Sitting in my stand the other day waiting on a deer, any deer, I thought back over the past several kills I had made. It dawned on me that I hadn’t killed a doe in over a year. Bucks, yes. Does, no. It was last October when I last killed a doe…
It was about 40 degrees and raining a little when I got to my stand. I had just put the stand up that day and I knew it was a good spot since I had seen deer there both times I had been there before, but hadn’t had any shots.
It was about 5:30 by the time I walked the half mile to my stand. I was only there about 20 minutes when I saw 2 doe coming up the draw.
I was hunting a funnel, and sitting right on the edge of an old logging road that the deer like to use. I had out some apples and a Deer Cane block (the deer love it, highly recommended). In the early season here in Jersey you have to shoot a doe before you can fill your buck tag.
The first doe came out into the open and I drew back on her. I was using my Hoyt Ultrasport set at 50 lbs, a new bow I just bought last year and hadn’t killed deer with yet. She stopped, a tree blocking her vital area and preventing me from taking a shot. She stayed that way for about 10 minutes and then my arms gave out and I had to let down. She moved forward and I managed to gather my strength and draw on her again, but again she stopped.
After another 10 minutes I had to let down again and I accepted the fact that I may not get a shot. But she turned and started back the other way.
I drew a third time, held my pin on her, released the arrow.
The way she took off and ran down the ravine I had a sudden wave of panic as I thought I had missed. Then, she suddenly staggered and fell over backwards, back down into the ravine, and lay still. I stood frozen to my stand for five minutes, just staring at the spot she had fallen. I knew she was dead.
Here in North Jersey we have to get to our deer as fast as possible or risk losing it to coyotes or bears. I got down from my stand and field dressed it. By the time I was done I realized it was only about 6:15 and I still had plenty of daylight left.
The half mile walk dragging her out was a long one! But totally worth it! Luckily I had thought to bring a length of rope along with me, which made it easier. She weighed in at 92 pounds dressed, a nice sized doe for North Jersey. My hunt was a huge success. I had killed several deer with a bow before, and many with a gun, but this night I felt even better knowing that I had done everything myself, from the pre-season scouting and setting trail cameras out, to hanging the stand, killing, dressing, and dragging the deer out. I was feeling pretty good.
It doesn’t always have to be a trophy buck to be a trophy hunt.