Home Forums Campfire Forum Your first trad kill…

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    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      So I’ve been shooting traditional since I was a little kid (3 or 4) as my dad has always been a huge recurve shooter, but just recently started shooting again regularly.

      Last year I killed my first deer with a bow (compound), but have been training all spring and summer to take my recurve out with me opening morning because all that did was kindle the fire. Just the thought of this has my blood pumping.

      This leads me to my question – you guys are all such masters and walking books of knowledge that I’m super curious to hear about your first kills with traditional bows (or any special kill that you hold dear to your heart for that matter). I’m hoping my first trad kill is a deer this fall, and hopefully some of you guys’ stories & luck rub off on me a bit 8)

      Happy Hunting

      Alex

    • Greg Ragan
      Member
      Post count: 201

      You can read all about mine here:

      http://traditionalknowhow.blogspot.com/2013/03/all-in-family.html

      Hope you enjoy it.

      Greg

    • WyoStillhunter
      Post count: 87

      I hope to have a “first kill” story before the year is out. This will actually be my first season of serious bowhunting. September 1 will find me in the timber with bow in hand.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I remember it like it was yesterday…

      Countless stalks blown, just as I closed to within shooting range. Fruitless days spent searching for any kind of sign. Fighting off discouragement as yet another season ended with nothing to show for it, except tag soup and having to endure the teasing from friends…

      And then one day, as I sat still on the edge of a clearing, struggling to maintain a shred of optimism about my chosen quarry, I heard a faint sound. And then another, getting closer…

      And then suddenly there it was – the object of my years-long pursuit, and this time I was ready. I didn’t have time to reflect on my luck of being in the right place at the right time – I acted purely on instinct, as I had rehearsed in my mind many times before…

      And as my hand relaxed from my anchor point and I watched the arrow fly, it was as if all time had stopped completely.

      I watched the arrow sail over the ruffed grouse’s back and smack into a branch. Surely, this would have been the end of my fortuitous, though ill-fated encounter. But no – the majestic timber chicken simply stared over at me for a second before turning away again, not moving from its perch.

      My fourth arrow connected, and all hell broke loose as the animal exploded. I told myself to keep still, despite my impulse to bolt after it. I held tight for what seemed like eternity, and 10 seconds later it was all over.

      The flood of emotions that swept over me as I stood above the object of my obsessive pursuit is something I’ll never forget.

      I called a friend to help me pack it out, and that night we had the most delicious, hard-won meat I had ever tasted.

      I’ll never forget my first trad kill.

      πŸ˜€

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Bruce

      Wow what a story–Don Thomas, Dave Petersen watch out this guy tells it like is. Darn near fell off the edge of my camp stool. I’m not a trophy guy but that spread must be a P&Y record. Can’t wait to hear about the pack out–what pack frame did you use?

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I had killed a few armadillos, squirrels, and a dove when deer season came in.

      I had a big doe and large fawn come by me on the second week of the season. I drew without standing and my first arrow went high. I dropped her in her tracks to a spine shot with a 170 gr muzzy. I shot her twice more from the stand and had to finish her off from the ground. It was awful and is one of my most awful hunting memories. I’ll never forgive myself for that kill.

      That was the only deer I killed that season.

      I’ve since gained confidence and started shooting a more lethal broadhead (tree sharks). Since then, I’ve killed two more deer and a big sow pig. None of them went more than 50 yards.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      colmike wrote: Bruce

      Wow what a story–Don Thomas, Dave Petersen watch out this guy tells it like is. Darn near fell off the edge of my camp stool. I’m not a trophy guy but that spread must be a P&Y record. Can’t wait to hear about the pack out–what pack frame did you use?

      Semper Fi

      Mike

      I used an old external frame I had for the pack-out. Even then, it still took several trips. And as luck would have it, I was pretty deep in the backcountry – at least 15 or 20 minutes from truck. I’d probably hunt a lot closer to the road next time, for just that reason…

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Smithhammer wrote: I watched the arrow sail over the ruffed grouse’s back… My fourth arrow connected

      :lol::lol::lol:

      I used to think the first shot is the only one that matters πŸ˜‰

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      That one had me on the edge of my seat πŸ˜†

      Let your friends ridicule all they want – I think coming home empty handed 10 seasons in a row because you were using a longbow or recurve is more of a trophy than killing 10 nice bucks with a rifle because you were 200 yards away.

