View Full Version : The Deed Is Done, I Got My First Deer

10-31-2011, 05:36 PM
What a weekend. I officially made my wife a hunting widow and became very intimate with my hunting blinds.

Last Friday my son got a doe. I had been going out with him (not taking my bow) because I hoped to film his first kill (didn't happen), but more importantly I wanted to share the time with him. Once he got his deer it was time for me to get to do some hunting. This week is muzzle loader season so was a bit apprehensive about hunting, my spot is small and the trees are around the edges of the property. Any deer shot have a good chance of running onto surrounding land. I really didn't want to be walking around on other people's property looking for a deer (I have permission to do so) while the gun crowd is out in force. I made some calls and found out that their probably wouldn't be anyone out until Sunday evening so I decided to go for it.

Friday afternoon I went out to my lease at about 4:00 PM. On the way in I saw two does and thought that they were moving early and I may have missed the boat. I try to get there real early because the zippers on my blinds make so much noise you can wake the dead. Try as I might I can never do it quietly. After I got in the recent rain had collapsed the top hub so I had to put that up. Then I unzipped my back pack and got my stuff ready. After making all this noise (trying to be quiet of course) I turn around and there is a spike not 20 yards from my blind! I couldn't believe he hung around, or walked up thru all this! He had a good body on him but only had to long spikes so I didn't want to shoot him. A few minutes later a small spike, who we have affectionately named Hornito, shows up and starts sparring with the bigger spike. This was really cool to watch. Throughout the next hour I had several more does show up. The ones I would have shot were too far off and the ones within shooting range were too small. After that hour I never saw another deer all night. As I left that night I saw two more deer, making a total of 13 deer in one day.

Saturday morning I intended to hunt but I was just too tired from the previous night. In the evening I did go out to the same spot thinking it would be a gold mine and I might even wonder out of the blind and try to catch them crossing a field. My son went me with so we ended up staying in the blind. He is in hot water with me for grades so I didn't let him hunt. I wanted him to be out of the house so I told him he could help me track, drag and gut a deer if I got one. Long story short, we saw three deer at the very end of the night. Two does who moved quickly thru my shooting lane and my buddy Hornito. I told Trey to use his calls and practice on him so he grunted and got him to stop and look our way. Then he did a dominate wheeze and he high-tailed it. I guess he wasn't looking for a fight that night. On the way out we scared up three more deer, one wasn't 30 yards from my truck parked in a field. I was really surprised that they would get that close to my truck. That was the end of my Saturday hunt.

I had decided that I would hunt morning and evening on Sunday if needed to get a deer. We went out about an hour before legal shooting and got in my other blind, this is the one where Trey shot his doe. For the heck of it tried some Sugar Beet Crush from Wildgame Innovations. I put a small pile of the stuff near the feeder to see if the deer would be scared of it or eat it. After we had been settled for about 90 minutes a small doe showed up. She came in skittishly and found her way to the bait pile. She smelled it a little and then she licked some of it up for a while and then she darted off. There must have been something out there that scared her. Watching her I realized that I made a bad choice in my placement of the bait. If they come in from the direction she did they probably would never present a broadside shot. If I try it again I will put more thought into placement. After she left we could hear deer walking around but they never presented themselves. I spent plenty of time thinking thru different shooting scenarios to pass the time, it gave me something to do and took my mind off of being cold. I told Trey that we would call it quits at 10:15 so we could go home for a while and come back late afternoon. He was happy to hear that as he was bored. He asked if he could make a couple grunts since we were going to leave in the next 15 minutes. I said sure, we haven't seen anything anyway. He got to play with his call and that satisfied him for a couple minutes.

Being bored he couldn't wait and started packing stuff up at about 10:05. He was making a ton of racket with water bottles, camera, zippers on his pack, you name it. I asked him to keep it quiet until 10:15 and we leave. Of course I got that look like "what difference does it make?" Once he was done I handed him my bow and put my stuff up, quietly, and put on my orange vest and hat (muzzle loader season). As I'm getting my vest on Trey says "Buck" in an excited voice. I looked around and couldn't see anything and thought he was messing with me. Then he says it again and I say where? He says he is looking right at us. I was looking all over and I couldn't see him and asked if he was messing with me. He said no he is right there. I looked and seen nothing at first and then I saw the white in his ears he turned his head. He was behind a cedar tree with only his head sticking out at a trail head 28 yards away. They sure blend into their surroundings well!

