The buck jumps the fence, 22 yards to the left and out in front of the stand.
His antlers are tall and wide, a shooter with no doubt.
Well defined muscles ripple on thick shoulders as he hits the ground and immediately drops his nose into a mock scrape that was created a few days prior.
Our archer saw the buck coming – and with ice water in his veins – draws the bow and centers the 20 yard pin just a touch high on the heart and lung area and just rearward of the shoulder. With a great, steady set of hands, he anchors and just does "trip" the release with the slightest of nudges.
All those months of practice come to a true culmination now, the mechanics are perfect and all manners of physics come into play.
The split limbs flex, and immediately the shaft of the arrow is loaded with energy and is propelled forward. The rest falls away long before the arrow vanes arrive.Like a well synchronized series of event - the arrow fairly leaps off of the bow at 288 feet per second…
With only 132 milliseconds needed to travel the 66 feet, ducking the arrow is not an option for our antlered quarry.
Our hunter saw the buck – but in the early morning gloom, he failed to note the very small branch between the stand and the scrape area.
The deflection is minor – but just enough to send the arrow awry… and the blurred streak passes just over the back of the buck…. startling him – but not yet sending him into full flight.
Horrified, our archer is immediately in recovery mode.
The bow holder – screwed into the tree – is on the left side of the tree… all I need do is grab an arrow out of the quiver, which is hanging on the bow holder… darn it, the bow is in my left hand and I have to reach all the way across myself to grab at the quiver… snap it out of the plastic fingers that seem to hold like glue... time seems to race as his fingers fumble for the arrow… come on, come on, darn it… there, I got you… spin the nock end toward me, level the arrow and then - quickly as he can, he starts to nock the arrow - manages to get it on the string and onto the rest and then - again horrified, he notes with dread that the buck has now rotated and is starting directly at him.
The hand with the release starts to come toward the string and in an instant, the game is lost. There is no "next hand" in this poker game, at least not this morning and not with this bad boy...
The buck, quick as a cat and with five and a half years of wisdom, has had enough. He is gone back over the fence in a split second, taking 172 inches of solid, non typical antlers with him.
The hunter collapses on the seat….thinking “how did I screw that up so badly?”
Now, not all archers remove the quiver from the bow when hunting.
I do and most of my friends do. I practice all year without the weight of the quiver and do not want it on the bow when I am hunting.
Take a tip – use some way of securing an extra arrow on the stand, right where your free hand can grab it with minimal movement – and allow a rapid follow up shot.
I am right handed, so the bow is in my left hand (the bow holder, when I use one, is also on the left side of the tree) – but I have added 2 small clips that allow an arrow to rest on the right side rail of the stand, ready for immediate use with minimal arm movement required to get it.
The arrow is not clipped in, it is laying in two small hooks that are secured on the stand.
Yes, it can be knocked out of the holder very easily and I have done so... no harm - leave it lay and get another out of the quiver.
Most anything can be used for the hooks but the main focus should be on being able to quickly and quietly be able to grab and bring into play another arrow, should it be needed.
Try it and see if it helps with your follow up shots!