Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MO Archery 2008 - On the Board!

9/19/08 - I arrived at the North MO farm around 4:45pm. I talked with Roger a while and he said he's seen more deer this summer than ever before. This got me even more fired up to get the season started. I hunted the North set because of the SE wind at 5-10 mph. I got into the set around 5:30pm and settled in for the evening hunt. There was no deer movement at all. I did have a coon climb the tree next to me around 7pm and cause a racket the rest of the evening. A disappointing start.

9/20/08 (AM setup) - I hunted the Ridge Top set this morning. The wind was out of the East at 7-10 mph with temps around 57, which worked out perfectly for this set. There was heavy fog driving into the farm and it got worse as I headed towards the bottom fields. The acorns were pouring out of the trees and the squirrels were having a field day collecting their winter stashes. I didn't see any deer, but the ridge top was covered up with tracks and sign. The fog moving through the timber made for an exceptional sunrise and morning sit. I got down around 9:45am and hung another set west of the meadow pond and set up a ground blind on the SE edge of the meadow.

(PM setup) - I got into the ground blind set around 4:45pm. The temps were in the upper 70s with a strong E / SE wind, which was perfect for the setup. Around 6:45pm I spotted a good buck working up the levee from the north. When he was about 80 yards out several yotes topped the meadow and appeared to chase after the buck. He was not going to have anything to do with them and took off in short order to the south. He ran by the blind at about 50 yards in the bean field. It looked like a good 140+ 8 or 9 point, I couldn't get a good look at him to be positive. Right at last shooting light I was starting to pack up the video camera when I looked to the West and saw antlers approaching from the back side of the pond dam. I'm almost positive it was the same giant 10 I saw several times last year, but he added a lot of tine length and mass. He stopped on top of the dam at 36 yards, but was facing straight towards me and didn't offer a shot opportunity. He proceeded to drop down onto my side of the dam but took the wash out just South of the blind and passed me at 13 yards, but all I could see was his antlers. So close, yet so far away!!! He made it to the bean field were I glassed him for about 5 minutes until he feed North out of view. It was an amazing encounter. He had no idea I was even in the world, so I'm very optimistic he'll make another appearance before the season is out, and hopefully I'll be waiting.

9/21/08 (AM setup) - On Sunday morning I was greeted by overcast skies, temp of 63, and a SE wind around 8mph. There was a little fog in the bottom fields, but nothing like Saturday morning. I setup in the Meadow Pond set hoping to catch deer coming back from the fields to bed. I had a deer walk up on me right after I was in the stand but it was to dark to make out what it was. There was very little activity besides squirrels and acorns falling. I was only going to hunt until 9am, because several tree limbs had fallen into my shooting lanes, and I didn't check this stand before the season started. I figured I could get the shooting lanes cleaned up before the rain moved in. At 8:53am I decided it was time to get down. I took the arrow off my bow and grabbed my quiver off the hanger and set it in my lap. When I turned to grab my bow I was very surprised to see a big doe walking along the pond bank right at my set. She had me in a bind at this point. My mask and gloves were off, my quiver was laying across my lap, and I didn't have an arrow nocked. She kept heading NE and walked right into the main shooting lane. I grunted at her and she stopped perfectly broadside and looked back in my direction. I decided to give it a go. I took an arrow out of the quiver and got it nocked without her picking me off. I came to full draw with my quiver still resting across my legs and settled the 20 yard pin on her. Lights out, the shot was absolutely perfect and she didn't make it 30 yards before tipping over. The Rage in the Cage was to much for her to try an hold. I got down and picked up my arrow and decided to follow the blood trial, even though I saw her fall. There was literally blood splattered 3-4 ft. high on everything she passed before she expired. It capped a good first weekend to the 2008 MO Archery season. I'll be back next weekend with Scott and hopefully get to catch up with the big 10.