Now it was on. I knew there was a buck out there and I grabbed my bow and nocked an arrow. He just stood there obscured by that cedar tree, they are like bushes really. He would look down the trail to us and then check the other trails and just stand there. At this point my son is getting excited, no, he has buck fever! I could see him sitting there shaking and when he would say something his voice was all shaky. It was quite funny when he asked my how come he was shaking and he didn't even have a bow? After what seem like forever the deer steps forward where we could see him. He had a small skinny rack but the body looked okay and he seemed to stand pretty tall. I whispered to Trey, is he a shooter? In his amped up state it seemed like practically yelled YES! Then he is telling me to draw my bow. I said no, not until I know I'm going to take him. Again, all amped up, he is telling me to shoot him. I waited and after about 5 minutes the buck started to come our way. As he cautiously approached I was thinking this deer isn't very wide so I asked Trey are you sure he is good to shoot? He says yes, yes, shoot him! I knew he was smaller than I wanted to shoot, we all want a trophy right?, but I decided to take him.

Now that I decided to take him he seemed like he knew it and was getting really skittish, I'm thinking I should have taken him when he was at 28 yards. He was licking his nose and his body was tense as he got within 15 yards. I couldn't do anything as he was facing us and I didn't have a shot. Again, my kid with the draw the bow movements and I slowly shake my head no. At this point I think the deer decided he wasn't comfortable with the situation and he starts to turn to his left and I have a slight quartering to shot. It wasn't a perfect broadside shot but I drew my bow and waited. As he stood there I decided that if he takes a step forward with his right front leg I would shoot right behind the extended leg and should have a perfect kill zone shot.

What happens next is a blur. I remember him turning more in my favor and taking that fatal step. I was following him with the sight on my designated spot and the next thing I know the arrow has been sent and my son is yelling good shot! I don't remember pulling the trigger. I honestly think I touched it off by accident but I don't know? I could see my Nockturnal Nock glowing in the grass beyond where the deer had been standing and it looked like my white fletchings were red. Excellent! Trey is ready to chase off after the deer and I tell him no. I look at my phone and it is 10:15 and say we need to give it 30 minutes depending on what the arrow shows. After 5 minutes I couldn't stand it and tell him I'm going to go get the arrow and look at it and turn off the light. As we approach the arrow (like he was going to stay in the blind) I see it is covered in blood and the Shwacker had opened, and I am a happy camper! There is blood on the ground and I'm thinking sweet, this should be easy to recover.

Recovery wasn't as easy as I anticipated. The blood trail was good for about 20 yards and dried up. I found some lung bits near the end of the trail, at least I think the little pink chunks were lung material? After a lot of looking for blood on our hands and knees I am getting very nervous thinking we may not recover the deer. The last thing wanted to do was start wandering around on other peoples land during gun season, orange vests or not. As I'm trying to do a methodical search my son's attention span has been exceeded and he wanders off. About 2 minutes later he yells "found him" and I am elated. He was about 40 yards from where we were looking.

My first buck isn't a trophy, he isn't even a big buck. Broken tine and small size aside I am still happy. My son was with me for my first kill and his excitement from the moment he saw the buck is something I will never forget.


Double S
10-31-2011, 06:49 PM
Congrats on your kill!. I loved the play by play. I could close my eye's and follow you through you and your son's hunt. My son is the same way too. I mainly hunt Spot and Stalk and ambush. My son sounds like a M-1 Tanks slamming through the bushes...Kicking every bush and rock as I try to quietly make my way. I get the giggles when I think about it afterwards but that's how our kids learn. Congrats to you on the kill and for teaching your son well. Thumbs up. Every kill is a trophy and it's great that you shared it with your son.

Money Man
10-31-2011, 07:35 PM
Congratulations on your buck! You now have two priceless moments with your son and it's only your first season hunting. Hope you and Trey have many more adventures like you have had the last couple weeks. Nice story too!

11-01-2011, 02:04 AM
awesome story,Mark. i started to get shacky and my heart rate went up. you know how to tell a story,dude. excellent first bow trophy. nice shootin.

Don B
11-01-2011, 04:04 AM
A big high "5".
That was an awsome story, that will be one of your best memories you will ever share with your son, next will be when he hands you your grandson.

11-01-2011, 07:09 AM
Thanks guys! It was really cool to have Trey with me, some day I hope he can look back at that day and think the same thing.

Random thoughts:

It is kind of the blind leading the blind since we are both rookies. The tally is 3-1, Trey has shot three deer now, two with his Grandpa during the past two gun seasons, and his doe with bow. So I am turning to him for advice on certain things and he is just tickled. LOL

We back tracked the blood from where the deer was laying and found his path. He circled back and then eventually went in the direction I thought he would go. Maybe the hole got plugged up for a moment?

