Saturday, November the 7th, temperatures reached subzero. Well, not subzero, but it was the coldest day of the rut so far at about 45 degrees. A nice break from the rainy and warm weather eastern Pennsylvania has been having. If I could, I would have hunted both the morning and the evening, but I couldn’t because of a SAT test (what a joyful 4 hours that was). After my test I didn’t waste any time getting in my stand. I got set up at around 2 p.m. with my grunt call around my neck and rattle bag by my side. I rattled lightly after about an hour of sitting with nothing responding. I stayed quite for about another hour and rattled again, with nothing responding again. For some reason that particular day it seemed like every dang squirrel that lived in the woods was out and about, so I was constantly occupied with looking at every sound of crunching leaves. Now I’ve been in the woods enough in my life to pretty much make out the difference between the noise of a cruising squirrel and a deer walking through the woods, but I was so pumped and ready to see deer that I looked at every little crunch I heard (as I do most of the time in the woods, just in case). Suddenly, I heard crunching leaves and snapping twigs directly behind me that were alot louder than what I’d been hearing from the squirrels. I turn around and I immediately see a shooter buck headed right toward me at only about 20 yards. I grabbed my bow from the tree and slowly stood up as the buck stopped directly underneath my climber. Heart in my throat, and about to shake the tree down the buck took a few steps outward and started quartering away. As everything was happening so fast, I drew back and made a grunt noise which made him stop and turn almost perfectly broadside. Wackkkkk. The arrow blew right through the buck, but there was no doubt that I had hit a little far back. The buck ran about 20 yards and stopped. I remember looking through my rangefinder at the deer and seeing no blood at the spot of the wound. The buck then slowly trotted off, right towards a thicket, acting like nothing had even happened. After I lost sight of the deer I sat down and thought about what had just happened. I felt sick and that I had just messed up my opportunity to bag my first buck with the bow. Knowing it was not the best of shots I waited two hours before getting out of my stand to follow the blood trail. When I got out down I walked up to my arrow that was sticking right out of the ground with a Rage 3 blade opened perfectly. The arrow had good blood on it and did not smell, however, the fletching told me otherwise with some guts on it, which didn’t surprise me. I started off to where the buck had ran and didn’t find any blood until about 20 yards on the trail. Surprisingly there was very good sign of blood with huge puddles of it where the buck had stopped along the way. There was also some occasional bubbles in some of it. As I got close to the thicket that the buck was walking towards, I stopped to think a second. I was following a blood trail that had my confidence up, however, knowing where I hit the deer I decided to play it safe and come back the next morning to continue on the blood trail. Another reason why I decided to come back the next morning was because I was almost positive that the buck was going to bed down in the thicket overnight due to being wounded. After getting the worse night of sleep in years, I called up my buddy and went back to the blood trail. We approached the thicket and right away we could tell the buck bedded down in numerous spots, all very close to each other. After seeing this, it is safe to say that my hopes were extremely high. I took no more than 5 steps deeper in the thicket, looked to my side, and there my dead buck was. Coming back the next day I think turned out to be a smart move, because there was no doubt this buck died primarily of internal bleeding. After gutting the deer, it turned out the shot wasn’t even all that bad of a shot. I had hit the liver, and one lung. I had also hit the main artery that runs from the heart, underneath the spine, to the legs. (I based that after seeing a circulatory system diagram of a whitetail deer). This buck looks kind of familiar to me. Go back and watch my video, “My First Bowhunt With My New Bow. The buck I had filmed towards the end of the video looks like the one I harvested this past week (compare video footage, and side angle picture of the buck). I think it could be the same deer. What do you guys think? —Tyler
Pro Staff Graduate: Tyler’s First Buck With a Bow!
Saturday, November the 7th, temperatures reached subzero. Well, not subzero, but it was the coldest day of the rut so … Continued