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fishermn

48 Days!!

6 posts in this topic

It took me 48 days to bag a doe after hunting virtually every day since the opener! But before I tell "the rest of the story", I am gonna back up a bit and fill in some background... I am hunting in an urban deer management hunt. In order to take a buck, you first have to take a doe. In the past I have been lucky enough to take two very nice bucks and quite a number of does. Well, it seems that over the past few years the hunt has definitely done its job in reducing the heard in the area that I hunt. In the past, its been pretty easy to find a doe within the first couple weeks of the season. Not so this year. I hunted hard for the first 48 days of the season before being able to harvest a nice mature doe on Halloween.

Over the first 48 days, I hunted every day with the exception of maybe 12 days where I was out of town or when the weather was horrible. In that time, I only had three legitimate chances to shoot a deer. The first opportunity was October 4th. I had positioned myself in the middle of a stand of large oaks with acorns everywhere. I was really hoping some deer would feed their way past me that evening. Just an hour or so into that evening, I was at full draw and was just waiting for a BIG mature doe to take one more step so that I had a perfect broadside shot. The pin was settled and everything was perfect until she decided to take three steps, and when I tried to stop her with a soft bleat, she busted outta there like the devil himself was after her. I later realized she had a fawn behind her and probably thought the fawn was in trouble. (Big lesson learned, don't bleat at a doe with fawns!)

My second opportunity came on October 25th. That day, I had made my way into my primary stand about 3 hours before dark. Shortly after arriving, I spotted a big (3-4 ft diameter) scrape at exactly 30 yards right straight out in front of my stand. Almost in the exact spot I had arrowed a beautiful 8 pointer 2 years ago. I was excited, but at the same time I was really hoping that he wouldnt show up that evening as I still had not tagged a doe. Well, right at 6:10 I spot him in the brush right at the edge of the clearing. He was a solid 140's or better 10 point and must have weighed at least 230 lbs. He just stood there for a couple minutes surveying the area before stepping into the open. Then he proceeded to walk right out and work that scrape over for a solid 1.5 - 2 minutes. Kicking dirt, raking the branches, leaving his scent, etc. etc. It was probably one of the coolest things I have seen from the deerstand. The downside was that I just had to stand there and watch him walk by, but it was pretty cool to see in any case. Well, I figured he would be back to that scrape at some point, and I was gonna try like heck to be there to give him a surprise. (no luck on that so far...)

My third opportunity was the doe I shot on Halloween evening. I had hunted this particular area the two previous nights and saw deer about 75 yards above me (up the hill) both nights. I took off early that day and got myself a reasonably decent spot in a cluster of 3 small oaks right where I had been seeing the deer on the previous days. This was probably the most scenic stand site I will ever sit in...

halloween_stand.jpg

About 30 minutes before dark, a doe followed by a medium buck showed up just off to my east, right where they had been the previous two nights. The east wind made it an absolutely perfect setup. The doe meandered around eating for about 5 minutes before starting to move towards one of my shooting lanes. I drew back just as she was about to step in, but of course she found something more interesting and started eating just in a place I couldnt shoot. I held for about 90 seconds and was starting to wonder if I should try to let down, as she bounded up right onto the rock ledge 18 yards in front of me. I let fly a bit earlier than I would have liked, and hit her about 8 inches behind the shoulder blade. I was pretty sure I made a solid liver hit and may have clipped the back of the lung. She hunched up and walked out to about 40 yards where she just stood in place for about 5 minutes. I was ranging her with the thought of putting another arrow through her as she was standing nearly broadside, just slightly quartering away. Just then the buck that was behind her stepped up right into the spot I had just shot her. He was standing there broadside and was looking my direction, although I dont think he could see me in the midst of the group of oaks. He was a very respectable mid 120's buck with about an 18 - 19 inch spread, but still fairly short (7-8") tines. A beautiful 3.5 year old deer that will definitely be a shooter next year.

The doe continued to stand in the same spot and I saw her wobble a bit but she stayed on her feet. I turned back to look at the buck and see if there was any chance I could get another arrow on and hit her again but he was just too close and was on high alert. When I looked back for the doe she was gone. I figured she had dropped, but I just couldnt see her and I couldnt see her with my binocs either. So, I waited for the buck to leave and then quietly climbed down and snuck out. I didnt want to take the chance of bumping her and ending up with a lost deer, especially after all the time and effort I had put in. I came back the next morning and she was just a few steps from where I had last seen her, but she had slid down the hill a bit where I couldnt see her from my stand. The Rage 2 blade really did a job on her even though my shot wasn't perfect. So, now I had a doe under my belt and at least if I get another opportunity on one of the big guys, I will be able to take the shot. I still hope to harvest another doe or two, but that Halloween doe is probably going to be one of the most memorable deer I have ever shot just because of all the time and effort that went into harvesting her.

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Good story. One of my most memorable and happiest moments taking a deer was just a fawn taken in the middle of December. I had hunted hard all season and had nothing to my credit. I believe it was Dec. 16th and a fawn came up and I placed the arrow through its chest. I'll never forget the feeling I had shooting it, I believe just from hunting so hard for so long and I capitalized on the moment of truth I had been waiting for all season. Felt like I had shot the biggest buck around!

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Great story, Now ya just gotta get the big boy huh? Cool stand site pic also.

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Congrats!!!! What a feeling it is!!!

Best of luck the rest of the season! Good job on the recovery as well

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