Research, practice, and practice some more. You hunt and hunt more. Then, everything comes full circle.
Today was a day I will not soon forget. My day started by checking the weather well before daylight. Several times. My mind was made up to go get on stand. Like I had said in my last post, the wind was marjinal for the stand I had chose to sit. I figure on a shot being presented before I would get caught. All settled in and my mind was wondering about what the next couple days would bring. I seen 2 deer in my morning sit. A small 5 point and a yearling doe. Both passed down the same trail only minutes apart 17 yards down wind of me. They never knew I was lurking in the trees. My standards are set and I passed.
After the morning unfolded it was time to check my cameras. I had moved them into different locations and couldn't wait to see what they had seen. Nothing. On both properties I had these cameras and not a single picture. I was more than bummed. How could that be? Well, I learned where not to sit. I'm not going to let it change the game plan.
The big snow storm hadn't began to unleash just yet so I made a quick rooster run with Dixie. The fence line on our farm held several rooster, but in this location getting a shot isn't too common. As was the case this time also. The little bit of soft snow that was left exposed large amounts of pheasant tracks. Should be good. Nope. The ice on the slough was surprisingly thick, which means hunt the cattails. I noticed the coyote tracks were extra thick. Sure enough, we pushed him right out of his brown grassy bedroom. He was a dandy. The first good midnight sun and he will be mine. A very cool encounter. I headed home.
With the snow now coming down in full force, I headed out to practice some shooting before my sit. I have to admit, it was really good practice in that snow. Real conditions for real practice. Time to clean up and light out. Several inches had fallen already and there was no sign of letting up. In the tree and ready for action. As evening set in I was worried about not seeing any activity yet. Then, to my left, I caught movement. The deer had appeared as if they came up from the ground. Silent and graceful. They were grouped up pounding down acorns about 50 yards away. Holding my bow with fingers made of ice. I did try to warm them by taking turns holding them under my ultra thin orange vest. Didn't work so hot.
Finally, they began working towards me. I had my eye on one that was rather larger than the rest. I want her. Fortunately, she was the first one to come down the trial. She stopped just under 20 yards broadside. I wish she had been a touch closer, but it's now or never. I drew and released a meat missile. Jackpot! The arrow crashed into her and off she went. For about ten yards she was pushing with her hind legs only. Her front shoulder were pinned by the arrow, making me feel even better about shot placement. The arrow was sticking out of her dinging off every tree she passed. Out of sight she went and the other deer slowly scampered off. I was shaking like I just whacked a booner! I LOVE THIS STUFF! Slithering out of the tree and picking up on her trail. She only went about 80 yards. With no exit she didn't leave a drop of blood. I followed only tracks.
As I walked up on her I knew I had done it. She was Mrs. Hog. A big ol' girl. My shot was great. One arrow, 2 lungs. The arrow was bent like I had never seen. The broadhead hit the opposite low shoulder and made a mess out of that front quarter. That's the nice thing about when a deer carries the arrow. It makes a mess, but it puts them down.
I can honestly say that this is truly one of, if not the most, amazing whitetail harvest I've had. I made a goal, practiced, and succeeded. Raw archery. My flame is burning hot now. I still have several weeks of the season left and the Traditional Quest is far from over. Party sits, party sent nudges, and I still have a tag left. Let the games continue. Thank you all for being a part of what I love and letting me share this with you. It's been a great day and also a long one. From sitting, walking, to yes, even shoveling. I'll be back at it tomorrow! Stay tuned and I'll keep you updated on....The Quest!
The Quest continues...