Hunter's First Archery Buck
Well it always happens that way. Get a plan together for the morning hunt with my 10 year old son. Why do I always get up late and miss the darkness walking into the stand.
It was a cool, calm, crisp morning in eastern Iowa. Second day of the Iowa youth deer season. We were a little groggy from getting a late start, but excited to be sure. I knew the wind was out of the northwest, so the 2 man ladder stand would be the perfect spot this morning. The last couple of days in the stand were way to warm to be there, but we try not to miss an opportunity to chase whitetails. The weather this morning was what i look for when my confidence level is getting up where it should be.
We pulled in the field at about 7:30, just as the sky was getting that special color when all the critters start getting restless. I figured we were going to bump every deer in the woodlot on the way to the stand by the time we got our clothes on. As luck would have it, all we managed to bump was an Iowa longbeard off his roost.
I was a little concerned about the wind, or lack there of. By now my son has been in a stand with me since he was 6 years old and has some sense of how to conduct himself. As it always happens with him, he has to relieve himself. I pull out the empty sunny-d bottle and solve that problem. The sun is starting to make its presence known now. A little northwest breeze beginds to develop as well.
About 8:00 now and nothing but squirrels and occasional pheasant cackle in the distance. I look off in the draw to our right and spot some movement. I watched for a minute or two figuring one of our friendly squirrels has made yet another appearance. As i start to lose interest in that situation, my son says "there's a deer done there dad". I asked him if he was sure. "Yes I'm sure". I told him to just relax and wait to see where it would go. The next 15 minutes were the best 15 minutes I have ever had in the woods.
It's about 8:10 and another deer has joined the party in the draw. To give some perspective, these deer are only about 18 to 20 yards away, but obscurred by tree limbs and underbrush. My son says "when do i get my bow". I said be real slow and get your bow in your hand and stand up real slow while the deer are in the brush and can't pick up your movement. Mission accomplished. The first deer we can see is a little spike buck that is feeding his way right into his shooting lane. Then spike is about 10 yards from being in the "kill zone" now. The second deer is small 6 point. By this time my son is starting to get a little nervous about the situation. I ask him if he wants the spike or the 6. "I want the spike", he says. About 2 weeks before season, i took him to the stand with a block target. I told him to get in the stand and i placed the block target where i thought the deer would move across the ridge. He put 3 arrows in a 2 inch group at 22 yards away. I am confident he will make the shot after this practice and numerous 3d shoots we attended during the summer.
Its 8:30 and the spike has made the perfect moves so far. I told my son, when he clears that deadfall tree, draw your bow, "Ok dad", he whispers. The little buck finally clears the tree and he begins to draw. The 6 point looks right up at us in the tree. I see we are not going to have long to get this done. I told him middle pin on the spot and shoot when your ready. I can't believe how calm he got when it came time for the shot. I know because i had my hand on his back the whole time. The arrow was on its way and the 6 point just took a couple steps and stopped. The spike is a good as dead, a perfect heart shot at 22 yards. He was in the exact spot where i placed the block target during practice. The buck ran about 15 yards and stopped. We waited to here the crash but didn't hear anything. Finally my son says "I heard him crash dad". I just smiled and told him that he couldn't have done it any better than that.
Let me tell ya folks when your pride and joy gets his first buck period and with a bow, there truly isn't anything better in the world.