Day 1 – 10/4/14 – An evening that I would like to forget
Time: 5pm – dark
Conditions : High 50s, 15mph westerly wind, partly cloudy
The months of preparation are now over and we can officially say that it is bow season again. Everyone has dreams of the big buck that showed up on their trail camera finding its way to their stand. The anticipation is at its peak and it is now time to put everything we’ve learned and practiced to use.
My opening morning was spent running a 5k that I had committed to before knowing the date it would be held, but the weather was pretty poor so that helped with not being able to be in a stand this morning.
My evening was spent hunting my top hang-on stand overlooking an oak flat and natural funnel. It didn’t take very long to see my first deer. At 5pm, just as I climbed into my stand, I spotted movement about 50 yards to my right. Sure enough it was two does working their way down the hill. I had to wait until they stepped behind a tree just to pull my bow up. They didn’t hang around long and eventually moved out of sight, which allowed me to be able to finish setting myself up for the remainder of the evening.
The view for the first evening
Just as the light was beginning to fade I caught movement in the brush up the hill from me. It didn’t take long to realize that it was a shooter buck. I grabbed my bow, nocked my release and got ready. He worked directly towards me then started veering to my right. Just as he got behind a tree I pulled back and got ready for his next move. He continued moving to my right until he came to a small birch tree and began rubbing his antlers. Through my peep sight, I could see a opening to his vitals so I decided this would be my chance. I released my arrow and was surprised to see sparks and a slowly trotting buck. I then realized there was a small birch tree that I missed seeing in my peep sight that I had clearly just smacked. The buck looked around and continued walking down the hill. I quickly scrambled to grab another arrow but the one I grabbed the blades had come open so I had to grab another. Just as I nocked the arrow he looked up and spotted me. All I remember is his extremely wide rack facing me and just like that he was gone. At that moment I had never felt more frustration in a deer stand. Chances are if I had left him keep walking he would have eventually walked into one of my cleared shooting lanes. Severely frustrated I had to sit down for a few minutes to collect my thoughts before climbing down. Once I finally got down I collected my shattered arrow and analyzed the shot a bit before calling it a day.
It has taken a few days to get over it enough to be able to write about it, but I can now brush it off and get back my concentration and confidence. There is a long season ahead and hopefully I didn’t blow my only chance at a good buck.