Writers Camp: Day 3

Another blackest of black mornings. Cool and windy with strong gusts. I had chocolate pie for breakfast so I’m ready to shoot a buck. Or if one doesn’t come around, a fat Ohio doe.

The hill 200 yards above me is happening this morning. So far, 11 does and 2 bucks. One of the does hurried around the farthest corner on the right and a buck came next. They zipped around the 200 yard area food plot and then a second buck raced out of the woods to the left. Both bucks fell in behind the same doe. Two more does came on the 200 yard hill later on.

Yesterday I noticed a small scrape 10 yards from the blind. Mike Matty gave me some Grave Digger to put in it. I did and when I checked it this morning the scrape was 5 feet long.


I told Mike Mattly about fixing up a scrape with the Code Blue Grave digger yesterday and asked him if he had a Moultrie camera with him that he could set up to watch the scrape and see if it got any acticvity. Mike explained about the Grave Digger and then we drove out to the area and he set the Moultrie camera up to watch for bucks that came to the scrape. Here it is on video.


Back at it. The temperature dropped steadily during the afternoon. At Deer-30 I saw two does. If they come by me I’m shooting some backstraps and chili meat.

The does browsed along in the food plot greenery and eventually wound up where I was. The Darton Serpent LTD crossbow I was supplied for this Writers Camp hunt was on safety and I quietly picked it up. I’ve never hunted with a crossbow before and only shot one until this week when Jay Liechty and C.J. Davis sighted it in for me on the day we arrived in camp.

I ranged the big doe at 25 yards and then raised the Darton Serpent until it was lined up with the vertical shooting window of the Turtle. When I looked through the crossbow’s  scope I adjusted my head so my eye was lined up right to see through the scope. I clicked the safety off and settled the sight in on the largest doe, a dandy big one. When I was sure my aim was right I touched the trigger.


I had the doe ranged at 25 yards and was dead on its vitals with the Nikon scope on the crossbow. I knew what that CLANK was, it could only be the galvanized metal gate that was at the opposite edge of the field — 15 yards past the doe.

As soon as I pulled the crossbow’s trigger I totally lost sight of the doe that I shot at.

Did the CLANK mean I missed it? I couldn’t see how but ???

Quickly I looked around trying to locate the doe. Sixty yards away there were two deer standing together. Obviously they were the two deer that came down to me. They seemed unconcerned and casually walked up the food plot and went into the woods on the left. I glassed them with my Nikon binocs and did not see any cuts or wounds on the biggest doe.

When it was almost dark a nice 8-point walked out of the woods 35 yards from me and crossed to the other side. Five minutes laster another buck, this one a bit larger and with a bigger rack did the same thing. Soon it was dark and I climbed down from the Turtle.

What to do? When I watched the big doe walk away I could not see any blood or cuts on it with the Nikons. Howeveer, it had its rump toward me and I couldn’t see its sides that well. And the doe walked ok and it went at a leisurely pace rather than ran as would be expected.

I wanted to get my arrow and see what it looked like. But it hit the gate and it surely glanced off it and could have gone quite a ways into the thick woods.

Nothing looked positive except I was certain the sight was on the doe’s vitals. The temperature was in the high twentys so the deer would be ok tonight. I decided to back out and return to the lodge. I’d unravel this mystery in the morning.


Keith Jennings of Mathews Inc. showed us the new Lost Camo clothing and other Mathews licensing products. Grim Reaper, Atsko and Heartland Wildlife all have exclusive products in the licensing program. Lost Camo was designed by Matt McPherson and it has become an important entety in the camouflage market. Keith showed us some of the garments in their clothing line that was made of wind proof, waterproof and silent fabric. As a matter if fact, Keith arranged for all the writers to wear the new Gridlock camo suits by Game Hide in the Lost Camo pattern. These suits are made of a silent fleece that was both wind proof and water proof and well suited to the bowhunter. Keith told us that the new Mathews bow for 2012 is the Heilum.

Keith Jennings talks about Mathews and its licensing products.

Soon after the business meeting I turned in so I’d have a good nights sleep. At 4:45 AM I woke up two minutes before my alarm went off.

The manufacturers attending this Writers Camp are; ATSKO,( Mike Jordan),Grim Reaper Broadheads (Jay Liechty), Heartland Wildlife Institute (Jeff Neal and Les Ray), Nikon (C. J. Davis), PRADCO Outdoor Brands (Mike Mattly), Lost Camo, (Keith Jennings). Other manufacturers that have provided product are; Darton Archery, Don Wood Polaris, ThemaCellFall Guy ( Integrated Safety Systems) and GameHide.

Outdoor writers are;  Bob Humphrey, Joe Byers, Tim Dehn of ArcheryTrade mag, Robert Hoague of Bowhunting.net, Jim Miller of Great Southwest Outdoors TV show, and media expert Bruce Ryan.