by: Kris Skelly, Bowtech Pro Staff
“Perfect conditions make for a perfect stalk”
Without a solid game plan, good friends, and perfect conditions….some hunts just are not possible. On occasion when everything aligns perfectly, these are the moments you cherish always.
I was invited out to chase mule deer by a close friend of mine in central Alberta. Clint and I headed out at first light to try and find a mature mule deer to do a spot and stalk on. Just prior to sunrise we spotted two deer bedded on a hillside and decided that one of them was worth spending some time on to pursue.
We deduced that they would likely head into the wind to try and find a place to bed for the day. So I struck out alone and walked the fence line to try and head them off. Sadly by the time I got into position for an ambush. It was too late! the larger of the two deer had walked into a standing wheat field. I hoped that the rising sun would send the message to the deer that it was time to bed down. He had good cover, some snacks, and wide open country to escape any predators. As predicted the deer bedded down right in a sprayer track! Thankfully his wind was blowing directly towards me and there was a parallel track for me to crawl along.
Clint sent a text to my phone and encouraged me to make the stalk, conditions were just right to make this happen. We had all day and Clint was watching through the binoculars from a great vantage where he could see me crawling along the sprayer track parallel to the track the deer was in.
275 yards from me to the deer….I got down on my hands and knees and slowly, deliberately made the trek closer towards him. Taking my time to make sure I wasn’t detected I popped up every now and then to see the antler tips sticking high above the wheat stalks.
275 yards became 200, then 90, then 60. Clint sent me another text telling me once I got to comfortable range, which in this instance 30-40 yards would be perfect, he would circle around upwind of the deer to give him his scent. Usually when this happens and the deer is relaxed they will stand to check out the situation, but not bolt.
As predicted I made it to 32 yards peeked up and saw the deer, still bedded and relaxed, and knocked an arrow. Clint did his part and quietly circled upwind, the deer calmly stood up….I rose up to a full kneel, drew back, settled my pin, and placed the arrow behind the elbow one third of the way up the buck’s chest. The shot was perfect, right in the heart. The deer bounded off, but did not go far.
As bowhunters we strive to make a quick one shot harvest. We owe it to the game we pursue to make sure we do our part to hold up our end of the bargain. Bowhunting is not about how far you are willing to take a shot. It is about putting yourself in a position to make a one shot clean kill. With perfect conditions, a game plan, a good friend and a little luck this hunt will be one I cherish always.