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deer from last night


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Disclaimer: There is some blood in this pic. I've never figured out how to shoot a deer with a bow & not have there be blood consistently. On the rare occasions there wasn't I didn't like the results... full-5070-24576-dsc05947.jpg

Okay here's last night's harvest, either a yearling or a 2 1/2 year-old doe. She had two nice sized fawns with her. I saw for sure 7 deer & at least 3 coons. I shot this doe at probably 8 yards. As you'll see in the pic I shot her a bit forward & went right through both shoulder blades. I purposely took her a little high as the stand was high & she was so close. She was double lunged & went about 60 yards & crashed.

Here's the actual story for those of you that are sick like me & like that stuff...

Went to the sand field stand at Randy's last night. The wind was howling out of the NW which is oddly the ultimate recipe for early season bow success in that spot. There's corn on the field again this year. There are no end rows, so there's a 12-15 yard buffer of grass between the woods & the corn. The field's about 100 yards wide give or take & the stand is right in the middle of the high West end of the field. It can handle deer coming out on 3-4 trails with a bow, depending on what they do once they hit the field. I got to the stand about 5:30 & had my pole saw in hand. Do to all of the food plot work in August & bear baiting & hunting since then I'd never had a chance to check or trim the stand. I had climbed in it during turkey season last spring, so I was pretty sure it was fine, but I knew there'd be some trimming to do as it's in the middle of about a 10 trunk basswood clump. There's VERY little danger of being seen from the field when the leave's are on. The deer can be above you though in the woods behind you, so it gets dicier once the leaves are gone. I trimmed & climbed in. Fortunately it was an evening hunt so I could see the nails had pulled out on one end of the top step, so I skipped that one...

I got all situated & flipped open my book. I kept glancing up ever sentence or two like always. Finally I realized it was 7:06, time to quit reading as deer should be coming anytime, certainly could have come much earlier, but hadn't. I waited all the way until 7:10 when a doe & two fawns slipped into the field from the West about 40 yds South of me. They just walked across fast, no chance for a shot. I grabbed my bow. A minute or two later a forky came out the same way & angled more South into the corn. Shortly after that at least 3 coon came into the SW corner of the field about 50 yards from the stand, shortly after that a lone doe came out the same trail as the other deer & angled in along the fence where the coon had went. In 10 minutes 5 deer & 3 coon entered the field. I could hear deer tearing at the corn & see stalks moving, occasionally I'd get a glimpse of a deer, pretty sure I was seeing the first doe & one of the fawns. I decided to try my new mah mah fawn call, a couple times. It did bring that doe closer to the edge of the corn & I had a 30 yard shot at her at one point, but it was only the back half of her, so I didn't even really think about shooting. They milled around in there eating, the doe got pretty clear at 25 yards, but then turned straight away from me. Then I saw a large deer followed by a smaller one appear on the NW corner of the field, by the road to the back field. At first I thought it might be a nice buck & a small buck, but it was a large doe with a big fawn or possibly a yearling. I shifted my feet & then was reminded of the loose board I'd found when I climbed in the stand as it made a horrific squeak. That big doe's head flew up & she looked right at the stand. I'm confident she didn't see me, as she didn't react like they do with the whole head bobbing thing, but she didn't like that noise. I gave a mew on the call & they fast walked South until they were NE of me at probably 30 yards, but no shot. She was nervous, the wind's wierd there because of the hill & bowl shape behind me, so she may have got just a tiny whiff of me. She stopped, then turned & walked out of the corn NW. She stopped in the clear for just a second at 45-50 yards & then they both went back in the woods. The other doe, either wondered what was up with the mewing or had seen or heard the other deer, not sure, but anyway here she comes West straight out the corn row in front of me & turns North, stopping broadside right in front of me at a WHOLE 8 yards! She was quartering towards me slightly & I heard or sensed other deer coming out of the corn, so I waited to confirm she was the doe. They all look short when they're straight down... The two fawns came out, she took a step or two more North getting more broadside & looked back into the corn. I drew, put the pin high on her shoulder, instead of behind it for some reason, settled it & dropped the hammer, there was a big smack. She jumped straight up in the air, came down on her front feet together, & mule kicked out both hind legs. She took off straight North as hard as she could go & I heard her crash. It sounded like she belly flopped on a brush pile of dry twigs. It was loud! Then I heard wire creak & it was quiet. I sat down & breathed a bit, said Yes, thank you God, & shot out a text to some buddies. I think when I finished the text it was 7:44, so I shot her about 7:40 I suppose.

Went back to the house & told Randy & geared up for tracking. I didn't want to just run up & look where I thought she went down, just in case the hit wasn't what I thought it was. I headed back out there about 35 minutes after the shot, drove the truck up to the edge of the corn near the field road. I could hear deer in the corn & in the woods both, close by, probably no more than 75 yards. Grabbed the polesaw & the empty cans of sterno I'd thrown out of my coat pockets, that I'd forgot to take out after bear hunting last weekend... Found good blood right where I shot her, but no arrow. Seemed odd to me had figured it was a pass through, as I didn't see the arrow hanging out of her. 15-20 yards down the blood trail I found the arrow coated in blood, basically the fletching & the nock were missing. You can see the short arrow in my quiver in the pic. I thought, that's odd, never had it break of that close to the end. I followed sporadic blood almost to the edge of the woods where she went in & then I couldn't find anymore. It was near a trail they always take that curls around the ridge heading back West, so I followed that. I couldn't find any more blood, but I heard her hit the fence, so there'll be sign down there. Nope, no blood, hair or scuffs by the West fence, it's about 20 yards from the corner with the North fence, so I went to that & started following it back East, maybe she went straight North. Nope, no sign along that fence either, well maybe she didn't get to the fence, sure I smoked her. Sure enough, headed back towards the field & found her piled up 20 yards still South of the North fence. Ah hah, some other deer hit the fence, probably one of her fawns, but who knows there were deer all over the place. She was dead as a mackerel & stiff. When I heard her crash, I'm sure she was dead right them. Arrow to dead, maybe 5 seconds.

I drug her up the hill into the field, didn't want to gut her in that area, as I will probably bowhunt there some more, you think?? Moved the truck onto the field road, backed up to the bank. Drug her down & wrestled her into the truck, then drove down to the hayfield at the bottom of the hill, took her back out, gutted her, & drug her back up into the truck. Got home about 10:15.

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Thats a great doe.

In regards to the little bit of blood in the photo, I always have a wet wash cloth in a zip lock bag in my fanny pack with my knife, flashlight etc. I use it to clean up my hands when I am done gutting the deer. Works great for wiping down the hair on the hide to remove any blood before the pic. If there is a bad hole in the deer from my Rage broadheads or my Muzzy's, then I take a pic using the side with the least damage. I do all of this if I even photo the deer.

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I know, I took the pic in the dark, with the camera flash. Maybe I'm kind of morbid, but I kind of like some blood in the pics. Certainly if I'm taking a bunch of pics of a nice buck I'd do most of them cleaned up.

She is a nice doe, but the one I saw was a LOT bigger.

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