      From now on I’ll have to keep more of an eye out for “the majestic timber chicken” πŸ˜‰

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      two4hooking wrote: You can read all about mine here:

      http://traditionalknowhow.blogspot.com/2013/03/all-in-family.html

      Hope you enjoy it.

      Greg

      Greg,

      Thanks for sharing some seriously awesome stories! It’s amazing how much you can learn each time you hunt. Seems like the learning never ends.

      Congrats on all the accomplishments so far! 8)

      Alex

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      WyoStillhunter wrote: I hope to have a “first kill” story before the year is out. This will actually be my first season of serious bowhunting. September 1 will find me in the timber with bow in hand.

      This will be mine as well with a recurve in my hands and I hope to have one to share with you at the end of the fall. October 5th here, you’ll probably have 2 on the ground by then πŸ˜†

      Good luck!

      Keep the stories coming guys!

    • blancharddm
      Member
      Post count: 4

      I lay no claim to being a “master” or a “walking book of knowledge”, but this question brought back some fond memories of a great day from long ago, so I thought that I would share:

      It was western Pennsylvania, mid-October in 1994 and I was 13 years old. My dad and I would head out into the woods to hunt whitetails as soon as he returned from work and I from school. We had a few stands hung in the piece of woods that was a few miles outside of the town in which we lived. Dad would take me to my stand and get me settled before moving along to do some stalking nearby.

      At about 4:30 that afternoon, a grey fox came up the path about 15 yards in front of me. I remember thinking that it was pretty cool to watch that fox quietly slink through the woods. I had seen many a red fox in my life, but never a grey.

      A moment after the departure of the fox, a small deer appeared following the same path. Within a few moments, it was directly in front of me, following the same route that the fox had taken (not sure if the deer was tracking the fox, but it sure seemed like he was).

      Within moments, the deer stepped into a clearing and presented a clear, broadside shot at about 15 yards. I was shooting a 55 pound Bear Super Grizzly that was my dad’s first bow. I picked a spot and before I even realized it, had drawn the bow and sent the arrow on its way. I watched the autumn orange Easton arrow tipped with a Zwickey Eskimo pass through the deer right behind the shoulder. I was very excited and began to feel the adrenaline flowing immediately thereafter, but I knew that I had made a great shot. I watched the deer as far as I could follow his path and made a mental note of the last location at which he had appeared.

      I was confident that I had made a good kill shot on the deer. After waiting about 45 minutes, I climbed down to begin the track. I had followed blood trails with my dad before, and felt confident that I could do it. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t a difficult trail to follow. After about 75 yards, I spotted my button buck lying motionless against a tree with his white underside clearly visible. I approached from behind and gave him a nudge, but the life was clearly out of him. I had taken my first deer with a traditional bow!

      I finished the business of field dressing and tagging, and then proceeded to drag my trophy to the truck. Cell phones and radios were not a part of our repertoire in those days, so I simply waited for my dad to return (our original plan was to meet at the truck anyway). I’m not sure that the grin ever left my face the entire time.

      When dad came strolling down the road, his first thought was that I had become bored and left the stand early. He could hardly believe it when I told him that I had killed a deer, but there was the indisputable evidence for him to see. I still remember the pride that beamed in his smile and handshake.

      It’s incredible to me that I can still recall that whole episode as if it was just yesterday. It was definitely a great day, and helped to cement that I would remain a traditional bowhunter for life. In the process of writing it, I’m reminded of how important was the role that my dad played in shaping who I’ve become and the values that I have as an outdoorsman. I can’t help but think about how great a blessing he has been to me.

      If you made it through the whole story, I thank you for reading. I hope that you’ve had a similar experience, or that if you haven’t, that one will find you soon.

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      blancharddm wrote: I lay no claim to being a “master” or a “walking book of knowledge”, but this question brought back some fond memories of a great day from long ago, so I thought that I would share:

      It was western Pennsylvania, mid-October in 1994 and I was 13 years old. My dad and I would head out into the woods to hunt whitetails as soon as he returned from work and I from school. We had a few stands hung in the piece of woods that was a few miles outside of the town in which we lived. Dad would take me to my stand and get me settled before moving along to do some stalking nearby.

      At about 4:30 that afternoon, a grey fox came up the path about 15 yards in front of me. I remember thinking that it was pretty cool to watch that fox quietly slink through the woods. I had seen many a red fox in my life, but never a grey.

