To say the least, my North Carolina deer season has started off extremely slower then in years past. With warm daytime temperatures reaching the high seventies and mid eighties, deer activity is at a bare minimum.
But with the approach of low pressure systems during the month of October, I tend to see more daylight activity the day before and a couple days after these system rolls through. These low pressure systems normally bring in cooler tempatures accompanied with periods of rain. This was the exact scenario that was being set up for the weekend of October 20, 2012.
We had a low pressure system moving through on October 18th, bringing cooler temperatures for the next three days. I knew that over the next couple of days that deer activity was going to increase during daylight hours and my chance for success was going to increase. So I was going to be putting as much time in the stand as possible and my first opportunity to be in the woods was going to be after work on the afternoon of Oct 19th.
October 19, 2012:
I reached my stand at around 5:00 pm and had all three cameras setup and ready to hunt at around 5:15 pm, I conducted a short interview for the evening hunt and then set back to enjoy the cooler temperatures. After being in the stand for a just a little over on hour and not having any activity except for the occasional squirrel or chirping birds, I caught the glimpse of white flicker across the field in front of me. With a few adjustments to find a gap between the limbs and leaves to see across to the field, I was able to identify three deer and they were headed my way. I slowly stood up, got the camera turned into their direction of travel, lifted my bow off the hanger and readied for an upcoming shot opportunity. As the deer approached I was able to identify that it was a mature doe with two younger deer. They crossed the field at a distance of 62yds and made their way into the stand beans to my right. After only a few short minutes they were feeding toward the treeline I was in and were going to pass by within 20yds of my stand. But as they made their approach they suddenly spooked and darted back out into the hay field out of range and made their way back down the the creek and moved on off. By this time I was losing camera light and made the decision to get down and make my way back to the truck and call it a day. But with a quick glance at the weather app on my phone, the next morning was going to be in the upper thirties and I knew that I would be back in this same stand for the morning hunt.
October 20, 2012:
After making the short ride from my home to the area that hunt, I was out of the truck at 5:45am and on my way to the stand. The temperature was 39 degrees with no wind, making it a perfect fall morning to be in the stand. After getting setup and everything into position I was settled back down and awaited the upcoming sunrise.
With a little rustling of the leaves and chirping of the occasional bird I knew that daybreak was soon approaching and with the faintest sign of sun rise, I turned the camera to infrared and gave a short interview of my setup and how I hoped the morning was going to turn out. At around 7:15am I had enough camera light that I was ready to stand up and get in position to get a SELFILMED hunt on camera. Over the next 30 minutes, I only had the pleasure of being graced with the presence of a few squirrels and 7 turkeys that had flown down and were feeding in the woods directly behind my stand.
With the occasional text message from other guys that were also hunting that morning, it seemed that this hunt was going to turn out like many had prior….with me not seeing a single deer. But at 7:50am I picked up some movement from across the field at nearly the same location I had seen the 3 deer the evening before. But after a quick observation, I noticed that these were not the same 3 and that these were 4 different deer. There seemed to be 2 mature doe and 2 young doe making their way towards my stand. It was as if I was having a flashback of the afternoon before, as these 4 deer made their way across the fields and ended up at the same spot in the beans as the others had the day before. But instead of spooking and moving out of range they worked their way towards my stand and had closed the distance to with in 4oyds, well with in range. But had turned slightly back into the hay field and was not giving me a clear angle for my camera to capture the shot on film. I settled my bow back down against my leg and would wait for a better shot opportunity. After a few minutes they turned back into the direction on the beans and were going to pass by at 20yds giving me a good chance at a good camera angle and clear shot. As they passed behind a smaller tree on the field edge, I came to full draw and waited for them to clear. As the largest doe came into frame, I gave a soft grunt to stop her. But as I was settling my pin, my kisser button was hung in my facemask. I pulled back away from the string to adjust and slowly made my way back to the string to get my anchor point and…thawk!!!! I had accidentally hit my release and the arrow was gone. As the arrow made its way, I saw the firenock enter about 8″ back and 6″ high. I was in shock of what had happened and disgusted that I had made that kind of an error. As she turned and ran off I could tell that she was hit hard, but she made it clear across both fields and into the woods. I could hear a loud crash like she had gone down, but with 4 deer tearing through the woods it is really hard to distinguish whether she had gone down or not.
After reviewing the footage, I really had no clue if I had caught a lung or if I was up in no-mans land. So, I gave a short post shot interview and decided to make my way out and give her plenty of time. On exiting my stand I walked out to the point of impact and found my arrow that was soaked in blood.
After two hours, me and a couple buddies went back down to begin the tracking. I had told them that I knew where she had gone into the woods at and that we would just walk across the field and not worrying about blood and try to pick up the trail once inside the woods.
As we made our way across the fields discussing all kinds of things from baseball, to what was for lunch and them giving me a hard time of making a horrible shot. But as we neared the woods, I figured that I would go in just left of where I thought she had entered and make my right to hopefully intersect her path and pick up some blood and sure enough I did. As I called out to my buddies that I had found some blood, I looked up and saw her laying just 20yds in front of me.
When I made my way over to her, I could tell that my shot had ended up better than expected and caught the lung on the opposite side. After a few quick pictures and interview it was a short drag to the edge of the field and off the the shed to start cleaning.
Everything had turned out better than expected, the weather was perfect and the low pressure system had played in my favor and had proved to get the deer up and on their feet moving during daylight hours. And had helped me harvest my largest NC doe to date (weighing in at 126lbs).
Be sure to be on the look out for this hunt vid in the coming week and be ready for more stories of success from us here at SELFILMED!!!