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The streak lives on...

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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2
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SE Ohio
#1
I have to admit that as the years pass me by, the increasing pressure of this “streak” grows to a magnitude I’m not sure I will be prepared to handle in a few more years! I can’t imagine what Cal Ripken and Brett Farve experienced during their legendary streaks. Granted Tracie’s pales in comparison, but the pressure I feel annually to keep it alive is ‘o so real!!!

For those of you that don’t know the streak I have been stressing over, it involves my wife’s growing streak of kills that spans our entire relationship. Going in to this season, she had killed 6 deer with 6 shots over the last 6 seasons; one deer each of the last six seasons. (Her only miss came the very first time she shot at a deer. Since then, she has been automatic!) Her goals for this season were to get her first vertical bow kill, kill a wall worthy buck, kill two deer in one season for the first time, and of course to keep the streak alive. I knew it would challenge my skills as a guide, and hers as my “hired gun”, to achieve all of these goals in one season. After a close encounter on opening day of bow season, her bow hunting took a back seat to her work schedule and my pursuit of a mature buck. By the time I had hung my tag on a buck, it was too cold to have her bowhunting much. (Cold weather means more clothes, which means more bulk and that makes me nervous. I don’t like her bowhunting when it’s cold, so she hasn’t been out in over a month.) We did have some luck getting a decent P&Y 8-point within my effective range in mid-November, but he was just out of range for her. Knowing the chances of getting her first vertical bow kill this season were starting to disappear, I began focusing on gun season where we could still tackle 3 of her 4 pre-season goals.

Tracie took all of the first gun season off so we could hunt whenever I could get her out there. The first season came and went without her so much as shouldering a gun, which is not something I expected! We hunted a total of 17 hours, seeing only as single deer, a far cry from the one deer seen per hour hunted I have experienced over the last 200+ hours of hunting! Although gun season left me feeling beat down and her asking where all the deer went, I had faith we could pull something off over the course of the remaining six days of gun hunting. We decided to scrap opening morning of the bonus weekend in favor of sleeping off the previous evening’s festivities. (I had a good time at the Christmas party for all the nurses she works with, so I wasn’t arguing with sleeping in!) We settled in to our blind around 1:30 that afternoon hoping any drives that were going on around us might push something our way. It was a quiet afternoon until I spotted a deer down the creek bottom around 4PM. The excitement was growing as the deer neared her first shooting lane, only to dissipate when we realized it was just a spike. After letting the deer pass our location, we settled in for the final hour of the hunt.

At 4:30 Tracie says: “There’s a doe right there!” I turned to see a yearling doe at 30 yards and it just happened to be the one I wanted killed. In all my years, I have never seen a yearling that had the survival instincts of this doe. She is as savvy as any 2-3 year old doe I have ever seen and she’s managed to avoid me all season. As we tried to get into position for a shot, the doe matched our every move managing to keep something between us and her at all times. When it was all said and done, that doe managed to walk to within 30 yards of our blind, stand there for two minutes, and walk away from us while never offering a clean shot! Earlier in the day, I told Tracie that she would shoot that doe given the chance despite the fact that she doesn’t like to shoot yearling deer. She argued with me, but I insisted that this was not just any yearling and I wanted her dead before she became a real pain in my ass in a couple of years. As she was walking way from us and with Tracie on the verge of tears out of frustration, I asked: “You see why I want her dead?” I had to laugh when she replied: “Oh, that bitch is dead next time!” rotflmao

Knowing that doe had picked a fight with Tracie the evening before, I decided to return to the same spot on Sunday morning in hopes of ending the war. It was a balmy 0 degrees in the blind when I fired up the heater at 7AM and I’m glad we had a heater with us because a deerless four hour sit is 100x’s more miserable when you are cold! I crawled out of the blind at 10:30 and attempted to push some deer her direction, but it was a wasted walk as both deer I jumped went the opposite direction. At this point, the pressure was really starting to build!!!

At lunch, we headed to my uncle’s farm to do some good old fashion deer drives. The first drive we did is called “Grandma’s Drive” and it’s a legendary push. This year would prove to be no different as my cousin Jacob and I drove out a mile long ridge to Tracie, my uncle, cousin Morgan and her boyfriend Eric. At the end of the drive, two deer lay dead in the creek and Tracie had yet another close encounter to add to the memory bank. In the middle of the drive, a huge doe nearly ran her over, stopping broadside at 10 feet! (You could see the tracks in the snow!) Tracie was never able to find the deer in the scope and the doe made it through the drive unharmed. I could see the frustration building and I could feel the pressure getting worse. “We better have some luck this evening or it will be a long two weeks leading up to muzzleloader…” was all I could think about on the drive to the farm that afternoon.

