Bowhunting: a sport with ups and downs

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 7,343 Senior Member
I have definitely had my fair share of ups and downs when bowhunting. This past week was no exception. First, I took a few days off and a relatively short drive, heading to Maryland to hunt with my friend, Paul. He had access to a new private property that showed promise for some great hunting. The first morning, I saw nothing only 100 yards or so away from where he was hunting. While I was getting blanked, he had a small army of deer go by his stand over the course of the morning. At around 7:30 AM, he took a 20-yard shot at a nice 8-point that completely missed. At the time, he didn't realize why, but later remembered that he zeroed his bow with a different broadhead than what he shot at that buck! He grabbed an arrow that had the proper broadhead on it and waited for more action. It sucked to miss that first buck, but it was a blessing is disguise: about 30 minutes later, the best deer he's ever had a crack at strolled by at 20 yards. He didn't mess up that time.

PaulsMarylandbuck_zpsd02be015.jpg

PaulsMarylandbuck2_zps5ad6220b.jpg

This boy ended up being an 10-point (11-point if you count the 1.5" cheater) that green scored 147.5"

After that morning, the weather went to hell in a handbasket as a front rolled in. The high winds drastically dropped deer traffic and stymied the rest of the hunt. The only shots I had for the remainder of my hunt were at small deer not worth an arrow, and few of them at that. Such is life in hunting, but it was still a distinct pleasure to be there when Paul dropped that deer.

Fast forward to yesterday: I decided to go out after work to hunt on base. It's nice to be able to roll out of the door at work and be 5-10 minutes from a huntable stretch of woods. The probably has become early season crowding in a few of the places, making them pretty difficult -and sometimes downright un-fun - to hunt. I had a somewhat secret in my back pocket that turned up some does on a trail cam earlier in the year and decided to give it a shot. It has a lot of good, tall trees that are suitable for a climber. I strapped mine on, and just walking into the spot spooked a couple of does. Not a bad sign...the only catch was some slightly higher than normal winds and looming clouds, but nothing so bad as to spoil a hunt.

I was nice and high up in the tree with some very goot shooting lanes when 7PM rolled around and another pair of does walked by. They were completely calm and had no clue that I was there. As soon as they disappeared behind a tree, approaching a lane that was already lasered, I drew back and let go a shot as the deer walked into the clearing. No doubt - the arrow hit its mark. Better still, unlike most evening hunts, there was plenty of daylight left to track. A few minutes later, I started my descent in an effort to take advantage of this fact. When I got not 6 feet from the ground, the unthinkable happens: the sky opens up as if on command and an absolute downpour starts. Now, it's a scramble to find blood and a deer, but the incredible speed that the rain amplified erased any hope of a blood trail in short order. All I found was a rapidly diluting puddle of blood directly under where I found my now barely bloody arrow embedded and a few deep hoof prints where the deer dug into to run after it was struck.

Two hours later, soaking wet and with 2 base game wardens helping me search led to absolutely nothing but clues that the deer ran into a heavy bramble of brush behind my stand. There was simply no hope of finding it without a good blood trail. I have never had anything that nuts happen. Bowhunting: you'd better be in it for the challenge or you might go nuts. :tooth:
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    That's a TOAD!

    Yes. Yes it is. Paul is usually a reserved guy, so when the string of excited text messages hit my phone telling me that I had to see this buck, I knew he had something special on the ground. We were in awe...moreso when we had to drag it out of the woods!

    Imagine my eyes popping out of my head when I saw the picture below in his text message after he found it. You know it's a big deer when his head is physically incapable of touching the ground because his rack is too wide to allow it:

    PaulsMarylandbuck3_zps7876dead.jpg
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,049 Senior Member
    Helluva buck....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,538 Senior Member
    That is way cool.

    I don't have what it takes to bow hunt.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,481 Senior Member
    You got that right! It's like a drug when you get into it, can't get enough!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Dang.. What's the inside spread on that buck? Looks like it would sit two comfortably.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,919 Senior Member
    I love big buck pics:worthy:.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,919 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    You like big bucks and you can not lie?

    It has been so long since Ihave seen a big buck, I must live vicariously through others photos.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,842 Senior Member
    NICE BUCK :worthy:
    Here, the state says count any "point" over 1" long for reporting purposes.

    Sorry to hear about your luck though.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Dang.. What's the inside spread on that buck? Looks like it would sit two comfortably.

    I forget the spread measurement (the taxidermist did give it to us when he passed the overall score/measurement) - I'll see if Paul remembers next time I talk to him.
    knitepoet wrote: »
    NICE BUCK :worthy:
    Here, the state says count any "point" over 1" long for reporting purposes.

    Sorry to hear about your luck though.

    That's exactly what I told him about the cheater counting, but he still insists on calling it a 10-point. I'm not one to ruin his image of his own buck, but I did ask him to report it as an 11-point so the state biologists had accurate info. He did.

    Yeah, my luck sucks lately. There's an early antlerless muzzleloader season this weekend. Hopefully, I don't have the hideous luck that I did this past week, but at the end of the day, it assuredly beats work!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    That is way cool.

    I don't have what it takes to bow hunt.

