Friday, November 24, 2006

The Lost Deer

This is the second weekend I have been hunting. The first time I went hunting was when we came to WV for Jude's birthday. Now it is Thanksgiving weekend and I decided to go hunting with Tim Wednesday night. That night I saw about 8 deer while walking back to the spot I wanted to stay at. It is hard to be quiet when you are walking on leaves. None-the-less, I would walk a couple of yards and stop and take a look around. When I was getting close to spot I wanted to stake out, I spooked a couple of deer. I saw a deer on the ridge above me and I saw two deer across the hollow going up another ridge. They apprently caught my sent and took off. After staying at my spot for a while I decided it was time for me to head back to the house, by this time it was 5:15 and the sun was starting to set. As I was walking back to the house on the "big" ridge I was doing my take a couple of steps and stop and took a look around routine. I was doing this for about 5 minutes before I came up on a "large" deer. All I could see of the deer was its hind quarters. There were two trees blocking its head and the majority of the neck from my view. Which was a greet advantage to me because this meant the deer couldn't see me and since the breeze was blowing from the deer to me it also meant it couldn't smell me. At this point I was trying be as quiet and carefu as I could not spook it. I watched as the deer's neck would move up and down and then stay still for a little bit as it tried to figure out where the leaf crunching was coming from. I was able to get about 15-20 yards from the deer. Finally the deer took a couple of steps going from my right to left poking it's head out from behind the tree. The doe never saw me. I decided to take a shot of it. I had "buck" fever. Or should I say "doe" fever. When I took a shot the deer was still walking. I know you're suppose to wait to take a shot until the deer is standing still, but I couldn't wait. I aimed for the "kill" zone. The area that is above the back of the front leg in the chest. I sighted the area in, trying to lead it just a little bit. I pulled the trigger and let the arrow take flight. The doe jumped and ran about 10 yards and stood there trying to figure out what had just happened. It quietly walked off, I was trying to keep my eye on it as I followed behind but it slowly disappeared into the forest. I walked over to retrieve my arrow to continue my journey back to the house figuring my first shot at a deer was a miss. When I got to the spot where the deer was standing I found some blood on the ground and when I retrieved the arrow there was blood and hair on the shaft of it. I assumed that the arrow just grazed the deer because there wasn't a lot of blood on the ground. I tried tracking the blood but was only able to track it for about 15 yards as the evening sky was getting darker and it was tougher to distinguish blood on the colored leaves on the ground.

With my adrenaline racing, I ran back to house which was only about 150 yards away. I was "yelling" I shot a deer and need a light. Now, you would think people living in the woods would have a decent flashlight. But not the Miller's. Anyways, Tim, Kellen, and myself went back to woods to try and track the deer. We decided would head down towards the creek in the hallow. By the time we got to the creek it was dark out and we decided we would try in the morning. As I laid in bed that night, the scene kept running through my mind. I kept seeing the deer taking a step then me taking a shot at it. If only I would have made a little noise to get the deer to stand still. Ugh!!!

Thanksgiving morning I headed out hunting again. As I walked back to the spot I enjoy I kept my eyes open for my "lost" deer. I saw three deer that morning. I decided to head back up to the big ridge and try to track my deer again. I got to the spot where the deer was standing when I hit it. I was able to track the blood pretty good. I did lose it a couple of times and had to really look hard to find the trail again. My heart started racing when I found larger amounts of blood on the ground. I started thinking, maybe I actually got a decent shot off. The trail took me down to the left side of the ridge and it followed the ridge and the crossed over the logging road and went down the right side of the ridge towards the skinny ridge. I saw white object laying next to a log about 30 yards down from the logging road. I heart skipped a beat and I continued to follow the trail until I ended up at the white spot laying next to the log. The doe seemed a lot smaller than what I remember it being. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn't larger than it was. Feeling proud but yet disappointed, I walked back to the house to get Tim since I haven't had any experience field dressing a deer.

My "LARGE" Doe

Tim & I Doing the Traditional Bring a Deer for Thanksgiving Dinner


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your kill!!! Was this your first deer?
Aunt D.

You Look Like a Tool said...


Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

PETA is coming after you already. Deer slayer. Keep up the good work! You will have to field dress it the next time!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos and story. I had been wondering how you got it back to the ranch.
Aunt Nancy

Stephanie said...

A friend told us to consider the little ones veal! :) Still very good eating!

Anonymous said...

That sounded like an awful lot of work for lunch!


We all have to start somewhere right?