Home Forums Campfire Forum Just brought home my first deer killed with a trad bow.

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    • David Becker
      Member
      Post count: 112

      I’m lucky enough to hunt on my own land. I spent some time in my stand today thinking about Paleoman’s post on “Holy Ground” and how the land we bought 2 1/2 years ago had become a holy place for me. In fact I’d thought after I came out of my stand, I’d try to draft some kind of thoughtful reply to that post.

      At about 20 minutes before end of legal shooting, but with about 5 minutes left to make a shot ethically, a big doe came walking noisily through the brush right in front of me.

      I picked a spot, settled and loosed. I knew I hit her and listened to her crash through the brush and then stop.

      Long story short, it took me and my neighbor and hunting partner a while to find her, but she hadn’t gone all that far, just in to the deep dark pucker brush.

      She’s hanging in the garage right now. We were going to try to process our own, but it’s going to be 80 tomorrow, so I’ll be at the meat cutter as soon as the open.

      I’m still processing this. I’ve killed deer with a gun before, but this is different.

      The only way I can put it is I feel like a real hunter now. I didn’t get this just because I was lucky. I did this because I did the work, and I was lucky.

      I appreciate you guys on here. You’ve been a big inspiration.

      Regards,

      David

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2374

      Good Job!

      You are the first person I know of that has managed to actually take a deer their first traditional season. For me, it took 3 years. Fred Bear took 5 years to harvest his first deer with a traditional bow.

      If you keep at it, you will have tough times. But getting through the tough times is what makes having one hanging in the garage oh so sweet.

      Enjoy the meat!

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Congratulations. It is different isn’t it. Took me 3 years of frustration before I got my first. I remember it like it was yesterday.

    • Cameron Unruh
      Member
      Post count: 240

      I am happy for you and jealous of you at the same time! Still looking for my Buck this year. Enjoy!

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      Good for you! Looking forward to picking your brain about those blacktail once I make it back over there permanently. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      David

      A big congrats, well done. Guess your gonna have to amend that article you were telling me about:D

      Mike

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2271

      David, cheers to you! That’s just terrific. It took me a few years and a few misses to connect and now it’s three years since. I agree, I find a lot of inspiration here, too. This post of yours included! Best wishes, dwc

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      GREAT!!! This will be my second year trying for deer with a trad bow. Lot of times I felt really foolish last year, realizing the deer were all in back of me, or the wind changing so I stunk the woods up. Got up from a stand once and flushed 3 deer that were right next to me. Total frustration when the deer are there, but behind a bunch of twigs that would surely deflect my arrow. So many things that can go wrong!! You managed to overcome all of that and succeed!!!!

    • drew4fur
      Post count: 81

      Fantastic stuff man, the trad bow deer really awakens something inexplicable inside you!

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      David – I’m very happy for your success and that you have something special in the place! I hope all of us have a place like that to visit this fall.

    • Lydell Newell
      Member
      Post count: 16

      great job i shot my first button buck last year with my recurve its a great feeling ive shot a lot with a training wheel bow and shot gun but with a traditional bow is just better feeling. my season dont start untill oct 1st here in indiana

    • Carl Brickey
      Member
      Post count: 105

      Awesome! Congratulations! Glad to see the work you put in paid off. There are so many knowledgeable folks that contribute on this forum, just reading through the threads is the equivalent of a Master’s in Traditional Archery and Bowhunting.

    • Steve Capps
      Post count: 85

      Took me five years to take my first. That was 34 years ago but seems like just yesterday. If I’d had this resource back then it may have shortened the learning curve a bit. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Congrats, David!

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      Thank you all for the kind words and congratulations.

      I am indeed very lucky to make this happen my first year. I returned to hunting several years ago after not hunting for a long time. I got totally skunked my first few years out here.

      The Pacific Northwest is very different from Eastern Kentucky, and Blacktails and Elk are very different from Whitetails. Moving to a weapon that’s considered less capable seemed like madness in someways, but I felt like it would work out.

      When it came to the archery part, I felt like all the pieces were out there laying around, and I just had to snap them together. People hunted with bows for thousands of years, then, in Western Culture at least, we forgot how. People like Fred Bear had to reinvent that.

      People coming into Trad bowhunting today have it much easier. Between books and the Internet, my learning curve was steep but short. The first bow I bought was of good quality. I was able to put together arrows that worked really well off the gate with Stu Miller’s calculator, and Dr. Ashby’s research led me to a big single bevel broad head that worked extremely well.

      I read a book by Asbell, and watching Youtube videos by Jeff Kavanaugh and Clay Hayes really helped me with the mechanics of shooting. I shot everyday, and if I keep it up between now and March, I’ve got a pretty good chance of getting Rhineheart to honor their warranty on an 18-1.

      Many of the thoughtful posts on this forum, and a couple of David Petersen’s books really touched my heart on what it means to hunt with a trad bow and really inspired me.

      So this new generation of trad bowhunters have the benefit of some community elders, and that is wonderful.

      Right now I’m in my Mid-40’s, and doing stuff that most people do at a much younger age, getting (re)-married, buying a first house, having a baby etc. But I’m also at that phase where I’m reflecting back and thinking about what my future contributions will be.

