When your wife tells you, “I have the weekend off, so why don’t you try and do some hunting while you can,” you certainly try to oblige and make every effort possible to get out and ‘do some hunting’.
This year has been a roller coaster of events and one I’m sure to remember. Back in June, we suffered the unfortunate event of having our house catch on fire and we lost everything inside. Fortunately, it allowed me to restock my hunting gear, among other important things. The timing was perfect and I was able to take advantage of ScentBlocker’s 50% Off Summer Sale so I stocked up on everything I needed to be successful in the fall. I love shopping for anything related to hunting and upon ordering and receiving my new gear, I was able to start my scent free regiment.
As I was wondering what my hunting plans would be this season, it occurred to me that the weather had cooled and I should probably stop thinking and start climbing into my tree stand. Wearing my new ScentBlocker gear and confident in my ability to stay scent free, I headed into God’s creation in search of fresh venison for my family. With the house fire and the birth of my son (fourth child) in July, my hunting opportunities were going to be very limited. This year, I was mostly looking to fill the freezer.
As I walked to my tree stand, I stopped to change the cards in my trail cameras along the way. I carried along a bottle of ScentBlocker’s DUI Apple Vanilla Blend. At each trail camera stop, I sprayed the DUI on the tree around the camera and on the ground. I’ve been using DUI at all my camera locations this year, and I’ve noticed an increase of pictures that are up closer and more personal than in years past. It seems to keep the deer calm and curious.
As I climbed into my tree stand I connected my Tree Spider Harness to the safety strap, pulled up my equipment and got settled in. What a great privilege it was to sit in the quiet and watch God’s woods come alive. In this fast paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in our lives but here, above the ground it was the time to relax and enjoy the moment.
Time passed by quietly until I caught movement about 100 yards out. I picked up my binoculars and focused in to see nine turkeys crossing the creek in front of me. Like I said before, this hunt was mainly to fill the freezer. Wild turkey was definitely on that menu. I watched them for nearly a half hour as they played, chasing each other oblivious to the fact that they were being watched by me. They came in to about 40 yards but I had decided that it was more fun watching them then trying to take one of them. I would save that for another day. Besides, the sun was starting to go down and that meant the deer would start moving into my area to bed down for the night. At least that was what my Trail Cameras were showing me.
About 6:45 pm, I looked off to my left shoulder. It was one of those satisfying moments when you realize the deer are coming in exactly how you had envisioned when you set your stand that first time. Movement turned into a buck out about 75 yards. Head down, he was calmly walking/feeding toward me. Like most smart deer, he would walk; look around, drop his head and eat and then walk again, stopping every 3-5 yards or so to smell the ground around him and the air. I held my breath as he crossed directly over the path I had walked in on and never even flinched. I wondered why I was worried as I continued to watch the buck for a good five minutes until he stopped at about 24 yards. At this point, my heart was racing and my breathing became fast and shallow. The buck stood there, well within my comfortable shooting range and looked in my direction. As I watched his body language, I could tell he was relaxed, comfortable in his world. He had no idea I was there, even though he was directly downwind of me. He turned his nose back to nuzzle his hind quarters and that’s when I pulled up to take the shot. I lined up my top bead to the kill zone, slowly let my breath out and let the arrow fly. It was a good hit, I thought. Now, patience to let nature take its course.
I gave him about a half hour and then climbed down to find my arrow and hopefully follow a short, easy to track blood trail right to my buck. I’ll have to admit, I was pretty sure I shot too high and may have even missed him but when I walked to the spot 24 yards from my tree stand, I was relieved to see a bright red trail. 60 yards is all he ran until he piled up and waited for me. I couldn’t believe it. My first deer with my bow and it was on a hunt my wife actually told me to go on!
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