Archery 2002

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Anson County’s archery season is only eighteen (18) days away coming in this year on 09-07-02 with my level of anxiety at the “flood water level”.  I must be a creature of habit because each year the same routine of pre-season practice, scouting, putting up tree stands, putting out corn, checking shooting lanes at tree stands, etc., etc.,; the list goes on and on wondering what has been forgotten.

For those hunters that must possess the same type of prehistoric DNA for this type of hunting that changes a “somewhat” and occasional rational thinking person into someone who would qualify for an extended stay at the mental ward at  Dorothy Dix Hospital, they or their spouse know exactly what I am saying.  I think this flaw can be blamed on a single chromosome that has either mutant deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid; therefore we have no control over this seasonal transformation under the disguise called hunting.  For centuries the call of the wild; OK, faulty DNA is just too great to ignore even though we no longer have to hunt for food like prehistoric man but properly prepared venison sure does taste good and is the main motivator for myself to be out there.  I am hoping that all the corn the hunters are feeding to the deer does not change their cholesterol count or at lest the good cholesterol count anyway!

Not to many decades ago, you could not put out bait on private land for deer but it seems like every 4-wheeler on the back of a truck or being trailer towed has at least one 60 lb. sack of corn strapped to the front or rear cargo rack.  This helps put the odds in the hunters favor but as we know, the least shift in wind direction, sudden movement, and unnatural noise whether metallic or clothing can send that buck or doe high tailing for cover.  Even when everything appears to be picture perfect, that ole wise buck or doe possess that sixth sense (feeling) that something is not right.  Anyone who frequents the outdoors regularly knows and feels this instinct.  We all have that extra survival instinct but many centuries have dulled that sense because we no longer need it for survival on a day-to-day basis.

I know I am rambling on the keyboard and will get to the opening day 2002 hunt and in my case was an afternoon hunt due to the weather conditions (variable high speed wind) not conducive for bowhunting.  I planned to hunt on a platform stand that I had put up a year earlier which is about 27 feet off the ground and had a telescopic metal ladder made in three sections with two sections 10 feet in length and the other around 7 feet long,  however the rapidly sloping hillside about 15 yards in front of this stand was at least seven or eight feet higher than the stand at ground level.  The adjacent landowner had damaged timber (pine trees) logged out as a result of our local Blizzard 2000 which left us 22 inches of snow in a very short period of time and brought down many saw timber size trees on the adjoining track of land next to our property.  Pix below of our "Blizzard 2000".  We were snowed and iced in four days without power for 2 days but managed.

BACK TO THE ARCHERY HUNTING STORY

The Blizzard 2000 left the hillside sparse in places allowing deer to get a visual of my location and an old herd doe busted me several times last season as a result.  It took a couple seasons to add her to my game freezer and had to out fox the ole girl using a portable tree stand to intercept her before she could see or wind my location.  Below is a pix of the doe harvested on 10-03-03 and I know I am wandering around but will get to the 2002 opening day archery hunt very soon.  This "herd" doe came out with several other does and went directly into an opening and skidder road which allowed her direct visibility to my platform stand.   She looked intently toward my platform stand and knew something wasn't right but was in my "harvest" zone and that was her last mistake.  I had several opportunities to harvest this doe or another doe or two doing the same thing, "busting" my hunting position by going to the ridge line and traveling a hundred yards or so trying to get down wind of my location which they did on several occasions during the archery seasons for a couple years or more.  I wanted this deer with the bow instead of with gun for the extra challenge!   After this doe was harvested, the does did not use the ridge line for a sneak and peak look toward my platform stand and fairly confident that this is the doe that was locked in on my location!

Close up pix of the Bushnell "Holo" sight on the PSE Mach6 bow:  Bad news is EOTech doesn't offer the archery version anymore.  Sight works great for the prescription eye glass users such as myself especially with the progressive lenses.  That is usually the way it works for me; find something that really works and they no longer offer it after a few years!

Below pix of a little buck in velvet taken in 2001 with the same PSE Mach6 bow with an earlier Bracklyn scope mount and Ultra Dot scope.  Used that set-up for many years before switching to the EOTech Holo sight.  The Easton 2315 arrow tipped with the 125 grain Thunderhead centered the bucks spine exiting the sternum....awesome penetration.

