For all of those who are regular follows of the blog you will know that we are suckers for stories about firs deer and first buck harvests. There is something about the excitement in the story telling that really echoes true on the pages of the blog. This is a tremendous story and wonderfully written piece from Heidi and I hope we can share in many more of her future hunting triumphs. Thanks for sharing!
On the land that we deer hunt in Eastern PA, you work for your spot, it’s not given. The land is owned by grandpa, and he is a firm believer in the old way, you work for it. We have 17 food plots on our property, which means a lot of work in both the spring and summer time to keep them maintained and ready for deer season. When my husband brought it up to me about hunting, I was a little naïve and didn’t really understand all the work that goes into one season, but now I know, and understand why we do it.
Picking rocks. Yes I said it, the dreadful task of picking rocks. The land that we have is very rocky, so to earn your spot or right you start by being a rock picker. 17 food plots of rocky soil later, your back is sore but you sort of eliminated some of the problem even though it doesn’t seem like it, but you started making it known that you are willing to work for something you want to do. The food plots are tilled and the winter wheat is planted, hours have been spent target practicing, hopes are high for deer season.
The definition of a hunter, when your vacation time at work revolves around the Rut, you know you are a hunter. My husband and I took a week off of work to spend all day twenty feet up admiring God’s creatures and creations from a tree stand and hopeful to fill some buck tags. On Halloween, it when I first got a close encounter with a nice 8 pointer. He came in from my left, got to 25 yards and stood directly facing my stand, made a scrape and then turned behind thick pines. I was shaking! Up until this point I had never had a buck within range or either a rifle or a bow! So seeing this buck this close, I had every emotion going through me that’s possible. I tried grunting at him and hoping that he would turn back and come close to give me a shot, no luck.
The following day I returned to that same stand, hoping that he would return and give me a shot. I didn’t see a thing that day. All kinds of things were going through my mind, did I hunt that stand too hard, did I leave my scent there, anything to cause the deer traffic to stop. The temperature was only going to rise the next couple of days so I knew the deer movement was going to slow down a bit, so I decided to change it up and switch locations.
That morning it started out slow. I was hunting on a food plot of ours and was dealing with the never ending battle of squirrels. I think I counted 7 at one time around me. To my right was think briers, and I was getting a little aggravated with the squirrel vs. deer debate going on in my head. Then I heard a grunt, I second guessed myself at first but I knew that was a deer. I quick grunted back, and the deer responded. Nerves and excitement officially started kicking in, I quick texted my husband and said what happened, he said get ready in case it comes up to me. I grabbed my Hoyt Charger and tried to compose myself. All I could hear was movement in the thick below, I was trying to remain calm but yet look for what I heard moving towards me. Then through the briers, I finally saw it, there was a deer. At this point I couldn’t make out how many points it had, all I could see was the body and then his head moved and I saw antlers.
Game on, I grunted at the buck, hoping to spike its interest in coming closer, and it started walking towards me. I was always told that a million things go through your mind while archery hunting, and now I was experiencing them first hand. I didn’t want to make any wrong movement to make sure this buck wouldn’t bust me. I saw he was a nice even 6 pointer, and made up my mind if he presents a good shot, I’m going to take it. He couldn’t have followed a more perfect path to the food plot, he came on to the food plot in front of me out of the thick at just twenty yards, the perfect broadside shot and I took it. I saw the arrow hit and pass through, and he ran away, acting injured. I have never felt anything like I did in that mere 30 seconds for all of this to happen. I did it, I shot my first buck! My first buck and I was able to do it in archery! I quick called my husband and said that I shot, he said stay calm and take my time getting down and to go check my arrow. I went over to my arrow, and it was covered in blood, that’s when it really set in, I did it!! I was able to harvest my first buck and I did it in archery, the way I felt that day is a feeling I will never forget!