Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

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Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby stash59 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:07 am

b]My name is Shan[/b] and I'm an avid hunter just like all of you here. Born and raised in southern California, cut my teeth on deer hunting in Maryland and NC and am currently stationed in Virginia. Very thankful to have found this website. Stumbled upon Dan's youtube channel and was soon hooked. Thankful for the advice and the camaraderie of like-minded individuals. I'm sitting here overseas on yet another deployment typing out this story and already praying for Fall.... Enjoy!


2017 was a busy year for me, just when i had gotten the hang of things down in the "swamps" of NC, Uncle Sam saw fit to tear up my roots and start me fresh in the great Commonwealth - Virginia! Though things were hectic I managed to kill my best buck to date and still enjoyed a great hunting season. Here follows the story of that buck...


I had to rent out my house in NC, buy a house in VA, and of course move all my things 5 hours north. In between all the hullabaloo, I would secretly wonder If I'd have enough time to hunt this year.... even thinking about it made me feel irresponsible since the list of tasks to accomplish was so great, but just like many of you here, hunting is hardwired into my being, and so thought about it I did!

I completed my move in August and though there were still boxes in the garage and utility companies to call, there magically appeared a 3D deer in the backyard and a neat little shooting range


I began to expand my horizons in my new stomping grounds. There is very little public ground near my new home but there are many tracts of private land that looked interesting. Though I don't like asking for things (I don't think many men do) I resolved to knock on a few doors and see what I could dig up... After a few "no, but welcome to the area" hits, I finally managed to pull a place to hunt- it was a 300 acre hay farm and active cattle ranch but has ample sections of hardwoods and pines. I'd say about 60% fields and the rest, woods. Pretty darn good!

The landowner said he didn't usually allow hunting but since I'd just be using my little old stickbow, he wasnt concerned about me shooting his cattle or making a ruckus as had been the case with other hunters :naughty:

The owner didn't hunt but said he sometimes took pictures of the deer, he showed me a few pics and I was pleasantly suprised! There were definitely some decent bucks on the property. Now if I could manage to not be a complete dimwit I might have a chance...

Pre-deployment workup hit hard and heavy and before I knew it the weeks were slipping away and late summer was giving way to sweet fall!

Between live fire ranges and various administrative requirements, work kept me busy. I did manage to get out and scout most weekends and put a lot of effort into finding the best mast crop and entry/exit routes to the hay fields. Since it was late in the season i opted not to intrude in any potential bedding areas.

My perusing led me to the realization that NONE of the white oak trees were producing this season (anyone else find this to be true in coastal VA?) but that the red oaks were having a bumper year. The two red oaks in my front yard were, much to the chagrin of my rain gutters, heavily laden. I marked any spots with red oaks on my Garmin 401 and proceeded to prep a few trees near some prominent spots for my saddle.

I even found some spots that I could backdoor with my canoe and prepped trees there.


Scouting can be hard work


But always fun!




A few rubs that began to appear...


But all in all, I found myself doing a lot more of this


than being out in the woods. Which is ok because I love both pursuits.

October rolled around and with it, the opening of archery season!

I hunted the opening weekend despite high temps and clouds of mosquito to no avail. I saw some deer at distance but nothing within my strike zone.

During this time i managed to hunt up in Maryland w a friend and scored on an early season doe. I was very thankful for the opportunity and the venison!



I hunted one other time the month of Oct but still the bucks on this property eluded me.

Then the morning of November 3rd rolled around. I had already seen some evidence of the rut - I had seen a small buck chasing a doe across the road on my way to work just the day before. Because of this i knew that the deer were beginning to move, at least the little ones.

I decided to set up the next morning in a stand of red oaks I had recently found that were dropping heavily and showed some serious deer sign.

My "narrative" as i call it was this; Deer would move out of the hay fields at first light and begin to browse back to their beds. On their way they would no doubt stop at this red hot red oak for a quick high-fat snack before bed. I was hoping the does would congregate here before heading to bedding. Because of the high doe traffic, I hoped the bucks would be in tow!

Reality in this case proved not to be far from my narrative.

I woke around 3:30 on Nov 3rd and hustled through a shower and doing some last minute preparations. After getting dressed and flinging one practice arrow at my backyard target, I hopped on my trusty Huffy (bicycle) and started pedaling the only 10 minutes or so it would take me to get to my attack position. The air was cool and i could feel a slight north westerly breeze kissing my face on the ride.

Once at the dismount location on the road, I hurriedly and quietly stashed my bicycle so it wouldn't get stolen by people passing by.

I took the long way through the woods so as not to scare any deer in the fields (something I bungled so often in my earlier hunting days) and picked my way to the stand of red oaks I intended to hunt. Since this was a relatively new location I hadn't prepped shooting lanes or the like yet, but no matter - it was relatively open. I picked a white oak that directly adjoined a red, a spot I now call "twin oaks" because of the two trees' remarkable resemblance in girth and lean. They're only a foot apart and their only difference is the fact they're an entirely different species!

I scrambled to about 18' with my Muddy climbing sticks, screwed in a few foot pegs and finally wrapped my tether to the tree and connected it to my AeroHunter tree saddle. All complete with still about 45 minutes before first light.

I honestly dozed a bit until the sun began to illuminate the day, the weeks' work catching up with me. At first light I roused and watched the forest come to life as I love to do; squirrels coming down from their roost, birds beginning to flit about, and whitetail deer coming in from the fields! As I often do as sort of a ritual (kind of strange I know but I'm sure some of you have them) I recited a poem I conceived a few years ago:

Up a tree, bow in hand,
waiting for beasts unknown to man.