Now back to the 2002 opening day evening archery hunt....I got on stand around 4:00 P.M. and again the wind was variable but mostly coming from the southwest which wasn't the best wind direction for this stand.  To make matters worse, the metal 3/4" EMT steel electrical conduit tubing I used to fabricate the ladder (similar to ones on silos) was making a horrendous metal on metal clanging type sound when the wind would twist the sweet gum tree around which was at least 18 inches in diameter at the base.  I didn't think anything would come near this platform stand with the noise and variable wind direction but I am glad that I was wrong.  At around 4:30 P.M. I saw antler movement in front of the platform stand to the right about 25 yards out in heavier cover on the main trail that comes by this platform stand.  I had been feeding deer a steady diet of shelled corn for a few weeks prior to opening day and apparently this buck was coming to his new found food source however, he was very cautious and was intrigued by the sound coming from the ladder.  He would not come out from the cover and kept moving back and forth trying to locate the source of the sound and would look upward but never did get locked in but he was extremely wary and would only take a few steps toward the feeding area which was directly in front of the platform stand.  I did not have a mechanical feeder but would broadcast a 5 gallon bucket of corn every few days to keep the deer coming and checking on the corn.  I counted at least 8 points on the buck and he was at least 12 inches inside the main beams and a good bodied deer but he just was not having anything to do with getting out in the open where the corn was broadcast.  He did get within 15 yards of the trail leading to the feeding area and there was a small 6 inch opening between the trees and over hanging limbs which afforded a shot and he finally stepped in the small opening with his heart/lung area exposed.  I had the ole 1993 PSE Mach6 60# cam bow at full draw with the red dot Ultra scope centered behind his left shoulder and low and the Easton XX78 2315 562 grain arrow with the Thunderhead 3 blade 125 grain broadhead left the bow without any thought process as to when to release; it just happened which is normal.  I saw the bright yellow feathers and the florescent red crown dipped arrow with florescent green nock for only a split second as it entered the deer at my aiming point and it made a "thud" or "plop" type sound as it entered the buck's heart lung area.  Upon impact of the arrow, the buck immediately kicked both rear legs straight back and bolted through the feeding area straight up the hillside and I heard him crash in heavier cover within a few seconds and all was quiet again except the wind blowing through the trees and the clanging sound generated from frictional contact at the telescopic union of the metal ladder.  I knew from experience that this was a good solid hit with the deer traveling less than 50 yards before going down and no use in waiting to blood trail the deer.  I removed my camouflaged face mask, gloves,  wrist strap release aid and placed my detachable arrow quiver back on the bow and lowered my bow and back pack to the ground.  It didn't take but a few seconds to descend the 27 feet metal ladder to ground level and went across the little branch and found the crimson blood soaked arrow sticking in the ground with more evidence of a well placed arrow into the deer's vitals.  I walked directly to where I heard the deer go down and he had traveled only 40 yards from where the arrow was sticking in the ground.  I dragged the deer uphill about 20 yards to a plateau and clearing and set the digital camera up on a homemade monopod and used the self-timer on the camera to get a photo to document the hunt.  I counted 9 points on the buck and he was slick and fat.  After a quick field dressing, I dragged the buck to another skidder road and back down the hillside to the left of my platform stand which was easy work until I had to cross the small branch/creek bottom and then uphill to my deer hanging tree.  The weather was in the high eighties and not much time to mess around with a deer, therefore I decided to take this deer to one of our local game processors due to the high temperature and not having an extra refrigerator at the time just for game meat and that was a mistake since his large freezer went out after he processed my deer and the only thing I got from this buck was a digital image of the harvest, set of antlers and a most memorable archery hunt.  Since 2002, I have processed all my own game animals and prior to this would process my deer when the weather was much colder.  Below is a pix of the 9 point buck harvested on opening day 09-07-02.

There was plenty of daylight hours left and a good picture without flash was possible on this ole boy.  I mentioned earlier about lowering my back pack and it would be interesting to see what a hunter will carry with him.  Mind you, I am not on a two or three day hunt from our home but most of the time within a few miles and you would not think this much extra "gear" would be needed.  You make the call!  See pix below:

Like I said, faulty DNA or something.  Since the pix, I sold the 1998 Randall # 3 hunting knife on EBay.  The Randall # 3 hunting knife is designed mainly for field dressing big game animals and in my humble opinion is not a general purpose everyday usage knife.   That was the reason I replaced this knife with one more versatile. 

Pix above of harvested, not shed deer antlers added to my Deer Horn Stew Pot.  I have just about run out of room in this pot.  Grin if you must!

Bill aka Mickey Porter 08-03-08 with hunting annotations taken in 2002.

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