I've bowhunted for almost 35 years now and have taken quite a few deer w/the bow. Mostly does but a few nice buck as well. Last Friday (11/13) was my largest buck harvest to date and possibly the most exciting / intense bowhunt I've ever had...
I am a PA native, but now live near Frederick MD. I have permission to bowhunt a prime property 5 minutes from my house. My work schedule has messed up my bowhunting big time this year and it's been a struggle to get out at all. But since this is prime-time I made a point to get out last Friday to my honeyhole on this property.
Got in my stand @ 5am, in a sliver of woods adjoining a powerline ROW that’s about 200 yds across. It was REALLY windy. By 8am no deer seen at all.
But then I see way off in the distance antlers from a nice buck gleaming in the sun. About 150 yards away, on the edge of and heading into the stickerbush-nastiness in the ROW. No binocs, but after awhile I made out 2 other smaller buck as well. No response to my grunt call. With the wind blowing so hard I couldn't even be sure they could hear my grunt call.
The sun was hitting this nastiness and I figgered they were bedding down.
I could stay in my tree and mope.
Or.... why not go after them?
I've never had great success stalking but w/the wind masking pretty much all noise, and blowing from them to me... couldn't ask for a better setup!
Down w/the climber I go. Strip off some bulkier stuff, slim-line it so nothing rattles or squeaks- over top I have my ghillie suit.
Once I'm on the ground I
a) Don't know if the buck(s) are still in the field
b) If they are in the field I don't know exactly where.
c) know that if I walk along the woods line I'll get busted for sure.
So.... into the stickerbush/grass mix in the ROW I go. Vegetation is about waist high, a bit higher in places. I'm creeping along on hands and knees and at times peeking my head up to look for movement.
A little ways in I spot 2 6ptr, about 50 yd apart.
One was a decent 6 ptr- he was closest. Targeted him 1st. They were bedded down and all you could see now and then was a tine (amidst a billion blades of grass and stickerbush stems) when they lifted their head in the air, only once did I see more than a few square inches of deer. When they went “low”, they disappeared- that’s what this guy did (the 6ptr). When he went low it was disorienting trying to figure out where he really was.
I crept up and ended up almost stepping on him, he bounded away. I was ticked, how'd I mess that up? Easy, you can't see them!
But there’s more deer than this one, and they did not all bound away. And they’re all close, but I don’t know where….. so I keep creeping looking for a tine… Not 5 min later I’m crouched down scanning on my hands/knees and a spike comes waltzing along, so close I could have grabbed him. Walked right in front of / past me.
Then I see the another 6ptr, this ones bigger. Make a slow-mo beeline towards him (he’s about 80 yds away now, and I’m w/my bow). I get within 40 yds, of him, and POP! Up jumps this 8ptr- THIS was the big boy I saw when I was in my stand! When he popped up he was only @ 15 yds from me. I never saw him.
He takes 2 bounds and stops, he’s not sure what the heck I am (all ghillie’d up)- that’s all I needed. Let the arrow fly, he took 1 bound and piled up. Lung, top of heart.
Nice 8ptr, 17 inch spread.
Sorry the pics ain't the best, didn't have a photographer w/me!
This was one of my most exciting and probably one of the top 5 most memorable hunts I've had to date. It was awesome!
Here's the field of nastiness I crept through.... it looks like grass, it's mostly stickerbushes!
And here he is in my truck!