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Shankspony
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One chance.
Apr 17th, 2019 at 8:32pm
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Each year at this time I put a fair effort into taking a deer with my longbow. Almost every morning I'm up before daylight, and each night i'm home after dark.
Mostly It's a path full of frustration and failure. On the other hand you get to see so many things, so many close encounters, so much time spent watching deer, their habits and behaviours. You can do everything right and be busted from 60 meters, and everything wrong and stumble on one you didn't see in an open paddock at 30. And wonder how neither you or it saw each other earlier.
For the two week period of the rut, I work on the philosophy that I will get one chance. One real opportunity at a deer close enough that it cant jump the string and has not seen, smelt or heard me before I let go an arrow.
This year I had that chance early. My first hunt to be precise. I sat above a bluff system with deer feeding 70 meters below me in an open paddock. They were too far in the open for me to spend much time worrying about them, so I glassed other places looking for something with a higher probability.
From the corner of my eye I caught movement and realised they had climbed up under the bluff and were heading back to the bush. I realised If I made my way quick and quiet to the end of the bluff system, they might walk right underneath me. I slipped right as fast as I could and stood near the rock edge looking down.... some minutes past yet nothing showed. fearing I had missed them I started to move off just as a doe appeared. I froze! More content on watching below her she moved under my rock. I drew back the bow and positioned my feet as she reappeared nearly side on and almost below me at 10 meters.
My middle finger found the corner of my mouth and I tilted the bow down to line up the arrow with the bottom of her chest. It was a sure thing for me as I dont miss at that kind of distance. I felt the tension in my shoulder increase as I used my muscles to let an arrow go and at the point of no return the binoculars hanging from my neck lost their grip and swung out like a pendulum to hang between my bow and string. There was a loud smack! of string on the fabric of the bino case and the arrow wobbled off the bow and thudded into the ground next to the startled deer.
I stood there dumbfounded having a hard time comprehending my mistake, it dawning on me I'd never practiced that downhill shot with my Binos carried like I do.

The good ting about that one chance, is that once its gone, you only need another. Tonight I tried something different. Id been watching a group of deer in the evenings in a spot Id struggle to get close enough, but did notice that occasionally, occasionally but often enough that it was a percentage chance , a deer or so would pass under tree.
I got there early this evening and climbed that twisted, multi branched Whitewood and nestled into the nest at its core. Breaking branches that obscured shooting lanes, then sitting back to wait.

After a while, movement behind another whitewood grabbed my attention. It was the slightest gap in the leaves and I could not see shape or form, but the movement i was sure was not that of the wind on leaves. I had the impression in my mind of a deers head as it cropped grass. I waited and soon sure enough out stepped a Buck. He headed my way. I watched as he came closer. It was apparent he was a young buck with his first set of antlers. Spikes of close too a meter long and nicely shaped. Unlike the older bucks his coat was clean and he still carried some fat. He paused facing toward me at 15 meters, then stepped on forward to walk 4 meters below me and two out to the side.
The good thing about getting a second chance, is you don't need to use it straight away. I never picked up my bow. That young buck has potential to be great. He may not be but if I killed him tonight I would never know. I watched him walk under my tree, pause confused as he caught my scent, then stomp off back to the bush.
I learnt tonight that the tree works.
  
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Re: One chance.
Reply #1 - Apr 18th, 2019 at 6:30pm
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Wow, what an awesome experience, Iíve been trying for my first deer for two years now, the closest I got was 20 meters ( but I didnít have my bow only a camera) so I know it can be done. Youíve got a great set up where you are.
  

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Micky Duck
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Re: One chance.
Reply #2 - Apr 18th, 2019 at 7:51pm
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sounds like a great place you have there shanks... it will happen Radar...bit like that Embarrassed "other thing" you were in a hurry to loose many years ago Grin Grin Grin
always thought its a great pity we arent allowed to use the bow on waterfowl.... a floating ball instead of a point to club them down.......many a parrie would meet its demise out in the boonies too.
  
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JaSa
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Re: One chance.
Reply #3 - Apr 19th, 2019 at 6:09pm
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Well written !

Sometimes, when you are ready to shoot and it's a done-deal, it's even better not to shoot I find theses days. Must be an age thing...
Was watching this mob of goats from 10m in the tight bush today. There were two big billies in the group with horns you would consider a trophy. But they where so oblivious to my present and very nice looking animals it seemed just wrong to kill them and disturb the peace.
As a reward I got onto a stag 5 minutes later but he had other plans, haha.

PS:
Are the fallow croaking yet in our area? Farm ones are but haven't been out to check on the fallow yet. Reds still going good.
  
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Shankspony
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Re: One chance.
Reply #4 - Apr 19th, 2019 at 6:15pm
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Yep, they have been going for a couple of weeks but its been sporadic, one day good, next nothing.
  
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awaterelad
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Re: One chance.
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2019 at 6:42pm
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thanks for sharing, i have been curtailed with the recurve by not having a string for it. both my strings went in couple of days. its a pain not being closer to an archery store and everything shutting down for easter. and i have a chamois and tahr hunt to prepare for in 2 weeks.
  
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Re: One chance.
Reply #6 - Apr 22nd, 2019 at 5:48pm
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nicely written,  its totally about the hunt.........the kill is a separate ting.....
  
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