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Early Christmas Gift!!!

Hoytmania

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Gods Country
#1
Well I have been putting off starting this thread for quite some time now because I just didn't know really where to start. I know I have been kind of quiet on the boards through this season, but I have just been in a real funk. I would say I was in this funk even before the season started.

First off I must say that this has been a season unlike any other that I have had in the past, and not on the good side. For those of you that might not know me that well from over at OS I am an avid archer and exclusively archery hunt. I can count the number of time I have chased the whitetail with a gun on one hand. I am in no way shape or form against it I just choose to not do it. I started hunting when I was 18 years old in the fall of 1996. I was not raised in a home that hunting was even discussed let alone a past time. So needless to say I spent the first four seasons eating tag soup and learning a lot from the school of hard knocks. In November of 2000 I got my first deer which was a very worthy 137 gross 10 pointer. Since then there was only one season that I ate tag soup. It became regular to have at least a doe in the freezer before rut rolled around, and to have some bone to hold on to by the end of season. The past two seasons have been absolutely stellar seasons to say the least. 2008 blessed me with a doe and a 160s class double drop tine buck. 2009 blessed me with another doe and 170s class buck. I want to make it clear that I am in no way shape or form trying to brag. I don't even consider myself close in comparison to a handful of guys here that can continuously find and kill world class whitetails. I will be the first to admit that both the bucks from the past two seasons where taken way more by being in the right place at the right time and a whole bunch of luck, with less than stellar kill shots than by me knowing where they where running and staging them so I knew they where coming.

With that being said the funk that I was in prior to season really had my mind messed with on how in the world can I even come close to performing like years past. This played on me so much that I hardly did any preseason preparations for stands and setups. There was very minimal scouting done. It just seemed if I had lost the fire for the chase, or that it had definitely dwindled down to some smoldering coals. Well this seemed to follow right into season. For the first time since I started hunting I missed the season opener. I did because of work but in times past this would never have happened. I guess you could say change in priorities but it just didn't feel the same.

Another thing that came into the mix was the wife. Not in a bad way by any means, in fact she picked up a bow in the spring and was excited about hunting come the fall. So a good portion of my energies of the early season was put into getting her on deer. I was successful in that fact but unfortunately she has not been able to seal the deal yet.

So by the time I was really getting into the woods for some serious stand time it was late October, and I was so out of tune with what was happening in the woods it just did not feel right. Finally the Thursday before Halloween I had a shot on a button buck. Not my ideal target but I figured with the way the season was going it was time to pop the cherry for the season and get some meat for the freezer. 10 yrd quartering away shot. Chip shot to say the least and I missed right over its back. Needless to say this did not help boost me out of my funk and definitely took some wind out of the sails of confidence. Well out of the blue in early Nov. I acquire a new property that has loads of potential. Hustle in and get a setup secured because there is really no time for scouting as the rut is getting ready to go full swing if it already hasn't. I wasn't sure because I was out of tune. First sit in this setup has a very slow start but later morning has a doe with two yearlings coming in. I figure it's time to get rid of this funk and move forward. Perfect broadside shot at 24 yrds. and I shoot right under her. By this time I am wondering if it is something to do with my equipment or should I just retire for the season and not spread my bad luck on anyone else.

This brought me to my first hunt out of Richland county. Jesse was nice enough to allow me to come down to his place and hunt the weekend of Nov. 12th. I was pumped expecting to see lots of action. The exact opposite was the case. Nothing Jesse could control as the temps where in the high 60s and low 70s during the day. Saw a total of 2 deer all weekend. Thanks again for the hunting Jesse and Tracie. Even though I didn't see a whole lot of deer that was beautiful country to hunt. :smiley_bril:

I am not one for quitting so I stuck with it. By this time I am just wanting anything to walk in front of me so I can stick it with an arrow. Wish granted! Right at the end of shooting light I have a very nice 8 pointer coming into me. By all rights a good 2.5 yr old with loads of potential and should probably get a pass for next year but I have got to get an arrow in something. Again 10 yrd chip shot. I connect and he mule kicks and runs off. I felt a wave of relief that would soon turn into more self doubt and lack of confidence. As Capt. Ernie and my son and wife help to track this deer with very little blood trail and no arrow to tell us what kind of hit we had. For the first time in my hunting career I shot an animal and did not find it. Not only had I missed two deer but injured a buck of good potetial. :smiley_depressive: Fast forward 48 hours. I repeat but with a very mature doe. Blasted her at 12 yrds, quartering away and had the arrow in the off side shoulder(or so it looked). Another animal shot wounded and could not find.

