Seven days after my first deer of the bow season and the next time I went out we bagged another one. My son Samuel came out with me again and I guess he is good luck. He thinks that you should get a deer every time you are in the stand.
Given the fact we are going out this Saturday for the youth mentor gun hunt I hope he is right!
Went out last Sunday night bow hunting with Samuel. The rest of the family was out of town and I wanted to give him an opportunity to be in the woods. The first weekend in October him and I will be participating in the Wisconsin youth hunt. So I went to my bow hunting stand and he settled in all by himself in our gun stand we are going to use.
I wanted to leave the house around four in the afternoon so that our time out there would not be overwhelming for him. He wanted to leave right after church and we compromised around two pm. Samuel is one of the few people in the world who even knows where my gun stand is located. It is under such good cover that you could walk by it all day long and not see its location.
So I got him settled in to his seat and made my way back with word for him to stay put until seven pm. An hour later I glanced out my side widow to see this deer-like trot of my ten-year old coming towards me. I motioned for him to stop 20 yards away. ”Dad my walkie-talkie is dead.” came his loud whisper. I already figure that out since we couldn’t communicate and let him know that would be fine. Off he went bouncing back.
An hour later I heard a noise under my platform and got my bow ready as the sound got stronger. Scratching the ladder on the other side of my door was not a bear like I first thought, but Samuel again. With my head out the window, “Dad, I just finished my book!” I affirmed his diligence and spirit of excitement and more strongly encouraged him to not move from his stand until seven pm. Off he bounced like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.
Thinking my whole evening is over because of the commotion I pulled out my crossword puzzle for a nice quiet evening. Then out of the corner of my eye an hour later I saw movement. And give grace and agility I stood up from my chair and hid behind the door as I readied my weapon all the while peeking out the window at two deer. I can only shot one doe on this land in a year and wasn’t planning on doing it this early in the season.
But with Samuel near by I decided there is no better time than now. Bow drawn back and the appropriate site marker in my peep-hole. Count to three and let go. The arrow went through the air and I knew my intended target was hit. It took off to the left. Most of the time you are to wait for up to thirty minutes before you track a deer, but I couldn’t. I was out of my stand and walking down to get Samuel within seconds.
“You want to track a deer buddy?”
“Let’s go dad!”
And we were back up to the kill zone where the arrow was lodged in the ground red with blood. It went all the way through and I was positive it was a good location. I gave some instructions to my new tracking recruit and I let him lead the way through the dense trees and under growth. Within minutes he was standing over the downed deer so very excited that he actually found it.
We won’t talk about the field dressing part. He made it through but didn’t care much for that part even though he took a picture of the guts on the ground. (I won’t post that one)
My theory goes like this: Bow hunting and playing Blackjack at the casinos is kind of the same. Both involve traveling to a place with the lure that you will win big. You then sit around for hours staring in one place and concentrating intently as if that will help you succeed. The whole time you are there you trick yourself into thinking that the next moment will produce the payout.
When the perfect opportunity comes up right in front of you, your lack of experience makes you panic and a wrong move is made. You are left with nothing, but lost money, time and stories of how close you were. What you do get is a sore butt.
But will I return to my chair hoping beyond hope that tonight will be the night?…or course.
Here are a couple of pictures of my view from 20 feet in the air and a little doe that I let walk around me for an hour one night. Why she couldn’t smell or hear me and all the bigger ones do, is baffling to me.
The crew of hunters on the property I was on for the week harvested six deer total (yes the new guy got two of them). On the Monday after the season several of us gathered to process the meat. This was great learning experience to see (and touch) the creation that God has made for us. The buck I got on Thanksgiving was huge and made up the majority of the meat for ground venison. We got chops, round steaks, and tenderloin for everyone as well as over 180 pounds of misc pieces we use for ground.
We also brought a tenderloin offering over to the neighbors that were really noisy on Thanksgiving day and probable the reason the big buck came wondering my way. The cool thing about this part of the season is that you learn so much the animal. For instance we learned that if I would have shot a couple inches lower the buck would probable still be alive (see picture with the arrow. We did a little CSI Rhinelander to show the trajectory of the bullet. When cutting out the tenderloin back strap we also learned that the buck was shot by an arrow the previous year and the tip stopped right at the back bone.
This is the update of my hunting adventures. I spent around 30 hours in my deer stand for this season and had a great time being quiet and looking out the window. I had a package of tea candles to keep me warm and learned the fine art of wax consolidation to keep the wicks burning longer. Overall I harvested my first two deer of my life. A nice size doe on Monday and fairly large buck on Thanksgiving afternoon. What a great experience!
The hunting stand is a very important part of the hunting season and I got set up with a very nice one. Because of proprietary purposes I am not allowed to show you everything or the exact location. But here is a glimpse of where I was for a week. I was on a hill about five feet in the air, had window on all sides and roof over my head. The hardest part was keeping the window from fogging up and keeping the swivel chair from squeaking.