Maybe I am crazy, maybe I am to much like my daddy. I don’t know. I just like a challenge. Most guys hunt with a rifle and I like that too. Sometimes though I just want to use the bow. Its the challenge of it. Anyone can drop a deer from 40-200 yards with a rifle, but to get them close, to draw without being busted and to make the shot where you can watch the arrow fly. Now that is just awesome.
For Christmas this year my wife got me the Gorilla Grey Back climbing stand. Lets face it, I am like any other kid at Christmas. I can not wait to play with my toys. At Briary River we have a little stand of timber right behind the beaver pond. It is about 80 yds wide and about 200 yds long. There has not been much point in putting a stand there over the years because there is no way to get to it. Well with the dry pond and a new climber I could not resist.
I set the stand up the day after Christmas. I sat in it the first day and after being in the stand for about 30 minuets I see a doe coming down the head. It stayed on the far side from where I was set up and I never got a shot at her. At about dark I could hear them coming. I was stoked. First day in the new stand and I have deer coming.
A little before dark I heard 2 shots come from the direction of Buckman’s stand. Right before dark I had 3 does come by at about 25 yards. I had the perfect shot even though I had to use both eyes to see them. I drew back took aim and made the shot. My arrow took off then made a quick right hand turn, did a loop and landed about 10 yards behind the deer. They did not stick around for another try. Remember what I just said about having the perfect shot, well I guess I was wrong.
In the dark I could not see the tree limb that was about 10 yards out. But the problem with limbs is that it does not matter if you see them or not they are there and they reek havoc on an arrows flight. I got down and was pulling my arrow out of the root I embedded it in when my phone rang. Bernie was asking me if I had seen anything and that they were at Buckman’s house waiting on me so we could get Buckman’s deer.
He killed 2 nice does. One was huge and the other was big. We found them, drug them out and carried them to the processor.
Fast forward 2 days later. I am back in my new stand again. However Buckman has strongly urged me to take the rifle because Bernie is up on me by one point (1 point for each point on a bucks rack and one for every doe). But like I said earlier, it is about the challenge, and well I will do about anything to one up Bernie and doing it with a bow is bragging rights.
This time they came out with plenty of day light. However they came around to my right side, my strong side. The beauty of my Grayback is that it is easy to quietly move around in. I turned in my seat as far to the right as I could but I was still having to pull to my right. As any of you that hunt with a rifle know it is hard to make a shot to your strong side. Well multiply that by about 100 and that is what it is like shooting a bow to your strong side.
I checked for limbs, I was not making the same mistake twice. I was clear so again I drew back, took aim and let the arrow fly. As soon as I released I knew it was not going to be good. Then I heard the the fowhop that I did not want to hear. I look and sure enough there is my arrow stuck about 12 feet high in the side of a nice sweet gum. I don’t think the shot scared the deer but I am pretty sure the string of words that I let fly did, because they got out of dodge. When they finally came back out I was getting down out of the stand. STRIKE 2
Sure enough Bernie was in the yard when I came out. I didn’t want to lie but I was not about to tell him that I missed again. Buckman and I waited for 20 minuets for Bernie to leave so we could discuss the hunt. And he gave me the the devil about not taking the rifle.
Fast forward 2 days again and it is the last Friday of the season. Again Buckman is telling me to take the rifle and I have it with me. As I get out of the truck I realize that I can not do it. I HAVE to take the bow. Well at about 20 minuets before dark they come out but never give me a shot. I came out of the woods defeated. I did not get to go the last day so that was then end of my hunting season. But as Buckman so elegantly told me.
“Now I know why Tonto was so skinny”