Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Got a Deer!

I missed him with the first shot, but hit him with the second!

Monday morning was absolutely beautiful! I walked out my back door at about 6:20am and loaded my gun. We're only 2.5 miles from campus, but our back yard opens up into 67 acres of forest land. When we were first checking this place out last spring, I was hoping that hunting would be an option here. When we moved in in August, my boys and I explored the place and I was able to get permission to hunt on it. It's very convenient!

A few weeks ago I started scouting the place out by walking around with a borrowed bow. I'm not an amazing shot with the bow yet, but I carried it around as I stalked around just in case I got close to anything. I was consistently seeing about 3 doe whenever I walked around, and I was able to get a good feel for where they were hanging out.

Two weekends ago, regular season opened and a few days later, Adam and I set up a two man ladder stand in an area that I deemed to be pretty good both for seeing deer and shooting safely. We went out a few times over the weekend, but we never saw anything close.

But on Monday, I was out in the stand by myself just after sunrise. I heard something that sounded like a wierd crow off in the distance, and it turned out to be a doe bleating. I heard her walking up behind me, and I just sat up in the tree as still as I could. I didn't even bother turning around because I didn't want it to see me move, and I couldn't shoot behind me because of the houses in that direction. It was critical that the deer pass me and get in front of my stand.

I waited as the deer came up closer and closer, walking and stopping to nibble on buds and paw at the ground looking for food. I heard another deer skip up to it, so now I knew there were two deer behind me. Were they does? A buck? I had no idea. When they got over to my right side, i was able to get a good look at them and i could see they were both does. The were literally 20 feet from me, just below my stand.

The one doe continued to bleat, and then I heard some rustling about 50 yards in front of me in the trees. Coming thru some heavy brush I saw another deer. This one was scraping his head on some saplings, so I assumed it must be a buck! The brush was thick and it was a ways off, so I couldn't tell for sure. The doe next to me bleated loud and strong, and then the buck started coming my way. I couldn't make out any antlers, so I assumed it was a doe! It was bigger than the other does, so I figured I'd take that one.

At about 20 yards, I put my cross hairs on it and pulled the trigger. Kapaow!! All three deer started running around in circles totally confused! But unfortunately the one I shot at looked like he was running perfectly fine! He took off to about 50 yards away, and as he ducked behind a tree I chambered another round. I was pretty convinced I must have missed it, so I figured I better take another shot. As it moved into site, I shot again, and it jumped up, ran out in front of me, came towards me, ran onto the trail, laid down, put it's head down and died.

I had totally missed the first shot! Which was kind of crazy because I didn't miss the second one, and that was a much farther shot. I hadn't had any time to sight my gun in this season, so maybe I shot over the top of it......or maybe I just had a slight case of the fever!

I waited about 15 minutes and then climbed down the stand and went over to it. The shot was real good, except it hit the front shoulder a bit. As i looked at it, i noticed a small nub of an antler on the head. I looked closer and realized that it had a single spike on the side laying in the dirt. The other antler was broken off! I'd shot it thinking it was a doe, but it turned out to be a buck! Not a good looking buck, but it'll cook up just the same.

I field dressed it -which took me awhile since I hadn't done it in a few years! Then i drug it home and hung it in the yard.

I cut out the inside 'tenderloin' and had steak and eggs for breakfast.

Jack had been dreaming of a European mount, but once he saw the pathetic "rack" on this little fella, he realized we wouldn't be hanging that one on the wall!

Adam came over and helped me hoist it up in the garage. It was so warm at that point (45 degrees) that we started butchering it right away.

The boys thought every bit of it was totally fascinating! We were all excited and really grateful!

1 comment:

  1. J That is awesome!!!! of course when i leave you guys get to eat dear meat!!! haha my friends dad who lives in S. Dakota shot 5 does and a nice buck. i saw pics. thats so awesome that you get to shoot in the backyard. i miss you guys and i love you! tell everyone i'm thinking of them! xoxo