I headed out for a morning hunting with a friend of mine on Thursday morning. It seemed like a picture perfect morning, nice and cold and the deer should have been moving. Got in our stands around 7 AM, and started the waiting. I saw a ton of squirrels and kept thinking I was hearing deer walking in the crunchy snow. Well, I never did see a deer but it was a nice morning in the woods and it's always great to get out hunting with friends.
The evening rolled around and the middle of the day was long and I got out late.. I mean super late, so our private land was my only option. It wasn't long and I saw deer, I only had 40 minutes of legal shooting light and I figured I probably wouldn't see anything.... Well, I was wrong. We have been having a bachelor group of young bucks we have been getting pictures of pretty much every night at some point and does very late in the evening like after 9 PM. Well, I thought I would hope a doe would wonder out at last light even knowing that had not been coming into this woods until well after dark the past several weeks.
About 5:10 PM I saw movement up the hill, here comes a number of deer. As they started to filter down the hill and towards the fields I saw all the little bucks we have been getting pictures of. To be exact the same 6 young bucks, most of which or all of we have posted pictures of throughout the year. A 4 spikes, a cool 4 point, and a very small 6 point. They feed in the fields every evening but no does have been with them since early December. Well, I watched 6 deer walk down the hill towards the fields, sure enough it was the bachelor group headed to their nightly feeding location. It was now getting close to the end of shooting light, it was about 5:30 PM, I had just about 8 - 10 minutes of remaining legal shooting light left when I saw another deer come down the hill and it had a good size body on it. My first thought was it was a big doe finally working down the hill, but then something else in my mind told me that it was likely another buck, maybe one from earlier this year. Well, sure enough it was a buck and 2 minutes later I had the 8 pointer I had spent all season after that we had so many pictures of from early in the season whom had now broken his left main beam off. He walked out one of the trials the deer commonly use and finally presented himself with a 27 yard quartering away shot. I drew my bow and let the air fly, I watched him run off watching my lighted nock run through the woods and start back up the hill when I lost it. It was just suddenly gown which I knew was either a good sign because he was down or bad because I just lost it and he had gone over the hill. My first thought was the shot was low and looking where it was sticking out of him, I kept thinking it was low. Be it that was the first shot I had taken at a deer this year I guess I am a little rusty. I gave the deer 35 minutes and then went and started looking for him. I started where I shot and then did a zig zag pattern through the woods looking for blood but headed for the last place I saw the lighted nock. I found NOTHING, not one drop of blood anywhere. So, as I was really starting to get worried, I decided to abandon looking for blood and just head for the hillside where I had last seen the lighted nock. I walked around the area and started up the hill and sure enough laying on the main trial they use was my arrow. I quickly picked it up and examined it, the arrow had only gone in 1/2 way and smelled bad which meant I was further back then I wanted to be. This all looked like bad news, but turned back around and started shining my flashlight down the path he likely would have taken looking for blood. I did just once overall look of the area and when I did that I quickly saw a white belly just 20 yards in front of me in this little hallow. He was down and only ran about 150 yards from where I shot. Yes, further than I would like him to run, but considering he was basically where I last saw the arrow, he only lived 10 -20 seconds.
I was super happy to have found the deer and finally I had a successful hunt! Meat in the freezer!!! However, my shot was both slightly further back and lower than I would have liked. It caught the front of the stomach passed through the liver and stuck in the backside lung. So, thankfully it was a quartering away shot or he may still be running from. Just shows being rusty can through your aim off and in my case I haven't shot at a deer since last year this time and haven't shot my bow since before the holidays.
Nevertheless, I was lucky enough to harvest a deer, a buck at that and now I have some meat for the freezer! Pictured below is my broken rack 8 pointer that is now a 7. Sorry i didn't get a better picture but it was very cold, I only had my phone and was by myself for this one.