Archery 2008

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Archery season 2008 is here again opening on September 13th in the Eastern and Central counties of North Carolina, however this year has been one of the toughest seasons to get ready for in many years and decades.  Please go to the short story about Murphy's Law  http://www.portercalls.com/murphy's_law.htm and this will give you a heads up for this hunting season.   I have heard many times that there is a Silver Lining In Each Dark Cloud and today manifested that cliché for sure.

Hurricane Ike that hit landfall in the Texas coast line a few days ago has caused a little extra rain and plenty of humidity hitting our Anson County area with the early morning temperature still in the mid 60s with low hanging fog and enough moisture to float a battleship however that doesn't deter or stop most of the crazed bow hunters like myself.  Anyone that will leave a nice cool home hours before daylight opting to get into the elements with mosquitoes on full Red Alert with their radar systems fine tuned for human DNA just waiting for an innocent victim to draw and consume their daily meal,  a straight jacket might be in order.  Not to mention a 300 dollar charcoal activated suit my hunting buddies use which adds another ten or so degrees of felt external body temperature.  I don't think any of the shrinks has an antidote for this uncontrollable behavior.   Go ahead and grin hunters, we know it is the truth!

The first day of hunting season, whether it is with bow and arrow, muzzle loader, pistol or long gun, there is always that anxiety of getting all the tons of gear together and hope something is not left back at home,  in the hunting camp or vehicle many miles from the hunting area whichever the case may be.

I had thoughts about sitting out the opening morning hunt due to the high temperature, variable winds and humidity and for the most part the moon phase which is nearing a full moon Waning Gibbous and rarely have any luck in the morning since the deer feed mostly at night and are heading back to their bedding grounds about the time you are getting on stand, but do you think LOGIC or common sense kept me from going this morning...not in the least.  I told my bride of 40 years earlier that I  was thinking about staying in for the morning hunt and she made a comment, "I was getting smarter since my senior citizens status," but I guess I showed her right?   

I got on stand about 30 minutes before daylight and it felt good to get back in the saddle so to speak regardless of the conditions described in the second paragraph.  A few squirrels were already out working a nearby hickory tree harvesting scaly bark nuts as the locals here call the hickory nut and insects of all types were singing in concert and harmony as well.  Normally on bright full moon nights, deer don't come out again until around 10ish or mid-day to feed again but deer will feed when they get hungry and I don't think too many of them carry around those moon charts for prime feeding or movement times anyway.  However, my good friend John Gaddy of Polkton, NC hunts according to the moon phase and fills his big game tags regularly hunting at mid-day, noon and early afternoon in addition to the traditional early and late hunting times and has proven to me many times there is something more than guess work to the moon phase activity for game animal movement patterns.

I stayed on my hunting platform until around 0830 hours beginning to get fidgety and without seeing or hearing any deer movement along with certain body function urges, it didn't take much mental persuasion to climb down from my 27 feet high hunting platform and head back for home. The mosquitoes were not that bad since my head net and gloves kept them at bay but they were still relentless in their efforts to get a good meal going at my expense.  Still, an enjoyable hunt nevertheless!

After a morning breakfast of pancakes and light syrup, bacon and coffee with my bride, I ran a few errands which included my weekly uniforms to the cleaners and the never ending stops at the local IGA for food, etc.   I got out a pack of frozen venison cubed loin to thaw out to prepare some country style venison steak and gravy for diner or supper as some call it around here, depending on whether you live in town or out of town...grin if you must   Check my recipe section page out on this web and I did the electric skillet version and it came out "beautimous" , served over a bed of sticky rice, Mary Bee's frozen tea biscuits and fresh tomatoes. 

I got on stand around 6:00 PM and the wind was in my favor, however with the long sleeve cotton shirt, cotton pants and full face netting and floppy camouflage hat it felt like a 100 plus degrees but the temp was around 90 degrees with the humidity full blast.  Some fresh shelled corn was broadcast in my immediate comfortable bow hunting zone (less than 20 yards) before climbing the tree and most of the time it doesn't bother the deer as one would think. After about 15 minutes on stand my glasses started to fog and I was partially blind for awhile.  I changed glasses from my regular progressive lenses to a pair without any close range stuff dedicated to hunting and yard work and failed to clean/coat them with Anti-Fog solution...my bad for sure!  Do you still remember Murphy's Law that I eluded to earlier?