      We are making a serious effort to live as closely to our land as we can. As my neighbor and I were hauling my deer down the hill on stick Monday night, I thought “I’d like to get really good at this, then teach other people how to do it.”

      So I’m sitting with that idea in the back of my head.

      Good luck to everybody out there. Stay safe and enjoy the woods.

      David

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2271

      Great words. You just set an honorable goal for yourself and I know you’ll achieve it, one arrow at a time. Peace, dwc

    • skinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Awesome job David! Blacktails are quite the cagey critters.One thing about the Pacific northwest, as a trad bow hunter you can use how dense the undergrowth is to your advantage.It took me three years before I got my first bowhunting kill ( cow elk) ( started off trad and never looked back).I’m still learning though and honing my skills.This site was the best source of information when I started and I knew nothing of the Ashby study or single bevel, high foc arrows.As a matter of fact this is the only hunting blog I care to read.Here we find like minded folks with a wealth of knowledge all willing to share.Once again well done sir.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      Great work David!

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      skinner biscuit wrote: Awesome job David! Blacktails are quite the cagey critters.One thing about the Pacific northwest, as a trad bow hunter you can use how dense the undergrowth is to your advantage.It took me three years before I got my first bowhunting kill ( cow elk) ( started off trad and never looked back).I’m still learning though and honing my skills.This site was the best source of information when I started and I knew nothing of the Ashby study or single bevel, high foc arrows.As a matter of fact this is the only hunting blog I care to read.Here we find like minded folks with a wealth of knowledge all willing to share.Once again well done sir.

      Thanks! You are right about the Blacktails. I was really ok with the fact that White Tails were smart, cagey animals with superior senses that would outsmart me and get away if I wasn’t on my game.

      With Black Tails, I wonder if I should worry about them sneaking up behind me, stealing my wallet and using my debit card to buy stuff on the internet.

      You aren’t very far from me. I’m over in Yacolt in SW Washington. A book that I’ve found real useful for hunting this area is “Hunting Black-Tailed Deer: An Oregon Perspective” by Louis Terkla. It’s one of the best hunting books I’ve read. He didn’t care about horns, hunted for decades for the table. I learned a bunch about hunting from that book.

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Wose, congrats. I am in my second year with 100% trad. I almost had a few last year, but the stars were not in line.

      I hope to take my first deer today! ๐Ÿ˜† I am going out tonight on this wet PA opening day!

      Anyway. You sound just like me, I appretiate the help from all the “old guys” and all the books/internet info out there.

      Congrats again on our doe!8)

    • skinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Have it!The author uses the same WW2 packboard I have.:)

      attached file
    • Todd Smith
      Post count: 167

      Congratulations!! It is very different and I’m stoked for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Vintage Archer
      Member
      Post count: 276

      There is something about your first traditional kill. It is like your first “love” you never forget it:D

      C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      skinner biscuit wrote: Have it!The author uses the same WW2 packboard I have.:)

      Cool. I preach that book to people whenever I get a chance. I actually took it in mind to go look him up and see if I could email him or something, but he’s passed on.

      What I want to find is the equivalent of that book, only for west of the Cascades Roosevelt Elk. Much like most of the literature out there about deer is about either Whitetails or Mule Deer, and thus doesn’t always apply to Blacktails, much of the reading I’ve done about Elk is about Rocky Mountain Elk in places like Montana.

      When I’m in the puckerbrush out here, and I can see about 20 yards, I always think “Great! Let’s spot and stalk!”

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      And thanks for the kind words and congrats everybody. We just had our first meal of Venison Picado and it was wonderful.

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      congrats on the first. enjoy the memory for the rest of your life.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Congrats! 8)

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      Here are some tips on hunting Rosies I ran across that I’m itching to test. Undoubtedly someone here can vet them for us:

      Washington State Roosevelt Elk Tips

    • skinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Here are some thoughts on hunting Roosevelt’s.I like a mountain bike behind the locked gates.Get a hardtail and put a fender rack on the back.Cary spare tubes and tools and a tire pump.You will need a headlamp to move out before first light.(I like the petzl that has the color change leds,green works good)You’ll be surprised how you can come up too elk either pedaling or pushing and they don’t spook unless your going fast(predator).Pay attention to wind it will swirl and change constantly.Put a Velcro strap on your quiver and add a fir branch,it will screen your draw and break up your outline.Hang your hunting clothes out in like terrain you will be hunting and take a black n white picture.You will see how effective it is.(I put a few short fir stems in my boonie hat that stick up about a inch over my head to make me look like a Bush)Dont worry so much about making noise when walking (unless on a stalk) and give a occasional toot on the cow call.If you get in a herd of cow’s,now’s the time to bugle.Cary a Montana decoy on your bike as a lot of times they will want to see a elk doing the talking.(I pedaled up to two bull’s in a clear cut this year and ditched the biked ,moved off the road and cow called.They would look up and when they didn’t see a cow go back to browsing) Yep,should of used the decoy,lesson learned.Heavy rains?I stay home.It will wash away the bloodtrail and chances are you will be tracking through dense brush,briars and reprod,that can challenge the most seasoned of trackers.Adler thickets?I have followed them by the breaking of sticks,no hoof prints because of blankets of leaves and only by the urine and fresh dung did I know I was still on the track.(mentally draining)Get a pair of (hand)pruning shears and you can silently clip your way through a hellhole.Make trails when scouting (machete) and hide the ends.Animals will maintain and love them and they’ll be there next year.Remember Roosevelt’s are territorial and if you find them in a area as long as there is no change to habitat(logging)they will be there next year.Use the bike as a packhorse and you can carry all you want with little effort.Stash off the road and camouflage with available fauna.Like blacktail deer if you bump them a lot of times they will circle back to the same spot!:P

