With the Trail Cam contest in full swing I didn’t have a chance to update everyone on how my season was going so far. If you follow me on Twitter you already know but for those who don’t or didn’t catch the tweets here’s a quick update from my season so far. While Virginia doesn’t open until October 6th I splurged for my Maryland License this year and which opened super early this year on September 7th!
I was able to squeeze in an afternoon hunt on September 7th in Southern Maryland. I had planned to stay all weekend but had to change plans at the last minute. So, I met my good friend and fellow Huntographer Rob Freyer and got in stand. I was up and settled just before 5PM. My hunt was somewhat uneventful but as night fell and my cell phone died Rob showed up to pick me up. He excitedly said we had to get rolling to recover his buck and doe! I think I was more excited than he was. Rob had arrowed a very nice 8 point in full velvet and a good sized doe. We ran back to where he was hunting and got to work. Huge congrats to Rob on a VERY successful opening day!
I was finally able to return to Maryland the following thursday afternoon. I set up in the same stand and Rob went to a different location. While the week before I had seen deer movement early on despite the heat this time with the temp much lower I had hoped they would move earlier but I was wrong. Just before 7PM 5 deer came running into the clearing. For the first 20 minutes as they fed around a small buck with 6 inch spikes in full velvet kept chasing off the other deer who would slowly make their way back. Finally things started to settle and the spike quit chasing all the deer off. Or so I had thought. Finally I’d decided to take a shot at a small doe who was right at 20 yards. I waited for the right moment and drew back. I slowly settled my pin just behind the shoulder and slowly began to apply pressure to the trigger. As I’m applying pressure to the trigger that spike decided to lunge at the little do cause her to jolt forward just as I was releasing my arrow.
My stomach sank as I didn’t hear the loud “Thwack” I’d hoped for. I was hopefully it was clean miss. The shot was right around 7 and it started getting dark quickly. I finally got down and and grabbed my arrow. The arrow was covered by gut along with a good smear of blood and immediately I was quite upset. I haven’t had a shot at a deer in years, I finally get my chance an blow it or possibly a combination of me and that stupid spike! Rob and I looked for blood to no avail. He’d already gotten the two does he shot gutted and in the truck and I decided I would come back first thing in the morning was the temperatures were supposed to be in the 40’s overnight and the meat should be ok.
I got up at about 4:30AM to start the hour or so drive back up to Maryland. As soon as day broke I started a grid search where I had seen the deer go. Then after about 45 minutes of searching I saw a white belly! What I thought was a doe was a button buck still in velvet. Regardless, I was excited to recover my deer and see that my shot wasn’t as bad as I thought. He only went about 90 yards and the arrow had gone in through at least one lung and out through the gut and liver. While I wouldn’t say I’m proud of the shot at least it was lethal and the animal didn’t have to suffer long. He had blood around his mouth from the lung hit and wasn’t laying in a bedded position so it was my assessment that he died rather quickly. Unfortunately in my haste to get the meat as the temperature was rising quickly I didn’t get any pictures other than the one to left, wich is the most important part!
So, not a stellar start to my season but so far one deer down and hopefully many more to come with more hunts coming in both Maryland and Virginia!
Images courtesy The Will to Hunt