Headed out to Loch Raven this evening with a good friend of mine. A little after 4 pm I heard some grunting from the hill behind me, at which point I turned around to see 2 or 3 does running. I couldn’t see the buck but could hear him and he was clearly chasing a doe. Sadly he pushed them off into the thicket where I couldn’t see or shoot. A little while later I saw 4 does come down off the hill but a good 50 – 60 yards away from me and seemed to be heading away from me. Well, a little while later I got a text message from my friend saying that he could see them and they were heading my way. Good news for me since it was 2 does and 2 fawns and I need 2 does so I can have a chance at my bonus buck!
Needless to say they came trotting over my way a few minutes later, the biggest doe passed right by me at 30 yards but moving way too fast to shoot. The fawns of course being fawns were right behind her, but offered shots, but I didn’t want to harvest a fawn they need to grow up. So that left this one doe who was in the back, and she had stopped and was starting to feed along. I was all ready for her to take the same path and to have a nice broadside 30 yard shot. Deer will be deer and never do what you expect, she started walking back and forth feeding along, the others were off about 50 yards to my left, but she was over in some thick stuff only 25 yards away. I watched the other 3 feeding and this one decent size 2 1/2 year old doe for 20 or so minutes (at least it felt like that long). Finally the one off to my right looked like she was going to walk away and gave me a 23 yard shot that wasn’t the best as I only had a tiny window and I decided not to take it.
Then a minute or two later she turned completely around and started feeding back to me, by this point the biggest doe whom is 50 yards away has picked me out and is just standing there watching me trying to figure out what I am and why I am moving my head. Well, the doe started to get closer and closer until she was just 15 yards away, but feeding in thick stuff and I had branches in front of me so I had no shot at all.
I was getting worried knowing the bigger doe had picked me out that it was only a matter of time before she took off, but the fawns were still feeding as was this other mature doe. So I just waited, and finally this doe walked around the tree and through all the thick stuff she was in and walked into an opening. 18 or 19 yards there she was quartering away giving me a perfect shot. Well, knowing I wanted to harvest a doe I decided I would take my chances with the other big doe watching me and draw my bow. I drew my bow back and as I settled into my peep I heard the big doe and maybe one of the fawns start running. The doe I was planning to shoot went on alert but thankfully didn’t move, I settled in my peep put my 20 yard pin right at the back of her shoulder a little high (since I was 30 feet up I knew I would have a good downward angle) and let my arrow fly.
Wham, I heard a thump that sounded like a branch being broken. The doe ran about 20 yards and stopped, I went oh know did I hit a branch! Well, thankfully she took one more step got shaky and fell down just 20 yards from where I shot her. At which point I grabbed another arrow and knocked because I realized the other 3 deer where still very close by and didn’t know what had happened. Well the big doe and one fawn were further away and the other fawn was standing 30 yards away just looking around. Finally that fawn came back to me, I had her at 15 yards looking around trying to figure out what was wrong. I let her walk away and then started getting down which is when I spooked the other 2 off which I thought had left too because I couldn’t see them anymore.
When I went down and and looked for my arrow I found it half way between where I shot her and where she died covered in good lung blood. So then I went over to the deer and discovered that I had placed a perfect quartering away shot. When we finally flipped her over I had hit just a tiny bit high of where I was aiming it had passed down through her lungs and possibly heart and came out just in front of the opposing shoulder.
All and all an exciting night and I have 1 of the 2 does I need. She will be some very good eating this winter. And I was very pleased that my accuracy is back and me and my bow are ready to head out and do it again!
Looks like great weather this weekend and even the holiday week looks good as well. Bucks are chasing and these cold nights make for great hunting! Good luck everyone!