This morning was the second time this season that I hunted the property with the ravine stand. At first light the squirrels came out in full force. There must have been at lease a dozen or more scurrying among the leaves. I am perched on a hillside about 18 feet up a tree on a chain-on stand which is about 35 feet or so above the bottom of the ravine. The usual travel pattern the past few years is that the deer come down the opposite hill in front of me and then cross the ravine and come up a path to the right side of my tree.
After an hour or so of sitting I stood up for awhile. Around 8:15 I was getting ready to sit back down, but before I did I was going to take a leak. So I turned to the right, took my gloves off and fumbled around trying to get ahold of the zipper through all the gear I was wearing. Just then I heard the familiar sound of deer running down the hill behind my tree! Three deer came to within 10 yards of my stand and put on the breaks. I peered through the honeysuckle and could barely make out a lead doe and two yearlings. I couldn’t move!
They hesitated for 10 seconds or so, then the doe, followed by the two youngsters, slowly made her way past my tree and headed down the ravine on a path just 5 yards away from the base of my tree. I had my crossbow hanging on a hook to my left so I started to reach for it when two more deer ran up and stopped in the same spot as the first three. The first group was now easing their way up the base of the opposite hillside and when the second group spotted them they headed past my tree and started down to the bottom. I then turned my head to grab my bow with my left hand, got ahold of it and then looked back at the second two. The last deer looked up and busted me!
It stared at me for a few seconds then looked at the deer in front of it and luckily headed down to the bottom to catch up with the rest of the bunch. By then I had my crossbow up and when the group hesitated I got lucky and found one of the does in an opening in the honeysuckle and took the shot. The doe did a 180 and ran back down the ravine up the hill past my stand and piled up not 20 yards behind my tree. I got lucky, it was a down-hill drag to the vehicle.