Pix below of view from the platform tree stand from a few years back.  Area is more open now after our 2000 Blizzard!

A friend of mine rags me about my boot string bow strap!

The most eventful thing happening prior to dusk dark was a female Cardinal bird and a Bluejay getting into a confrontation as to who had property rights over the broadcast corn.  The Cardinal kept the Bluejay at bay and would allow access only to the peripheral edge of the shelled corn.  A grey squirrel stayed in the corn a while and something spooked him off and he chattered and whined for a while before exiting and never did see what caused all the commotion.

It was after 7:33 PM and the sun had gone down behind the ridge line trees and I could hear deer approaching from my right and they stayed out in the cover a while before making their way to the feeding area.  I don't know the exact time but it was getting within a few minutes of legal hunting time and all I saw was the outline of a large deer crunching my "free" corn and my sore left shoulder did not even feel the weight or pressure of the recently converted target back up bow for hunting as it came silently to full draw.  The holographic "Holo" sight picture settled on the deer's back whereas the Easton XX78 2315 Super Slam shaft left the bow and upon impact sounded like a tree had fallen onto the deer.  The deer left straight away in the direction it was pointed and I heard it crash less than 50 yards from my stand and thrashed around briefly and all was silent again.  I knew the deer was down for the 10 count and waited a few minutes to be sure there was no other movement.  I didn't think this one would be any trouble to find since it was so close to the stand, however the area is so dense and thick from a four year old logging operating with new under growth it would take a machete to blaze a walking trail.  The arrow was not located and only one large droplet of blood was found in the area where the deer was standing and that was not a good sign to start looking for the downed deer.  I immediately went to where I heard the deer crash and even with the help of the Premos Blood Hunter tracking light there was no visible evidence of a blood trail.  I knew from personal experience that the deer was down however without a blood trail and heavy thick cover the job is very difficult.  To make a long story short, it took at least an hour to find the downed deer and that was simply by going over every square foot of the immediate area until the deer was located.  Let me insert a pix of the 3 point buck and I will tell the rest of the story:

The picture doesn't give an accurate representation of the moisture content of my clothing or the pierce marks from head to calves brought about by pushing my way through the heavy dense under growth loaded with briars.  There was not a dry thread on my person!  The reason for no blood trail was where the arrow entered the buck.  The arrow entered right in front of the left hind quarter about 2 inches from center of the spine and instead of exiting at the angle the arrow started out, the arrow deflected off the spine and entered the deer's stomach, diaphragm and into the lung/heart area.  Only a few inches of the arrow fletch was sticking out of the deer and no exit wound for a blood trail to follow.  Other than about one inch of matted fletch that entered the deer and a nasty looking arrow which was still straight, with a new set of replaceable broadhead blades, a good scrubbing down with soap and water, it would see action again.  I earned this buck the hard way, but it takes tenacity not to give up when looking for a downed deer that you are about 100 percent sure is dead.  It doesn't always work but luck and persistence paid off today.

Pix below of the deer quartered up and ready for my game dedicated refrigerator to age out a few days before processing.  You will notice that I field dressed, skinned and cut the deer up using only the tools on the table, especially the little 3 inch length blade paring knife.  It never ceases to amaze me at the knife blade length deer hunters carry into the woods suitable for carving up a Mastodon or Mammoth or appropriate for a confrontation with a Samurai warrior.

Inserted is a close up of the little J.A. Henckels paring knife l use for field dressing.  I know the big bore advocates will laugh but it will open the brisket of a large buck if you cut off center of the sternum.  The little blade will hold an edge even after field dressing and making contact with bone.  I have a fairly steep angle on the edge to help keep it from turning.

 

I "guestimated" the live weight of the buck around 150 lbs. and by the width of the loin strap don't think I am too far off.

