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
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.