2014 was my first year setting out full fledged into archery. Growing up we hunted with rifles for big game in Minnesota and Montana. In fact it was rifle hunting in 2013 for the mighty wapiti in Montana that got me wanting to get into archery, but that’s a different subject/story I’ll be working on in the future.
Since my ultimate plan is to harvest an elk with a bow I did not go with the “starter” equipment. After shooting a few different bows I settled on a used Creed from Mathews it was already setup and came with a great price tag. When I brought it into my local shop I told the guy behind the counter to set me up with some cheap arrows that would work with my bow and work for deer (my plan was to go cheap then upgrade closer to my elk hunt(mistake #1) I went cheap because I knew I would ruin one or two. I only got 6… That doesn’t last long for a beginning archer(mistake #2).
I began studying the art of archery and researching all that I could on it. I would shoot my bow everyday sometimes as many as 3 dozen arrows in a day. Archery is a ton of fun and addicting but like most things it is better to start slow. After a couple weeks I began getting pain in my shoulder and had to stay away from my bow for a bit (mistake#3).
I’ve studied ducks, fur bearers, fish and elk, but up until this year I never felt the need to study deer. We always hunted the same property where we had permanent stands set and now that we moved into our new house that borders a WMA I needed to study up on the local deer. I started by setting trail cameras and checking them every other day (mistake#4).
I ended up deciding on a spot for a stand based off the evidence I was getting on my trail cam. The spot I picked was a pinch point about 75 yards from a bedding area. Also I had been getting pics of good bucks in this area. I set my stand two weeks before the season opened and all I could do is sit and wait for my time to come.
Opening morning came and I could not be more excited then I was, little did I know it was going to be one of the hardest days of my life. I got set up in my stand a good hour before daylight and it was time to wait. First light was pretty quiet, I watched squirrels and listened to the ducks and geese. But there isn’t much out there that beats being in a deer stand and watching the sun come up through the leaves. I got to a point where I was getting lost inside my mind and I heard a twig snap behind me, anyone who hunts deer or any big game knows that a twig snapping leads to an instant shot of adrenalin! Slowly I began to turn my head to see what was responsible for giving me a mini heart attack. A lone doe was responsible and that was ok buy me. So I stood and began to ready myself for the opportunity of a shot. There were a set of 3 small trees that she was heading towards and I knew I could draw back when she reached them. It seemed like hours but she eventually reached the trees so it was go time… As soon as her head poked out beyond the trees she stopped, leaving me with no shot and I was at full draw. Finally she took another half step, still no shot. I was getting to a point that I had to shoot or bring my string back down so I leaned over a bit to see if I could get a better angle on her. I could get a shot so I steadied my pin and released!
THWACK!!!! Everyone who bow hunts knows that sound, unfortunately I didn’t at the time….
To be continued….