Well, it's a long story, for lasting only 5 minutes, but a fun read. Had the holiday off, so I went out yesterday. In 15ish years of trying, I still have not shot a deer with a bow. Actually, have not seen one on stand for the last 2 years, and last time I drew was 3 years ago on a doe, only to have a little skipper walk out of the brush with her. Anyway, here's my hunt yesterday.
Got to my spot, parked the car. Pretty much right at shooting light, since I wanted to walk and spot them, not sit in a tree. I get my stuff, and head through the gate of the firebreak. I don’t get 20 yards past the gate (50 from the truck) and hear something in the draw to my right, pretty close. I listen, sounds like it’s walking away. I decide that it’s definitely deer sized, so I go to peak over the edge. Wrong! I see a bush move 15 yards away as the deer bounces back into the draw. I don’t hear it go too far, so I think it may still be there, wanting to come back.
I quickly look around and realize I am actually standing on the deer trail. I look and see some scrub oak about 7-8 yards off the trail. I slide over, take off my backpack, and squeeze in, kneeling down, and wait. Only a couple of minutes pass and I hear it walking. I quickly see ears and tail flicking as it walks out of the draw at about 15 yards, through the thick stuff, on the trail in front of me. Still can’t tell what it is, so as it hits the last bush, I come to full draw. It steps out at 7 yards, stops perfectly broadside and stares at me. I can only admire him as I see the 6 inch spikes on his head. (Cannot shoots spikes, only thing I can't shoot......) He waits 5 or 6 seconds, and bounces off.
I wait to see if there are any more, and sure enough, about 18-20 yards away, on another split of the trail (Closer to the gate and my truck) but still headed to the road for an 20 yard shot. It stops shy of the road, behind some brush, and I can’t see exactly what that is either. I am focused on that one, when out of the corner of my eye I see ears and a tail of a third one on the trail right next to me. I thought I caught a quick glimpse of a bald head, so as it hits the last bush, I come to full draw again. It stops, I can’t see a speck of hair through the bush. I wait, wait, and wait, and finally I need to let down. Wrong move! It bounded away as I let down, back into the draw.
Now, the second one, still behind the brush, took a few steps further away, not knowing what was going on. However, it made a move for the road. It went on the other side of the gate, at about 25 yards. As it stepped into the road, it’s head is down, but I catch a sight of antler on him also. Not huge, but a little longer than the first. I can’t see a fork though, as it hits the road, and immediately looks my direction, broadside. It didn’t see me, but knew something funky was happening. I could only see his 8 inch antlers or so, and again, couldn’t tell if it was forked at that angle. Well, as it turned to walk up the road (Directly at my truck), I might have seen a fork (not 100% sure), but had only a shot at his backside. I watched it walk up and towards the paved road (and my truck), out of sight. I look to my left, and then back at the road. Here comes the buck hopping back down the road. I think he got within 10 or so yards of my truck, got spooked by it, and turned around.
He bounced back where he came from, and actually turned towards me. I put the bow up in front of my face, but he caught movement and stared at me through the bushes at 15 yards or so. He had enough, and bounded back into the ravine.
Frustrating, but really fun.