Saturday, October 31, 2009

Second kill of the year.

I was lucky enough to get invited to hunt with doublelung last weekend.
Ole "tiretool" showed up as well on Saturday morning, AFTER he decided to forego the use of INDOOR plumbing and kill some grass, and probably some small animals, near the Mount Zion Baptist Church. I will let him tell that story though.

I arrived literally seconds before doublelung did at his "barn" on Friday afternoon.
I meant to take some more pictures of the interior of his place but forgot to.
Lets just say VERY few hunting cabins are this nice to stay in.

We got there and unloaded a few things and he suggested we go ahead and hang my stand before dark then go get something to eat.
He put me in a place that just makes you think "BUCK" as you sit there and look around.
Mind you this is some of the most extensively managed pieces of property you will ever step foot on, AND the most fun.
Same area where David J took a NICE poplar one year.

After a good meal of Mexican in South Jackson we headed back to the barn and chilled out for the night.
Football games, snacks, cold beer (doublelung didn't drink any) and great friends, what else would a man need?
I titled this picture, "Preach on brotha"

We got up early the next morning, had some coffee and then headed to the woods.
Deer movement was, well zero for quite some time.
After getting and sending a few texts we decided that we would come out of the woods about 10:30 and head to the barn.
In one of the few seconds the wind wasn't blowing I heard what sounded like a deer walking.
I ease around in my stand and see a deer walking towards me. I slowly stand up, get my bow off the hook and get turned around in my stand.
I get to watch the deer shake like a wet dog and kinda laugh to myself.
About that time, after I got my release on the string loop and was getting positioned for the shot when she got in range I caught movement to my left.
18 yards and there is a second deer, moving from left to right.
I draw back, she steps out and THUMP. I watch her jump a bit and run a few yards then just stop in the logging road. She stood there, flicking her tail, then just kinda walked off.I didn't get to see her long as it gets real thick in there, real quick. I check my phone and it says 9:50 a.m. so that put my shot right at 9:45 a.m.

There is a side story to this deer, hope you enjoy it and hopefully someone could actually learn something from it.

I thumped her then started sending texts and laughing and being happy. That is how I am when I kill a deer. Anyway, after about 30 minutes I climb down real easy and ease over to where my arrow is sticking in the ground.
I notice immediately that it is covered in blood, just like it is supposed to be. I walk a step closer and on my white fletching I see something that is NOT supposed to be on a straight broadside shot, GUT.
Talk about a sick feeling, wow. I am, of course, beating myself up and wondering how I could blow an 18 yard broadside shot.

I immediately took out some toilet paper and mark where my arrow is and back out slowly and quietly.
I gather my junk and head out towards the "Y" in the trail where I was to meet doublelung and tiretool at just after 10:30.

I started down the logging road in the direction of the Y and then I realized I was going downhill and I didn't remember going up any hill on the way to the stand so I turned around and went back to the stand. In my haste to get out I had taken the wrong trail out and now I realized I had to walk out in the same direction the deer had gone. I feared jumping her up so I VERY slowly started down the trail. I paused where she did and stood there for a while looking, trying to see her bedded down or something. Then I looked down and saw some bright red blood. I kept going for another 15 yards following a really good blood trail then it turned off into the thick stuff.

Being thoroughly confused at this point I eased on out to meet them.
After telling my tale of woe I knew, just as they suggested, there was no other option but to go back to the barn and wait.

After about 2 hours we FINALLY went to get on blood. I replayed the entire deal back to them then we hit the trail. After turning into the thick stuff, about 20 yards later the deer started going downhill towards a jungle of green briar and stuff. As soon as the trail started down the blood STOPPED. I mean just like the dreaded faucet, it turned off. Man I haven't felt that sinking feeling in a long time and it was just as bad as ever.

Hands and knees, slowly moving in each possible direction, looking for turned up leaves, the whole nine yard deal. I was getting sicker and sicker by the minute.
Then ole tiretool, who had waded off into the thick stuff yelled, "Come on, here she is."

