A First at Age 45

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I have been deer hunting since my 13th birthday. Up until 2008, I believe, the Ohio deer season opened the first Saturday in October. Then, it was changed to the last Saturday in September in 2008. The first three years I attempted to take a deer in September and failed. I had a few opportunities but just couldn't pull it off. This year I was hoping it would be different.

After moving a few stand locations, checking cameras, watching fields, shooting the bows, my son and I were ready to kick-off the 2011 deer season on Saturday morning September 24th. We got off to a bad start because when we arrived at our hunting location I said to my son I left my bag at home. It had my flashlight, cover scent, boot spray, and knife in it. Fortunately for us the area that we were going to hunt in is only about an 8 minute drive from our house. We turned around and arrived back to our spot still in good time. We walked up to our stands and I was all settled in the stand at 6:22 AM. It was a relatively quiet and mild morning, around 51 degrees. I heard some noises as I was sitting there in the dark and I began anxiously awaiting first shooting light so I could see what was going on around. Sunrise was 7:15AM so legal shooting time was 6:45AM. Right around 7:15 I heard some noise behind me. I slowly turned and looked and saw 3 deer. A doe and a couple of fawns. When they cut into the woods they were about 10 yards out of my range so I let them pass uneventfully. At 7:25AM I seen another 3 deer across a creek bed out in front of my stand. Here there is a major trail and if they stayed on it they would come down across the creek and the trail passes my stand about 25 yards on my left. I readied myself because I was fairly sure this would be the path they would take. At 7:28AM they were at 40 yards and closing the distance to my shooting lane. It was another doe and 2 more fawns. The mother was coming up the trail first. I drew up the crossbow and stopped her right where I wanted her to stop. Then I remembered I didn't turn off the safety. I had to move just a little to turn it off as her eyes were zoning in on me. I flipped it to fire, refound her in my scope and let the arrow fly. She did a mule kick and took off running. I checked the time and it was 7:30AM. The shot looked goos and it was a complete pass through. I watched her run and listened for her to crash. I heard her go down in about 8 seconds. I did not see her fall but I knew approximately where she was. My son sends me a text and says "that better be a big buck, lol". I sent one back and "why, it's opening day, I just smoked a nice doe, and it's the first deer I ever shot in September". I gave her a little bit of time to expire then I got down and retrieved my arrow. It was covered in good blood. I got on the trail and she was down within 50 yards. I just recovered my first September deer. As my son wa swalking over he spotted a doe and 2 fawns and nearly stalked upon them and shot himself a nice doe. But, just as he was about to let an arrow fly they spooked and took off running. We nearly doubled today. My son came over and watched me do the dirty work. It took me almost 20 minutes to gut her. I laughed and told him I was out of practice. It usually takes me 8-10 minutes and I'm done. My best time is 6 minutes. Then as I dragged her down to the truck my 23 year old son watched his 45 year old man drag the doe all the way down. I'm not complaining here, I'm just saying, lol.

We were back home and all cleaned up before 9:00AM. I called in to the ODNR and checked in my deer. Ohio has gone to a new check-in process this year. You can either call-in, go on-line, or still check it in at a check station but you don't have to have the deer with you. To me this system seems very flawed. I think alot of people will be shooting bucks saying they shot does until they get the buck they want. I liked the old system much better where you took the deer to a check station and they gave you a metal tag for it. I have like 70 metal tags hanging off the anttlers in my deer room. Oh well we will see how it goes. I dropped her off at the processors and I will be getting as many roasts out of her as possible and the rest I will be getting made into deer trail bologna. I'm looking forward to the good eating. 


numbnutz's picture

Very good story MOTF. Looks

Very good story MOTF. Looks like she will be great eating. Now if you can only continue to shoot those does and miss the bucks my team might have a chance at winning the contest this year. J/K. I hope you and everyone else drops monster bucks this year. Again Great story and conrats on the does. BTW, it looks like the rage did a great job.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Yes, the 2 blade Rage did a

Yes, the 2 blade Rage did a great job as always. I can't wait to get #2 down. I will be back at it this Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, Saturday morning and evening.

ndemiter's picture

Nice doe, and if I remember

Nice doe, and if I remember correctly, deer season was always the first saturday of October up until a few years ago. It would be cool if it was the first saturday of september, but you've already got 6 months of deer season, you don't need 7!

ManOfTheFall's picture

This may be true, but if it

This may be true, but if it was the first Saturday in September I might be able to get my velvet buck that I would so much like to have.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very nice story, and great

Very nice story, and great looking doe!  I see the Horton Crossbow, but unless I missed it, i didn't see a mention of the type of point.  That's one incredible hole in her.  What did you use????

As for having a stand so close, I miss those days.  In Vermont, it's only about 15 minutes from front door to hutning spot.  However, out here in CA, heck, it's 78 miles one way o my deer stand.  I can't get out as much as I'd like, and distance is one of the major factors.  Even my secondary spot is 40 miles away, but it's backroads, and take an hour to get to.

Thanks for a nice story!  Just curious, how is the Deer Bologna?  Do you make it yourself, or have it done by a butcher?  I have made sausage, burger, stew meat, steaks, and jerky, but never bologna.  Sounds good. Wink

ManOfTheFall's picture

That awesome hole you see in

That awesome hole you see in the doe is made by the 2 blade Rage. I have been using the 2 blade Rage ever since it was available to the public and have loved it. As long as they keep making them I will keep buying them. They also sell new blades and tips and stuff so you don't always have to buy the whole broadhead which saves you about 20 bucks per pack. As far as the dee bologna goes, have you ever eaten Trail Bologna? It pretty much tastes just like that. It can either come in rings or tubes. It's got a smoked flavor and it is very good with like cheese and crackers. It can also be used like for lunch meat. One other way that is very good is to fry it in a pan and then smother it with swiss cheese and eat a hot sandwich. It is great hot or cold. If you are ever passing through Ohio or a few other Mid-Western states see if you can pick up some Trail Bologna. I'm sure you would love it. Oh, and yes, I have a processor do it.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Never had trail bologna, but

Never had trail bologna, but I did used to get tubes of salami, or other meats liek that.  I would do the same, slice it off and eat with cheese and crackers.  Or, just eat it plain.


Retired2hunt's picture

Great September First!


ManOfTheFall - Excellent story!  I am very envious - a deer hunting spot within 8 minutes of the house - WOW! 

I enjoyed your story but like your Horton crossbow too!  Many have different opinions on using a crossbow.  I am one that is for using them - even during bow season.  While I have used my Bear compound I also own a Horton XT175.  It is deadly accurate.

Dad was telling me about the new rules for checking in your deer.  You have to figure that those who are calling in a doe when they really harvested a buck are the same ones who never checked in their deer years prior.  They will eventually get caught.  I think the ones most hurt with this new program are the store owners who also made revenue when a hunter came in and bought something the same time they checked in their deer.

Anyhow - great read and thanks for sharing!  Good luck with your hunts in October through the rest of the season.



ManOfTheFall's picture

Yes, it is great being so

Yes, it is great being so close. My furtherest spot from the time I leave my house to the time I am sitting in my stand is maybe 45 minutes. Most of that 45 minutes is probably walk time to the stand. Yes, I love the crossbows. I did get a compound this year. I had some work done on it in July. I was planning on getting it in August or early September at the latest. Well my wife was injured on the job and her work place is fighting her for compensation, and I lost $2,000 on a fraudulent deal. So, I am slowly making payments on the compound and am hunting with the crossbow. I will probably have it paid off in November but probably won't hunt with it until next year. Thanks for the comments guys!!!!!