Put a little meat in the freezer last Friday

dhaverstick

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
111
Location
Fair Grove, MO
I took last Friday off for an extended weekend of bowhunting at my farm in south-central Missouri. The mast crop there is very poor this year due to some late freezes so I knew I would have to hunt field edges in order to see anything. I hate doing that because it's like playing a giant game of Whack-A-Mole: you never know where the deer are going to pop out at. I arrived at Dad's Thursday evening looking forward to some fun and good food.

One of Dad's pets. Look how scared she is!

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Even though there were no acorns, I decided to hunt on the ridge behind the barn Friday morning anyway because it is rut time and I figured there would be deer moving about. Unfortunately, the deer didn't get the memo and I spent the morning in a very quiet forest. After eating some lunch and working on sighting in my 54 flintlock, I went down to our middle hay field to try to figure out where I could set up and give myself a reasonable chance of being in bow range of a deer.

I settled on a spot we call "The Briar Patch". It is a strip of trees and brush that stick out in the field, running generally west to east. The west end stops at the creek. On the other side of the creek is the mouth of Bee Tree Holler. Deer often come out of the holler and enter the field there. There is also something growing at the east end that deer seem to love. I cannot count the number of times I have seen deer congregate there and feed.

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Dad had been doing some work at the east end putting up a ladder stand to gun hunt out of. During his efforts, he inadvertently created me a perfect little hidey hole to bowhunt from. I set up my Ghostblind and chair in that spot, did a little trimming, and got settled in.

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A view from my chair

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A deer's eye view

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About 3:45 pm, a doe and fawn entered the field from the creek just a little south of the Briar Patch. I watched them feed for an hour or so. Meanwhile, another doe-fawn pair came out in the field south of the Punkin Patch and started feeding there. Dad put a salt lick in by the Punkin Patch several years ago so there is always good deer traffic in that area. Eventually, the two pairs of deer met up and fed together for a while. Then one pair started coming my way and ended up leaving the field by the creek. The other pair would alternate bedding down and feeding in the field. Everyone was well out of my limited longbow range but I was content to just watch. It was getting close to the Magic Hour and I was hoping for a target-rich environment to develop.

With the sun starting to set, I was beginning to think that things just weren't gonna work out that day. The pair that was still left had worked their way over to the east side of the field and looked like they were heading to the woods. I saw a few more deer entering the very south end of the field below the mouth of Woodland Holler but there was no way there would be time for them to meander up to me before daylight ran out.

Kind of a cool view of the setting sun on these sycamores

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Right around 6, I noticed that the doe and fawn that I thought had gone to the woods were now back in the field, feeding my way. They were heading to that mysterious spot near where I was sitting that deer seemed to love for some reason. My hope was that they would walk by me after feeding there while I could still see to shoot.

After the longest 15 minutes I had spent in a while, the pair finally started moving again my way. The doe was in the lead and, if things went correctly, would pass right in front of me at around 20 yards. The wind was still in my face and they had no idea that I was there.

When the doe walked by, I patiently waited until she was a little past me with the front leg on my side extended forward a bit. I drew my bow and aimed at that pocket just behind the shoulder. I let go of the string and watched my arrow hit just as she turned away a bit. She took off running towards the creek with about a quarter of my arrow showing. In the last fading rays of daylight, I saw her standing at the field edge about 100 yards away. Both the shot angle and penetration were excellent so I was confident she was piled up in the dry creek bed below where I had last seen her. I had killed a little buck a couple of years ago and watched him run almost the exact circuit the she had. I found him in the leaves on the other side of the creek in short order.

I wanted to give her some time, just in case, so I gathered up all my goodies and went to fetch my truck. By now, the field was full of deer and I heard them running and snorting all around me. I drove back to Dad's, had a bite to eat, and then we headed back to load my prize.

Imagine my surprise, though, when the doe was not laying where I expected her to be. In fact, even though I was confident of the hit, I could find no blood anywhere to back up my claim. I quickly got down in the creek looking for red on the bleached white gravel - nothing. I walked through the brushy bottom on the other side of the creek looking for any kind of sign to indicate the doe had been in the vicinity - nothing. Meanwhile, Dad drove down the field towards the mouth of Woodland Holler to see if she was piled up next to the fence. He kept asking me if I was sure she had gone into the creek bed and I kept telling him that I wasn't sure but that's how it looked to me. I was also basing my assumption on the way that buck I had killed had run. After a couple of hours of anxious searching, though, I decided to call it off until morning. Busting brush in the dark is a good way to break a leg and I was just getting frustrated. I knew she was dead somewhere close, I just couldn't see her. It was going to be cool enough that night that she wouldn't spoil with a lung hit. All I could do was hope I found her before the coyotes did.

Daylight took its own sweet time coming the next morning and I got to the scene of the crime early enough that I still needed a flashlight to search for blood with. Dad followed me on the tractor, both for its height advantage and its front end loader. He didn't bring it the night before because he had torn some wiring loose bush hogging and the lights didn't work. I was staring at the tall grass on the field edge, looking for blood, when he went past me towards Woodland. Maybe 30 seconds passed by when he stopped and hollered, "She's over here!", pointing in the field. Three sweeter words I had never heard as I took off his direction. Even from 50 yards, I could see her white belly shining in the sun. She had fallen on the entry wound side and my arrow was sticking straight up in the air out of the exit wound. Dad and I had both walked within 20 yards of her the night before but never thought to look into the field instead of the field edge.

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Anyway, all's well that ends well. I hit her at the 3rd from the last rib going in at about a 60 degree angle and got both lungs so I felt vindicated about my original assessment of her being mortally wounded. The meat was still good, and intact, so my biggest worry was gone. I got her hung up and quartered up in short order and spent that evening playing with more deer while hiding behind my Ghostblind. I had a chance to shoot a small doe and a little buck but just didn't feel good about either shot opportunity so I passed. I'm heading back in a couple of days to do it again before breaking out the flintlocks.

Darren

Equipment specs: 62" two-piece takedown Destiny longbow from Wild Horse Creek Bows (54#@28") and a homemade arrow (5/16" red balau shaft from Forrester Wood Shafts and a 190 grain Meathead. Total arrow weight is 760 grains)
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
1,142
Location
Texas
Great shot! It sure is funny how anxious we get till we find the critter.

Do the deer ever get weird about that ghost blind? I love the concept, but have heard mixed reviews.
 
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dhaverstick

dhaverstick

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
111
Location
Fair Grove, MO
Great shot! It sure is funny how anxious we get till we find the critter.

Do the deer ever get weird about that ghost blind? I love the concept, but have heard mixed reviews.
That blind works very well if used correctly. If you put it in an area that has good shadows, you are invisible. If you put it anywhere where it takes a direct hit from the sun, you are just wasting your time.

Here is a video of me turkey hunting last spring using their short run-n-gun model. At the end I give you a gobbler's eye view of my setup. Until I point it out, you will be hard pressed to see where I was at.


Darren
 

NRA4LIFE

WKR
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
1,104
Location
washington
Way to go! Just got back from MO a few weeks ago. Good season back there this year. Hunted with my 91 year old dad.
 
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