Archery Talk Forum banner
1 - 20 of 148 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey gents..
After 15 years bowhunting I finally arrowed my first mature whitetail, on Day 2 of the 2022 archery season here in New Hampshire. This is a challenging area to hunt whitetails, and I'm so damn amped up I've hardly slept since. Never had anyone in my family who hunted, just learned through mistakes and kept grinding. Took me 7 years to get my first doe, but the passion and dedication has only grown.

The setup was fairly straightforward: hiked deep into the woods to the far edge of a swamp, Summit self-climber up a nice tree with some coverage, between thick, nasty bedding and a ridge of white oaks where I found freshly grazed acorn caps. White oaks are few and far between where I live, so if you can find them dropping acorns, the deer will be on them. The wind was in my favor, and I took a couple hours to hike in there as slowly and quietly as I could.
Just after sunset as I was watching a porcupine follow the same trail I hoped a deer would follow, I looked up to see a deer emerge from the bedding area, meandering my direction. Within a minute or so I could make out some antler and my heart started picking up a bit. Had plenty of time and cover from a bushy hemlock to get positioned and draw my bow as he seemed to be reading the script about to walk down the porcupine trail at 20 yards. For no apparent reason he stops, bangs a hard left and is now nearly walking to my tree at about 2 o'clock. At 13 yards, I'm still at full draw, he stops and looks up at me, quartered to me strongly, about to step over a stone wall. I shoot religiously and was confident in my accuracy, and knew he was probably only going to give me this tight window, so I let her loose, tucking that arrow high and tight behind his right shoulder.
Promising sound at impact, and he spun and ran back towards the nasty bedding, I watched as far as I could and when I lost sight of him I heard a crash followed by sweet, sweet silence. Unreal. All the work, the scouting, the failures and close calls... everything comes down to these brief moments of intensity.

I had no cell service this deep in the woods, and light was fading quickly as I stood there shaking asking myself if that really just happened. Just then a chorus of coyotes erupt just over the hill... not ideal. I decided to climb down and see if I could find the arrow and determine if I should track him immediately before the coyotes get him or give him ample time considering the tough angle of the shot. Unfortunately, there was no arrow to be found, and no blood in the immediate vicinity.
The coyotes sound off again, this time closer, maybe 400 yards. What to do, what to do...
I decide to drop my gear except for my bow, and creep quietly towards where I heard a crash. Feels risky- don't want to bump him. I take about 30 minutes walking 100 yards, no blood, only tracks, and see him laying in the tall grass near the swamps edge, the arrow is 3/4 of the way through him. The coyotes sound off again and I respond with a f*******g victorious bellow of my own. I put my hand on the buck, pay my respects and prayers and thank him for feeding my friends and family.
Instead of gutting him immediately since I thought that would really attract the coyotes, I pissed around the area and took off hauling ass towards my truck a couple miles away.

Stopped quick at my father-in-laws and grabbed his sled, he was ready to help but I know he was exhausted from solo dragging a doe a couple miles the day before near the seacoast. Instead I called my buddy Demetrias and told him I was in the area and asked if he wanted to have a cold one before I went home, playing it cool like I had wrapped up another unsuccessful hunt. I brought my bloody arrow inside hiding it behind my back but pretty quickly he saw the fletching peeking over my shoulder as he handed me a beer.
"Is that blood on your fletching?"
"Why would there be blood on my arrow.."
"Did you smoke a deer??"
"Yeah I did... you ready to work? He's deep in there."
"Absolutely dude CONGRATULATIONS!"
Great to have friends who will drop what they're doing to go on a side mission. Demetrias in on year 4 of hunting- he shoots a traditional bow and has not yet harvested an animal, but so far his frustration is only motivating him, so I think he will push on. As he got his things together, I called my buddy in Mass- an ex-Marine, Boston firefighter who I've hunted with for 14 years. We've bounced strategies and failures off each other every step of the way and have grown as hunters and brothers along the way, as you all understand that brotherhood.
He answered my call-
"What did you do"
"There's only a couple reasons why I'd be calling you..."
"What did you do!"
"Slammed one, Foley. I got one."
The pride in his voice was as if he had just arrowed the buck. Nearly brought me to tears.

My buddy and I raced back to the woods, thankfully only about 90 minutes had passed since I left the buck, this is all in my hometown close to friends and family. The whole walk/run back towards my buck I was yelling and cursing the coyotes, but as we approached, all was quiet and my buck lay as I left him.
Got him field dressed and we dragged him out- a fairly difficult task that I could not have done alone, being just 3 months post major spine surgery and two years suffering a broken back. I'm not back to 100% but I certainly am healing strong and pulled my weight. We stopped frequently, sipping whiskey off the flask and howling at the stars overhead. It was an epic night and by midnight we were back at the truck.

Buck weighed in at 155#, not a giant but an absolute trophy in my book. It was a hunt I'll never forget.


Thanks everyone and wishing you all a great season.

Gearlist:
Treestand: Summit self-climber
Bow: Mathews Traverse 65#
Arrow: Goldtip Kinetic Pierce 250
Broadhead: OZCUT 2-blade Elite fixed blade
Sight: Black Gold something expensive
Rest: Hamskea Trinity


Hunting Deer hunting Plant Grass Recreation
Motor vehicle Plant Bumper Tree Wood
Elk Deer Branch Wood Natural material
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
Congrats! Here in northern NH myself, so I know the struggle...or what I'll call more of a 'pleasure cruise'. ;) Enjoy it...great buck and just as good a story!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Awesome buck brother! This was a great weekend for us in southern NH also. There was 6 of us in 2 different public land areas and we put 4 deer on the ground . 3 does and a 6 pt. That cool front that came in had the deer up and moving. Great job and great story!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Awesome buck brother! This was a great weekend for us in southern NH also. There was 6 of us in 2 different public land areas and we put 4 deer on the ground . 3 does and a 6 pt. That cool front that came in had the deer up and moving. Great job and great story!
That’s a great weekend! I’m pretty encouraged with the NH deer population from what I’m seeing- hats off to F&G! Congrats to you and thank you very much!! 🤙
 
1 - 20 of 148 Posts
Top