A Stalking Nightmare
This hunt was one of the coolest hunts I personally have ever had. I was archery hunting and I was 18 (1988). Opening day I woke up nice and early and headed out still hunting as we always did back in the day. Our morning hunt would take us until around 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. and depending on how things went sometimes later.
As I started out I bumped several deer, but nothing worth drawing back on. As I rounded what we called Buck Hill I spotted several good bucks, but they were already headed out and way to far ahead of me to catch up with. Then I crossed over into Doe Valley and spotted to little bucks feeding just as they caught me. They headed around the hill, but not in a way that they were worried about me. As I snuck around they were both facing me and I could not tell which one was the little three point (back then it was three point or better on muleys) so I waited to see what would happen. Both of them stood there and as usuall they turned and ran. I was hoping they would not blow all the deer out of the area, but as they ran they picked up more and more deer with them. I hunted back to camp, but did not get another opportunity. After we all got back to camp we all shared our tales and enjoyed lunch. The afternoon hunt was not any better as I did not get close enough to a deer to make anything happen.
The second morning I awoke still with plenty of anticipation for a great hunt. I headed out the same as I always did and crept slowly stopping every two or three steps and watching for a ear or tail to wiggle or an antler tip to be sticking up. This time I made it a little bit earlier to Buck Hill and to my surprise there were seventeen bucks feeding at the bottom of the hill. I had to decide quickly on how I was going to get on one of them especially with all of those eyes and ears to pick me out. The terrain was not the best with some little patches of oakbrush and open sagebrush pockets.
I cut down wind of them and through a small clump of oakbrush, but I still had quite a ways to go. They started feeding up the hill away from me which allowed me to make a move and move quickly up behind them. I got to about 90 yards and had to waite for them to get into the heavy oakbrush on the side of the hill. As the last one disappeared into the brush I headed as fast as I could across the open sagebrush and stopped at the edge of the oakbrush they went into. As I piered into the heavy brush I could pick out pieces and parts of the different bucks and they were still feeding up the hill slowly. I found a trail I figured I could move a little more silently on and started trying to stalk them. As I got closer a small 2 point caught my movement and I had to stand there and not move for what seemed like an eternity. After about four or five minutes he gave up and headed up the hill to catch up with the rest of the group. I started my stalk again and made it about fifty more yards and this time got caught by two 2 points. I was already laying on the ground so I just stayed as still as possible. This time they watched me for almost fifteen minutes. I knew for sure this time I was busted and the bigger bucks would be gone by now. After the little bucks gave up again on me and headed over the hill I got up and headed there way. As I crested the hill I could not see a single deer. I stood there ready to give up and keep on going on my morning hunt I caught movement in the corner of my eye. I looked over to my right slowly and there was one of the better bucks feeding away from me. I just could not believe my luck. I pulled an arrow out of my quiver and very carefully knocked it on my bow string. He just kept feeding not knowing I was even around and I guessed him to be 19 yards (no range finder back then). I drew back my bow and put my 20 yard pin just below where his spine meets his head and pulled the trigger on my release. I could not believe how fast that deer dropped. As I walked over to the magnificent buck I realized it had taken me almost two hours to get on this buck. I had never pulled off a stalk like that and I have never had another that was as good. I took care of him and headed back to camp. The only one still in camp was my mom so her and I took the truck back over there and she helped me get him to the truck and in the truck.
Now I have a feeling that some will get on here and ask what I was doing taking a shot like that and I did not write this story because of this. I know a younger hunter may read my story and think he or she could do this and I DO NOT recommend anyone shooting a deer (or anything) for that matter in the head and the neck with a bow. We all start somewhere and we learn things the hard way sometimes. I was young and still learning and that time and it worked. I am very proud of the deer, but not the shot.
I hope everyone enjoys my story and the awesome stalk.