Whew is about all I could say.
Turns out she MUST have been quartered towards me quite a bit more than I realized and my entry hit intenstine but didn't quite puncture the gut. Exit was just a tad high but did get one lung.
The smartest thing I have done in a long time was to get out of there quick and quiet and force myself, with their help, to wait it out.

If I had turned off that logging road and followed that blood she would have been somewhere near the Mississippi line by the time she stopped.

So, if you are ever unsure of your shot or the facts (sign) don't add up to your story, it is best to just wait. I am a firm believer in that for sure.
Doublelung paid me a nice compliment saying that was a good thing to do. I just laughed and said the sad part is I didn't learn that the easy way.

We didn't weigh her but she was about 100# field dressed, if not a little over.
Field dressed her, took out her tenderloins, put them in salt water (they dry out too easy to leave in for long) then went to town to eat and check the deer in.

The afternoon hunt found me in a ground blind on the edge of a food plot that has been VERY hot lately.
Within minutes of getting in the blind, well doublelung could still hear me unzipping panels and stuff when he spotted this pretty 4 point in the field.
He was still a couple hundred yards away when I took this picture and had to crop on it a bit.

Then when the buck got to within 15 yards of my blind the wind shifted and apparently I stunk too bad for him.

Between the wind, me stinking, and some dogs in the area that is the only deer we saw till right at dark and that one busted me too.

Later that night doublelung found out he had to leave camp for a few hours due to prior engagements. Actually he didn't know anything about them but his wife called and said he didn't HAVE to go, but well, if you are married you understand.

So he left and I began to realize I was hungry.
I remembered the loins soaking in salt water so I started snooping around the kitchen and found some creole seasoning, oil, wheat bread, strawberry preserves and a cast iron skillet.
I will let the pictures tell this part.

Yep ole RUGER been taking care of himself for a while and I did purdy good for supper.

Only one bad part about hunting with doublelung, as soon as I get home I am always ready to go back.

Hope you enjoyed my hunt as much as I did.
God bless and good hunting always,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Welcome to bowhunting my son.

Welcome to bowhunting my son.

As some of you know I began taking my son to the woods with me when he was 4 years old.
When he began going with me THAT is when I learned what hunting is all about.

I could talk about my son and hunting with him for literally hours so I will just say that when I turned him lose with a rifle and then a muzzleloader he took to it like a fish to water.

I bought a used bow from my friend Donnie at work a few years ago and it was perfect for him to begin bowhunting.
I am not sure how far it would go through a deer but I am more than confident that out to twenty yards it would be more than enough.
I was very impressed with him and how much and how well he practiced. Suffice it to say that if a deer walked out in front of him he would be able to close the deal.

As luck, or the lack thereof, would have it a shot opportunity never materialized for him with his bow.
All that nonsense changed yesterday morning.
You will have to do a little "research" to fully appreciate this story but one of the main characters is indeed the buck we have named Chocolate.

He got in the stand well before daylight and I headed to my spot, about a hundred yards away, and jumped in my climber.
I eased up the tree and got settled in and called him on the radio, told him I was set up and asked if he was ok.
He replied that he was fine and all was good.

A few minutes later we heard the rhino and we knew the other guy that is hunting this property was there this morning.

After a few minutes I called him again and asked if he was ok and he whispered back, "Hang on Dad, I got two deer out in front of me".

I sit there in anticipation for a few minutes and he called me back and told me "nevermind, they were just two red fox". I laughed when he said that and then told me he couldn't believe he thought they were deer.
I assured him that in the early and late light your eyes work with your brain to mess you up and talk you into things.

I took this opportunity to insert a quick safety reminder to him too. I reminded him to make sure of every target, every time before you let it fly.

Ok back to the story.
For some reason I had alot of static on my end of the radios and I had trouble hearing what he was saying during out last conversation so I just pulled my cell phone out and sent him a text.
"Killed anything yet?"
"Nope :-("
He goes on to send me another one that informed me that he had gotten up to pee and dropped the radio.
I sent one back that told him no big deal, get it or not, it is up to him.
I also told him if he needed me bad he could just yell.