My shot wasn't what I was hoping for, it hit further back than I wanted and it must have hit a rib and changed directions slightly. The exit is further back and it clipped the stomach which really bummed me out. He was nearly a perfect broadside shot when I shot him, or so I thought.

I gained a lot of knowledge on these two harvests, I have so much more to learn, but that is the fun in it.

I have learned a lot from the people on this site leading up to these harvests and I want to thank everyone.


11-01-2011, 08:02 AM
Congrats on your kill!. I loved the play by play. I could close my eye's and follow you through you and your son's hunt. My son is the same way too. I mainly hunt Spot and Stalk and ambush. My son sounds like a M-1 Tanks slamming through the bushes...Kicking every bush and rock as I try to quietly make my way. I get the giggles when I think about it afterwards but that's how our kids learn. Congrats to you on the kill and for teaching your son well. Thumbs up. Every kill is a trophy and it's great that you shared it with your son.

I think I am with your son on Team M-1. I can't seem to find a quiet way to walk through the woods. There are just too many leaves, sticks and dead crunchy grass for me to not make noise. If you have some secrets on how to do it I am all ears.

I want to try some ambush or spot and stalk in the future. The blinds and stands are great but this would add another avenue to hunting.

11-01-2011, 10:01 AM
ok,i'll do my best to explain how to be quiet.

short,planned steps. not long strides,randomly stepping. a soft sole pair of boots is a good tool to have. scan the woods for a couple minute before moving. slowly take a small step,and as you're putting your foot down,concentrate on trying to feel whats under your foot as youre slowly putting your weight on that foot. if you feel sticks,rocks,etc,softly and quietly move them to the side of where your foot is going.then continue putting your weight on that foot til you feel solid ground and you are SURE of your balance. then repeat with the other.

Hutch~n~Son Archery
11-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Mark, I have to say congrats big time! You and your son will remember the moments for a lifetime. Now I have to do the same with the daughter.Lol. If we stop having 12" snow storms in October. But one thing I know you picked the right bow for what you are doing.


11-01-2011, 01:14 PM
Another congratulation to you two.!!!
And something to maybe ease your mind a bit and give you some encouragement is this:
Everything out there in the wild makes noise when it travels around living its life.
Dont be freaked out just because you snapped one twig.
Being stealthy in the woods is not so much about being silent, as it is about blending the
noise you make into the natural sounds of the woods.
The same goes for your scent.
Wild critters dont care that you smell like gasoline, whiskey and fire - - - - IF thats what they smell everyday.
If you just packed in 25 miles from the nearest road - the Elk herd is gonna head for the next state if they smell that...
But you can go to the local campground - and bucks will walk right by your tent.

11-01-2011, 03:20 PM
Another congratulation to you two.!!!

Thanks, we are rookies and enjoying it.

If you just packed in 25 miles from the nearest road - the Elk herd is gonna head for the next state if they smell that...

If you spot and stalk your likely going to sweat. How do you avoid having your scent ruin your hunt?

Double S
11-01-2011, 04:07 PM
Some good comments on Stalking. I love my TrophyBlend scents but I still play the wind. While I'm out and about i'm always scanning to see movement from vegetation for the wind direction. I am very familiar with the G.M.U I hunt so when I prepare to stalk into a Canyon, draw, etc. I check the wind to see if I can use it to my advantage. The last buck I killed..not only did I use it to blow my scent away from the buck But I used the rustling sound of the bushes, vegetation from the blowing wind to mask my movement. When the wind and noise picked up, I moved...SLOWLY. When the wind died down....I STOPPED. This is when I have already spotted my target critter and I'm on the actual Stalk. When I know that I'm in Bow range, usually by ranging the animal or a nearby bush...I automatically turn sideways. By turning sideways you are presenting a smaller profile to the animal to spot. Slow movements only, this includes ranging or any type of bow movements. No sudden movements. I shoot right handed so I have my bow in my left hand. I have the left side of the body toward the animal with my bow in my left hand. I take small side steps "crabbing" my way toward my target. I never roll my feet. I try to step level so that my body weight is dispersed throughout my entire foot and not to one part of my foot like if I was normally walking and rolling my feet. Try and plan your path to the animal before you take the steps. I prefer to take my boots off when I'm getting ready for the kill to get in closer but I have these little small Cacti all over the place where I hunt and they usually end up embedded in my foot or ankles. If I come across some dried vegetation i will try to sweep it to the side without actually stepping on it. I prefer to go around it if possible. We have this plant here in Eastern Washington that is really wide, like 3 feet wide but they only grow about 5 inches high roughly. During the summers months...they dry up and are really noisy if you step on them. So I try to stay clear of them. I slowly make my way toward the animal sideways with my bow already at the ready with a arrow on the rest. I try to keep the bow at least waist high. I like to use the bow to also block my profile and have actually ranged animals right in front of me with the bow blocking my face and place the range finder up against the bows riser to help with stabilization while ranging the animal. I'm usually getting buck fever at this time and I'm a little shaky. If you shoot down toward a animal always bend at the waist. If you don't, It can affect your draw. I'm a armpit shooter. I like to shoot low on Muley's. I follow the front leg up about 2-3 inches pass the belly up and shoot. If the buck tries to drop...I get lung. If he stay's at the same spot..I get heart. It's works great for me. I've never hunted Whitetails so I don't know if would be similar. I've been told that WT's love to jump strings. I do use scents and have had on several occasions deer actually single file trot by me at 10 feet and not wind me while stalking. I just keep the bow up to block my face and not move. Use high ground whenever you can for glassing. Sit down and glass by grid so you don't try to skip a spot. You can always cover more land with glasses than by foot. Take it slow because your target could possibly be feet away. I know I'm missing something else.(brain fart).:o

