Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 59

at 3:30, in broad daylight, barely 20 minutes after I’d climbed into my stand, I heard footsteps to my left. I looked over my shoulder and there was a deer, walking in from the field and on the trail that ran under my stand. And, not only was it a deer, it had antlers! I remember starting to shake immediately. But I also recall thinking, it’s just a 4-point. I want something bigger. I maintained that attitude for several minutes as the buck nudged through the leaves on the ground with its nose, slowly meandering down the trail. Before long the buck was directly beneath my stand. Then it started moving toward the thicket, but still I didn’t make a move for my bow. About the time the buck was 20 yards past me, I flashed back to the previous season, when I’d whiffed a gimme shot on a 6-point at 15 yards. I’d shot right over that deer’s back. My list of bow-killed deer consisted of exactly one button buck shot two years earlier. In my mind, a voice rationalized, Maybe you’d better get a buck — any buck — with a bow under your belt before you start hunting trophies. That seemed like sage advice, but I’d already passed up the best shot at this deer, which had been broadside at 10 yards a minute or so earlier. Once I’d convinced myself I ought to take a crack at this buck and realized my best opportunity at it was gone, I really started to shake. Slowly, I stood up, reached around and grabbed my bow off its tree hook. The bow’s grip slid around in my sweaty palm as I clipped my release to the string and tried to figure out when would be the best time to shoot. Fortunately for me, the one thing in this whole situation that I was well prepared to do was shoot. I had been competing in indoor and outdoor archery tournaments, year round, for the previous three years, and I had become a pretty good shot. So I was confident in my shooting abilities. Maybe too confident. I didn’t know it MARCH 2010 at the time, but shooting a stationary bullseye while standing flat on the ground is more than just a little different than shooting at a live critter while standing on a narrow platform hanging from a tree. When the buck turned slightly, so that it was quartering away, I drew back my 70-pound Browning Mirage bow, settled the appropriate pin behind the buck’s last rib and squeezed the trigger. The instant the string went thwack, the buck turned so that it was facing dead away from me. My arrow burrowed deep into its rump. Again, I didn’t know a lot about deer hunting at that time, but I knew that wasn’t a good hit. The buck rocketed off toward the thicket and I sat down before my shaking knees sent me over the side of the treestand. I climbed down and plotted my next move. I knew I shouldn’t track the deer right away, so I waited two hours before taking up the trail. When I returned to the spot where the buck had been standing when I shot, I was surprised to immediately find blood — lots of it. A solid red line stretched out before me, heading toward the thicket. I’d heard some of my hunting friends talk about the “femoral artery” in a deer’s rump area, and how severing it was absolutely lethal. Briefly, I considered the possibility that I’d hit it, given the steady stream of blood I was following, but I ruled it a long shot. I followed the blood trail for barely 35 yards before I spotted a white belly buried in the edge of the thicket. It had only been about two hours since I’d shot the deer, but already it was stiff as a board. I had, indeed, cut the femoral artery. It wasn’t an ideal shot, but it did the job. I was as proud as a peacock as I handled the buck’s small, 4-point rack. I dressed the deer with great inexperience and hauled it out to the field edge, where I loaded it into my truck. As I write this, that was 16 years ago. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
The Scofflaws
The Last Shot
Hunters Connect with the Chesapeake Bay
Chasing the Dream
The Barberry Grouse
Mentored Youth Program Gobbler
The A Team
Hand-Me-Downs
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Scofflaws
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Last Shot
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Hunters Connect with the Chesapeake Bay
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Chasing the Dream
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Barberry Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Mentored Youth Program Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The A Team
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Hand-Me-Downs
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - I1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - I2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover4
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