Western PA November 6th, Spot and Stalk
My archery season has been slow to say the least. Not a lot of time to hunt and when I did, not really seeing any deer at all. I took off a few hours Friday and saw 0 deer. Again, I hunted from 9:30-2:30 on Monday and saw 0 deer. This was the first time ever that I sat in this woodlot and never saw a deer.
Taking my son to hockey, I passed the spot I had just sat all day and not 400 yards away is a big 8 point with a doe. I joked with my son, maybe she will bring him up to the back yard and bed and I’ll get him tomorrow. I work out of my house and can watch the back fields so this time of year is hard to get anything done. I decided to go out and check my trail cameras in the back field. Both were having issues and I pulled them and was cursing as I’m walking back to the house and all of a sudden, I see white tines in the brush.
I got back to the house and debated going after him. I slowly worked my way back to the same point I saw him and started glassing and picked him out. Surveying the situation, I tried to decide on my best option. Within a minute, he stood up and looked in my direction. I dropped out of sight and nocked an arrow. Once he turned, I stood and drew. He walked right and got behind some brush and then started straight away. Thinking he was leaving, he turned left and I could see his vitals. I held it on him and talked myself through the shot. I estimated it to be 30 yards (later found out it was 35) and released the arrow. On the shot, he took off low to the ground and and busted through the pines. A doe went crashing off as well.
I went to point of the shot, and immediately found the bed he was in and then saw blood and a lot of it all over the brush. I then saw the arrow. The front 6 inches was gone and the rest had good red blood on it. I backed out and went back to the house to take it all in.
I got on a call for work and took care of that before heading back out. I started trailing good blood for 15 yards and then nothing. Finally a drop. Then nothing. I found some turned up ground and got a line and followed it out into the field where I found one more drop. So I started glassing and saw white so I started walking. When I got closer, I realized it was an old 5 gallon bucket. At this point I’m surveying the scene and realize, he’s 5 yards to my left. Not 75 yards from where I shot he laid.
As soon as I saw him, I knew it was the same buck as last night. I also have pictures of him as a 2 1/2 year old last year and a few trail cam videos from this year. Thanks to my friend Denny for his deer cart to get him up out of here. And to my Dad who came out to take some photos and enjoy the moment. Without his guidance and introducing me to the sport, who knows what I’d be doing during the fall.