It was around 4:00pm on Thursday, October 1st here in good Ol’ Ohio! I was trying to decide on the best place could go based on the current conditions.
I knew that with a North wind there were only a few good stand locations to choose from. After some contemplation it occurred to me that I should return to my grandfathers farm where I had harvested my buck from last season. The conditions were in my favor to hunt there so off I went.
As murphy’s law would have it, turned out that they were harvesting beans in the field which my stand was facing. For a moment by spirits dipped, then I remembered I had one other place which hadn’t been bow hunted for almost two years.
Again I was on route to a different location. When I arrived I quickly grabbed my gear and headed for my stand. I kicked up nearly 10 turkey on the way there so I knew the animals weren’t being pressured by much.
I took my time to be quiet on the way to my stand. It was now close to 5:15. My vigilance had paid off and I knew I hadn’t jumped any deer on the way in. I settled in for the evening knowing they would be coming soon.
The setting was perfect. I had every advantage possible. There was a creek about 60 yards in front of me with an uncut cornfield behind it. A second cornfield stood just behind me. I was confident that I had chosen the right spot. I did my preseason homework, studied and patterned the routes these bucks were coming in on and now it was just a waiting game.
As it always seems to be with whitetail deer the anticipation is overwhelming. It was around 7:15 and I kept thinking something was gonna walk down the trail from behind me that goes directly under my stand.
I slowly turned around out of my own curiosity shortly after that thought crossed my mind And what do ya know. Here he comes. Slowly, I grabbed my Hoyt Ignite Compound bow and got situated. As he approached a large dead tree, I decided I should go ahead and draw. But, instead of him just stepping out broadside, he continued to walk away from me.
After about 2-3 minutes of being drawn back, I decided to let down because he wasn’t at the right angle. Moments later he started to turn so I drew back again, putting my 2nd pin on him at 25 yards.
I had practiced with my equipment all summer and was confident with my preparation. As I exhaled, I released the arrow sending my Shwacker broadhead right to where I wanted it to go… Time seemed to slow to a crawl as I watched the lighted nock on the end of my arrow disappear.
I hurried and called my dad and my best friend to tell them what I had just done. They arrived a while later and I climbed down to start tracking. There was one problem. No blood. As the winds picked up we decided to back out on this deer and return the next morning.
After not getting enough sleep the night before, we met up around 9:00. We headed back to where I last saw him and began searching. As we move on toward the creek, we still had no blood.
This is when it began to cross my mind that I made a bad shot. It made my stomach turn. Once we made it across the creek we followed the edge of the cornfield that was in front of me. We walked for approximately 150 yards and found my arrow, covered in blood, but there was still no blood on the ground.
We followed a set of rather large buck tracks for another 200 yards that brought us to another creek that split off and went two ways. My dad sent me down on way and he took the other. I got no more than 20 yards and found piles of blood for about 30 feet. Then it stopped. my dad found a stand near us and decided to climb up it to over look the areas around us.
“Jake! Run up that hill behind you! I think I might of found him!” I took off running up the hill without a second thought. When I came to the top, there he was laying in opening on top of this ridge. I was so happy to finally put my hands on this guy.
I was very disgusted with the bad shot I made on him and nothing is to blame but me. The buzzards had already started on him and the stench was terrific, and I knew that the meat wouldn’t have been any good due to them and the night temperatures being around 55. This was a very interesting first bow kill experience for me, but will not be my last!