Craig Steltz Deer Hunting

The Safety Spin

Legendary Whitetails 10.5.2012

Tuesdays are the NFL’s only day off during the season which does not leave me with many days to hunt.  So, hopefully, when a Tuesday during bow season rolls around, the weather is cooperating.   I had not done much hunting in the first weeks of the season, so having a day off towards the end of October I figured I’d give it a shot.  It was the morning of October 19th and the farmers had recently cut down the corn pushing the deer back into the woods for cover.  During the summertime I scouted a patch of woods towards the back of the property that I thought would have had the least amount of pressure on the deer and found a decent tree to use my climber on.  I like to be set up in the tree stand before first light but as usual that seems to never be the case. I remember that morning like it was yesterday and when I finish the story you’ll see why.

I ended up getting set up about 30 minutes after first light, hoping I didn’t create to much commotion while climbing up the tree.  The next thing I heard kind of caught me off guard; it was a gunshot.  To give you an idea on how close the shots were, I could hear the pellets hitting the treetops.  Thinking to myself, “Maybe this wasn’t the best morning to hunt…” To my surprise, within twenty minutes, a doe was moving from my left to right about fifty yards away.  The first thing that caught my eye was her signature white tail which was straight up in the air. While getting my bow situated, just in case I would have a shot, I could see movement behind her it was a young eight point trailing about twenty yards behind.  Don’t forget all this time the geese hunters were still firing away!  After watching the doe and buck gracefully walk away I felt my luck had changed.  The next five minutes is what has got me addicted to bow hunting!

For some reason I don’t remember hearing anything but I looked over my left shoulder to see a blur of antlers.  Knowing right away that he was a shooter.  I drew my bow only realizing that there was a minor problem.  When I drew my bow back, the strap from my safety harness was in the way because I am left handed.  The next ten seconds describe what bow hunting is all about.  Letting the pressure off my bow I spun around to the other side of the tree realizing I only cleared shooting lanes towards the front of my stand.  I looked ahead and picked out what I thought was the path that the buck was walking and ranged the closest tree at twenty-seven yards.  I let the arrow fly; I didn’t have a clear view of the arrow hitting the deer so I decided to stay put in my stand for an hour.  This year I switched to expandable broad heads looking for larger blood trails and I was not disappointed.  I’m pretty sure I was almost jogging through the woods following the blood trail. The Buck was laying about forty yards from where I shot him and he had somehow found his way into the thickest brush he could find.  The real work was about to begin but man was I excited!


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