We arrived at the farm around 3:30 and decided to forgo the still hunting and sit in the blind that over looks the creek bottom and hillside sanctuary. We were not even halfway to the stand when I spotted two orange vests on our side of the fence headed towards our creek bottom. “HEY!!!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as I took off on a dead sprint down the creek bottom and up the 40’ climb in elevation in an effort to catch the trespassers. After fighting off respiratory and cardiac arrest at the top of the hill, I followed the tracks across the property line about 50 yards when I found the perpetrators sitting behind a blow down pretending to hunt. I instantly saw the look of fear in the boy’s faces as I yelled: “What the fuck do you think you are doing?” After some spitting and sputtering, they informed they were trying to take the quick way home. I put the fear of God in both boys and sent them on their way, then headed back to find Tracie. (The boy in the lead lives on the farm behind us and his dad was a big help this summer when we had issues with trespassing four-wheelers. I told him he was lucky I knew and liked his old man or he’d be talking with Johnny Law. I definitely made my point and I doubt we have any more issues. The other kid was not from around her and I thought he was going to cry!)

By this point in time, it is 4PM and I’ve been yelling and running around like a banshee; and these boys have still hunted all around the area we were about to hunt. I could see the disappointment in Tracie’s face and I felt it too. After explaining to her what was said to the boys, I said: “One thing you and I have learned is you never know when it can happen, so let’s tough it out and see happens.” Since we were on top of the ridge, I decided to stalk out the ridge while glassing the shelf and bottom below us. We had only walked 50 yards from where I ran the boys off when I stopped to hack up a lung! (That uphill run would liked to have killed me!!!) I took one more step when I saw a deer jump up on the shelf below us and instantly I could tell it was injured. “Deer!!!” I hollered as I set the shooting sticks up and searched for a shooting lane. “It’s wounded already, so shoot it and put it our of it’s misery.” Tracie threw the gun up on the sticks and cocked the hammer on the CVA in one fluid motion. The deer took a few more steps to our right, so we had to make one more adjustment to get a clear shot. Once she had a clear lane, Tracie didn’t waste any time sending the 270 grain Powerbelt Platinum through the lungs and heart of the button buck at 30 yards. He ran 20 yards before piling up and the high-fives and hugs were quick to follow! “Well, not exactly how we wanted it to go down, but that right there is a streak keeper!!!”

At the end of the day, Tracie did the right thing and kept this little guy from being coyote bait. Some had shot him through both front legs during gun week IMO. Although the bones were not broken, he was definitely hobbled up and I doubt it would have been long before the yotes made a meal of him. So now that we kept the streak alive and did our good deed for the season, I hope our luck will continue during muzzleloader and we can cross “kill a wall worthy buck” and “kill two deer in one season for the first time” off her list!!!

Tracie and Remi



The wounds…



Just for Thunderflight!!!



I had to have a little fun myself after we took the pics, so I decided to set the stop watch for my gut job. After 4 minutes and 15 seconds, I was left with this…

 

1hornwilly

*Supporting Member III*
#4
Great Hunt and an awesome story. As always, thanks for sharing with the rest of us. Congrats to Tracie on a job well done. It's no easy task to kill any deer, ever. My respects to the Mrs. for the fine streak she continues...good luck on the wall hanger... we'll be here when she gets it done.
 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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2
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SE Ohio
#16
Thanks fellas. I'll pass the word on this evening...

It has been a lot of fun hunting with her over the years and I honestly think it has a positive impact on our marriage. We had a blast in the blind both times this weekend laughing and joking it up. It is a different challenge hunting with/for her and it is something I have come to enjoy. I know it makes great practice for when I finally get to take my kids hunting, and it forces me to pay attention to detail. She's turning into a good hunter in her own right, which is not something I really expected. She has picked up on things over the years and I honestly trust her to seal the deal without me and to make the right call on shooting a mature animal. Even though she has an aversion to shooting yearlings, she said she was happy to have ended this little guy's suffering. Despite the conditions surrounding the hunt and outcome, it was still a great time and the happiness I felt when I saw that deer crash was twice that of any of my hunts this year. I wouldn't trade those moments for a wall full of OBB's. It truly is priceless...
 

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
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Mahoning Co.
#20
TI know it makes great practice for when I finally get to take my kids hunting, and it forces me to pay attention to detail.
One the hardest things for me taking my kids hunting was that I'm left handed and they are right handed. I had to force my self to think about how we should sit or stand because of the difference. It seems minor but it made shooting awkward for them a few times when I didn't think of it.