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Early Morning Frost: Harvest

Walking out to a star filled sky and heavily frosted ground to start the four wheeler and get it warmed up, when my buddy came around the corner and stated that there was a nice buck running a doe just behind the house at the barn. He had seen them and he had came out to warm up the truck for his ride to the nearby game lands. So as we stepped back around the corner, sure enough there was a really nice 8pt (130″) running a doe. The stand that I was going to hunt that morning was just 200yds pass the barn on the adjacent hill side. But the way these deer were moving, I knew I would stand a good chance of seeing them come by. So I rushed in the house finished getting ready and out I went. I parked the four wheeler in the road bed and started my 15min walk to my stand, being ever so careful to not make any unnecessary noises. After reaching my stand and getting all my camera equipment setup, I was settled down and listening. Sure enough I could hear faint grunts and chasing back toward the barn.  But it was going to be a good 40min before daybreak and if they came by now, there was not going to be anything I could do. But as the minutes past and the rays of sunlight peaked over the horizon, I eased my way up and was in position, so not to be caught off guard and hand cuffed.

It had been nearly 45min since I heard any sign of chasing in the distance, so I knew that there was a good buck in the area and I decided to give a few soft grunts to see if I could get anything moving. It had not been two minutes from putting the grunt tube down, when I heard a single set of footsteps to my right move up out of the hollar straight towards me. Naturally my heart began to pick up pace and I turned on all three cameras and reached around and grabbed my bow.  Over the next two minutes I stood with patience waiting to catch my first glimpse of the deer that was approaching. In just those two minutes of knowing you have a deer approaching hearing every step it takes and not knowing what it is, your adrenalin’s pumping and knowing that just in a few more steps your going to have a visual. Those are the moments that I live for and thank god for making me a bowhunter.

Just a few more steps, and I was going to have a visual of the deer moving out of the brush and standing at only 15yds. Next thing you know, I could see legs and with 5 more steps I would be able to see the rest of the body…4…3..2….1 more step and I would be able to see. Then wouldn’t you know it, that on the last step before getting a visual it would lock up and not move. For what seemed like hours but was truly only a matter of seconds it finally made that last step and I could see that it was a mature…..doe. Don’t get me wrong I harvest all the doe I can, but on that morning I had my hopes set on a mature buck.  But never the less it was a slick head that made her way up throught the brush and was standing at 15yds. As she crossed over in front of me heading to a little patch of oak trees to my left, I decided that this was not the morning to harvest a doe. I was going to wait it out and see if I could get lucky and shoot a buck.  As she feed around my stand for five-ten minutes I was getting a lot of great footage. Then all of the sudden, I got a glimpse of a deer out across the field in front of me. I was being ever so careful to get a better line of sight to the field to see what had crossed, but with her standing at only 12yd from my tree with my first movement she popped that front hoof. Now I know all of you have had this happen, you get busted by a mature doe stands around popping that front hoof, snorting then flags and takes off. Then the next time you set in that stand the deer come in looking to see if you are up there.

As she continued to pop her hoof, I went from Buck Mode to Doe Harvest Mode real quick. I cut my eyes in her direction and could see her bobbing her head up and down try to figure out exactly what she had seen. As she turned away, I made a quick adjustment to get in position to get a good shot off her way.  As she quickly turned back around, I could see that I was going to have to make a shot through some limbs if I was going to have a chance.

I eased my primary camera around in the direction that I felt she was going to leave and then started looking for a hole to shoot through.  After finding a small pie plate size hole that was going to be a 18yd shot, I glanced back at my camera screen and saw that everything was going to be in frame.

After a few more head bobs and stomps she started to make her exit and luckily she was headed right for the opening I had picked out. She needed to take 4-5 more steps and she would be in the Kill Zone.  To this point I have not told you the whole reason for going to that stand that morning, except for seeing the buck behind the  house first thing that morning. I had hunted the stand the evening before and had a lot of rutting activity all around me, but none in range. So I had decided to leave my bow in the stand and that would be one less thing to deal with the next morning…so I had no other choice but to go to that stand that morning. And up to this point I had not paid any attention to the bow that morning. But as she made her way to the opening I glanced at my bow and noticed that I could not read any wording on my bow, gold tip arrows or even see my spot hogg sight level. They were entirely covered with frost. Knowing now that my bow was frosted over, lead me to believe that it was going to make one heck of a racket when I drew it back.  So I quickly analyzed the possibilities and decided that with her last step I was going to draw and with the sound of the bow and my movement she would be stopped perfectly in my opening. As she started to pick up her front leg that was closest to me, I drew my bow. She made her last step, threw head in my direction and I settled my 2oyd pin and hit the release. thwack!!!

The blue Firenock lit up the arrows path as I hit my opening perfectly and entered her side right where I had aimed…double lung. She jumped up and took off 25yds up the hill and stopped and flickered her tail and collapsed down the hillside.

After only seconds of thrashing around, I knew that she had expired and was only laying 60-75yd from my stand.  So I knocked another arrow and hunted for another hour or so before getting down and making the recovery.

What had started out as a quest for a buck on that November morning turned into one of the best harvest that I have ever SELFILMED, so be on the look out for the HUNT VID  after the 2012-2013 whitetail hunting season end.




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