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Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
First with a bow........

......almost......   Angry

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. 

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
tons of fun

I bet your heart was going really good there for a little while.  Sounds like an action packed, but frustrating few minutes.  You'll get one, just gotta keep at it.

hawkeye270's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
sounds exciting... hope you

sounds exciting... hope you get one!

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Oh man so close this time!!

Oh man so close this time!!  Congratulations at least for getting so close and actually getting to draw back on some. You still have time with your season there so maybe you'll be able to catch them again before it's over. Good luck with the next round, you only need a few more seconds to pull it off.

elkkill06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2068
Getting closer !


Now that will get the heart pumping ! :thumbsup1:  That is what it is all about when it comes to archery hunting. Thanks for sharing the awesome encounter and maybe next time will be the the time it happens. Good luck !


numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Oh man

Oh man that gets the blood pumping just reading this story. Man i was really into it. Even though the tital was first deer ...almost i was really hopeing you stuck one with an arrow. How much longer is your season? I'm pumped to get back into the deer woods but I still have till NOV 19th before my late season starts up again. One of these years you should get a general archery deer tag up here and we could hunt in southern oregon and bag a big blacktail. I've been hearing reports of some real dandies being killed down there the past few years. I think the late season in So OR starts around Nov 8th and goes till start of DEC

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Argh. I just typed my whole

Argh. I just typed my whole reply and it got lost.

 Anyway, the first part of archery goes until next Sunday, the 16th. The rifle season, for which I have a doe tag, begins the following weekend on the 22nd. I won't be able to hunt the first day, but should be out Sunday. that continues for 3 weeks, and then the second half of archery starts back up on November 19th, going until December 31st.

I will get out maybe twice during rifle, and then head to Vermont on the 12th of November to hunt the whitetail opener there with my Dad. After that, I will sprinkle a couple of bow hunts here around a planned 2 day pig hunt the second weekend of December. I should have some opportunities to get something, at least I hope so. lol

I think my best chance to get something in the area from Monday is right now though. The area is all oaks and pine trees, and as I took my 3 hour walk the other day, it was a constant barrage of acorns raining from the trees. The deer are hammering that area now. Unfortunately I can't get out again this week, but hopefully they will still be there in 2 weeks and I can shoot a doe.

 The only problem there is that it's a well hunted public area during rifle season. I went out on the last day of archery/muzzleloader a few years back, and had 3-4 cars parked in my spot. Oh well, I gotta break the drought one of these days.

prhunter's picture
Location: El Paso, Texas
Joined: 02/22/2009
Posts: 631
Keep trying and don't give

Keep trying and don't give up. Sooner or later persistance will pay off. Thumbs up

swisheroutdoors's picture
Location: Bonaire Georgia
Joined: 10/08/2010
Posts: 111
I admire your resilience

Wow very cool story animals all around.  I'm frustrated but not anymore after reading some of your entries and stories.  I have nothing to complain about.  You have got to get one this year.  I'm pulling for you.  That's crazy karma.  Man you need the big daddy antlers everywhere so there is no doubt.  No counting just instinctive shooting and let that arrow lose right in the boiler room.  Only time I ever felt like that was Grouse hunting with a Recurve and blunt tips.  Son and I all surround by birds.  There's one dad.  Miss.  Oh oh there's another.  Miss.  That one right there, get him.  Miss....  I lost 4 arrows that day.  Jonah counted and pointed out 12 grouse.  It was crazy.  I can’t even fathom deer all around heart pumping just to walk back to the truck and not dragging something to the truck for 15 years...  Oh man I'm getting chills.   You really love the outdoors.  My hats off to you.  Your resilience is very admirable.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Thanks.  I actually have been

Thanks.  I actually have been fortunate to take 4 deer with a rifle, so all is not lost.  Plus, mix in some ducks, doves, etc, and I do bring home stuff to eat occasionally.  But, the archery deer, and the turkey are the 2 that give me fits.

As for resilience, yes, I do have the attitude that maybe this will be the day, each time I go out.  But, more so than that, I really just like this time of year, being in the woods.  I like the cool air, the acorns dopping out of the trees, and stuff like that.  Seeing deer just caps off the adventure.  My only problem is that I don't get to go out often, so I would rather get something so I am not feeling so much pressure to get one.

Oh well, next time.........

SGM's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1147
Vermonster, congratulations

Vermonster, congratulations on a great hunt. Keep with it and one of these days it will all come together and the real work will begin. Just being outdoors, hunting and seeing the critters is worth the time. Also the lessons your are learning will be great for your little man once he is old enough to hunt. You can pass on your wisdom and a few stories to give him a laugh. Thanks for the story and keep with it.

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