      A moment after the departure of the fox, a small deer appeared following the same path. Within a few moments, it was directly in front of me, following the same route that the fox had taken (not sure if the deer was tracking the fox, but it sure seemed like he was).

      Within moments, the deer stepped into a clearing and presented a clear, broadside shot at about 15 yards. I was shooting a 55 pound Bear Super Grizzly that was my dad’s first bow. I picked a spot and before I even realized it, had drawn the bow and sent the arrow on its way. I watched the autumn orange Easton arrow tipped with a Zwickey Eskimo pass through the deer right behind the shoulder. I was very excited and began to feel the adrenaline flowing immediately thereafter, but I knew that I had made a great shot. I watched the deer as far as I could follow his path and made a mental note of the last location at which he had appeared.

      I was confident that I had made a good kill shot on the deer. After waiting about 45 minutes, I climbed down to begin the track. I had followed blood trails with my dad before, and felt confident that I could do it. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t a difficult trail to follow. After about 75 yards, I spotted my button buck lying motionless against a tree with his white underside clearly visible. I approached from behind and gave him a nudge, but the life was clearly out of him. I had taken my first deer with a traditional bow!

      I finished the business of field dressing and tagging, and then proceeded to drag my trophy to the truck. Cell phones and radios were not a part of our repertoire in those days, so I simply waited for my dad to return (our original plan was to meet at the truck anyway). I’m not sure that the grin ever left my face the entire time.

      When dad came strolling down the road, his first thought was that I had become bored and left the stand early. He could hardly believe it when I told him that I had killed a deer, but there was the indisputable evidence for him to see. I still remember the pride that beamed in his smile and handshake.

      It’s incredible to me that I can still recall that whole episode as if it was just yesterday. It was definitely a great day, and helped to cement that I would remain a traditional bowhunter for life. In the process of writing it, I’m reminded of how important was the role that my dad played in shaping who I’ve become and the values that I have as an outdoorsman. I can’t help but think about how great a blessing he has been to me.

      If you made it through the whole story, I thank you for reading. I hope that you’ve had a similar experience, or that if you haven’t, that one will find you soon.

      Awesome story. Where was this at in PA? I’m from western PA and travel all up and down the whole western side so I know all of the areas pretty well.

      I know my dad is the sole reason I’m a hunter, and has taught me everything I know about the woods. I can just imagine the look on your dad’s face when he realized to had it gutted and dragged back to the truck all by yourself – probably one of his proudest moments.

      Those are the special ones that you never forget.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      Mine is in my profile pic !! Ok not my first trad kill as there were a few squirrels and a couple rabbits and grouse but for me, opening day of 2012 bear season is etched into my memory forever. I started baiting around mid August and immediately started getting good trail cam pics. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, on one occasion I walked in to freshen the bait and had a bear already there!! I baited and checked my trail cam the night before opening day. I had 6 different bears on the bait that day and one, the one I call Big Boy, hit right before dark.

      So here it was, September first. I made my way to the stand with my video camera and my trusty Howatt recurve. Within 20 minutes I had a small boar come right down my tracks ( he obviously didn’t smell me) and right to the foot if my ladder. I watched him for about 20 minutes and then he just left. Another 10 minute went by when I heard a branch swing and something moving near bye. Out stepped a nice 250 pound bear and started lapping up grease from my bucket. Not the “Big Boy” but certainly big enough. After passing on a few last year and eating my tag, I told myself I would take the first respectable offering and here it was. The bear lapped at the bucket about 10 minutes before making its way to the barrel. While it was turned away from me, I zoomed the camera slightly and stood up, readying myself to draw. He approached the barrel slightly quartering to his left but his front leg was still back and covering his kill zone a bit. ” patience Norm…. Patience !! “

      I could feel the string tightening against my fingers as I waited for him to step forward and expose his vitals. ” one step … Just one step !! “

      And then it happened. As the bear lifted his foot to step forward, I began my draw and as by the time his foot touched ground again, my razorhead tipped arrow was on its way. I was shocked to see my almost 500 grain arrow disappear into the thick black hair and then hit the barrel behind the bear. I only pull around 46 pounds so I was not expecting a pass through. After an anxious wait ( the bear never made a sound as it left to die) and reviewing my shot in the camera some 20 or 30 times (you really start to second guess yourself when they don’t make a sound like that) I got down to look at my arrow. A short walk in the direction of the bear’s exit revealed a great blood trail and about 50 yards later, my prize was piled up against a stump. I’ve shot a number of animals with my compound but none will mean as much to me as that first trad bear !! Can’t wait for September this year to see if ” Big boy” is still around.

