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dhaverstick

Longbow and flintlock bucks

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Last Thursday afternoon I finally got promoted from Deer Monitor to Deer Killer after calling this young 6-pointer in and dispatching him with my longbow. My dad had seen this buck in the same spot when I was hunting with him a couple of weeks ago. There is a huge thicket between our graveyard and our middle field and the deer use it as a main travel corridor. Dad always clears a road out in the middle of it to make their traveling easier and I set up on the road edge occasionally. This time I was in a hickory tree up on a little knob that looks down on the road just before it goes into the field. The buck had the brush horned up all around the mouth of the road so I knew he was using the area regularly.

About 4:30 pm I saw a doe out in the field and I bleated and grunted to her. She walked a couple of steps and then stopped. There was some brush between us and I couldn't see her so I just waited for her to come out one side or the other. Suddenly I heard some noise in the brush right next to the field edge and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how that doe had gotten there without me seeing her. Well, it wasn't her, it was the 6-pointer coming in to see who was in his territory. I let him get broadside at about 18 yards before sending an arrow his way. It was the first deer this season that I had gotten to draw on. The shot was good and I was soon loading him in the back of my truck. He is only the second deer I've killed with a bow during an afternoon sit. All my other deer have been morning kills.
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I saw a bunch of deer Friday but only bucks came into bow range. I saw three shooters in 30 minutes! That was okay. I would come back to the same spot Saturday morning with my 50 caliber flintlock and a whole new set of rules to play by. I was hunting on the ridge behind our barn. There is a big oak flat up there that the deer and turkey just love to dine on. I would be there too but with a different menu in mind.

Saturday morning started out a little slow; I think mainly due to the bright moon that shone all night long. Around 8:00 I saw a young 8-pointer come out of the holler to the northwest of me and start doing deer stuff. He was about 50 yards away so I bleated and grunted to him to close the distance. All that did was call his fork-horned buddy out of the holler and they started feeding away from me towards our northern neighbor's place. At one time I had a good broadside shot on the 8-pointer but I decided to pass. It was only about 50 yards but I couldn't be sure there wasn't some unseen obstacle between me and him. I was shooting iron sights so I wanted to be sure I had a good shot. The day was early so I figured I had more opportunities in store for me.

And it turned out, I did. About 10 minutes went by and the 8-pointer decided to come back. He apparently remembered he had an appointment to keep because he was walking at a pretty steady pace on a vector that would take him by me on the left at about 25 yards. With a loud CLICK, I cocked the hammer back on my flintlock and tried to position myself for the shot. I am left handed and animals on that side are the bane of my hunting career. There's only so much turning you can do in a climbing stand so I tried to stop him with some doe bleats by mouth. Finally, he acknowledged my presence and slowed down enough for me to shoot. I lined up the sights, picked a spot behind his shoulder and pulled the trigger. Through the cloud of blue smoke I could see him hump up and then run down into the holler. Fortunately, he piled up before he made it too far and I had one more buck for the freezer. I used 75 grains of FFg powder and a .490" diameter PRB.
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Anyone who thinks that hunting is all about killing has obviously never had the pleasure of dragging 150 pounds of dead weight uphill for a couple hundred yards while trying to stand up in calf-high leaves that are as slick as goose grease. The killing takes seconds, the rest is all work. A 4-point safety harness also doubles as an excellent dragging harness!
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Overall, we didn't hurt the deer population too badly at the Haverstick Game Preserve and Day Spa but we did manage to fill the meat pole. I really wanted to kill a couple of does but Fate provided me with bucks so that's what I killed. They were both young deer so they should still be fine table fare. I will spend the rest of the week deboning the meat and putting it up. Sausage making will commence over Christmas break. Life is good!
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Darren

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