About 10 minutes later I get another text that said,,, "Oh no chocolate just busted me"

Through a series of text messages I learn that a doe had come out into the edge of the field from behind him and walked up the edge of the field right to man.
He drew his bow back and was fixing to let one fly when he caught movement to his right and sure enough here comes ole Chocolate right behind the doe.

He let down on the doe and waited till Chocolate came in to about 15 yards and then drew again.
He said the buck saw him, stopped and before man could get the pin on him he spun and both of them took off the other way.

We chatted about different things and then when he had gotten down and retrieved his radio I said, "Welcome to bowhunting my son." Then I went on to ask him, "Do you like it or hate it?"
His reply made me realize a bowhunter had been born that morning.
He said simply, "I love it".

God bless and good hunting always,

Friday, October 2, 2009

First kill of the year

Nevermind that I took a day off work, spent the weekend at LBL for the opener and walked 8.5 miles last Friday scouting for the opener, yesterday afternoon was my first deer hunt of the year.

I got off work and had some stuff to do so I was running crazy as usual.
My father-in-law and his cousin wanted to go hunting so I thought I would go with them.
Man decided to go ride the track instead of hunting, I think because he has outgrown his bow, so I decided to go sit in his ladder stand.

It was the typical "first hunt" of the year for me.
I get to the ladder stand and the seat is gone. Tree rats have eat it completely up.
I climb up, put a hook in the tree, hang my bow on one that was there and my backpack on the other.
You would think putting a hook in a tree would be easy, but this is me we are talking about.

Get all that done and sit down. Well with my big ole butt sitting on two metal bars don't work.
Climb down and get the foam pad for the seat.
Climb back up and position it just right and sit down.
Well it ain't great but it will work.

Stand up and get my release on and nock an arrow.
Climb back down and pick foam pad back up and climb back up and re-position it.

Stand up and get gloves out of my back pack.
Climb down and pick glove up I drop.
Climb back up and get all settled in again and drop my face mask.
Decide I don't need face mask and just stand up because my butt is already hurting.

Send my buddy a text and tell him I am in the stand and ready to rock, finally.
Note time, 4:53 p.m.

I spend the next few minutes glassing the field edges and behind me in the woods.
Watch a doe and fawn on opposite side of field.

Turn around and face the THICK woods behind me. Stand there a few minutes and look to my right and think, "Man that looked like a deer moving".
Funny how when you haven't hunted in a year your eyes play tricks on you.

I move my head and upper body around the tree in front of me to look again and sure enough there is a deer.
Of course she sees me move and looks right at me.
I freeze my position and hope my cool looking leafy suit works.

Apparently it does and she just moves on feeding.
She stops with her head and hind quarters both hidden from view by thick underbrush.

I ease my hand over and don't even bother trying to get my hand in my bow sling and get my release on my string.

Ease my bow back and run through my mental check list.

Feet position, check.
Bend at waist, check.
Settle draw and lock in on anchor point, check.
Pick a hair, check.


She flips over backwards and lets out a big BBBAAAAAWWWW.

I stand there a few seconds and she starts kicking and trying to get up.
I decide I had hit a limb and spine shot her.
I pull another arrow out of my quiver and settle the pin on what I think is her vitals, best I can guess with her laying flat on the ground, and let it rip.
I couldn't actually see anything except her neck and half her head but I got lucky and drilled her through at least one lung.
Just a few seconds later it was over.
Turns out I hit just to the left of where I was aiming and got the edge of her shoulder, which explained the flip and stuff.
Muzzy penetrated more than enough to get both lungs.

Make note of time, 5:15 p.m.

Wow, 22 minutes after settling in.
Not too bad.
Rather be lucky than good any day.

God bless and good hunting always,

Thursday, October 1, 2009


This story begins during the juvenile hunt of 2008.
My son killed a doe early that morning and we walked back to the truck to get our deer cart because the muddy conditions, coupled with the beans still being in the field, made it impossible for us to use a four wheeler to get his deer out.