A good start into our 2008 archery season with some fresh venison which is excellent table fare.  It was around 11:15 PM before I got into bed and a well desired sleep for sure.

Later Bill aka Mickey Porter 09-14-08.

BOW HUNTING 11-11-08

A good friend offered to let me hunt his club land in Richmond County, NC and took the ole stick and string instead of the long gun to make it a little tougher and wanted to get some blood on the new Mathews Drenalin bow and the following pixs sums it all up.

Good visual hit and with plenty of blood on arrow and ground.

An excellent blood trail to follow.

A fresh scrape not less than 30 yards from the stand set-up!

Hunter Orange is mandatory when regular gun season rolls in requiring one to move in slow motion if you see the deer before you hear him.  Note:  Hunter Orange in NC is not required for the landowner, spouse and children when hunting on his own land.  I got on stand a little before daylight and nothing happened until around 9:00 when this 7 pointer was trying to get a lock on a couple vials of doe urine I placed within bow range of the feeding area.  The wind was swirling and he was cutting back and forth head into the wind trying to find the scent,  however when he was about 30 yards out the wind suddenly stopped and the buck finally eased in to where shelled corn was broadcast and this deer was savvy to this type of set-up since he looked directly up at my location.  I closed my eyes to a squint and he decided everything was ok and took a couple nibbles of the shelled corn and continued to look about on full alert.  The buck was facing me and didn't appear to be in a hurry to change his position so decided to try for a spine shot which I know can be risky at times but I felt good with my shooting lately and slowly began to draw the Mathews Drenalin bow back but after two and one half hours on the stand and the wind blowing and cold too, I didn't think the bow was going to break over and located my anchor and the sight pin settled on his spine but at the moment I touched the release aid I saw the sight pin move toward his left shoulder instead of "dead" center and the arrow impacted where the sight pin was located within the sight picture that I had at the moment of the release.  At the smack sound the arrow gave when it impacted the deer, the buck headed off in the direction that he came from and I didn't hear him crash or go down.  I proceeded to go in the direction the deer traveled and went no more than 50 yards before I picked up a good blood trail which appeared to be a lung hit and had a good blood trail for another 100 yards where the buck stopped.  The arrow hit into the deer's left shoulder and went down beside the rib cage without entering the diaphragm at all and the arrow apparently cut a major artery or blood vessel in the leg/shoulder area since he was bleeding profusely.  Sometimes luck pays off and it did in this case because normally that shot would not have been fatal. 

Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-11-08 

A few pixs from my platform stand taken on 11-15-08:

The other side of the cut over is about 200 yards, however most of the deer travel in the buffer zone about 40 to 70 yards in front of this stand and to the immediate right in heavy woods and cover.  Another pix showing the little creek aka branch meandering in front of the stand and to the left and right:

With the recent heavy rains, the little creek is flowing pretty fast and a very peaceful sound indeed!  NOTE:  We purchased the adjacent parcel of land in 2014 which has the flowing stream aka Culpepper Creek.

I fashioned a Rube Goldberg temporary bow hanger for the Mathews Drenalin bow and will affix a permanent one later but this is all I could find on the platform stand when the urge hit to hang the bow....a J hook and piece of string.  I normally don't keep a bow on a bow hook because I have had deer in the past step out into my shooting lane and before I could get the bow in hand, the deer would be gone, however if the bow was in my hand or across my legs a shot might have been possible.  I guess it will take another nice buck to step out again when my bow is hanging on a hook instead of in my bow hand to "Break me from sucking eggs."  For those not familiar with the last phrase, it was coined a long time ago when times were hard and folks raised chickens for the meat and eggs and a dog would raid a hen's nest and lightly bite into the hen egg with his canine teeth and suck the contents from the egg leaving an empty shell.  The hen's owners would take a fake eggs and mix up pepper and hot sauce to try and break the dog from "sucking eggs" and if that didn't work, the last resort was to inject some eggs with liquid poison and there you have it, he would be broke from sucking eggs....a cruel method but times were hard. 

Pix of last deer taken during the 2008 season with the new Mathews Drenalin bow.

Updated 01-03-09.

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