10/2/09 - North MO Property
Ralph and I headed up to our North MO farm Friday afternoon for a quick day and a half hunt, before hitting up the Williamsburg property on Sunday morning. The Friday evening sit was a test of balance and general madness. We had to contend with 30-40mph wind gusts from every direction and they never let up. I was actually a little wobbly once I finally got back to the ground. I've had "sea legs" before, but never "tree stand legs!" Ralph saw a big mature doe and mini come down the north oak ridge right at 7pm.
10/3/09-Poachers Pond Set-WNW 7-15mph-49-65degrees
After all the wind the day before I wanted to get into one of our sets that was out of the wind, so I choose the Poacher's Pond set. There were a lot of fresh tracks on the road crossing into the bottom, so I was pretty excited to sit there for the first time this season. I was in the set at 6:13am and just sat back and waited for shooting light. At 6:48am I caught movement to the left and instantly saw a huge buck with a wide and massive 10 point rack. He was walking down the middle sandbar with his nose to the ground at a steady pace. He made it through my first shooting lane at 13yrds without stopping and started to angle towards the south hillside. I drew back as he walked into the next opening at 22yrds and he stopped, offering me a perfect quartering away angle. It was still pretty dark in the bottom, but I could see my pins clearly and easily pick up the deer in my peep. I settled in and touched off the shot which looked perfect. I heard a solid thwack and my G5 lighted nock briefly disappeared. The bruiser headed south with his tail down and I saw him stop about 30yrds down the bottom, before walking into a draw.
About 2 minute later another nice 8 point and spike came off the road and dropped into the bottom and worked up the south ridge. At this point the adrenaline kicked in and the reality of what just happened hit me....I just smoked a 160"+ BIG BOY!
I waited until 8:40am to get down and go look at my arrow and the disappointment that hit me as I crossed the sand creek bottom was like nothing I'd ever felt. I saw my cock fletching laying in the sand, which was not a good sign. I picked up my arrow and it was totally clean other than dirt and 7" scratch down the shaft. I walked back towards the set and about 3yrds from were the buck had been standing was one twig that bend horizontally over the creek bank. I hadn't seen it while shooting or after the shot when the sun came up for that matter. After looking closer there was pink and orange paint scratched on it. My arrow hit the twig and must have deflected just underneath the buck....what a let down. Ralph saw 3 toms in the north meadow.
10/3/09 PM Sit- The Gash Set-WNW 2-6mph, 65-49 degrees, overcast and cleared to sun
I headed to one of the new sets "The Gash" I hung this year for the PM sit. The wind was supposed to lay down around 5pm and sun was supposed to pop out later in the evening and the weather forecast didn't disappoint. The wind shut off around 5:15pm and the entire hill top came alive with deer. I spotted 2 does working their way into the Gash headed to the corn fields. As I was watching them with the binos I picked up another doe that must have already been in the Gash bedded. She was a big mature slickhead, so I grabbed by bow and was just able to get to full draw as she entered my shooting lane. I grunted and she froze in her tracks. I touched off the shot and watched my arrow fly just underneath her at 33yrds and smoke a big oak she was in front of. STRIKE 2 on the day!!! She ran into the field and the other 2 does ran up on top of the hill. School Boy to say the least!
I was stewing in my own frustration for about 20 minutes when I heard steps coming from behind the set. I spotted a nice doe and 2 1/2yr. old 8 point coming right at the set off the hillside. The doe started to cut behind the set, but changed her mind and cut back up the hillside. She passed my stand at 12yrds. and I grunted at her when she was slightly quartering away. My shot was perfect..tucked in right on the front shoulder, but the arrow hit the off shoulder and didn't pass completely through. She bolted into the Gash and as she climbed the steep wall I could see her already coughing blood.
I got my gear together and backed out to get Ralph. I found her blood trail after about 10yrds and found the fletching end of my arrow in the bottom. From the sign and arrow penetration she couldn't be far....I thought. We proceeded to trail her up and down three big draws, but we were on good to great sign the entire way. Finally after about 250-300yrds. Ralph spotter her laid up under a huge dead fall, still alive. We could tell she was sick because she just laid there with us 12 yrds away.
We decided I would go back to the truck to get my bow while Ralph hung back and kept an eye on Ole girl. When I finally getting back down to Ralph the deer was still alive but hadn't moved. I nocked an arrow and started to slide around for a clean shot, but as I started drawing back she jumped and ran other 30yrds up the hill. I watched her drop again and hurried up after her. After getting a good angle my 2nd shot smoked her again and exited out her throat. She still had enough energy to make one last death run another 20-30yrds before giving up the ghost. I've never seen anything like this in my life. My first arrow smoked both lungs and punched through her off shoulder. She should have been dead in seconds with that hit. I have no idea how she managed to go as far and live as long as she did...other than being one tough nanny!
By the time we got her out and back home it was 12:30am and I had no energy for a proper photo...so I went straight old school in the back of the rig!!!