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      My first kill was a rabbit. I was so excited that I went out every day for the next, like, two weeks trying to bag another. My wife got so sick of hearing about that darned rabbit that she pulled out the prenup just to double-check it.

      My first whitetail came a few months later and it was just pure luck. Killed a doe on my first ever deer hunt with a bow. Happened to choose the right trail on the right day. It was still a great hunt though. Took a boat down the river, camped on an island, floated home with my doe the next morning.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Ben– By golly now that’s a real hunt, the genuine no-BS pure outdoor adventure stuff of many hunters’ dreams, whether first kill or as an old veteran. I don’t have access to boat or island hunting but for years I made a point at least once during every hunting season (elk here in CO) to spend a night out “among ’em” with only my hunting pack. No fire, cold food, put on all my clothes and rain suit and lie down beneath a tree. I always was careful to pick dry weather for the adventure, however. But I learned it was backfiring to be so close to the game, which is very active at night. Anyhow congrats on your first kill. The more we put into anything the more well-deserved pride we get out of it.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Yep on backfiring sometimes. A good friend of mine spent the night in his tree stand due to a prowling bear and his believe that if he ever set foot on the ground that night he would be bear fodder. The next day he declared he did not give a flip (nice way of putting it) about bear hunting, would never do it again and to this day he hasn’t done so. He don’t like bears in the same woods he’s in.

      Was funny at the CBA shoot when it was at the south end of Camp Hale. We were way up the mountain on the Iron Man course and we found a little aspen pocket where someone had built a little wooden bivouac. This person had left his beer cans and beanie weenie cans laying about and a bear had demolished them. Just so happened I had a predator call in my bag. Well, the fun began. I thought the guy was roll me down the mountain he was so afraid I’d call a bear in. Not likely being there were several hundred people about but that made no difference to him.

      A little cottontail with my little wooden bow that I bought at the five and dime was my first trad kill. At the time it was a world record!!!:D

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Ralph, obviously your friend had never seen a bear climb a tree–a blur of speed, almost like a leap or rocket launch. A tree is the last place I’d want to be with a naughty bear around. They pretty much treat us as other bears, and a bear bio friend of mine said he’d seen several bears in his career that had the entire pads ripped of their back feet where they’d gone up a tree to escape a bigger bear. That’s the same treatment they give a treed human.

      But in reality of course black bears are nothing to be feared, merely respected by not tempting them with food or smellies in your tent or reachable in camp. Or garbage at your house, etc. I could almost write a book about times I’ve been just a few yards from black bears of every size and shape including females with cubs, and the closest I’ve ever come to a “problem” bear was having to clap my hands twice rather than once to get them to run away bawling. That’s their evolution. But in a way, it’s rather nice to have something to be afraid of in the dark in the woods. Sort of brings out the kids in us. Said it before: I worry a lot about a tree falling on me and yellowjackets, but never a thought to bears in daylight and only due caution at night. I did have one try to slap me through the cabin bedroom window screen a few years ago, but that was totally my own fault and I don’t blame him. πŸ˜† Dave

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      David Petersen wrote: I could almost write a book about times I’ve been just a few yards from black bears of every size and shape including females with cubs, and the closest I’ve ever come to a “problem” bear was having to clap my hands twice rather than once to get them to run away bawling.

      It’s amazing to me how many non-hunters don’t understand this concept – especially in PA, black bears are the last thing you need to fear (aside from coming between a mother and cubs or taunting one with food, etc.). People don’t seem to believe me when I tell them that they really are more afraid of us than we are of them.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      David, this guys idea of the ‘Great Outdoors’ is mostly his fescue grass and BBQ grill in the backyard. Whatever possessed him to go bear hunting I’ll never know, especially with a bow. He’s a much, much better with his grill than his bow. Matter of fact I haven’t seen him shooting in years. Maybe bad thoughts about bears and bows? :lol::lol:

      I spent a lot of years, through the 6th grade for the most part, my dad stationed at March AFB, not all that far from Yosemite. We camped many weekends there and many times for two week trips. Bears were very prolific and we had very little trouble. Only, actually, if someone in the camping area was careless with their food or let little fluffy get to thinking it was a bad ass. Those bears would put a dog in it’s place in a heartbeat then they had to huff and puff for awhile to prove their prowess to anything and anybody around. Time for all six of us to cram into the cab of the truck!