Next rolls around gun season. I stay out of the woods for gun, like I said prior it is just my choice. The week after gun I am scheduled to be on call at work. Which when temperatures are in the teens and you are on call to fix furnaces that speaks for no hunting time. So it turns out that I am not in the woods for almost three weeks from the start of gun season. I am starting to wonder if I am looking at a tagless season.

This past week I have been fighting a severe sinus cold and was wondering if I would even be able to get out beings I had today off for Christmas. Well I was feeling better and knew I wasn't going to see anything let alone shoot anything from bed. So I got up this morning and went to place that I had only hunted 2 to 3 times this season. I know it has been a good bedding area in the past and figured it would be a good spot to hunt in the morning in hopes of at least seeing some deer. Right at 7:30 I hear some movement behind me and sure enough two young does are about 80 yards off but seem to be coming my direction. Over the next thirty minutes I watch them feed and slowly make their closer and closer. They finally get to where I know I am going to get a shot and the one starts pawing at the ground, sure enough she decides to bed down 11 steps from the bottom of my tree. The other was still up and meandering around. She got even closer to the tree and started acting a little skiddish. Her movements where telling me that she was starting to get uncomfortable about something. I could not get a good shot on her so I opted for a shot on the bedded doe. I fired and watched the arrow find its mark right into a lung. As she jumped up and ran off I saw the arrow dangling out of her stomach area which I pretty much expected from the angle of shot I had. She went about 70 yards and bedded up again. Over the course of the next hour I watch her get up and lay back down three different times. A small 8 pointer came in and was pretty curious and was not going to let either of them out of his sight. Eventually they moved on. I had lost sight of the doe I shot as the last time she got up she got behind a tree and I never saw her again. After an hour I get down and do some tracking. I immediately star relapsing as I am not finding a single drop of blood. I did not find any blood until the first spot she bedded down. After some more tracking I found that I had kicked her up. I was getting some phone calls as I am on call for furnaces over Christmas. So I figure this is a sign and I should go to work, get said work done and then come back and pick up the trail where I left off at. This paid off as I found her about 70 yrds. from where I stopped tracking her. :smiley_coolpeace::smiley_bril:

The funk and the curse of not harvesting a deer in 2010 is lifted. She is not the biggest thing by any means but I am proud of her because of what trials where waded through to get to her.



And might I add she sure loves the jalapeno flavored Cheetos :smiley_coolpeace:



I mean she really LOVES THEM!!!!! LOL

 

rrr

Senior Member
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#2
Great job Steve. You've worked hard in all those areas of your life (huntin, family, work) and I'm glad to see that you connected and delivered!
 

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
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Mahoning Co.
#11
Nice story Steve!

I know there are years where my enthusiasm just isn't normal. This was one of those years. Too many family obligations this year and the work just never seemed to end, I'm still behind. Sounds like you had the same problems this year.
 

Hoytmania

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Gods Country
#12
Thanks for all the good words fellas. Yes it does feel good to shake the monkey off my back.

Sam, yes it was very similar to your situation. Hope that you work through yours as I did mine. If I recall you put down a nice buck during gun season. :smiley_bril:

J, as far as Austin goes I am not sure what is going on in his mind. I am not sure if it was my funk that is rubbing off on him. He was only out once this year. I think he is more interested in chasing the other whitetail if you know what I mean. I am trying to explain that this whitetail will only cause you heartache and troubles but I seem to not be able to convince him. 14 going on 21 and dad don't know anything. All I can do is continue to let him know that dad always loves him and is here for him and I am sure the memories already had will still be there, and help fuel the fire when he is ready to get back out there.
 

hickslawns

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#13
Sounds like a good approach with Austin. I am sure I will be there before I know it with my kids too. Maybe it is going to turn around and be a great late season now!
 

rrr

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#15
14 going on 21 and dad don't know anything. All I can do is continue to let him know that dad always loves him and is here for him and I am sure the memories already had will still be there, and help fuel the fire when he is ready to get back out there.
This still tears me up, shit I was that kid not too long ago and am still that kid! Keep doing the right thing Steve, you're a great dad and a helluva hunter, it will all trickle down to him someday.