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First Trad Gear Deer....make that first TWO!!

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Its been two years since I started using Traditional gear exclusivley.  I've missed some, stuck one and grazed another.  I've had great fun just getting inside their "danger zone" and while I've been temted to change equipment, I have stuck with it.  

Earlier this year while setting a new treestand, I scored my first trad kill on a squirrel at about ten yards.  Hoping that was a good omen, I've hunted as much as possible and tried to do everything right.  

Yesterday, after putting some "family time" in the bank Saturday and Sunday morning by  going to my in-laws for my mother in-law's birthday, I hit the woods to move a stand and hunt a good long afternoon session.  I bumped some deer off a little hillside while setting up my stand in its new location so I was a little worried that maybe I had messed up.  Sticking to my plan and knowing the deer used this area for traveling, I went ahead and got on the stand and waited to see what happened.  The usual array of squirrels and chipmunks kept me alert all afternoon and then finally I caught a glimpse of a doe slipping in behind me calmly nibbling on the plentiful supply of acorns.  I checked my arrow on my string and got ready to see if she'd present a shot.  I normally try to put some meat in the freezer early on and then get picky later in the season (hey you can't eat antlers right?).  About that time I realize she's brought along a partner so now there's two deer milling around right BEHIND my stand.  Finally, after about fifteen minutes I get a nice quartering away look at the first doe, the second is looking away, I draw, anchor, release and...........MISS!!!  DOH   :knothead:   Right over her back, perfectly in line but right over her back!!  "How can you miss a shot like that" I scream in my brain.  I normally hunt from the ground so I remind myself of all the things I need to do when shooting from a treestand.

The deer bound off about 40 yards and stop.  My Wes Martin Mosshorn is so quiet though, that they don't know what happened.  They turn around in that curious way that inexperienced does do and come back to see what happened.  I realize that I might have another chance and my quiver is in a terrible spot but I manage to retrieve it and get it by my side and nock another arrow.  Not 5 minutes later I get a second chance, this time about 15 yards.  Draw, anchor, good form, release.......MISS AGAIN!!!!!!!!   AAAAUUUGGGHHHH!!!!!  :knothead:    :knothead:  OH MY GOSH!!!  This one was so close to her back I thought I might have creased her.  I just knew it was over then, but again, they bound off a short ways and stop, looking back.  Now they're spooked, but still wondering what in the world happened.  They slip back and I nock another arrow.  I'm so rattled and yet pumped at maybe getting a third shot that I'm having to work hard to settle down.  This time, not quite 20 yards out, one steps into a shooting lane and I draw, anchor, release and wasn't really surprised to see that arrow MISS too!!!!   Three misses!!!!!!!  :knothead:    :knothead:    :knothead:  .
At this point I'm seriously considering getting my compound back out.  I'm thinking that hey, maybe this traditional thing just isn't for me.  I can still shoot but maybe hunting with it just isn't my bag.  I'm way, way down.  To my shock and surprise, these two little does COME BACK.  I'm thanking the good Lord, the Gods of the hunt, and anyone and everybody I can think of to thank for the curiosity of these deer.  I'm also thanking Wes Marting for this amazingly quiet bow in my hands.
When I see that I'm probably going to have about a twenty yard shot, I think "what the he**!!"  Why not try another?  What you gonna do, miss again?  All three shots had been in perfect alignment left and right, just too high.  This time I am chanting to myself...."lower, Lower, LOWER".  I draw, anchor, release and this time I connect!!!  Still high, but I spined her and she drops.  She tried to get up a few time, but her back end was totally useless, so I slip down so I can get another arrow in her to finish her off.  The other deer is still hanging out about 75 yards away wondering why her partner isn't coming with her.  I quietly slip over and seal the deal with another arrow.  I walk back to my stand, collecting my other three arrows along the way,  and begin to collect my things from my stand.  

To my absolute shock and amazement, the second doe comes slipping back in.  I'm standing in the open, at the foot of my ladder stand and see that this deer might come into bow range.  Stnading on the ground where I'm much more comfortable shooting, I slip another arrow on the string and stand as still as possible.  "She's not really going to do this is she?" I think.  In TN, you can take more than one a day, so I commit to taking another shot if presented with one.  This little doe steps into just the opening I was hoping she would and I let my  sixth shot of the evening go and see it connect perfectly!!  Right behind the shoulder.  One of those shots you dream about and I hear the solid thump as it passes through.  I watch as she goes about 50 yards and lays down for the last time.  

TWO DEER in one afternoon.  Two years of trials and tribulations.  Highs and Lows.  Mistakes and small triumphs.  I go from all time low to all time high in about 5 minutes with two fine eating young deer on the ground.  I know that I took some chances and I may get slammed by some for those risks, but they worked out and I stand by my decisions.  I know I would NEVER have been given that many chances with older, wiser animals, but for whatever reason, I had five chances and was able to capitalize on the last two.

Thanks for sharing my story with me and I"m sorry for the long post, but there's now short way to tell this story.  I could have lied and said that I connected with the first shot, but I wanted to let others know to never EVER give up.  You never know what might happen.

Keep hunting hard and smart and NEVER give up!!!


Doc Nock:
Good gracious! Two deer, 6 shots, 4 misses first..that has to be a huntin soap oper, Hoss.  Ever watch them videos by Primos? They slow motion each shot and show how much deer will drop.  Quiet bow or not...they hear pretty well!  :)

You practice much from the stand height?  Can really make a difference...  

Sounds like someone wanted you to break your string of no kills with trad... You're hooked now!  :)


jared s:
Congrats Kyle.
When I was real young and started bowhunting my dad was always encouraging me to shoot the first deer I got a clean chance at to sort of "take the edge off" and develop confidence on live game. Sounds like you got about 4 seasons worth of hard knocks in an afternoon!

Dang bud,

You were throwin a no hitter there and bang two hits and two deer.  Aint it Grand!!

No problem from me.  I went 0 for 7 at the start two years ago and finally connected at 4 paces.


Doc, From the events of yesterday I don't think I've practiced enough from stand height.  This summer with my son being born 3 months early, I haven't had time to do much but shoot from the ground from time to time.  I wan't going to hunt but I've put in enough work over the last month that I felt confident enough to go.  That and the last set of arrow I built are flying just PERFECT for me.  I think some of it was just not concentrating enough one one little tuft or hair or one one particular hair to hit.  That one from the ground was perfect tho and I stepped it off at 27 steps.  I didn't think she was that far, but the arrow flight and impact point was flawless.  

All that time in the hospital with my son and now this just goes to prove to me that you can never EVER give up.  Never give up hope and never give up trying.



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