Another Misadventure in the Deer Woods

This classic  is from the 2009 season

By Johnny Sain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              _4050041

I had managed to resist temptation and not hunt a particularly “bucky” looking funnel until mid-October. Past experience had shown that a flurry of chasing sometimes occurs at this time of year, a “pre-pre-rut,” if you will.

The activity that afternoon started early. A good two hours before sundown a couple of does were making a hasty descent from the ridge top, and while not following the trail I had placed my bets on, they would both pass within short range of my tree. Very short range; a mere five steps away.

The short range played into a lapse of concentration, and I managed to pull off an epic show of ineptitude and shoot the larger doe squarely in the gut. Disgusted, shamed and stunned by this turn of events, I slumped back into the stand and planned my exit strategy. I would return in the morning after giving the doe ample time to expire. I found her fairly quickly the following morning, but that’s not what this story is about. My actions, or lack thereof, between that pitiful shot and the recovery, hours later, are what make this a heart breaker.

As I sat pouting, with no arrow on the string (an important detail as you’ll soon learn), the brisk crunching gait of another deer had me sitting bolt upright in anticipation. I quickly stood up and readied for the shot as a gorgeous high racked buck stepped into view at about twelve yards.  As I started to draw my bow, I had the nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Something was missing. But what?

Oh yeah, no arrow on the string. And while yelling “gotcha “may have qualified as counting a minor coup, coup don’t eat all that well and it ain’t much to show off to your buddies. I let the string down, and as quickly as he came into my life, he was gone.

2 Responses to Another Misadventure in the Deer Woods

  1. Ron Schwartz says:

    Been there, done that … sort of. One morning I shot a coyote with my bow. While I was sitting in my stand congratulating myself on my accomplishment, along came another coyote. There I was with a chance to take a double with no arrow nocked. But I was able to redeem myself about 30 minutes later when the coyote came back to check on its dead partner. This time I was ready.

    • jsain says:

      Ron, most of my screw-ups involve bucks; or maybe those are just the ones I remember most vividly. Anyway, I’ve got another three or four stories similar to this one already written, and there’s probably a half dozen more that still keep me up at night. Such is hunting, though. You just never know what’s going to happen, and that’s one reason I love it.

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