    Mike

    It's gotta be the most rewarding form of big game hunting, but it's clearly not without its frustrations. Like a successful business, so much of it is location, location, location. You can be in a perfect-looking stretch of woods and it simply doesn't help your cause: depending on your comfort level, if the critter doesn't want to come within 40-50 yards of your spot, or obstructions spoil your shooting lane, you're out of luck. I pride myself on being able to sniff out those lanes that make a shot possible, but as you see, it doesn't always play out as planned. On the flipside of the coin, Paul's entire morning on that first day isan example of what it's like when it all goes right despite an early miss. In fact, he got that shot because of the early miss. Had he hit that first buck, Maryland game regs state that he has to shoot two antlerless deer before he can kill his second allowable buck for the season. In short, he would've had to let this giant walk because he only had one doe down for the season prior to this day. Sure enough, shortly after that fateful miss, the biggest deer he's ever seen got so close, he had to calm himself down to make the shot.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,726 Senior Member
    Very nice buck! I probably would have had a heart attack if that thing came within 20 yards of me!

    Sorry about you losing one, Six. That always sucks.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,919 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    If you missed my reference, there's no hope for you.

    THAT song is on an Ipod or a phone or 2 in this house, that VIDEO was on MTV back when they had music videos, there still may be no hope for me.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    NICE BUCK :worthy:
    Here, the state says count any "point" over 1" long for reporting purposes.

    Sorry to hear about your luck though.

    I don't know if it's still in the law, but it used to be here that you counted any point you could hang a ring on.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    BTW Sixgun, I'd be proud to claim either of those beautiful whitetails. But of course that one is bigger. Tell me, I'm confused. Is the second one the one you shot but didn't find the day before? or is that one Paul killed? Sorry for this fit of Cranial Flatulence on my part, but that happens with age, :jester:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    To clarify, Snake, I shot a doe that I never found. All three pics I posted are of Paul's buck. The last is merely the cell phone shot he sent me of it right where it went down.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    To clarify, Snake, I shot a doe that I never found. All three pics I posted are of Paul's buck. The last is merely the cell phone shot he sent me of it right where it went down.

    Thanks for clarifying to me. Sorry for that inconvenience. One thing buddy, I love to read your stuff. You don't brag or embellish, you just do it and tell it like it is. I think you are a very accomplished and Humble hunter.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Thanks for clarifying to me. Sorry for that inconvenience. One thing buddy, I love to read your stuff. You don't brag or embellish, you just do it and tell it like it is. I think you are a very accomplished and Humble hunter.

    Much appreciated, sir. I'm glad it brings something to the table worth reading. It never pains me one bit to celebrate in the success of others on here or in the field with me, even if I can't get it done.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Much appreciated, sir. I'm glad it brings something to the table worth reading. It never pains me one bit to celebrate in the success of others on here or in the field with me, even if I can't get it done.

    Sir, from what I've seen and heard from here, if there's anyone here that can get it done it's you. Thank you for your most entertaining and educational posts and threads.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Beautiful buck. Text would be my only means of communication if I killed a buck that big. I doubt I would be able to speak.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Sir, from what I've seen and heard from here, if there's anyone here that can get it done it's you. Thank you for your most entertaining and educational posts and threads.
    :up: Anytime.
    Beautiful buck. Text would be my only means of communication if I killed a buck that big. I doubt I would be able to speak.

    I hear you. I have never seen a buck that big on the hoof and this was the ONLY time I have ever seen one on the ground before me.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,508 Senior Member
    Awesome buck your buddy killed. Your day will come.

    Sorry about the doe. That really sucks.
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,231 Senior Member
    Your OP title says it all! Congrats to your friend on an incredible deer, and I feel your pain on the lost one. If you have bowhunted long enough, it will eventually happen, been there done that. Gives you some sleepless nights and causes some agony, but such is this sport!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    One other thing I should mention about Paul and this particular hunt: it was great to see hims core this because our last hunt together, it was the other way around. He invited me to hunt a different place amd he had no luck while I had 4 shots and two dead deer in 4 days hunting. It was great to see him strike hard quickly this time.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,343 Senior Member
    Buffy -

    Paul got back to me: spread is 20+2/8"
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,728 Senior Member
    Sometimes the best hunts are those where you enjoy and celebrate others successes. Kudo's to your buddy Paul on his success and for setting the bar high!
    Commiserations on losing your doe, nature can be awkward at times. It sounds like you did everything possible to find it.

    Like you, I went through a bad patch over the last couple of months and felt that I was losing my 'mojo'.........but the last hunt restored my faith in my ability. Keep the reports coming Luis, I always enjoy your write-ups.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    Seems like you bow hunters ought to have a long string attached to your arrows like the spear fisherman do... ;) Spool up 75 yards of 20 lb braid and go for a ride! Maybe not...
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,842 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Seems like you bow hunters ought to have a long string attached to your arrows like the spear fisherman do... ;) Spool up 75 yards of 20 lb braid and go for a ride! Maybe not...
    Dan, they have actually made something like that in the past, the drawback is the negative affect it had on the arrow's flight, hence the lack of any being made currently. Also, the faster the bow, the more the string affected its flight.
    Here's one on "flea-bay"
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Saunders-Archery-String-Tracker-/171490854099?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27eda6c4d3
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,966 Senior Member
    22 deer killed on base so far, 4 or 5 were muzzle loader and the rest bow kills.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Dan, they have actually made something like that in the past, the drawback is the negative affect it had on the arrow's flight, hence the lack of any being made currently. Also, the faster the bow, the more the string affected its flight.
    Here's one on "flea-bay"
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Saunders-Archery-String-Tracker-/171490854099?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27eda6c4d3

    That was TOTALLY in jest...

    What were they thinking!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,842 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »

    What were they thinking!

    D
    That P. T. Barnum was correct in his assessment that, "There's a sucker born every minute"
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


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