On the way back to get his doe we noticed several deer coming into the field from the opposite side. There were about 12 or 13 deer when it was said and done and the last one to enter the field was a buck.

I could tell it was a buck but at nearly 500 yards that is about all I could tell about it.
I dropped the cart and took his rifle and told him to come on and I took off running.
We had to run about 200 yards through standing beans to get to the top of the rise so we could see farther into the field in the direction they were going.

Just as we got to where we could see, two does popped over the rise. I handed the rifle back to him and he dropped to one knee and told me he couldn’t see over the beans.

I told him to wait because the buck would be following the does up the hill. He argued that the does had already seen us and I told him that would be ok because the buck hadn’t seen us and he wouldn’t until it was too late.

Sure enough the buck topped the hill and presented an 80 yard quartering towards us shot.
Running 200 yards, falling twice and fighting the beans, coupled with the fact it was a free standing shot proved to be too much for man and he missed.

The buck was instantly named “Chocolate” due to his antlers being a chocolate or more accurately, dark caramel color. I must admit he was the most beautiful racked buck I had ever seen.
He was, I thought, a six point at that time and clearly a yearling buck.

The rest of that year it just never seemed like it was going to happen. We never saw him again and we were afraid someone else had shot him.
Two other people hunted this farm and we knew they didn’t get him but the surrounding property is all rather heavily hunted so we just didn’t know.

The last weekend of rifle season I turned around in my stand and there he was, pretty as you please. I got a good look at him and he was indeed a 6 point and still had those beautiful antlers.
I will admit when I put the scope on him there was a twinge that whispered, “Shoot him.”
Although he was a yearling and had a small rack, he was simply beautiful.
I banished those thoughts rather easily and let him slip on his way.

When I realized he was headed in a direction that could possibly put him within shooting range of a man that hunted the same property via my father-in-law I “accidentally” coughed and the deer took off the other direction.

Fast forward to September 29, 2009 for my very first deer hunt of the season.
My son decided not to go hunting but to ride his dirt bike instead. I sat in his ladder stand and was fortunate enough to kill a doe at 5:15 p.m.

I stayed in the stand because my father-in-law and the same man were hunting that afternoon too. I knew that if one of them did kill a deer they would need help dragging / tracking.
The man has already wounded one deer so far this year that was never recovered.

At 6:30 I caught movement to my left, along the edge of the cut corn field.
There was a deer coming my way and it would walk right in front of me at a range of only 10 yards, so I got my bow up and got everything ready for the shot. I was pretty excited at the prospect of my very first “double” with my bow.

As he came into view I knew instantly it was indeed “chocolate” from last year.
He still has the amazingly beautiful dark caramel antlers that are so shiny they appear to be wet.

He is just as pretty this year and has added two points. Perfect 8 point and the only “deduction”, for lack of a better word, is the fact that his left G3 is about an inch and a half shorter than the one on his right side.
I am guessing his rack to be 16” wide on the inside and points that range in length from 3 to 8 inches.

He is a 2 ½ year old deer and I would have mounted him in a heartbeat.

I drew my bow and placed the pin right above his heart, just behind the crease in his shoulder.
I whispered, “You’re mine” then slowly eased my bow down.
I then wished for my digital camera but I only had my cell phone.
I took several pictures of him as he stood there, broadside at ten yards, looking away from me.

Slowly he moved around and headed back towards the way he had come from.
I have a feeling he just sensed something wasn’t quite right.

I would have loved to of had that deer but there is absolutely no way anyone should kill that deer except for my son.
I just wish the guy hunting there felt the same way.

When I got out of my stand, just before dark, the buck had actually circled around my position and was headed right towards my father-in-law and the same man, who were hunting across the field and about 75 yards from each other.

The buck saw me get out of my stand and was running across the field when I saw him. I have to admit I begged him not to stop.
The man told me that he saw him as he ran by him and that if he had been paying attention he felt that he could have “got a shot off at him running by”.

I pray that he never sees him coming. I guess that is wrong but that is how it is from where I sit.
Come on Juvenile season !!

Good hunting and God bless.