When through the dim and mists appear,
a stag, seasoned by many-a-year.

Who knows the places he went, the shelter he sought when the heavens did vent?
What joy did he know, what pain laid him low?

-The Hunter may never find out-

Quick with the arrow, the chance is narrow!
Send it straight through the heart!

Now red stains the ground,
the Stag will be found,
and Life all over again will start.

A little cheesy but hey... we're woodsmen in the 21st century, we all have our romantic notions haha.

About 20 minutes after sunrise the first doe came into view. She walked in with no signs of caution and began eating at the red oaks at the far end of the small stand I had found, about 25yds away. After a few minutes she suddenly became very nervous. She looked over her shoulder from whence she had come then back down to feed. Then over her shoulder again quickly this time. At that moment I heard another deer coming to the stand of red oaks. Then, without going back to feeding the doe suddenly bolted in my direction! She literally ran at full tilt! Something I had never seen a deer do unless spooked by a human or natural predator. She flew by me in a blur crossing 15yds away, apparently achieving light speed in so short a distance.

I was somewhat shaken by this, I hadn't seen a deer run that fast... ever! Had I spooked her somehow? Did she catch my wind or had I made an imperceptible noise that only deer could hear? My attention quickly turned from wonder to shock when I saw what followed her, and more reasonably what had caused her flight.

Sure enough, trotting steadily behind her as if drawn on a leash like a well-trained terrier, was a buck! And in my eyes (California raised haha) was a HUGE buck.

He moved steadily along while rhythmically lowering his nose to check the trail the doe had so recently proved her speed on. Thankfully I had raised my bow off the hook after the doe had come into visual range and so had only to follow the buck with my eyes. Since he seemed to be glued to the path that the doe had raced through I knew that my only shot would be at 15yds through the boughs of a particularly endowed holly tree [banghead]. So much for thinking this spot needed no pruning!

Nevertheless I readied myself for the impending chance of a shot - all previous thoughts and actions elapsing within a few seconds. I twisted around in my saddle, I would be shooting from about the 7 O'clock position (thank God for a tree saddle and the flexibility it provides). When the buck neared by a few yards the only basketball-sized shooting lane he would traverse in his path I let out a "Maa" in hopes of stopping him perfectly in the bracket... Whether it was that he was too intent on his goal or my throat, which hadn't uttered a sound all morning, lacked the voracity to reach his highly distracted ears, I know not. What I do know is that he continued his cadence unimpeded! I quickly repeated the noise with a little more temerity and succeeded in arresting his attention, and a few steps later, his progress. This time I had only the irregular dimensions of an upright coke bottle to slip an arrow through, but comfortingly the gap in the holly's foliage was in the first third of the arrow's path rather than the last third (I always find this mentally more doable for some odd reason).

I drew back and aimed, picked a spot, watched it to keep it, and continued to talk myself through the shot (thank you Joel Turner). As a complete surprise the arrow leapt from the bow, key-holed the coke bottle, and buried into, then completely disappeared into the buck's chest! In a flash he whirled around and bounded out of sight, leaving me out of breath and doubled over at the waist. Apparently I had contorted myself into this position to get the best shot without even knowing it.

I strained for any indicator, visual or auditory that would betray whether or not my shot was lethal. I thought I heard a crash but it could have also been a falling branch. The arrow had appeared perfect - tucked tight behind the shoulder and at the appropriate height - but I knew by this time in my hunting career that looks can be deceiving and the elation after a shot can convince you of many things, good or bad.

Gremlins began to creep into my thoughts, the buck had been slightly quartered towards me, was the shot tight enough to the shoulder? Had I only caught one lung? I quickly dismissed these doubts and decided to enjoy the moment. I texted my best friend, a fellow Marine who was deployed at the time and who would have given the world to be there and who I would have loved to have there. I felt at peace with the moment.

After some time I climbed down and decided to inspect the arrow. It was covered in rich, red blood and the leaves around it had been sprayed with a light red as well. I smelled it for any signs of intestinal fluid but found none - good sign - all I could smell was the iron from the blood that had so recently animated the buck.


I took up the trail and found some very promising omens almost immediately.


I trailed the blood and scuff marks and 45 yds later I found what I had been looking for. Fears put to rest and hopes confirmed. It was a great buck for me, it was my best buck. Meager as he may be to some, after going through so much this year, he was better than anything I could have hoped for.


Exit wound. He had indeed been slightly quartering towards me but just marginally enough that I still caught both lungs for a quick kill.


And one happy and thankful bowhunter.



Thanks for looking and Semper fi!


Happiness is a large gutpile!!!!!!!
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby wolverinebuckman » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:30 am

That was a Great write up! :clap:
And awesome buck!
Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby Darkknight54 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:03 am

Awesome write up! :clap: :dance: Great job with the traditional bow and HECK of a deer!!! Some of the biggest rubs iv ever seen
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby ZSV » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:35 am

Awesome buck and write up! Semper Fi!
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby PAbowhunter » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:01 pm

Great write up and great deer! Congrats brother, Semper Fi
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby Boogieman1 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:58 pm

Congrats! Very nice :clap:
There's more fun in hunting with the handicap of the bow than there is in hunting with the sureness of pulling the trigger.
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby Babshaft » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:55 pm

Wow man, that’s awesome!
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby Dewey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:18 am

Congrats :clap:
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Re: Postby Sequoia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 am

Postby NorthwoodsWiscoHnter » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:22 am

Fantastic job on the write up! And congrats!!
Northwoods Wisconsin Hunter is devoted to the working hunter who strives for success in the bigwoods. In bigwoods hunting, nothing is given only earned.

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