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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a great 4 days! My first time out ever- bow hunting from a treestand with a very experienced mentor- came up empty handed, never even had a chance to draw my bow- although there were several times I had extremely close range deer and a few standoffs with the perfect shot looking right at me without the deer even seeing me in my leafy suit. I did have a great time and learned so much I wouldn't even know where to begin.

One big mistake I made may have caused one of the standoffs to end with a fleeing deer rather than a browsing one... was caused by a bad choice I made with my equipment- and I'd like to explain my mistake and maybe help someone else avoid that.

I was wearing a vest style safety system (it was great- and so easy to put on quietly in the dark!) and I had a bow holder that was designed to fasten on a belt. Because of my layers and the fact that my belt was kind of narrow- I felt I would be more comfortable and easier to loop the bow holder around one of the buckles of my safety vest- and then the weight of the bow would be evenly supported by my shoulders and not cutting into my waist.

I did not understand the error of that decision until I was presented with a broadside buck at 20 yards- looking straight at me... as my heart began to race and I tried to not hyperventelate as I stood frozen- my bow went up and down about an inch with every breath I took!! Because I'd supported it off my chest and shoulders- even thought the movement of my ribcage was unnoticable inside the leafysuit- the bow resting in that holder was working like a seismograph to broadcast all my internal trembling... had I attached the bow holder to the rigid shape of my hip bones rather than my upperbody- it would have been still.

Busted!
 

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We learn from out mistakes. Next time you`ll know better. Good luck the rest of the season.:thumbs_up
 

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Hey man, the important part is that you had a great experience and you learned something. When I first got into bowhunting, a mentor once told me: "Here's the thing to remember about bowhunting...If you don't learn something EVERY time you go out, you're not paying attention". Those words still ring true to me after almost 20 years with a bow. That part about talking yourself down from hyperventilating is awesome and what I love about hunting with a bow. If I ever DON'T get that feeling, I'm coming down from my stand and going to the couch.
 

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Thanks for sharing....how come you weren't at full draw by that time? Was it a stand placement problem?

I use to just throw my stand smack dab in the easiest place to shoot the deer...usually that meant the moment I saw them they were already in enough of a clearing that standing and drawing was going to be tough. I now make sure that I have a very small Line of Sight to pick them up before they break in to my shooting lane. Remember, If it's called a shooting lane---it's also called a busting lane---it works both ways :wink:.

My most memorable standoff was with a young 2.5 yr old buck...little 8pnt basket rack. I was getting ready to crouch down when he picked up on me, my knees bent at about 90 degrees. He kept ducking his head and stomping his foot at me...over and over. Finally my thighs were on fire and I had to move...so I did. That SOB didn't even flinch....he stood there doing the same thing for another 2-3 minutes while I moved around freely. Had I thrown my pack at him to get him to go away I bet he would have attacked it. Made for a good and entertaining morning :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CeeJ- To summarize the hunt a briefly a possible- it was supposed to be here on my farm in a two seater ladder stand. On the first day a group of does and fawns were moving up the trail in advance of a buck. we never saw him but heard him grunt (a first for me!) He sent a smart old doe up the trail in front of him and she was onto something- although she never saw us, she may have smelled us or just used her spider sense... she wound up marching around like a majorette about 30 yard down the trail for a minute before blowing the whole day and scaring everyone off. My mentor called her a sentinal doe and said that we were in for trouble from her- that until she was off the farm- I was not going to have any luck. The following day she blew from about 50 yards off behind us and that day was also down the tubes.
On the third day moved to another farm to let that stand cool down and this other farm was a fantastic set up, food plots and thickets and woods- but mostly geared for gun hunting in box blinds. There was one one seater ladder stand in a multi trunked tree which would allow my mentor to use his lock on stand above me. The stand had three groups of cedars around us right up against our tree- and although they provided us with some cover- they also blocked our view of the approaches... meaning I had no advance warning before a deer would be standing in a sweet spot... because of the multi trunked tree- I could not pivot from one to the next of my three possible shot windows... and inevidably- I would be facing in one direction when the deer would appear in another... I was always busted before the deer moved into a better position, when I was in a ready position (this time I mentioned with the standoff above and one other time with a doe)- they were always looking right at me and I never had the chance to draw. I never got a relaxed browsing deer or group- and many times we were surrounded by deer within 10-20 yards we could not see and who never presented themelves. It was very intense to say the least!
 

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You'll have to take my word for this, but try an ASAT 3d leafy suit. I have been in the same type of situations that you describe, only the deer just look through you and move on. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was wearing a mothwing suit and it was UNREAL for me to experience animals at such close range who simply didn't know or care that we were there- one squirrel sat on a branch staring at us about 4 yards off eating an acorn with his tail flipping around like it was having convulsions... a flock of robins filled our tree for a few minutes- some only 6 feet away... and both of those whitetail standoffs went on for minutes with the deer looking my way but not showing any recognition as long a I didn't move. I am glad i had a chance to experience a leafy suit before I had to buy one- because I am SOLD!! I like the way you put it tfoster- "looking through you"
 

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CeeJ- To summarize the hunt a briefly a possible- it was supposed to be here on my farm in a two seater ladder stand. On the first day a group of does and fawns were moving up the trail in advance of a buck. we never saw him but heard him grunt (a first for me!) He sent a smart old doe up the trail in front of him and she was onto something- although she never saw us, she may have smelled us or just used her spider sense... she wound up marching around like a majorette about 30 yard down the trail for a minute before blowing the whole day and scaring everyone off. My mentor called her a sentinal doe and said that we were in for trouble from her- that until she was off the farm- I was not going to have any luck. The following day she blew from about 50 yards off behind us and that day was also down the tubes.
On the third day moved to another farm to let that stand cool down and this other farm was a fantastic set up, food plots and thickets and woods- but mostly geared for gun hunting in box blinds. There was one one seater ladder stand in a multi trunked tree which would allow my mentor to use his lock on stand above me. The stand had three groups of cedars around us right up against our tree- and although they provided us with some cover- they also blocked our view of the approaches... meaning I had no advance warning before a deer would be standing in a sweet spot... because of the multi trunked tree- I could not pivot from one to the next of my three possible shot windows... and inevidably- I would be facing in one direction when the deer would appear in another... I was always busted before the deer moved into a better position, when I was in a ready position (this time I mentioned with the standoff above and one other time with a doe)- they were always looking right at me and I never had the chance to draw. I never got a relaxed browsing deer or group- and many times we were surrounded by deer within 10-20 yards we could not see and who never presented themelves. It was very intense to say the least!
This could be because they are looking for that stand as soon as the enter the area. Much like your sentinal doe on you place will be wary of the location you were busted on day one. If you could go back to this farm with a climber and change stand locations to possibly 20-30 yrds the other side of the trail these deer were on they could be looking completely away from you the next time you see them.
 
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