I was hunting a week or so ago, and it was a slow night. I had watched the woods for a while and nothing was moving. Finally, a little after 5 PM as the sun was setting I saw movement coming out of the thicket. A good size doe was coming right in my direction, I got ready and she got into 22 yards and I took a shot. I watched the arrow hit the frozen ground as it went right over her back. She jumped the string..... She ran about 50 - 60 yards and was in the thicket were I couldn't see her. But I had seen my lighted Nock skip across the ground and was 40 yards behind where I shot stuck in the ground. I was upset I had missed, but she won that match and jumped the string and I always say missing is better than a bad shot.
Well, I sat hoping maybe she would come back or another deer would come from the thicket where she had come from. I didn't have a lot of time so I knew if anything was going to happen it would be soon. I had about 20 minutes of legal shooting light left and I was once again ready. It was quickly getting dark and I was getting worried that was the end of my night like many other hunts this year, not a lot going on in the locations I hunt.
With just 5 minutes left I saw more movement coming from the general area of where the doe had run. This deer was steady walking into me and coming through thicket, I knew I would get a shot if it stayed on the trail it was on, I just needed to be ready. I thought it was the same doe, roughly same size and coming from the last place I saw her. I didn't pay much attention to the deer other than to know where it was and to make sure with the low light that I could see the deer and get a good shot. I never got my binoculars out get a good look at it, I just was trying not to move. Everything happened very fast from the first time I saw the deer until it was broadside at 25 yards was less than 2 minutes. I took a shot and heard a thump. I was like finally success and meat in the freezer.
I watched the deer run off and heard it crash down not too far off in the distance. I gave it a little while and went looking for it. Followed a pretty good blood trail, found the arrow about 20 yards from where I had hit the deer, and good blood from there on. Followed the trail about another 65-70 yards and saw the deer. I was like awesome meat in the freezer.
Until I walked up on the deer. I discovered it was a small 4 point buck. Which I have no problem with they all taste the same, but I normally try not to harvest small bucks if I can help it. In this case I haven't shot a buck this year, I have a bonus tag, and I already shot 2 does so it makes no difference. I am thrilled to have the meat, and just wish his antlers had been easier to see. Go's to show anyone can mistake a small buck for doe when your focused on other things and make assumptions about what it is. Thankfully, it didn't make a difference to me this late in the year, but could have been a real bummer had I not been legally able to shoot a buck, or been early in the season and I didn't have the 2 does already.
Now with just 2 days left to the season I am solely hunting does or big bucks! I am also making sure I look everything over very well before I think about shooting 🙂