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Longest period without a harvest


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
NE Ohio
Not everyone out there is a deer killing machine. Sometimes its discouraging to both old and new bow hunters to read about kill after kill when trying to get your own. Many times its just the learning curve. Sometimes its just doing something dumb and getting busted... And for some its just having limited time or hunting grounds to work with.

So. For the masses still trying to connect;

Whats the longest stretch you've gone without a harvest assuming you go each year.

For me, it was a horrible 10 year stretch consisting of 3 years driving up from Florida each season for a week and 7 years here in Ohio. I had limited time and a group of dirty lousy gang hunting poachers screwing up the woods.
Currently on a good run for the last 6ish years but man... was that a rough time. I hunted sun, heat,rain,snow,sleet,wind... tried everything. finally just started connecting again. ( plus I photoed the slobs on our land and pressed charges! Busted.)


Now Posts as Jesse..
SE Ohio
After killing my first deer in November of 2000, the longest I've been is from killing my big 9 on December 1, 2004 until I killed a doe in late October of 2006. During the '05 season I was living in Kent and hunting every other weekend. I passed up close to 20 deer that year as I was being super picky. I almost shot a 130 class 8 during my first bowhunt on our farm.

There's just too many deer around here and with me averaging 150+ hours on stand per year, it takes absolute horrible luck or personal choice not to kill something over the course of the season. Fortunately, the only skunked season I had was purely by choice. I'm lucky and blessed.

DJK Frank 16

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Hardin County
I began bowhunting in 2002. Was able to harvest a small buck that year with my cross bow. Began hunting with Compound in '03. In '03 and '04 I harvested small bucks and and I believe a doe one of those years.

Beginning in '05 I continued to hunt with compound, purchasing my Swithback XT. I decided that I would no longer shoot a buck unless it was P&Y or bigger and a mature deer. I've still been unable to connect on a mature whitetail (125 inch or bigger) buck with a bow.

I've had two encounters since '05. One that year where I shot one up too far in the front shoulder (tracked several miles, stopped bleeding, seen it later that year). Last year I had a nice buck come in, made what I thought was a great shot, still unable to recover the deer. Tracked several miles on this deer spanning multiple days. Not much blood and lost the track.

Last year during gun law I was walking through a CRP field hoping to fill a doe tag and a 9 pointer (pry 100 or 110 inch) or so jumped up in front of me. The spur of the moment reaction when seeing the rack and I decided to take him. I was happy with the way it worked out as I hadn't harvested a buck since '05. But i'm back on my gameplan this year of 125' and mature only.

So... in terms of deer... I usually harvest atleast a couple does a year with my bow... but in terms of a nice mature buck... i'm still pluggin away!


Senior Member
I try not to think about it, I don't get to hunt enough to make it count. I didn't last year, but did the year before :D


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
My dad took me deer hunting for the first time when I was 12 years old. Since then, the only drought I've had were my first two years of deer hunting. Like Jesse, I feel pretty lucky and blessed to have the successes that I've had in the deer woods.


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
This is only my third season. I got the one in my avatar the first year. Talk about beginner's luck. Last year I worked hard to take the two I did harvest. One with bow, one with 44mag. This year is early, but I passed on a doe with fawn tonight. Questionable shot I would not have taken unless my kids were starving. Probably could have snaked it through the leaves, but not worth it. Long season ahead of us. I was head hunting tonight anyway. (Not skinhead hunting either.)


The Crew
Swanton, Ohio
I started hunting with a bow around 1981. In those days you could kill a buck or doe with a bow but not during gun law(haha) it was bucks only. I killed my first deer(doe on one of 46 doe permits issued in my county) in '86 with a borrowed gun and did not kill one with my bow until '93. I hunted my ass off but did not have a "mentor", nobody in my family really hunted. I learned on my own, made plenty of mistakes but kept at it. When I think I am having a "bad" season I look at the pic of my first bowkill. It was a button but I had put almost 13 years into it. To see a deer in Lucas county in those days was special.

All I can say to a beginning bowhunter is stay with it. When it comes together and you figure it out.....you are on top of the WORLD!! I have killed a deer with my bow every year since my first bowkill. It is like something clicks and you have it all together....it is alot of effort, but worth it!
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