hopes were deflated as I approached my favorite morning spot on the field and found two friends there, gearing up to head in. An intimate relationship with the deer that use this field, like the one I formed last season, would have helped them not make their first mistake of parking on the wrong side of the road. From the farthest point in the back of the field, when the sun rises, any vehicle parked there lights up like a lighthouse, announcing the presence of the unnatural.

      Mistake number two came in the fumbling of keys by the driver, when the ‘HONK, HONK, HONK, HONK” alarm was accidentally set off. I definitely had doubts about this morning being very productive here now, but against my better judgement, decided to go ahead and split the corner with them anyway. After two hours of daylight and no deer movement, I decided I’d had enough and headed for the truck and Plan B.

      I pulled into Plan B a few minutes later and headed in. As I came into the creekbed that surrounds most of the knoll where we have a ground blind built, I was greeted by a small flock of turkeys. My luck, season’s in and me with no tag in my pocket for birds!:roll: I head on in to the blind and settle for a half hour or so before a big doe comes trotting the same path behind and right of the blind, where I’d taken the shot on the young buck two weeks prior. She made short work of getting lost from sight into the woods.

      I’d readjusted my seating position in hopes that I could watch my back for another deer to follow her, but when I turned my head to check center stage a few minutes later, there was a deer there! She was facing the blind, but when she turned her head back to lick her side, I sprang to my feet and turned to line up for a shot. She caught some of my movement and went super cautious, choosing to walk out of the clearing at a good clip. Her path however, would bring her within feet of the blind, so I continued a slow draw and tracked her movement. As she made it to about six yards, I’d anchored and let the string slip from my grip. The arrow hit her hard with a loud ‘WHOP’. the deer was gone, arrow in the ground next to where she’d been and I WAS SHAKING!! 20 yards- no blood.. I began to panic. Then i found the first blood, and lots of it. Another 40-50 yards through the woods, I looked up and spotted her there, resting in the leaves, no longer breathing. I found my knees and said a prayer of thanks.

      While she is not a big buck, nor a big doe, she’s my trophy as my first confirmed traditionally harvested deer.

    • Shane Balow
      Post count: 24

      congratulations!!!!

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Congrats! Great job!

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Great looking deer. Congrats!

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      Congrats on the first enjoy the moment.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Nice one, looks like a trophy to me.

      Mark.

    • MSARCHER
      Member
      Post count: 93

      Congrats! they are all trophys with trad gear….that’s whats so awesome about this stuff!

    • kellydockter
      Post count: 67

      great job

    • Wexbow
      Post count: 403

      Love it Rory! Enjoy he success and the venison my friend 8)

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      Great job !! And great story ! Congratulations !!

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      Congrats, bro!

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Thanks to all. It’s amazing how connecting and putting one down can boost ones confidence. I’m on my way out the door this morning to go try another spot and see if I can find any bucks moving around.

      Good luck to everyone.

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