2011 NY Archery Whitetail Deer Hunt: Part One
Disappointment can either set you back or push you to work even harder. I haven't had an archery kill in over 5 years. Mainly because of moving to California and not having the opportunities like I used to. Have I let that get me down? Hell no! I have worked my tail off to find land to hunt, hit the range more to hone my skills and I still made time to hunt with my family. Perseverance, baby!
I just returned from a week of whitetail deer hunting in New York State with my dad and brother. Normally I would travel to NY later in the archery season, but this year my gut told me to book my trip earlier. Funny thing was that the moon phases would be perfect for hunting. Many people don't believe in the moon phases or just disregard them. I am a believer and this hunt would prove why.
Day 1: We saw nothing. No deer, not many birds and not many squirrels. Pouring rain and chilly.
|You can see the water build-up on my gear. Pretty much lasted all day.|
Day 2: Nothing again. This wasn't looking so good, but I had hope.
|I stayed nice and dry in my GameHide rain gear, but I wished the rain would stop.|
Day 3: My brother had a prior engagement, so my dad and I hit the woods by ourselves. We wondered if using the 4x4 Arctic Cat Prowler was going to push deer away with the noise and smell. The woods we were hunting was being logged and there were 18" ruts in some of the sloppiest mud imaginable. That Prowler tore through it well. I even got it stuck and still managed to make it out. What power!
My dad and I got up in our stands, about 100 yards apart, about twenty minutes before first light. Just as the sun was coming up I heard a distinctive 'TWHACK' followed by a crash, then a double crash and then silence. First blood! I just knew my dad had killed his first deer. My gut told me that it was probably a buck because this stand area he was in had bucks crossing all of the time. Sweetness!
I had my bow in hand just waiting for something to come from that direction. Ten minutes later I look in the opposite direction and here is a small doe bounding around like she's being stung by bees. Turns out she was just galloping around in the cold air feeling frisky. She was followed by a big doe. I got my bow ready as the small doe made her way towards me. She stopped 30 yards away, right behind a sapling. Patience would be key. She then took a side trail and disappeared. As I turned to the other side of the tree, here she comes... right down the trail to my stand! She stops, turns and then comes to a complete halt 10 yards away, underneath a large branch. I had no shot, but it was awesome to finally see deer.
She bounded off towards my dad as the big doe disappeared 80 yards away into the brush. Two minutes later I heard rapid snorting from the small doe reaffirming that my dad had a deer down.
We waited two hours and I met him at his stand. He proceeded to tell me the story of the kill. He had wandered around setting up scent wafers. He had just made it up the tree in his climber when a buck came in at 10 yards and was smelling the wafers. With no time to question it, he drew, aimed and let the arrow fly. One arrow, one kill! This buck was determined though as he ran a good 100+ yards and doubled back not once, but twice! We found him in a cluster of buckthorn. He was a beauty of a 4-point with a huge body. He had stiffened up, and it was nearing 60 degrees, so this was the photo we got.
|This was a well-earned buck and my dad was super proud of him.|
My dad dressed him out and after some hard work, we got him back to hang in the cool garage. We were stoked to finally have a deer down! The rest of the day we saw nothing, but that was just fine. My dad had the first kill hanging and there were still two more days to hunt.
Will I get my chance at a deer? My arrows are hungry and time is slipping away!
Part Two of the trip will post on November 3.