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#2971063 - 10/06/12 03:01 PM 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap
16 Point

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17592
Loc: Franklin TN

Well I got into a piece of land I can hunt here in Williamson Co. yesterday afternoon with Mudbone so we could clear some shooting holes/lanes in the thick undergrowth. I stood up in my homemade stand about 20 feet up a black cherry tree, while he went with the cutters and made some clear areas. Most of the undergrowth is privet, also honeysuckle and various briars and saplings. I had the stand location picked out because of 2 intersecting deer runs, and the close proximity to a big grown-up field that holds tons of deer. The piece of woods is basically a funnel area for deer travel.

We got a couple decent lanes cleared out by mid-afternoon and Mudbone headed out while I went up into the stand to sit for a little while with my bow. I was wearing a sweaty T shirt and shorts, and according to the milkweed silk, the wind was blowing my scent away from the woods into the big bedding field. Any deer coming from the woods should not have been able to smell me, and they didn't.

I didn't keep track of time, but about 20 minutes or so after Mudbone left, I heard a sound through the privet bushes that could have been anything, until I heard the familiar twig pop, and knew it wasn't a bird or squirrel.

First I could only see the bushes moving a little. Then a doe's head worked her way to the edge of the shooting lane we just made, feeding on the fresh cut privet. I had my bow drawn back but then let it down until she stepped out so I wouldn't get too shaky. She stepped out broadside at about 13 yards, and when she looked away I drew, and shot her right behind the shoulder. The arrow went a little lower than I wanted, but looked like it got the heart. She took off running with the arrow, and dropped the arrow after 10 yards, breaking off the nock and splitting the arrow where the nock was (just bought the arrow, and it lasted 1 shot).

After she had run away I listened because I thought she had her fawn with her. sure enough, the little one fed its way out in the same path as the doe. I made a mistake and did not make a sound or try to stop the grazing deer, because I'm afraid it moved as I shot it. I watched the arrow drill through its midsection, and the fawn surprisingly ran in almost the opposite direction of the doe.

I got down to inspect the arrows and found blood from the doe, and from the fawn I found no blood, but a stinky green arrow stuck in the ground. I looked down the trail for blood from the fawn but no luck. Sadly, I ran out of time to look further for the fawn and had to be at work in the morning so I could not go back. Thinking back, I should have taken at least an extra 15 minutes to look further. If it were cold outside, I would be out there looking now, but the meat would be too far gone by now.

Got on the phone with Mudbone and he told me to wait, don't track the doe, he was on his way. When he finally found his way back to my stand, we went to the bloody arrow where I left it and started following the blood.

The trail was not very heavy with blood, but fairly easy to follow. Then after about 100 yards, the trail opened up and got pretty bloody. At this point, it veered into the thickest of the thick, the most dense privet thickets inside the main tree line along side a creek. The blood was splotchy... a few drops here and then a big puddle there... then we came to a blood spot where she had bedded down, but then got up again at some point. The blood trail then faded out and went cold. We looked around in this thicket for a while, not finding blood or deer, trying to get through thick bushes, blow downs, and leftover flood debris.

Suddenly I heard Mudbone yelling "get your bow!" He found the doe and she was alive, but struggling to get up. I was crashing through the sticks to get to my bow about 15 yards back, and when I got it, I heard a huge splash in the creek. No, she didn't just jump.... well what else would splash like that.

I caught up and got my release strapped on and was ready to draw. Then I lost my shot opportunity due to a bush, went a bit further down the bank, and saw that she could not hold her head above the surface. She slowly floated downstream and drowned, while I tried to find a place to get in. It was a mud bank that sloped down steeply into the water. I pulled off my shoes and emptied my pockets except for my knife. Found a spot on the bank with a root to step on. Got in the water up past my waist before grabbing the doe and pulling her back to the bank. After all that sweating, the water felt AWESOME.

With the help of Mudbone we got the deer up on the mud bank, got some pics and gutted her there, and just rolled the guts into the water. 2nd deer, 2nd time gutting one on the side of a creek. By the time we got done, it was dark, and Mudbones iphone died, my phone was almost dead, and the only light source was a lighter that ended up overheating. Somehow we dragged the doe up the steep bank, through 15 yards of the worst hell of a thicket I have ever been through, and finally back out to the main trail. Went back to our trucks, Mudbone had to leave, so I got the hand truck and a flashlight and wheeled it back to my doe, strapped her on, and wheeled her back 3/4 of a mile to the truck. That hand truck hauled the deer like a champ. She was a heavy doe, bigger than the 1.5yo buck I shot last year.

Here is the best pic I chose, although a little blurry. Huge thanks to Mudbone for helping me track and more importantly drag the deer up the bank where my skinny self would have had a terrible time of doing it. Give me 8 more months and I can buy you a cold one... lol. I owe you a favor.

Here are specs for those interested....

Bow - Champion compound, bought at the Tndeer 'vous auction in 2011, donated by Bowriter
Arrows - "Walmart Specials" aka Carbon Express Terminator Hunter 4560
Heads - NAP Thunderhead 100 gr
Time of shot - approx 4.30 pm
County - Williamson
Tndeer Hat - 1 Deer Guarantee
The shot went in right behind the right shoulder, in fact the blade nicked the skin on the shoulder it was so close. Clipped part of the heart, came out and got stuck on the left leg. The arrow worked its way out when the doe ran.

No scent control, camo, face mask or gloves. I came in to mainly cut lanes and only stayed to hunt because I had the evening off work, and it couldn't hurt.

Thanks for reading

#2971066 - 10/06/12 03:15 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: catman529]
6 Point

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 978
Loc: To the right of the mississipp...

Congrats catman!
#2971080 - 10/06/12 03:32 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: geezer]
12 Point

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

#2971082 - 10/06/12 03:37 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: geezer]
12 Point

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 5100
Loc: Middle Tennessee

Nice job Catman. Good story
Everything in moderation, including moderation.

#2971084 - 10/06/12 03:41 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: tickweed]
hunter drew
14 Point

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 8825
Loc: henderson county TN Lexington

Congrats. Looks like a big doe brother
If you look real close "you will see a tree stand in my family tree"

#2971088 - 10/06/12 03:53 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: hunter drew]
4 Point

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 329
Loc: monroe county tn

Great story/ big doe
Big Jon

#2971093 - 10/06/12 04:01 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: deerslazer]

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 30563
Loc: Chester County

Work to live, Live to hunt

#2971097 - 10/06/12 04:05 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: easy45]
8 Point

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 2046
Loc: Jackson, TN

Huge doe! Nice job!
A country boy can survive.

A bad day fishing is better than a good day of work.

Roll Tide

#2971102 - 10/06/12 04:22 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: Kevin]
10 Point

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 3180
Loc: Lewisburg, Tn

Congrats great story
Team Run 'N Gunners

#2971116 - 10/06/12 04:41 PM Re: 1st deer of the year took a Water Nap [Re: ImThere]
Bow Hunter
16 Point

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 16851
Loc: Murfreesboro Tn.

Congrats cat an.
Life is good Today.

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