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One last doe on the ground to shut 'er down

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
Today was closing day of Ohio archery deer season, and all Ohio deer seasons by that regard.

I had one tag left, but had been bitten by bad luck with weather and finicky winds my last few times out. I even had a trespasser walk in while I had a deer in this particular meadow, something that has never happened to me before in Ohio.

Today was another day cursed by poor weather conditions. The winds gusts were breaking 20 mph and it was warm by our standards at 47 degrees going into the evening hunt. Not exactly ideal for deer movement. Regardless, I was hell bent on giving it my all and the good news was that the wind was at least going in a favorable direction. I really wanted to go 3 for 3 on kills for each season that I've owned my Parker Tornado F4 crossbow. After all, I had killed an early season spike back in this same spot with my compound under similar circumstances. Maybe I could get lucky...

Another issue I now had to deal with was that my tree stand is now completely devoid of cover in the late season. More than once, I've had deer come out and immediately see me up there. I tried the Ghost Blind, but there isn't enough space to set it up without risking collateral noise. So, it was time to go old school: I laid right on the ground, tucked into the brush line edge, with nothing but a tanned deer hide under me. The hide serves two functions: 1) it keeps me much warmer than laying on cold, bare ground and 2) it greatly muffles the sound of crunching leaves. Combine these traits with a very low profile and I have had some insanely close encounters with oblivious deer.

Conveniently enough, a deer walked in obliviously at just over 50 yards with plenty of daylight left and the winds finally calming a bit. She was totally unaware of what I was, but it's always challenging to work a deer that is at extremely close range when you're totally exposed. I got an initial range, held the rangefinder up to avoid further movement in her presence, and shifted about 45 degrees to face her approach when she got behind a tree. She got closer and went behind another, much closer tree, which I also lasered. I had to set up quickly for the shot and do so with consideration for some small twigs that could deflect the arrow. The safety was now off. When she came out from behind the tree, she was just over 20 yards. I had an extremely narrow time window to get the shot off or she would be into the woods to my left and gone for good.

As soon as she emerged, I lined up the shot, got my finger on the trigger and fired. The impact of the arrow was so loud that I thought I might have missed! It was as hard and loud of a "THWACK" as I've ever heard from an arrow strike, to the point that it sounded more like hitting a branch or a rock. However, at impact, the deer darted back from whence she came with her tail tucked between her legs...always a good sign. I tracked a good blood trail down a hill through heavy woods and found her about 130 yards away. The shot was picture perfect and the old, reliable 125 gr. Slick Trick Magnum did its job wonderfully.

Blood%20trail_zpsatwxo8gp.jpg

Doe%20down_zpscucwjahm.jpg

Hole%20-%20external_zps8is35ptd.jpg

Hole_zps9y1kahjy.jpg

AB7D60BE-BA3D-4CE1-890C-932151FBFA5F_zpsh8ushi9o.jpg

It made for an awful, steep uphill drag, but I wasn't terribly upset. This is my 7th deer on the season, a milestone that I am very happy to see come to fruition.

The entirety of the hunt was also caught on video. Definitely view the video on YouTube in full-screen and max out the resolution. It's tough on that little video camera I use to keep the action in good detail with that much clutter in the shot:

Sadly, this is likely my last Ohio deer hunt. As my military career goes, I am all but certain to move this coming Summer. It's been a fun time here, and given me three deer seasons that I won't soon forget.
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,655 Senior Member
    7! Color me jealous, to see 7 deer in a season in Northern MN would be awesome, 7 in the freezer is not the norm by any means, nicely done:applause:
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Well done!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,023 Senior Member
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    7! Color me jealous, to see 7 deer in a season in Northern MN would be awesome, 7 in the freezer is not the norm by any means, nicely done:applause:
    Thanks! To be fair, those seven deer came to me across 3 different states (Ohio, Pennsylvania and Montana), which is not something that everyone gets to do in the course of a season. It takes some skill and research to find deer in three different states, and to score on a fixed-duration trip, but it also opens opportunities that you might not otherwise have.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    To reposition yourself and set up a shot well being directly observed is a feat deserving of grand master.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    To reposition yourself and set up a shot well being directly observed is a feat deserving of grand master.

    That's flattering, sir, and a humbling statement. It takes time to gain the confidence to hunt this way, but once you figure it out and get a kill, you'll want to do it any chance you get.

