Late October 2012 – Archery Hunt

The last Saturday of October was just a beautiful morning to watch the Eastern Kansas Sunrise from the quiet stillness of a tree stand.  The temperatures just dipped below freezing that night leaving a picturesque layer of frost over the ground.  Even nicer was the fact that the wind was dead calm; a rarity it seems in this part of the world.  A perfect morning for the deer to be moving around and the first time the weather conditions have lined up with my hunting schedule.  The stand was located on the edge of some timber bordering a soybean field that was just ready for harvest.  As I looked toward the East and the rising sun, I was able to spot several groups of 2-5 deer moving, grazing, and slowly heading back to their respective bedding areas for the day. 
Unfortunately, I had forgotten my binoculars that morning and was unable to tell at those distances whether the deer were bucks or does.  My imagination told me that at least several of the bigger ones must have been ‘monsters’!  About an hour into daylight, the deer had mostly disappeared into the woods on the other side, except for a group of 5 does that cut straight across the field from the west head right for me.  They got to the fence line and turned passing right through a shooting lane 15 yards away.  I leveled my top sight pin on the lead deer, which was also the largest of the group, and let the 100 grain Montec broadhead do its thing.  A clean pass through!   She made a quick bolt out into the beans about 60 yards before toppling over.  She truly must have been the leader of that small pack, because the remaining ones after scurrying off, gradually came back to find out what was holding her up.  They milled about for a few minutes providing some good photos before heading off to cover.  Since my buddy Steve was hunting in a stand a couple hundred yards away, I was going to sit still for a while until he climbed down.  Thinking my morning hunt was over I started to hear the telltale clucking and chirping of a group of turkeys on their way out to feed.  They crossed into the field to my North but started moseying my way.  I have a turkey tag burning a hole in my pocket and was pumped that I could double on deer and turkey in the same morning, so I had the bow up and ready when they entered shooting range about 20 yards out.  I had been wishing that I could have filmed the deer hunt but it was probably best that a camera was not on because I completely whiffed on the turkeys – TWICE.  Hero to Zero, as they say.  The morning finished out with one more visitor in the form of a very young 8 point buck taking his time getting back to the woods.  In all, I don’t think I could have scripted a better outing with the weather, the activity, and a successful harvest.  2012 is starting out pretty well indeed.

~ Eric

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