Well, I've hunted hard this bow season (ask my wife...on second thought...don't). It's actually the Kansas rifle season right now, a time when killing a deer with a bow is near impossible. Frankly, after the rifles start shooting, it's rare to see a mature buck, let alone get a shot with archery tackle. Still, I'm a die hard, and I was determined to keep at it. Today's my day off, so I went to one of my closer hunting locations before first light to see if providence would swing my way, so to speak. Technically rifles are illegal on this land, but I am reasonably sure it gets rifle hunted, so I put on my orange vest to be safe. A bow hunter feels ridiculous wearing the "pumpkin" jacket and hat, but it's better then getting shot by some crazy gun "hunter" (such a crude way to take an animal...unless it's a coyote). Plus, orange is the law during rifle season, no matter what weapon you're using.
There was a front coming in, so the deer were really moving. I saw 11 does in my area before my buck came. That's about as much action on one hunt as I've witnessed all season. Still, I was skeptical I would catch a mature buck trolling through my area, the rut (mating season) was effectively over. With rifle's blasting, I figured most mature bucks were bedded up well before first light. Nevertheless, I think the front got the deer moving, at 8:30 am, I heard grunting coming on the field edge, and sure enough, I saw antlers. I knew he wasn't a record class buck, but my standards go down once rifle season begins. He was certainly good enough to take. I readied my self as he moved from my left to right at about 20 yards. I picked a relatively open spot to slip an arrow through if he kept on the same course. Thankfully he did. Just when he got to the spot, I rose on my knees a bit, put the pin on his lungs, and let the arrow fly.
Schlunk. The arrow ripped through both lungs and he sprinted off immediately. I was confident it was a good shot, but the number one rule of thumb after shooting a deer is stay put for 30 minutes no matter what. I immediately called Nathan (we have a standing agreement to drop whatever we are doing to help the other with a deer related matter). Nathan left the office and met me within a half hour. What a friend! We tracked the deer as there was good blood sign, but man did the snow start falling. It was covering the trail fast. Thankfully, Nathan spotted my buck down! I ran to him and thanked God for the great experience and the fine animal I had just harvested. I still have a freezer full of deer meat from last year, so I think I will donate the meat on this buck to the "Feed the Hungry" program.
I still have a buck tag for Missouri.....I hope Shari doesn't read this.