      Just a thought, Yosemite is a beautiful place and I’m grateful I got to see it when one could go anywhere, camp anywhere, enjoy all of it. I called it “Mysemite”. I think I would be greatly disappointed to visit now having the memories of it that I carry.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FireFall.jpg

      I’ll never forget “Yosemite Firefall”

    • sinawalli
      Post count: 222

      My first trad kill was a full sized soccer ball….

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      sinawalli wrote: My first trad kill was a full sized soccer ball….

      Mmmmm…..fresh soccer ball straps, slow cooked over a low heat and drizzled in a port wine sauce… quite possibly the most sublime wild game dish imaginable…8)

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      sinawalli wrote: My first trad kill was a full sized soccer ball….

      WILSOOOOOOOON!

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      sinawalli wrote: My first trad kill was a full sized soccer ball….

      Now, that’s funny!:D:D

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Runnin’, rollin’ or sittin’?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Did it make “the book”? Ain’t worth a darn otherwise, I hear. And I trust you didn’t cheat and use bait. πŸ˜† You can eat most anything if you turn it into jerky. I mean, if it works on goose it must work on whatever it is they make those things out of.

    • Goraidh
      Post count: 101

      Your first kill was a soccer ball? Did you get a broadside shot on it? Quartering away?

      My first trad kill was a squirrel. No story, really.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      I got a red maple sapling right through the heartwood.

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Walking book of knowledge my a!@#$%^&

      Never even killed a tennis ball,

    • PHC
      Post count: 5

      Other than an armadillo or two and various amphibians I took as a teen my most memorable came in the early 80’s. I had been out of the Army for some 12 or 14years or so and hadn’t done much hunting since I was a teenager but just before bow season opened that year the desire to hunt came over me and I just had to go. Not having a bow any longer ” the nice Ben Pearson I had as a kid disappeared while I was in the service” I borrowed a recurve from a friend and bought a few arrows. I don’t remember practicing but surely I did and one day headed to the WMA on the Pearl River above Jackson, Mississippi to hunt wild hogs. After stalking around in the woods that first day, I headed home in an old jeep when I noticed a small field on the left where someone had cut and baled some of the waist high grass and something was standing by a bale at the far end of the field. Thinking it was probably a hog, I pulled over, grabbed the bow and walked out to the middle of the field. I turned left and slowly crept forward to get a look at whatever may have been there when along come a coyote out where the grass had been cut. This was the first coyote I had ever seen but there was no doubt as to what it was so an arrow was sent and as it found its mark the dog snarled and bite at it as it passed through him. What happened next was completely unexpected . The coyote not sure what just happened thought it might be a good idea to run up in the tall grass where I was standing. Apparently he was unaware Of my presence cause he took the some path the arrow had taken at almost the same speed. In the moment it took him to close the gap, adrenaline was released in great quantities into my blood stream and just before dog ran up my breeches leg I lept into the air so high I feared the fall might injure me and screamed like a little girl. The coyote veered off to my right, ran a little way and fell dead. Descending to the earth again and finding my self unharmed despite the free fall, I found the coyote, took him home and had the hide tanned. Kept it for years but like so many other things it has wandered off. That shot had been at 27 yards as I paced it off. A few days later , now that I was a great white hunter, I bought a compound and took a hog with it at again 27 yards shooting instinctively. Arrow passed right through the heart.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      It was 2002, my first year bow hunting. Late afternoon, I was coming back from a walk to my neighbors with my dog. We surprised a 6-7 deer doe/fawn group feeding in the woods behind my house. They fled down the gully. I put my dog inside, got my bow, went inside the woods 20 yards between the gully and my house, sat behind a huge Norway maple, and waited, as I knew they would come back. They did about 20 minutes later. I remember my elbow joint making a cracking noise at the draw, which the lead doe heard. She stopped. I don’t remember releasing the arrow, or the doe being hit. I kind of blacked out. The next thing I saw was the very bloody arrow on the ground 15 yards away. I found her dead from a double lung hit 60 yards away. My bow was an old second hand black widow MA III bought on eBay from a Minnesota archery shop. My arrow was a Easton classic tipped with a Muzzy Phantom. I dragged her back to my house, did my first field dressing job ( it took a while. thank god it was cold outside!!!) hung her in the garage for 7 days, and butchered her myself with the help of one of my best friends, Pascal, a Chef. Cherish the first time anything, because that feeling never comes again!:D

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