by: John Pickens
It was Friday, October 14 and when my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. I immediately thought to myself, “I really hope that deer holds true.” That’s because the deer had fallen into an early morning, daylight pattern the 3 days prior, and I could not get off work to hunt him. And on Thursday, the day it was supposed to be the coolest under the cold front setting in, I had to be at work for a meeting early that morning, and could not get away to hunt, and I knew he would be there. So, I rolled out of bed, got dressed and headed to the farm the deer was using. I made the extra early trip that morning because I knew the deer was using a nearby peanut field and I wanted to make sure I was settled in before anything even considered moving off the field and into that bottom. So at 5:15 a.m. I found myself sneaking through the foggy, almost pitch black darkness down into the bottom the deer was moving off into in the mornings. My thermometer read 42 degrees when I left the house, and along with the fog, my hopes were high that they would hang in the field a little longer with the cool air, and cover of the fog.
I settled into the south wind ground blind I had brushed in to hunt this area around 5:30 a.m., and began the hour and a half wait till sun up. At about 7:40 a.m. a small buck was making his way through the tangled mess of dead and down trees in the bottom coming my way. I picked up my RPM 360 and anticipated the big deer to show himself. The smaller buck rolled into 15 yards and stood looking back to the east, and about two minutes later the big deer came down the tree line and emerged into the same clearing as the little buck. I had to wait for what seemed like ten minutes for the deer to clear some brush and give me a good clean angle and shot. He finally cleared and stood broadside at 18 yards. I came to full draw and settled my pin in the crease behind his front shoulder and squeezed through my release. I heard the arrow connect and the deer sprang straight up kicking his back legs. He stepped to the right a few feet and just stood. I looked at the deer and couldn’t see an arrow hole behind the front shoulder, and I thought to myself, I know I didn’t miss that shot. Then the deer started acting very sick and started to make his way to my right into the trees. He would take a few steps and stop, and take a few more and stop. I thought “maybe I can get another one in him on the other side.” So I quietly dropped a side window on the blind, and found the buck standing there. He was in some brush so I couldn’t shoot, but could see ahead of him I had a lane. I grabbed another arrow, nocked it and waited. The deer took a few more steps and stopped in the lane, I double checked with binoculars to make sure the shot wasn’t obstructed, it wasn’t, so I came to full draw, settled the pin in the same spot, and squeezed into the release again. I heard the arrow connect and the deer busted out of sight down the tree line.
“I came to full draw and settled my pin in the crease behind his front shoulder and squeezed through my release. I heard the arrow connect and the deer sprang straight up kicking his back legs.”
I immediately sent out texts to a few close friends, and my wife, that I had arrowed the big deer. After about 15 minutes I called a friend who is an outfitter that I guide for and I replayed the events for him. I told him I would call him back after I found the arrows and let him know what I came up with. I found the first arrow and it had very good sign on it, but a bit of fatty residue, telling me it may have been a touch low. The second arrow laid right where the deer was standing, it was broke off about 10″ behind the broadhead, with evidence of about another 3-4″ of penetration. I called my outfitter friend and told him I thought both hits were good on the deer, but decided I would back out because of the way the deer acted initially. I told him I would glass down into the bottom from the hill top on my way out and just see if I could see the deer with my binos, and we would come back whenever he arrived.
So I gathered up and eased to the hill top and looked down into the direction the deer went, and with my naked eye I saw a bit of white among all the branches and downed timber. I pulled my binos up, and it was the buck’s tail. I eased around to where I could see his whole body, and I could clearly see the deer was expired, not just bedded. I was ecstatic. I called my friend and told him I had found the deer, and had my hands on him. He congratulated me and told me to send pictures.
I, being a Bowhunter, was curious as to where the first hit was. Turns out I had hit the deer tight in to the shoulder, and the deer’s leg was forward when I shot, so the way he stood afterwards, the front leg was covering the hole up. He was a dead deer standing.