Writers Camp: What Happened?

Stars are in the sky — for a change. Hunting the Turtle again. 25 degrees. Light wind. I’d give $100,000 dollars if I had a cup of hot coffee right now.

At first good light I noticed a doe walking around by itself. That could bring in a buck. We’ll see.

I Nikoned the deer and found it was a button buck. It hung around for about 10 minutes and left. Was it the button head that was with the doe I took a shot at?

A crow landed in the 3 foot dried grass along the edge of the woods 100 yards away. When two more crows joined it I put the Pro Staff 7 binoculars to work and focused on them. Something appeared to be laying in the grass, something the size of a deer.

Yes, it was definitely a deer.

I got down from the Turtle and, first thing, went to the metal gate and quickly looked around to see if my arrow was anywhere to be seen. I didn’t see it in the woods. Wait, there it was, sticking in the vertical metal post. I pulled it loose and took a look. No blood on the arrow or fletching but the broadhead had blood on it.

YaHooo. I hurried up the hill to the doe. It was 110 yards from the blind.

There is only one explanation that makes sense. After I took my shot I lost sight of the two deer. Then I saw a doe and a button head and watched them walk, seemingly unconcerned, up the hill and into the woods 200 yards away. I assumed the biggest deer was the doe I shot at. But it was not.

Apparnetly another doe, and maybe even a doe and button buck, had come out of the woods unseen by me — because my attention was on the deer near me. After my shot; which was as I thought, a good shot, the doe raced up the hill and dropped in the grass 110 yards away.

The deer I glassed afterward were either two other deer or at least one other deer, a different big doe.

I texted Jeff Neal and he and Brian Richard drove out in the electric 4-wheeler to get me and my doe.

I took my doe is at a local deer processor, Cauldwell Deer Processing. Then Les Ray drove me to Athens to get a whopper big cooler to put the big doe in to go home. Then we ate lunch. Afterward I took a 20 minute nap. And then there was more Ohio deerhunting to do.

EQUIPMENT COMMENTS

Darton Serpent LTD II
Frankly, I’ve never shot a crossbow before this week and knew very little about using them. The Darton Serpent LTD II is a well thought out product. It is definitely a stealthy crossbow. It is Shadow Black and has machined cut outs to give it better balance and reduce the weight to only 8 pounds. The bow itself is 19 1/2 inchs axel to axel. That was a plus when I had to move around in the confined quarters of the Turtle blind. The overall length is 35 1/2 inches so it is compact too. The draw weight is 180 pounds so the bolt nears 400 FPS as it rockets toward the target. I expected it to be difficult to cock but it was easy with the Darton Cocking Rope and do-able by hand.

The Darton Serpent LTD II zipped the bolt through the doe and then stuck it in the galvinized steel fence post 15 yards further. That is raw power and impressive penetration. After it was sighted in, I found the Serpent to be easy to shoot and it grouped the bolts nice and tight. Darton Archery

Grim Reaper X-Bolt Broadheads
You may already know I am a believer in Grim Reaper broadheads. Jay Liechty’s broadheads shoot flat and straight. They group with my field points of the same weight. And they make a wide cut and get great penetration. They are tough too. And the X-Bolt does the same. Because of the shorter arrow length of crossbow bolts Grim Reaper uses a stronger spring in the X-Bolt. This keeps the broadheads blades from opening when fired. It is a 3 blade head and has a wide 1 3/4 inch cut. The X-Bolt went through the 170 pound doe and stuck in a galvinized steel post 15 yards away. No blades were broken either. That, my frineds, is toughness. Grim Reaper Broadheads

NIKON Pro Staff Binoculars
I could net believe my ears when I found out the price of these binoculars was only $199. They have all the features and look similar to one of the expensive brands. However, the Nikon Pro Staff’s are better in low light. I used them on this hunt and they do the job. Nikon

NIKON Archers Choice MAX Rangefinder
A compact rangefinder that operates with one hand. Put the crosshairs on the deer and click the button. The yardage comes up in tenths of a yard. It has a wider field of view and works better in low light conditions. Knowing the correct yardage is a big bonus for all hunters, and especially bowhunters. Nikon

NIKON Bolt XR Crossbow Scope
The new Bolt XR has Nikon’s trademark brightness and clarity as well as a huge field of view. Its quick focus eyepiece and BDC (Bolt Drop Compensating) reticle puts precision accuracy into the hands of the horizontal bowhunter! Nikon supports firearms huntiing and bowhunting and designed this scope specifically for crossbow hunters. Nikon

Honestly, I’ve never been interested is hunting with rifles or other firearms and was not familiar with how to sight through a scope. When C.J. Davis demonstrated what to do I found that it was easy.

ATSKO Sport Wash Products
I wash all my hunting clothes, underware and socks in Atsko Sport Wash. It gets the scent out of them. The NO-O-DOR spray takes care of my hunting boots and any sweat the gets on me from climbing trees or walking. These are excellent products that zap your human scent. I shower and use Sport Wash every time I go out to hunt. Having deer fail to smell me makes my hunting more fun, I get closer, and enjoy it more. ATSKO

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.