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  • luv2bowhunt's Avatar
    3 Weeks Ago
    Who died and put you in charge? Oh wait, yeah that Alex guy is dead isn't he. Well, I guess you're in charge now. Congrats on inheriting this amazing site. So crowded I had to circle the parking lot several times trying to find a spot.
    12 replies | 286 view(s)
  • luv2bowhunt's Avatar
    3 Weeks Ago
    It bothers me a lot more than I want it to, believe me. I'm taking my annual bowhunting vacation week next week. I'm just hoping to see a few deer and try to relax. You don't normally get multiple chances at a mature buck on PA public land. It's usually a one shot deal on chances, just ain't that easy with all the goobers pressuring the deer. Checked the camera at my stand last night and someone had climbed up the tree and stole my SD card out of the camera. I knew something was up when I saw it wasn't pointed at the scrape by my stand anymore. That was a 1 1/2 miles back in, in thick cover, with a camera 8 foot up the tree. How many people must there be walking around to make sure someone finds your camera like that? Ain't humanity great sometimes. The hunters that hunt on private posted land don't know what they're missing. billy, hope you're getting out and killing nice ones as usual.
    12 replies | 286 view(s)
  • luv2bowhunt's Avatar
    3 Weeks Ago
    The first part of the season Iíve been trying to stay out of my best stands, which are right in the middle of bedding areas. Years ago I learned that hunting in big woods habitat you find more deer sign located in and around clearcuts. Iíve learned to search for clearcuts that are between 5-15 years of age and located back in away from main roads. The farther back in the better. Bedding areas that I hunt are always in thick overgrown clearcuts, places that nobody else seems to be interested in hunting. Last winter I spent time scouting an area that was fairly new to me but seemed like a promising spot. It is about 1 mile in to the closest point and about 1 3/4 miles to the far end of the clearcut. The area is fairly flat and is a piece of cake to access with the Rambo bike. So far this year Iíve seen no evidence of anybody else hunting back in that area. I found several buck beds and lots of sign that indicated bucks had been spending a large part of their time last year in this clearcut. This area is thick and difficult to find an area open enough to hunt but I managed to pick out a couple of trees that could possibly work for a stand. I set a couple of stands in Sept. and the first day that worked to hunt one of these stands was Oct. 20. We had a very stiff west wind that morning and I worked my way through the thick brush, trying to be as quiet as possible. I was setup and ready to go a good hour before first light. Once it got light I realized that my visibility within bow range was almost non-existent. To my left I could see fairly well across a slight swale but that was about 100 yds away. I figured Iíd just use the morning as an observation sit and perhaps later I would climb down and scout an area on the far side of the clearcut. The wind was very gusty at first light, probably over 20 mph, and I thought about climbing down. But most times it was only 10 mph or less, so I decided to hang in there. At 8:15 I somehow heard something even with all the wind, and I just saw the back ĺ of a deer walking through one of the tiny openings below, moving from right to left. I turned to grab my bow without taking my eyes off of the opening and a second deer came into view. It was a 1 Ĺ yr old 6 point, so I assumed the first deer was also a buck, although I knew it had a much bigger body than the second one. As I was just grabbing the bow, the first deer entered my second opening. It was a nice buck, one that I instantly knew was a shooter. I stood up, pushed the seat back, turned to my right, all in just a few seconds, and prepared for the deer to enter my last opening. With no deer in view I went ahead and drew the bow back. Now everything seemed to slow down and my brain went into that state of autopilot. The deer walked out perfectly, slightly quartering away from me, and when he got to the center of the opening I stopped him with a Ďmehhhpí. He stopped and looked my way and I settled the 20 yard pin mid body, right behind the shoulder. While I prepared to release, I noticed the wind was blowing some of the huckleberry brush right in front of the buck. It would waver back and forth, from just in front of the shoulder to mid body. I thought about it for a second but remember thinking it was not going to be a problem. The release was perfect and I remember seeing that red pin right where I wanted it to be at the shot. You could hear that familiar sound of an arrow hitting the mark and the buck took off like a rocket running straight away from me, through a row of pines and down over the hill. The whole encounter had lasted probably 15-20 seconds and as over just as quickly. Normally if I donít see a deer go down I stay in the tree stand an hour. I was really confident of the shot, so after 30 minutes I began to pack things up and come down the tree. I slowly worked my way over to where the deer was standing and found my arrow. I stood there for a full minute in total disbelief. The arrow was coated in yellow slime with bits of green leaves, all the signs of a gut shot. I replayed the shot in my head and could not imagine how I could have been so far off the mark on a 21-22 yd shot. I followed the deerís path for maybe 10 feet and saw no evidence of blood or stomach matter. I decided to back out the way I came and go home, planning on coming back at 4:00 pm or so. After doing a few chores at home and having an unexpected lunch with my wife, I headed back to the mountain. I rode the bike back in to within 150 yds of the spot I hit the buck, parked it, and couldnít help but notice the skies darkening. It rained hard for 10-15 minutes before I could start looking for blood. I knew that was not going to be helpful, it was already going to be difficult finding blood in this brush. I got to the spot where I shot and couldnít even find the hair that I saw earlier before the rain. It had been washed away along with any traces of stomach matter or blood. The only blood I ever found was a small spot about the size of a dime on the side of a pine tree. I zig zagged back and forth looking for any kind sign until dark. I couldnít be there Sunday morning but I went back in at lunchtime and stayed to dark working on a grid search. First I went to where I shot and looked to see if maybe my arrow had hit the huckleberry brush that was blowing in the wind right at the shot. I found that I had indeed hit one branch of the bush and that is probably what deflected my arrow. If the buck continued downhill he would eventually head for a creek 500-600 yds away. I walked that creek just before dark on Sunday to no avail. I then waited until Oct. 24, 4 days after I hit him and spent time looking and listening for buzzards or crows. I heard nothing. Saturday the 27th was a complete rain out so I waited until the next day to do another grid search and walk more of that stream again. The area that he appeared to be headed for is nasty thick, heavy mountain laurel that is mostly higher than your head. This brush goes on for a mile or two with almost no openings. I found nothing and saw no evidence of birds. The creek bottom is even worse, heavy mountain laurel and hemlocks that run right up to the bank of the small stream, with a lot of greenbrier woven through it just for fun. I walked about ĺ of a mile along that stream before I finally called it quits. All told I spent around 12 hours looking for this deer after the shot. Iíve come to the conclusion that I either walked past him or he did something completely unexpected. Ran farther than youíd think he would or did some kind of a 270 degree turn around, headed uphill and went back into the impenetrable pine thicket he had come from that morning. I plan on checking that possibility out right after bow season. Who knows maybe he did something even crazier than that. Through this whole event I experienced the crazy swing of emotions we all go through as bowhunters. From complete joy to utter defeat in just 30 minutes or so. Makes me sick to know I caused a deer to suffer like that, Iíve never had a gut shot in all my years of hunting. The first week I after I shot the buck I was certain that I wasnít going back out hunting again this season. Today Iím planning on going out and sitting in a treestand for an evening hunt. Not really sure how Iíll feel about shooting at one again, I imagine this whole incident will be in the back of my mind the whole time. I guess youíve got to get back in the saddle again and have another go round to try and put it behind you. Sorry for the long, boring, sad post, but somehow it made me feel better to type it, even if none of the three guys on here decided to finish reading it all the way through to the end. :-)
    12 replies | 286 view(s)
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About luv2bowhunt

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January 6
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