When your arm gets tired from holding the bow at the ready. Try to lean the bow against your waist by leaning a little if possible. If need be...Stop the stalk and slowly switch hands to get some blood flowing. When your arms feels better switch back to your shooter position and stalk sideways. If you stalk in chest first it might be too late if the deer spot you. You would need to turn sideways and lift the bow up. You might as well be at the ready before going in. just my 2 cents.

11-01-2011, 04:42 PM
Good stuff! I think it is a heavier cover here, but some of the stuff should work. Glassing is probably out for me in most cases but not all. I can't believe you can stand in the open holding a bow while ranging deer and they not run off. I see a need for a tree branch shaped bow. LOL

11-01-2011, 04:45 PM
Mark, I have to say congrats big time! You and your son will remember the moments for a lifetime. Now I have to do the same with the daughter.Lol. If we stop having 12" snow storms in October.

Thanks Bill!!!

Double S
11-01-2011, 04:58 PM
Good stuff! I think it is a heavier cover here, but some of the stuff should work. Glassing is probably out for me in most cases but not all. I can't believe you can stand in the open holding a bow while ranging deer and they not run off. I see a need for a tree branch shaped bow. LOL

I've seen guys buy that fake vine looking plants from Michael"s store and wrap it around the limbs of their bows. I've never done it but seen it on video. But Have thought about it. I think it's all about the movement. If you move too fast it's over.

11-01-2011, 06:35 PM
another thing as far as scent goes. as long as your playing the wind,you can get by with alot of "no-no's". i'm a smoker and i stop and puff a Marlboro when my knees and ankles are worn n achy from the stalk. just last night on public land i took a seat on a log and hung my bow w an arrow knocked in arms reach and lit up. light breeze blowing from S to N. it was public land along the river w the river 30 yds to the N and a tall grass field to the S. as i was puffing away,a fork horn walked up along side the E side of me from the S. i slowly put my hand in front of my face. he turned and walked straight at me. he stopped and it looked like was wanting to jump the log. if he would've,he literally would have been in my lap. he was close enough that i could've spit in his eye. i guess he decided not to jump the log. he turned and walked 10yds away to sniff the scrape that i just pee'd in and wandered off,none the wiser.

But,this is public land just outside city limits. it goes back to what DS said about the things they smell and hear daily. this spot is directy across the rd from the state police post so i could probably sound like a siren in the woods and still get deer. lol.

some guys i know take a turkey call with them and if they make more noise than they think necessary,they'll cluck w the call a couple times. a squirrel call would work just as well. pay real close to the sounds you hear in the woods. alot of the noise goes unnoticed. theres always critters making noise,walnuts or apples falling,dead limbs being broken by the wind and crashing to the ground. being absolutely silent is not imperative. keep the noice to a minimum and you'll be fine. its the strange,unfamiliar sounds that spook the deer most. like if you bump your bow on your stand. metal to metal,wrappers from snacks,etc.

Google the Benoits. some brothers from Hutch's neck of the woods. Maine,New Hampshire,somewhere up that way. i read a couple articles about them and their techniques and thats what peaked my interest in stalking/still hunting. gather all the info you can and practice. its a test of your abilities for sure. i cant sit very long in a stand w/o wanting to go find the deer. its my prefered method. sorry for being long winded. spot n stalk is SO much fun. i get excited thinking about it.

11-01-2011, 06:47 PM
here you go,Mark.

11-01-2011, 06:56 PM
Thanks! I'll pick up a squirrel and turkey call for cover noises.

I have thought of bringing a tree limb with leaves in the blind with me to shake while I have to make noise like opening a zipper, peeing in an empty bottle, rolling up the windows and so on.