    I can tell you from experience, that the key to moving when a deer is that close it to *be aggressive and get it done with* as soon as the deer gets behind cover. You can't lollygag and try to go slow if a deer gives you a gift and gets behind a tree or bushes. They may hear you shuffle some leaf litter and wonder what the sound was, but if they can't put the two-and-two together of hearing the sound and seeing your movement, they usually forget about it in a few seconds and go back to their business. It's one thing to move slowly when a deer's eyes are right on you, but when it can't see you, make the necessary adjustments without hesitation.

    The video only shows you the action *after* the deer had gone behind an initial tree and I adjusted my body position. You'll notice that the crossbow is to the left of my fanny pack. That's because I had the crossbow rested on it and facing the woodline to the right prior to starting the camera. That's a whole lot of movement with a deer inside of 50 yards, but with a tree blocking the view, I had no concerns.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,621 Senior Member
    Nicely done Luis :worthy:
    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: 8,155 Senior Member
    The only crappy part of shooting does this late in the season? Yep. This one was preggers...

    Fawn%20fetus_zpsuw4wlw7d.jpg

    Wasn't sure if I needed to tag the second one.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Mine as well.

    Doe%20with%20168gr%20ELD-Match%202-4-17%2020_zpstzhkz8h5.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Yes, sir - I JUST saw that in your thread. I wasn't sure if I wanted to post the pic of it here on account of not having that second tag. :jester: I think the game warden will forgive.

    But, seriously, they factor in that nearly all of the mature, late season does are carrying when they set the tag allotments. It's all part of the management plan, so there should be no guilt on the hunter's part, despite what some might say.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    And from an Axis doe earlier.

    DSCN4277_zpsg9oczahr.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Yep, I saw that one, too. That fetus is a lot older though than our whitetails. When do those axis deer drop their young?
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Year round.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Excellent work Louis.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,848 Senior Member
    Once again Thanks for sharing your experience. Pretty fantastic to be that close to a deer and not spook it.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,040 Senior Member
    Well done!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,009 Senior Member
    Nice doe , should eat good.
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    7! Color me jealous, to see 7 deer in a season in Northern MN would be awesome, 7 in the freezer is not the norm by any means, nicely done:applause:

    Thats the reason i moved from Mn. to Wisc. , plus lower taxes.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Ohio is interesting in that there are HUGE disparities in the deer harvest/productivity for each county. This deer was killed in Clark County, one of the lowest-producing off all counties in Ohio (only 661 total deer taken across all seasons for both sexes).

    Conversely, I got my muzzleloader doe in Brown County, which sees roughly 4x the harvest that Clark county does (2,448). Some counties see more than double what Brown County does (Coshocton County leads the state with 5,929 deer killed this season).

    Below is a .pdf file link to the final season Ohio deer kill tally sheet, listed by county:

    http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/hunting/Deer%20harvest201617/020517deerharvest.pdf

    That said, it's all about where you hunt, and I have a pretty danged good setup where this Clark County meadow lies, despite low harvest numbers across that general area. County harvest numbers mean little when you're about to take a shot and tag out for said county.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,655 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    Nice doe , should eat good.



    Thats the reason i moved from Mn. to Wisc. , plus lower taxes.

    JAY

    Yeah.....no, I can barely stand all the talk about the Vikings, the cheeseheads never stop talking about the Packers, although, I have learned to enjoy watching them win a few Superbowls
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Yeah, but I've heard that there are HUGE bucks in Wisconsin...
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,023 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Yeah, but I've heard that there are HUGE bucks in Wisconsin...
    My MIL sais the venison did not taste good from there because of all the cranberry bogs, she ate some visiting here and liked it.

    Maybe that is why so many hunters had it made into summer sausage when I lived up there----the reality is probably improper
    handling and leaving it on the car and hanging around to show off.

    Huge does, too, the ones that almost ran Clean and I over on our bicycles were huge.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I can believe that and poor field care is definitely an issue. I have seen some TERRIBLE handling practices - guys willfully leaving deer un-gutted waiting for their buddies to see and/or weigh their prize - all over the country. It's one thing to do your best to recover a deer the day after it's hit because you simply couldn't find. It's a different thing altogether to just let it spoil for vanity.

    The does you mention seem to be the norm from that stretch all the way from Wisconsin down through, Illinois/Iowa/Missouri/Kansas/Nebraska. We've seen some gigantic grandma does around the fields were used to hunt. It's gotta be the feed quality in the stretch of the corn belt.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Damn fine job! And I agree with you, if you have to move just make it happen as soon as you have the chance. Otherwise they will catch you!
    Exactly.

