Archive for the ‘Hunting’ Category

Is it Fall yet?

Posted: July 8, 2016 in Hunting

This week my video is all about getting my hunting bow set up and ready for hunting season. Fall can’t get here fast enough. We have planted the beans and are keeping an eye on our trial cameras . . . now my bow is ready. Is it Fall yet?

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Redemption

Posted: November 10, 2015 in Hunting

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My dad and I were invited to a friend’s farm* in Bertie County with the hopes of harvesting my first deer. After arriving and taking a closer look at the stands and blinds Friday evening, we realized that they were excellent set ups for hunting with guns, but not a bow. Putting up a few tree stands in various locations they told us about, put us in a greater position for success.
Hunting our stand on Saturday morning brought nothing in sight, so in the early evening we decided to head over to another stand we had set up on a spot called the Front Dip. My Dad was about 30 yards away from me in a stand across the power line clearing, so if I had a shot I would be on my own. Since this was the first time I had ever hunted alone in my stand, I was feeling a bit uneasy.
Around thirty minutes before dark I notice my Dad signaling from across the way. As I turn slowly, I spot a healthy 6-point buck heading my way quickly.

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                                             My tree stand                     The power line clearing between us

Coming within 10 yards of me, I strategically grab my Matthews Chill SDX bow from the tree. Rapidly, I drew my bow and squeezed the cold trigger. Boom! With a clean strong shot, my arrow made its way through the vitals. Praying we will find him, as we climb down from our stands, we discover my bloody arrow in the ground. It had gone all the way through. Shocked at what I saw, we began to follow the blood trail which grew easier to follow with each step.

deer1                                                                     how we found my arrow

My Dad explained, “He can’t take much more of this, you hit him right in the pump station.”
As we approached a grassy area, I gazed up and noticed his white horn laying on the grown and my Dad exclaimed loudly, “There he is! WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” My heart almost flew out of my chest with excitement. Taking a while for the realization of what I had just accomplished took some time to sink in. Stooping down over the deer, I thanked him quietly.

Finally, I had redeemed myself for all the missed opportunities, lost shots and lost deer of the past two seasons. Driving the deer back to camp in the Gator was exhilarating. Greeted by congratulations and hand shaking helped the accomplishment sink in. I’m grateful to have a Dad who help me accomplish my dreams and for generous friends who allow me the opportunity to hunt their awesome land.

*I want to send out a special thank you to Mr. Brinley, Mr. Picott and his family for having me at their amazing farm. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to hunt their land and now it will have an even more special place in my heart as the place I harvested my first deer.

The Element of Disappointment

Posted: November 3, 2015 in Hunting

IMG_5083Just settling in Friday evening

We started Friday evening with high hopes of finally harvesting my first deer. Getting
into the stand was exciting. Watching and waiting for an hour and a half, we scanned and
suddenly spotted a small four point buck. After determinedly running off, as if he was in hot
pursuit of a doe, the buck showed up again just twenty minutes later. This time, he was
standing just fifteen yards to my right. Patiently waiting for just the right shot, I watched the
relaxed buck timidly back up just a few feet.

My dad quietly whispered, “When he gives you a shot, take it!”
As if on command, I was presented with a clear shot at about seventeen yards. Taking
aim and slowly squeezing the release trigger, I watched the arrow fly sharply through the air.
The shot was a little higher than I wanted, but it was a shot in the vitals. Stunned, the young
buck jumped and ran off into the dense woods. Climbing down quietly from the deer stand we
discussed the shot and begin to look for a blood trail. After two disappointing hours of
searching for any drops of blood, my dad discovered a leaf with a fresh splatter of blood. With
darkness setting in, we decided to pause our search and return in the morning.

After a sleepless night and a lot of prayer we headed back out nervously to continue our
search. Crossing creeks, rocky terrain and hundreds of spiny tree limbs only brought on more
frustration and disappointment. We couldn’t find any more traces of blood. I sadly picked up
the one leaf we had found that had given me so much hope and tucked it into my pocket.
Heartbroken, I looked up at my dad and he explained, “There’s nothing else we can do
except get back into the tree stand.”

It’s difficult to explain how deep the frustration and disappointment has been. To finally have a
shot was thrilling. To finally have a shot at a buck was even more incredible. To have shot a
buck and not find it has been devastating. This hunt certainly didn’t turn out the way I had
imagined. My mom says, “Life will hand us many disappointments, but it’s how we deal with them
and learn from them that makes all the difference. When you know you have tried your
best and done all you can do, you have to find a way to be at peace with the outcome.”
That is easier said than done, but hunting is certainly teaching me some important lessons
about life. For now, that leaf sits on my bookshelf as a reminder that failure and frustration will
come in life, but we have to keep our heads up and continue trying.

