I was able to get out bowhunting with my Dad this weekend in the Metro. I sat in the stand all day Friday and didn't see anything until about 4:15. I was glassing the edge of the swamp near where I had heard a couple of branches break from 3-4. They must of been bedding very close to the edge of the swamp there. Finally I saw this doe browsing and heading slowly in my general direction. I got a glimpse of the snaggle buck with the binoculars while watching the doe. He must of bedded back down or went back into the swamp as he didn't come out until later.
The 2 does, very close in size, eventually made it in to the scrapes I was hunting. The one came in to the scrape and started licking the overhanging branches, it would have been a good shot opportunity but I couldn't draw back as the other doe was in the open and I'm sure would of seen the movement. The woods quieted down to where it was too quiet if you know what I mean. It feels like they can hear your heart beat when they are within 10-15 yards. I was up pretty high because there wasn't a whole lot of cover in the trees (22-25 ft). I watched them for quite some time waiting for both to go behind a tree so I could draw back. One of them looked up at me and didn't like the blob in the tree which I really wasn't liking. The other followed suit and looked up at me as well. I really wasn't liking my odds at this point. They couldn't make out enough to know it was danger apparently, but knew something wasn't quite right. They did the stare down a few times on me and finally relaxed but they would look up every once in awhile. Another deer started coming in from the swamp and that distracted them some and they started eating acorns around the tree again and relaxed some more. It seemed that they really didn't want to leave the scrapes in that area, most likely waiting for the bucks to show up. Otherwise I really doubt they would of stuck around that long. I waited for what seemed forever and they looked up occasionally at me to stare me down. Finally both of their heads were behind trees so I was able to draw back. The one I was planning to shoot turned when he came out from behind the tree and was now facing directly away from me. Another glitch in my plan so I was stuck at full draw waiting for one to turn broadside. I was now at full draw much longer than I'd like when they finally both turned broadside but at the same time they both looked up at me again. Now I'm sure I looked different to them at full draw and they didn't like it. The deer coming from the other direction distracted them just enough to give me a chance. At this point I was able to look over and see the deer coming in was about 30 yards out and another doe. The one doe that I was locked on was about 12-15 yards out and the other was probably closer to 18. I was pretty sure they would duck some on the shot since they were on alert. I put the pin very low down on the heart thinking that if the deer dropped I'd still hit the lungs. She must have dropped down and back some as my arrow ended up a little higher and further forward than where I was aiming. It caught the front part of the shoulder and must of deflected as it went out the base of the neck. Not the double lung shot I was hoping for but it did some damage and it went down quick, maybe 60-70 yards. Another 30 yards and it would of been in a real wet and very thick swamp. We had to track a couple deer the last time we hunted that area in the swamp and that was not fun at all.
I got down after about 30 minutes, it was plenty dark by that time. The lighted nock was great as I was able to see my arrow from the tree and glass it to at least know it was a hit. It gave me a better idea on the hit, although it all goes by so fast that I still had a hard time knowing where the hit was. I haven't used the lighted nocks before but will not hunt without them anymore. I was using the ones that have a switch that is pushed in from the force of the string and you can click the switch to turn them off, they work well. There wasn't much for blood at the hit as it took off in a hurry which is the norm but I did find one spot with a click flash with the light around the area. There was also some hair, the arrow didn't tell me much. I had watched it with my binoculars when it took off and tried to reference some trees so I could have a better idea when I got down on the ground. I started heading towards where it went and found a couple of areas where it had lost a lot of blood. I knew it couldn't be too far after the blood it was losing, couple more steps and the I smelled the distinct smell of a deer down. I flashed the light around the area a bit and found her a few yards away. Thankfully it dropped before the swamp. We were a little over 2 miles back in the woods so it took some effort to get it out. Thanks to my Dad for being there to help out, that would of taken me all night.
I had 2 other does in range Friday as well as one buck with 4 decent pts. on one side and a snaggle horn on the other. The buck came in to the same scrape about 15 yards from my stand about 15 minutes after I shot the doe. I was a little tempted but it wasn't a nice rack and I already had one to take care of and possibly track. There was another deer that I could hear behind snaggle and I think was probably a better buck, but it didn't make it in before the end of shooting light. I missed Saturday a.m. so I could get the deer quartered and on ice with the warm weather. Saturday evening was really windy and neither of us saw a thing. Sunday was nice and calm, a little warm but a pretty good day to be in the woods. Neither of us saw anything on Sunday. All in all it was a fun hunt and I'm glad I shot this one based on the uneventful rest of the hunt. Hoping that I will be able to get out again for a chance at a decent buck. Late season or maybe muzzy.
Fishing continues to be excellent! All parts of the lake ice free as of earlier this week. Trophy walleyes still being produced from both the Rainy River and the lake. 5-12 feet over sand and rubble...