    The time to be still and exercise extreme movement discipline is when the deer has yet to appear. It goes without saying that while you may know regular appearance points in a certain general area, you can never be 100% sure where a particular deer will come out on a given hunt. That's when a careless head turn or comfort adjustment will get you caught. On an open ground hunt like this, the time leading up the deer's arrival requires crucial attention to minimized movement, using only your eyes to scan as much as possible, and moving your whole head/body as little as possible. But, the game changes when you have deer in sight: make quick aggressive corrections to get in the best position to range and monitor the deer, and to make a quality shot.

    The only exception is that, if time and circumstances permit, is that I like to *quickly* scan for other deer in the immediate area before moving since they seem to like to all show up at the same place from different directions sometimes. More than once I have gotten hosed by a deer that came up to one side or directly behind me at the same time I was setting up to shoot a deer right in front of me. If you can catch that other deer before it busts you, you may still be able to muster a shot without spooking one, both, or all of them.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    I can show you a noticeable size difference in deer in a 50 mile radius in OK. One area right on the Kansas border about 40 miles west of I-35 there is lots of soy beans, cotton and alfalfa with some wheat and native grasses mixed in. I took the smallest doe of our group and she weighed ~110 field dressed. The other guys took does that went ~130, those were average for the area.

    Fifty miles southeast it mostly wheat and native grasses. A big doe weighs 110 there.
    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: 8,155 Senior Member
    Yup. Feed and year-round average temps seem to greatly impact deer growth potential. If you have quality feed like you describe, it always seems to hold bigger deer. That's a pretty dramatic size difference you're seeing in that relatively small, 50-mile area, but given the feed disparity, it's not surprising.

    By the way, this probably sounds dumb, but bear in mind that this is coming from a guy who has never lived near the crop: I had no idea that deer ate cotton plants.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    I doubt they eat mature plants but I can't imagine the young plants not being targeted. Rich could tell us better about the nutritional value.

    I watched a herd feeding on canola regularly since it sprouted. The stuff smells like an old gym bag so it is either good feed during early stages or the deer are really hungry.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Montana RanchMontana Ranch New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    Wow, 7 deer in a season! Congratulations! Where in Montana did you hunt? There sure are some great areas to hunt and with a ton of deer!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Wow, 7 deer in a season! Congratulations! Where in Montana did you hunt? There sure are some great areas to hunt and with a ton of deer!

    Hey there!

    Me and my buddies hit Region 7. Across the 4 of us, we filled 8 big game tags in 3 hunting days. We also got 3 turkeys down a couple of days later when we got permission on some private land out there. There almost assuredly would've been a 4th turkey down, but one of our guys had to leave before he could hunt with us on that leg of the trip. It's become an annual event. Montana has definitely been good to us.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    When hungry, deer will eat just about anything. I've seen them peeling off bark off saplings.

    Oh, that I can believe. One of the privately-funded forests in Nebraska gave into the bunny-huggers and banned deer hunting in their stretch of the woods. Within a couple of seasons with harsh winters and overpopulated deer, the trees in the woods were stripped of their bark and dying off. It didn't take long for them to see the issue and start granting controlled hunting access in their forest again. The forest is healthy again last time I checked.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    The only crappy part of shooting does this late in the season? Yep. This one was preggers...

    That's the reasoning behind the laws in the county I hunt. We only get to shoot does in November. It sucks because some years I never see does until December when they're off limits.
    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: 8,155 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    That's the reasoning behind the laws in the county I hunt. We only get to shoot does in November. It sucks because some years I never see does until December when they're off limits.

    snake -

    If the goal is to up the current/future deer population, your county's approach makes good sense. It's the opposite in our neck of the woods, of course, so they have no issue with doe harvest all season long, and losing unborn fawns is part of that management plan.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that this deer was donated to a friend and hunting buddy. This is the same guy I donated a deer to a couple seasons back. He's doing much better now and work is steady, but his wife is in school and he's the lone bread winner until she finishes up in a couple more years. Until then, every little bit helps and I acted accordingly.

    He was skinning out the deer and sent me a couple of pics from the carcass showimg the damage done by the broadhead.

    The entrance wound shows total destruction of an onside rib as the result of a direct hit, and a good amount of collateral damage to another nearby rib. The hole was riddled with a mess of bone shards, probably explaining the very loud crack that I heard on impact:

    BDFE048D-D904-439D-B895-71CDD41E7675_zpsxxoabnfb.jpg

    The exit was much cleaner, as the arrow passed between the offside ribs, merely nicking them on the way out. As you can see, the exit wound is roughly the diameter of a 12-gauge shotshell rim:

    A9FAAA07-41A1-443B-A797-973426225CA3_zpsecuhjuvr.jpg
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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