IMG_5097Keeping this leaf for a while just as a reminder

The Brave Doe

Posted: October 13, 2015 in Hunting

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It was October 10th, the last morning hunt at my grandma’s before returning home. Because the trail camera pictures were showing deer there every morning, I was feeling confident. My Dad and I climbed into the tree stand about 6:25 a.m. Still a little to dark to shoot, we settled into our positions before the deer could see us. After waiting about an hour, my Dad looked down and spotted a doe twenty yards from us. Wandering around for a few minutes, it finally stopped and gave me a clear twenty three yard shot, but I refused to take it because of the size of the deer.
Time seemed to stand still for a few minutes as I contemplated taking the shot, but I’m very satisfied with my decision and trust it was the right call. A short time later four more deer approached our tree stand. Suddenly running off, we think that three of them smelled us, but for some reason one decided to stick around. Sitting back to back in the tree stand, my dad and I didn’t always have the same view. He had a great fifteen yard shot, but I couldn’t achieve a clear shot due to the thick brush and my angle. Unexpectedly, the deer gently walked in front of us and just laid down. I thought, “She is bedding down, we could be here all day.” She stayed for an hour, but by that time we were ready to hit the road and head home. My dad whispered, “I’m going to try to get her up and moving.” Whistling and grunting didn’t work. Nothing happened. We even unscrewed our bow hanger out of the tree and threw that near her, but she didn’t budge. We didn’t want her to see us climb out of the tree, but it was after 10:00 and we were ready to leave. At the time, I had my field point arrows in my quiver, along with my broad heads, so my dad suggested I shoot a field tip arrow beside her. Drawing back, I released the arrow. Immediately, the doe hopped up, but she still doesn’t run off.

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I’ve never experienced anything like it. She meandered around our tree for a few more minutes before joining the others in the thick brush. I still haven’t harvested a deer this year, but at least I can add to my incredible memories, experiences and have another exciting story to tell.

 

Another Key

Posted: September 21, 2015 in Hunting, Practice & Tips

My Dad declared this weekend that I might be the most patient ten-year old around. During the weekend, I waited quietly in a tree stand scanning and listening for a deer to pass by for over nine hours combined. Unfortunately, the first half without even spotting a deer and the last half noticing only a few, but never having the opportunity for a shot. Granted, bow hunting is much tougher than hunting with a gun. Last week I wrote about the importance of preparation as deer season approaches. Organizing one’s things and being prepared is essential, but this week I want to talk about another key to successful hunting. Perseverance is another important quality that a dedicated hunter must have. The dictionary defines perseverance as, “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success; having persistence, determination and staying power”. Over the past few years, I have discovered bow hunting is a sport that requires an abundant amount of persistence.

While you wait and wait and in the tree stand there are many things you can do to efficiently pass the time. Studying and gathering information on the movement of the deer, not only from your trail cameras, but with an alert gaze makes the time go by faster and not seem wasted. Planning for obstacles that may arise when you are taking aim and strategizing ways to overcome them is another great way to pass time. Additionally, as you are sitting quietly in a tree stand while the forest is waking up, it’s exhilarating and exciting to listen to all the sounds of the forest. This weekend the deep woods were so alive and active, we never had a moment of silence. Although there is also my “spit game” where I try to wangle my spit into the holes in the floor of the deer stand without it touching the edges, but that’s not quite as efficient as the ones I mentioned above.

Another weekend, another failed attempt. My family and friends are seriously craving the deer jerky my parents make from the deer we harvest. Since the freezer is already empty from last year’s hunt, I better start praying that my preparation and persistence start paying off.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up for your work will be rewarded.

2 Chronicles 15:7

Preparation is Key

Posted: September 15, 2015 in Hunting, Practice & Tips
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As most of you know, last Saturday was opening day of North Carolina bow season. Sadly, I couldn’t go. Opening day came in a flash. My dad and I were not adequately prepared because my former hunting bow sold later than expected and I’m still waiting for my new camo Matthews Chill SDX to arrive. Since my other bow and sight are set for shooting indoor archery, I didn’t want to fiddle with it or I would have used that one. Along with not having my hunting bow, my dad and I had not spread any deer corn or put any tree stands up at the local land we hunt. This is a must! Being prepared is vital in the sport of deer hunting if you desire to be successful.

As we set out to the local land, which our friend Mr. Kurt owns, the weather had cooled off quite a bit from the anticipated cold front. I could feel fall in the air. Quickly hopping out of the truck I could hear the soft rustle of wings fluttering as the birds took off from the tree tops. Grabbing the corn and wildly spreading it I would smell the earthly soil beneath our feet. When I imagine the deer coming to nibble on the corn in the early a.m. or late evening I wonder how it must taste to them. I enjoy buttery corn on the cob too, but not dry grainy corn. Last but not least, my dad and I pulled the metal tree stand up the ladder. I could feel the cool metal in my hand as I passed it up to my dad for the perfect placement. I’m excited about the brush covered spot we chose and now that we have put everything in place and had time to strategically prepare, I’m confident we will have a successful 2015 deer season.

The Great Dove Hunt

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Hunting

Dove Pic

Opening day of dove season finally arrived last weekend. Bryan, who is my dad’s friend, was kind enough to let us hunt his beautiful land. Waking up at 4:45 a.m., I was excited to see what the day held in store for us. Anxiously arriving after a 45 minute drive, we quickly set up under a power line in the middle of a spacious field. Pouring in like mosquitoes, the doves were all over us. My dad, who is a great shot, scored his limit of fifteen doves in an hour and a half. Since we ran out of time, I had just under my limit with thirteen. We didn’t hunt on Sunday, but went back on Monday for some Labor Day dove. Although the doves were not as active as they had been on Saturday, I shot a whopping eleven. After cleaning up later that night, we had our tasty birds for family dinner. Carefully, my dad expertly prepared some of them with tangy BBQ sauce and others with creamy cream cheese and grilled jalapeno. They were delicious! Dove hunting was just what I needed after a long season of just fishing to get me in the rhythm for bow season. So, no more dove hunting for me because bow season comes in Saturday and deer are my main target from here on out! More exciting details on that to come I hope!

 

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