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      Hey Skinner,

      That’s some good gouge right there. Thanks man. I do intend to dust off the mountain bike next year. I’m hunting NF land so we don’t have the plethora of gated roads you do over there, but I’ve identified a couple that have a big washout, or the NF has closed down.

      How bad are people about over-calling in your area? I was sneaking out a ridge with my muzzle loader (forgive me my sins) this October and got excited when I heard a bugle. Long story short, do the frequency of the calling, I started suspecting pretty quick it was another hunter. I finally crept to where I could see him on the road below me. The dude was standing in plain sight, sitting on the hood of his pickup, alternating blowing a cow call and a bugle every 30 seconds.

      I managed to blow “shave and a haircut” on my cow call at him, but he still didn’t figure out I wasn’t an elk….

      I guess there is no helping some folks.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      In regards to bugling: When I hunted Roosevelt elk this past September I heard some bulls bugle. And I figured out pretty quick that the only time the herd bull bugled was when a hunter spooked him, he was moving away from the hunter and his harem. So he would bugle to get the cows to follow him. Once everyone was back together and moving he would shut up. A local that had been hunting there for 30 years told me if the elk here you cow call they immediately flee, and I experienced this after tracking a herd for a few hours I got into them bedded down. I was about 30 yards and started cow calling (now my cow calls aren’t very convincing…) they got right up and walked off. Talk about thick brush, I never caught a glimpse of hide, just heard them walking away.

      I was a little too cautious about making noise while looking for the elk. Approaching it too much like deer hunting.

      Sure was fun!

      Thanks for all the tips Skinner.

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      eidsvolling wrote: Here are some tips on hunting Rosies I ran across that I’m itching to test. Undoubtedly someone here can vet them for us:

      Washington State Roosevelt Elk Tips

      Oh I missed your post earlier. Thanks for that.

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      Ptaylor wrote: In regards to bugling: When I hunted Roosevelt elk this past September I heard some bulls bugle. And I figured out pretty quick that the only time the herd bull bugled was when a hunter spooked him, he was moving away from the hunter and his harem. So he would bugle to get the cows to follow him. Once everyone was back together and moving he would shut up. A local that had been hunting there for 30 years told me if the elk here you cow call they immediately flee, and I experienced this after tracking a herd for a few hours I got into them bedded down. I was about 30 yards and started cow calling (now my cow calls aren’t very convincing…) they got right up and walked off. Talk about thick brush, I never caught a glimpse of hide, just heard them walking away.

      I was a little too cautious about making noise while looking for the elk. Approaching it too much like deer hunting.

      Sure was fun!

      Thanks for all the tips Skinner.

      Wowsers.

      I don’t think it’s quite that bad here, yet. Last year, I did have a cow answer me, but then I think expected me to come to her, rather than come to me, given the fact that she was in a hellhole of Devil’s Club that wasn’t happening, and I didn’t have a cow tag anyway.

    • skinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Calling is like rattling horns, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.Break sticks,rake trees with a branch as well.I met a gentleman who had called in and killed five bulls in the area I was hunting.He said he has been after this one same bull for three years now and has been close many times and you had to be gentle with the calling.Remember elk themselves make bad sounding calls so don’t worry about being a world champion bugler. Make sure to give them plenty of time to respond and trust your camo!…I cow call more than bugle.Listen to what their doing and try to mimic.Dont over call but don’t be afraid to call.Yes theirs a lot of calling out there but get away and go into places other hunters don’t go (to steep,dense,etc.)and you will find more game, they will be more responsive.

    • David Becker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 112

      skinner biscuit wrote: Calling is like rattling horns, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.Break sticks,rake trees with a branch as well.I met a gentleman who had called in and killed five bulls in the area I was hunting.He said he has been after this one same bull for three years now and has been close many times and you had to be gentle with the calling.Remember elk themselves make bad sounding calls so don’t worry about being a world champion bugler. Make sure to give them plenty of time to respond and trust your camo!…I cow call more than bugle.Listen to what their doing and try to mimic.Dont over call but don’t be afraid to call.Yes theirs a lot of calling out there but get away and go into places other hunters don’t go (to steep,dense,etc.)and you will find more game, they will be more responsive.

      Hey man, thanks for that. I’ve been meaning to reply for a while now, I just can’t get this ding dang website to work on phone anymore.

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