Pro Staff: Thomas's First Deer of the Year

width=500 I had a day off work a couple of weeks ago, so I decided that after school I was going to hurry to my stand and sit a few hours before it got dark. I got home and started putting on my clothes when my mother had informed me that I had to do an interview with a local newspaper. I knew that I would never have enough time to get to my prime evening stand so instead of risking the chance of spooking a buck I decided to take a management doe. It was a cool crisp afternoon in Pennsylvania, which was a nice change from the rainy, hot weather we have been having lately. On my way to the stand I had called my pappy (Thomas Pesock) to let him know that I was going to shoot a doe if the opportunity presented itself. I'm not known to shoot a doe in archery season, however, many people in my family were asking for some deer meat. I thought to myself how much I wanted some homemade beef jerky, and that's all I needed to make up my mind. I got into my stand around 4 p.m. and patiently waited. I knew I would see a herd of deer come through because the stand I was hunting out of I nicknamed Old Reliable. The deer passed through like clockwork and the stand had one of the nicest views around. I was set up in a small ravine where a creek ran right through the middle, with a food source on one end and a bedding area on the other end. The ravine served as a tight funnel and sent the deer right underneath me. After about an hour or so of sitting in the stand, a small doe started making her way towards me. Immediately after, the herd of does started moving in. I counted 8 does coming straight toward me until they made their way right underneath me. I stood up and started to slip into position slowly being careful not to get spotted by any deer. I herd foot steps cracking behind me and turned around slowly. It was a small spike buck with a fat neck looking for a doe in heat. One grunt from the little buck and the does all scattered. The does were not in heat yet and were clearly not interested in the buck. I sat back down in disappointment assuming that I wasn't going to see anything with this buck hanging around. It was about 15 minutes later when a big mature doe came into the picture from my right. The doe made eye contact with the buck and started heading right toward him. I stood back up in excitement getting ready to shoot and not letting another opportunity get away. I waited for the doe to cross in front of me, so I would get a clean broadside shot. The doe had other plans, however, and decided to break off the trail and head away from me towards my left. I knew that I wasn't going to be awarded any more chances so I quickly raised my bow and picked a clearing. The doe stepped right into my shooting lane slightly quartering away as anticipated, and I let the arrow fly. I made a perfectly placed shot right through her heart and out her opposite front shoulder. The doe only made it about 40 yards before dropping down by the creek. I was excited because this was the first deer I've ever taken with a bow that I didn't need to track since I watched her fall. I called my pappy to let him know that I had harvested a doe before I climbed down from my tree. I walked up to her and started examining. She had gray hairs on her face and her teeth were grinded down almost all the way which is an indication of old age. After being dressed the doe weighed around 150 pounds and was thought to be around 3 years old. —Thomas Ladson Check back later this week for photos of another successful deer hunt from Thomas.