Well I've been target shooting for awhile now and have not taken my bow into the woods until now. Last week I went back to my home state of South Carolina with one of my best friends to do some Bow hunting. Now I have been able to take a lot of deer with a rifle, but I wasn't sure what to really expect while bow hunting. My family owns properties throughout saluda, fairfield, and chester counties and there are no shortages of deer here. We started hunting Thursday and saw plenty of deer, but none came close enough for a shot.
My dad had seen a lot of activity near some sawtooth oak trees and persimmon trees on the edge of a field near our farmhouse. So I went out and bought a ladder stand and hung it so that the persimmon trees were directly to my right (10 yards) and the sawtooth oaks were in front of me (38 yards). The first night in this stand I had a few does and a nice buck come in directly behind me in the field behind me about 80 yards. Never had a shot. the next morning I hunted a different location with no luck. That night again, several deer came in behind me but never got a shot. Sunday morning was our 11th hour as we had to head back to Nashville that afternoon. So I take my friend to his stand and drive 400 yards to park and walk to mine. I only parked about 70 yards from my stand and as I am walking in, i shine my light towards my stand only to see a buck standing 20 yards in front of the stand. he didn't seem spooked but he did trot off. I climb up in my stand and get situated (arrow nocked, pack tied onto the arm rest).
I hadn't been in my stand 30 minutes when I looked straight out in front of me and see a cow horned buck standing 33 yards in front of me. To say I was excited is an understatement... Finally after 4 days of not having a shot, I now have the opportunity to loose my first arrow at a whitetail. I waited and waited as I watched him eat oats so that a) it would be a bit lighter and b) I had some over hanging branches blocking my shot so I had to have a clear shot.
Finally as he steps into a clear window I draw back and call at him... as soon as he hears me he looks around and takes a step back out of clear shooting. a few seconds (seemed like minutes when drawn back for the first time on a deer) he steps back into my opening and i call him again.. he stops slightly quatering away and just a few minutes after 7am, I let her fly. He didn't jump but ran straight into the woods to my left.
I felt confident in the shot but I couldn't remember anything about my form... I'm glad I have done as much 3d shooting and practicing at different yardages that my form and follow through are second nature now. I found my arrow buried 6 inches into the ground covered in blood. I saw some drops of blood with bubbles in them so I knew my shot had hit the lungs. I texted my buddy who had heard the commotion of the deer running into the woods from 400 yards off. I found my deer not 70 yards away and only 20 yards from an old ground blind we put up years ago.
My dad and 90 year old grand father met me out there to see my first kill. They have never bow hunted and they didn't think much of it until I finally connected. I believe they were as proud as I was. I am totally hooked on bow hunting, the pay off is unbelievable. I had not been this excited since my first rifle kills about 17 years ago.
He is not monster, but he is a milestone for my first archery kill ever. he weighed about 120lbs... he may look smaller, but i'm 6'8 230 so everything looks smaller when i'm around...