Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things Dont Always go as Planned

As Dennis stated in the previous post I was fortunate enough to shoot a doe on opening weekend of the Minnesota Archery season.  As Dennis also alluded to, it didn't go exactly as planned. I personally think every hunt is only as good (and truthful) as the story that accompanies it.  Because of this, I am willing to put this out there for the enjoyment of all, at my expense.

The day had gone pretty well up to 6pm that Saturday in September.  We had seen some deer walking into our stands in the morning and after having lunch and getting back to our stands I had seen a couple more right away.  The deer seemed to be moving but staying just outside of our shooting range.

At exactly 6:09 pm I felt my cell phone buzz in the chest pocket of my GSX Sweet Spot jacket. Assuming it was Dennis with his normal update on random animals, facts or the fact that he is trying to solve all the worlds issues, I was surprised to see a text from Sr stating he had just shot a doe.  I was just as excited as he was the minute I read this. I quick sent him a text to stay in his stand and we would be over in a little while to get him.  Upon hitting send I closed my phone and looked up, and that's when the fun began!

Standing on the middle of the food plot that we had tilled and planted was a deer.  I hadn't seen nor heard her as she came in, she was a NINJA DEER!  I quickly stuck my phone back in my pocket and pulled out my Bushnell range finder.  This was the first time I realized I was shaking horribly.  I could barely get my hands to stay still long enough to get an accurate reading on the range finder.  She was at 37 yards.  A little longer then I would have liked for my first shot but I had practiced to 40.  Oh if I would have known what was about to begin...

Every time I tried to stand up she would turn and look in my direction.  I don't know if she could see me or if it was just my paranoia.  After 4 attempts to stand up I decided I was going to take the shot sitting down.  I had practiced this at the range, I could do this.  Slowly grabbing my bow I realized a second time that I was shaking uncontrollably with adrenaline.  I took one last look through the range finder, still 37 yards.  I hooked my release to my bow, took a deep breath and decided it was game time....sort of.....

Upon pulling my bow to draw I had trained myself to always start a bit above my target and drop my sight on to the spot I wanted to shot and then hit the trigger.  One issue, my hands were shaking so bad I hit my trigger prematurely!  To my complete surprise and utter horror, my arrow took off prior to me getting on target.  I completely cleared the deer by a good 6 feet, with my arrow landing on the ground behind her and skipping through the remaining portion of the food plot.  At this point the doe jumped and ran right at me.  She stopped behind a small pine tree about 15 yards in front of my stand, scanning the field for what caused the commotion.  I was able to get to my feet and adjust for what I hoped was going to be a better shot. 

I quickly got another arrow in the whisker biscuit and was clipped in and ready to go.  To my amazement the doe stepped out from behind the pine try for a perfect quartering away shot.  I took aim and let fly.  MISSED.  Or at least thought I did.  In the course of all the craziness and getting a second shot I didn't take into account my angle when taking a close shot of that nature. My arrow barely grazed her right under the front leg on the side of the belly and buried into the ground.  She jumped and ran into the field.  I thought for sure this time she would continue and be gone.  Or not.....

She stopped running and stood in the exact spot she was on my first shot.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  It is not supposed to happen this way.  I looked down and realized I had only one arrow left in my quiver.  I had to make this one count.  My adrenaline was starting to fade and holding for a steady shot was much easier.  I took a couple of deep breaths (Uncle Rich's school of breathing before shooting) and drew back.  Taking what seemed like an eternity I made sure that all aspects of my shot were completely correct.  Bow level, using the right pin, good broadside shot, all CHECK!  I let fly....

SMACK!  I nailed her right where I was aiming, right behind the front shoulder.  My Rage MeatSeeker broad head punch a huge entrance hole.  The doe took off across the field, leaving a nice trail of blood to the tree line.  I heard her enter the woods, crash, crash, crash, a very loud CRASH and then nothing.  She was down!

After meeting up with Dennis and getting SR we went and found his deer and then went to track mine.  After following the blood trail for about 50 yards we ran into an extremely thick area and though we had lost the trail and more importantly the deer.  Frustration setting in I shut off my flashlight to say some choice words to myself and that's when I saw it.  A glowing beacon of hope.  Somehow my arrow had not broken off but was sticking out of the side of the deer with the Luminok still shining, sticking straight up in the air.  At first I couldn't believe my eyes and had to ask Dennis if that was what I was seeing.  His response was "Gotta be a house light or something."

Normally I wouldn't have thought about it but i paused and said "we are like 60 plus acres from the nearest house" and started walking.  Sure enough there she lay. 

She wasn't the biggest doe we have ever seen or shot, but she was my first deer with my bow.  I would have loved for it to have gone perfect and for all purposes I could have kept the story to myself.  That's not me.  I don't care that the story is funny at my expense, I had a deer on the ground.  Needless to say the look on Dennis and SR's faces as I  told them the story was worth every second of my embarrassment.  We still joke that there was something mentally wrong with my deer to stick around while I flung arrows at it from everywhere.

Looking forward to this week we are heading up on Wednesday and will be in the tree Thursday through Sunday. We are hoping for some success on multiple days and hopefully something that we can seriously brag about.  Details to follow!!!