First day of bow hunting in my life!!!
This is how I spent my first ever bow hunt! Myself and three others were lucky enough to be selected for the opening day draw hunt at Croft State Park. Went in on Tuesday to set stands and set up camp. Picked a nice White Oak over looking somewhat of a clearing where a much larger tree used to fill the canopy. Lots of smaller trees, brush, etc. now competing for the recently opened sky line. Set up the tents at the camp and we're ready. For a state park the camp sites were really nice (I've been to afew that were pretty rough) even had hot water in the bath house that's also a first for me. Went in pretty early Wednesday (as we all did) at about 5:00.
First day I was excited! Not much going on for the first hour and half or so LOL then the shadows and blackness gave way to paths and trails that confirmed the presence of what I was after. As the sun rose out from the trees and the squirrels went to work on dropping acorns for gathering I was reminded that the experience of hunting is as enjoyable as the prize. Enough chit-chat let's bring in the maid of honor. Time was about 8:40 had not seen anything until the front two legs of a deer showed themselves below the overhanging braches of a dogwood tree about 60 yards up the hill from me. She came in site and my heart started doing well you know. Slowly and very cautiously she started down the path from the road that had sparked my interest the previous day. I stood very slowly out of my seat and turned to retrieve my hanging bow (PSE Bow madness). Turned back to her and noticed a second deer entering the frame. Waited to investigate the second -could this be the buck of my life- smaller doe to walk in. All legs until proven otherwise are the legs of the largest buck I will take in my lifetime.
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Back to hunting. Decided the first doe was my deer (opening day, first ever bow hunt not waiting any longer). She moves closer and closer still extremely cautious now as she begins to enter daylight. We lock into a three minute this is it I'm busted deer bolting staring contest. I win! She begins to move into range now almost to the spot I shot one of my thirty yard marks earlier in the morning. I draw for the first time ever on a whitetail deer and oh **** I'm an idiot. I had a new string loop installed a few weeks ago and I'm still training my string to line up the peep on the draw stroke (it's off just a hair). Well with all that time in the dark and with all that red bull soaked anticipation (i don't drink caffeine ever) I was humming (it was 4:00 when the diesel fueled train of 4x4's woke me up, I had to do something to wake up).
Anyway, I had set there and turned the string so many times I actually turned the peep around backwards yes I said the thing was backwards. Well that's the end of the hunt right, nope, you see when
I had the string loop installed I also installed a QAD rest that is made for letting down without much of a problem. So I let down slowly and turned the peep back around. It wasn't easy my heart was POUNDING, I don't even know how I screwed it up in the first place because it was dark and now I had to fix it with two deer in range, doe's at that. I calmed down as the deer were feeding and had no idea of the mess I was in. Got the peep turned around after what seemed like forever and drew again (for the second time in my life).
I'm at full draw and she turns directly at me, I wait her out, I'm shaking out of my mind she turns again and I let my arrow go. BAM!! the 100 grain 2 blade rage enters her just behind the right shoulder from thirty yards. They bolt!! MY arrow is laying on the ground at the point of contact I pick up my bingos off my chest and can see the color of my blazer vain is off just a little. I heard of this excitement from bow hunters before and that's what got me into this. I have it pumping through every vein in my body now! You guys probably know this feeling well , this was my first, and on the first day off the season, my first deer of the season, I was floating with only the squirrels to share it with (for now). I waited about 30 minutes got down to retrieve my arrow. Seemed the longer I waited the more I began to doughty whether I had actually hit the deer for some reason. I was nervous during the shot but I've been practicing a lot this summer. And the shot felt good. I don't know if that's me or bow hunting.
Gun hunting with my 7mm WSM pretty much gets me instant feedback LOL. I find the arrow right where I marked and it's covered in blood, yes!!! I send a text to my hunting partner who informs me he is coming out of his stand to retrieve a deer he shot an hour ago. We meet on the road that divided our stand locations. He's not feeling the rush I am as he shows me a dry arrow. He had missed a shot on a doe that had a smaller one behind it about 30 minutes before I shoot. Seemed clearer to me why the doe's were so cautious when they came in to view, He had missed the deer I shot. I know that's leaving this open for some comments but this our hunt and our conclusion. We take our gear to the truck come back in track my deer down about 75 yards up the hill from my stand location. The rage left a trail Ray Charles could have found (sorry Ray just an expression).
I was relieved to recover the deer. Meet back up at the trucks with the rest of the guys and everyone even people that were hunting around us congratulated me on the hunt. I'm familiar with this kind of instant friendship that makes hunters so much fun to be around. There before me was 90lb. doe that might had well been the buck of my life (she had the legs to do it) and I couldn't have been happier. Total deer for that day was one doe and two bucks (largest buck 130lb). Night hunt was scorching hot, nothing. Didn't see anything this morning either. Didn't matter! Total today 6 deer on the morning hunt as it cooled off nicely last night. Left out after. Don't know how many were hunters were there but there quite a few. Had a great time met some good people. Sorry Chad for the miss but it worked out for me. This might a little long but I'm still floating!!!
Thanks again to Shot-Spot for setting up the bow, and for the pointers. Good luck to all this season and most importantly be safe. I'll try to post the pics if I can figure it out.