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The Digital Log Of A Bowhunt - by Robert Hoague
Bowhunting For Deer  2001
| Scouting For This 10-Point | | |

My Bowhunt For The 10-Point From This Year's Online Scouting

Sept 29 - A deerhunt In Progress, Opening Day
Today is the big "first day"!!! 
This morning:
In spite of my high expectations it was a slow morning in my area. I saw a few does and two young bucks, but the 10-point didn't show. My hunting buddies on our deer lease were down and we all drove into town and ate lunch at the Red Barn Restaurant. When we came back. I shot a few practice arrows and took a nap so I'd be fresh on the long sit in my blind this afternoon.

Afternoon hunt:
I'd been in my blind for 2 hours when I saw the first deer, a big doe walking along the edge of the woods toward me. Three more does were next. Behind them 100 yards I saw two bucks were coming, I glassed them. The first was an 8-point. The next was "the" 10-point. They came closer, slowly and cautiously. In the distance I faintly heard a vehicle, almost like an itch in my ear. The bucks stopped and looked toward the sound. My blind is a couple hundred yards from the gravel road that passes by my house. There is very little traffic on this road, and what there is, is mostly farming activity. However, the deer always run for cover when a vehicle passes here and this time was no exception. 

At 7:17 I saw the two bucks again. They worked their way within bow range. The 10-point stopped broadside with his vitals behind a tree that I had paced off as 17 yards. I was ready to draw as soon as it was in the clear. 

Once again, in the distance I heard vehicle noises in the road, this time from the opposite direction. The deer trotted away and stopped in the thick brush and watched as a big tractor lumbered, loudly -- and all too slowly -- down the road and out of hearing range. 

Daylight was fading fast and the deer were shadowy images when they came out of the cover and started down the trail toward me. My binoculars are great in low light and I focused on the deer and saw the 10-point on his way again. He walked into the open 15 yards away. By then he was only a barely discernible shadow of an image and I could not see a single pin on my bowsight. When I was sure they were gone I came back to the house. 

Close! Real close!

It almost happened. But the deer don't know I am in their game, and I am definitely in the right spot. My plan is working.

Sept 30 - day #2
A big 8-point came by my stand in the morning. On the afternoon hunt I saw quite a few does, two young bucks and the big 6-point I took scouting pictures of earlier. Then the 10-point slipped up out of the gully. He headed down a trail that led to me. 

As if on cue my neighbor came driving a tractor rig down the road. All the deer moved out of sight. 

Half an hour later I could account for a handful of deer in the trees around me. At last light the 10-point slipped up from the gully, again, and moved cautiously into my area. When he got close, I figured him for 15 yards, I held my bow up to the ground blind's window to see if I could still see my top pin. It was an indistinct shadow. I lowered my bow and waited until Robbie came back to my house and the sound of the vehicle moved the deer out of the area. 

Oct 1 - Day #3
When I left my house I had accidentally left my watch at home so I wasn't clear about the exact time. I was seriously concerned about the recent pressure on the deer. It doesn't take much to make a buck decide to avoid an area and my guess was that my window of opportunity with the 10-point was nearly up, if not already gone. I decided to hunt all day today. Several hours passed and a couple dozen deer had moved through my immediate area much earlier. Surprisingly, I had an unexpected surge of traffic later on and was watching 2 young bucks and 7 does and 4 fawns when I saw the antlers of a nice rack in the gully. I glassed the buck. It was an impressive 8-point. It came up out of the gully with another buck behind it, this one was the 10-point I've been taking scouting pictures of. 

He walked right to me!

He stopped by a tree I had previously paced off at 16 yards.

I aimed at the right spot in the ribs and shot and the 10-point jumped high into the air ... the impact of the arrow was very loud, but in the swirl of the buck's fast motion I didn't get a mental picture of where the arrow hit. The 10-point ran 45 yards along the edge of the gully, and stopped ... and looked back. Then he walked out of my sight. I glassed him. I really couldn't see if he was hit or not.

