This is a new area I’m hunting this year so I’m not familiar with the deer movements and hideouts, but I have found some very good-looking spots to hunt. After sitting all morning and seeing nothing, my confidence level was low. Returning in the evening, I went to a different location to setup. The tree I had chosen from a previous scouting trip was very crooked – more crooked than I remembered – and took way too much time to set myself up in without feeling like I was going to spin around and get tossed out of my treestand. I will not sit in it again, though I still like the location and there’s not really a better tree to sit in.
I have made some modifications to my climbing sticks by adding foot stirrups so I can gain additional height and start my first stick high off the ground. (Check out DIY Sportsman on YouTube. He has lots of great ideas and solutions for hunting-related stuff). After using this new setup a couple of times now, I have found myself getting much higher than what I mean to. I can easily get 20 feet with just two sticks. I think I was about 25 feet up here, but probably only needed to be 15.
With all of the rain we have had late in the summer, plant life is doing well and weeds/grass are really high. Once the sun dipped below the hillside and everything was cast in its shadow, I figured now would be a good time for deer to start moving around. As I surveyed my surroundings over and over again, I turned to look back forward and noticed something was different right away.
There it was, a white vertical line in the grass outlined by brown about 30 yards away. I was looking at the side of a deer butt. The rest of the deer was hidden in all of the tall grass, and then it raised its head and started walking up hill. By the time everything registered, this deer was already almost out of range and behind cover, never to give me an opportunity. Quickly I grabbed my bow off the hanger and spotted my opening for a shot. While grabbing the bow and preparing to draw back, I vocalized a quick bleat, soft but just loud enough for it to hear me. It stopped broadside just before I lost it behind the bushes. I drew back and was half-crouched so I could slip my arrow through an opening in the branches. Steadying my fiber-optic pin inline with the vital area of the deer, I released and watched my arrow zip right through.
I was overwhelmed with relief after seeing the shot go right where I expected. The deer trotted up the hill a little ways, jumped a creek and then I lost sight and sound. After a few moments I got out of that stupid tree and began searching for my arrow. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Wondering if it sailed into the creek bottom in all of that snarled up bunch of thick brush, I was losing hope at finding it. Then after returning to the original spot where I suspected the deer was standing, I finally saw it there down in the grass stuck in the dirt and covered in blood. That arrow shaft and vanes covered in blood really blended in well. It’s almost impossible finding an arrow in all of that tall weed and grass. I feel luck I spotted it.
There were a couple of good splashes of blood, and then it was difficult to follow, again because of how tall the weeds were growing. Not wasting too much time looking for more blood, I walked to where I last saw it jump the little creek and found a couple of spots of blood on some of the tall grass blades a couple of feet off the ground. My impatience was getting to me as I was losing daylight. After seeing no obvious splashes of blood, I headed straight downhill to where the heavy cover was. I made it about 20 yards and there it lay perfectly under the low crown of an apple tree. In total, it probably traveled another 40 or 50 yards from where I shot it.
It was a button buck. Born this year but still of decent size compared to the doe fawns. I was able to retain about 21 lbs of meat from this deer which seems to be about average for other buck fawns I have taken in the past. The first one of the season is often times the hardest to get for me so I’m glad to have that one out of the way and ready for whatever comes next.
Good luck out there and stay safe – don’t go climbing those silly crooked trees.