My arrow had only 3 pinhead sized drops of blood between two of the vanes and a little white tallow on one vane. I kept playing it over and over in my mind, my aim was on, the shot felt 100% right, the buck jumped into the air -- that was all ok. But the walking and the condition of my arrow did not add up. I looked where the buck had walked and didn't see anything. I went and got the Duck.

He inspected my arrow and looked at me, "It doesn't look good," he said. 

We went to the gully's edge where the buck had walked. The Duck stopped. 

"Here's blood!" Don said.

We followed a few little splotches of red blood and then saw fist sized splashes of blood. 

For the first time since my shot I felt there was hope.

The area is thick and the trail was not easy but we stayed on it. Downhill from my Rolled Wire stand I found two CD sized blood spots, one on my side of the fence, one on the opposite. The buck had gone into an extremely dense area, jammed full of cedars, young hard wood trees and other thick brush. Tracking in this thick cover was slow. 

The Duck continued on the blood trail and I walked ahead. Quickly, I came to an open area in the side of the rocky hill. Many times I have had deer cross an open area, or go to a fence, and expire right there. I walked to the far edge on the opening, at the bottom of the hill and slipped quietly along, uphill, looking into every pile of brush and cedar. 

Suddenly a deer snorted, not an alert snort, but a surprised snort, like it had not heard me until now and was surprised. I looked and the 10-point buck stood up, and, almost in slow motion, faded into the thick cedar trees and brush.

I stopped trailing right then and back tracked to the Duck. It was late afternoon and we couldn't risk going one inch further on the track today, tomorrow morning will tell the ending to this episode.

Oct 2 - Day #4
Light from the sunrise crept into the dark treeline. Full daylight came on painfully slow. The Duck and I took up our search for the 10-point. 

Because I hadn't pressured him I felt that the buck would not go far. Our plan was for the Duck to start working a grid, back and forth, in the area at the bottom of the hill, below where I had seen it, looking in every brush pile and cedar clump (there are plenty of those). 

I went to the edge of the open area where I had located the buck late yesterday afternoon and looked for a probable route for it to take. I quickly found a well traveled, prominent trail that wound through the thick cedars and brush. Fifty yards further I discovered another large opening on the hillside. I continued on the trail to the far side and surveyed the thick brush along the edge. 

Forty yards uphill, in a clump of cedars, I saw a buck laying down with it's back to me! I glassed it and and saw a forked antler. It was the 10-point.

In my life I've occasionally had someone point out to me that I'm too patient and I don't give up when I should. And I have to admit that sometimes that has backfired on me. But it sure didn't this time. The sun shown on my side of the street today. Life is good.

My arrow had hit low in it's rib cage. Only inches lower than the shot I had wanted and still lethal. The buck was not stiff yet and when I field dressed it the meat looked and smelt perfect, but to be certain and I took it to Bagwell's Deer Processing in Hamilton, TX to be 100% sure. Bagwell said it was A-ok and took my order for his famous jalapina cheese sausage, chops and steaks and capped the buck for me to send to our Taxidermy columnist Larry Reese at Wildlife Artistry Taxidermy.

And here are pictures of the buck and me that will fill up your computer screen: (1024x768), (800x600), (640x480). And if you missed the pictures and logs of the scouting I did for this buck Click Here.

A Further Note: The 10-point's "home room":
The ground was smoothed out and clear of debris under the cedars where the buck lay. It was still cool, chilly actually, because of the deep shade of the cedars and the light breeze coming up the hill to the buck's bed. This was indeed the 10-point's "home." 

The home was half way up a hill, near the edge of an opening where he could see and smell any intruders from downhill or the opposite edge of the clearing. And he had several escape routs with lots of cover if he decided to move to another place.

In the picture here I had pulled the buck out of its home place under the cedars. The dark area behind the buck is the "Home Room". Inside that dark shadow there is a cave like opening under the cedar limbs that is a 4 foot by 6 foot, smoothed out area where the buck was laying. 

Here are pictures of the buck and me that will fill up your computer screen: (1024x768), (800x600), (640x480). 

If you missed the pictures and logs of the day by day scouting I did for this buck Click Here.

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