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The Dropped Quiver Doe

Started by Al, September 18, 2007, 08:55:05 AM

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September 18, 2007, 08:55:05 AM Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 08:56:37 AM by Al

I got up early Monday to drive almost 90 miles before daybreak so as to be in a tree stand waiting for the elusive deer to appear. "Why drive 90 miles when there are closer spots to hunt" you ask? The answer is simple. I have a fishing buddy who gave me access to some land several years ago just before it was subdivided into lots for +$500K houses. We hunted that land hard and took several deer just before the bulldozers changed what was some sweet hunting land. I figured the deer would soon die out, but I was wrong. They left enough woods for the highly adaptable deer to live on the fringes. In fact the green lawns and newly planted shrubs provided instant "food plots".

My buddy is fortunate to have bought before the place went "upscale". His property borders a creek which serves as a funnel for most of the deer movement. Of course all the new neighbors meant that gun hunting was out of the question. But, not to fear, I recently qualified for a crossbow permit and had spent a small fortune on a state of the art TenPoint Phantom CLS crossbow which would be ideal for thinning out some of those flower and shrub eating varmints. In fact it was their propensity for eating forbidden items that sealed their fate and granted me an invitation to revisit what I had thought was "another fine hunting site lost to development". My buddies wife said "they crossed the line when that nibbled all my flowers to the ground this spring".

I gave the spot a try over a week ago and saw five deer in one morning. I was in the wrong tree because they all passed too far for a shot. Well, I did try a shot but ended up shooting at my extreme range and passed right over the back of the deer and planted the arrow in the base of a cedar tree. With a better feel for movement patterns I marked another tree for the next time I could make the 90 mile drive.

I arrived a half hour before daylight and located my new spot. I tried to make a minimum of noise and limited my use of a light because I did not want any of the neighbors to become nervous. My climber stand jacked itself up to what I thought was optimum height. After cinching up my safety belt I proceeded to pull up my xbow only to find that the quiver was missing. I knew the quiver was in place when I had taken it out of the xbow case so hoped it had come loose while pulling it up and not somewhere along the path to my stand. I jacked myself back down the tree and found that luck was with me. The quiver was at the base of my tree. I quickly slipped it into its bracket, locked it down and jacked myself back up the tree.

Once I secured my safety belt again, I proceeded to screw a small equipment holder (lag) into the tree to hold the quiver. I could have kept it on the xbow but I have been doing most of my practice without the quiver attached. I have also found that the xbow rests on my tree stand much better if the quiver is not attached. I extracted one bolt (arrow) from the quiver and hung the rest on the equipment lag. As I was loading the xbow I must have bumped into the quiver because I heard a sound and turned around and found the quiver was no longer on the lag. Here I was with one bolt and daylight was fast approaching. I decided to just sit there and hope for the best.

At 7:05am three deer walked just a bit north of the trail I was overlooking. I had previously used my rangefinder to determine the trail was eighteen yards away and an opening, with a prominent tree just to the north. was thirty-two yards. This opening was about where the deer would cross before hitting a major trail heading towards what we figured was a bedding area. I picked up the Phantom, eased off the rear safety and started tracking the lead deer. Just as it reached the opening, I used my mouth to let out a faint but auditable "naaaww". The lead doe stopped broadside, I placed the cross hair of the ProView scope half way between the top and middle line and  squeezed the trigger. At the shot, the doe gave a mule kick and ran up the main path towards the bedding area.

One of the other deer swapped ends and went back down the trail from which it had come. The other stood its ground for several moments and finally stiff legged it off in the direction of the first one. I could only sit and watch in silence as my quiver with my spare arrows was on the ground at the base of my tree.

Once the deer had all gone out of sight I jacked myself down the tree one more time and retrieved my quiver. But wait, it gets better. After returning to shooting height, the quiver once again came loose while I was pulling it up, so one more time I went back down the tree. This time I held on to the quiver and settled in for an appropriate wait to allow the deer which I had hit (so I hoped) to bleed out. I was also thinking that perhaps another one would come by as they had done so the week before when I had first hunted the spot. (We can shoot two a day in NC so a second one would be perfectly legal)

I was watching what I figured was the main trail, when at 9:05am I heard a snort behind me and looked around just in time to see four deer flag up and head down the band of trees towards my buddies house. As I regained my composure a fifth one bolted from under my stand and followed them. I think they were all does but they went so fast that it was hard to tell. My guess is that they had come down the path to my rear and Lord only knows how long they stood under and to the rear of  my stand trying to figure out what that odd shaped thing was up there.

I used my cell phone to summons my buddy who met me as I climbed down from the tree. We quickly moved to where the deer had stood when I took my shot and found my bolt buried into the ground. It had been a complete pass through as it was covered with dried blood. In addition to being more then half deaf, I am also color blind and have a difficult time seeing blood amidst the leaves until someone points it out to me. Not to worry, my buddy has pretty well given up hunting but he still loves to ferret out a blood trail. He moved ahead and pointed out each splotch of blood while I followed behind and stood at each spot until he located the next one.

We were finding a pretty good blood trail and I kept looking ahead in hopes of spotting the deer because I did not think it could continue to loose all that blood and remain on its feet. About 75 yards into the tracking exercise we came upon what must have been the bedding area because white tails bloomed up from all directions. Before it was over we pushed seven or eight deer out of their beds. (I should note that it is doubtful that these were the same deer which had busted me thirty minutes prior because those deer had ran off in the opposite direction).

After the explosive deer exodus we soon found a tree where it appeared that my deer had leaned against as it was covered with blood. We looked just beyond this spot and there lay about as big a doe as I have ever shot - and I have shot quite a few of them. This was definitely the big momma.

The NAP Spitfire Mechanical Broadhead had hit just a little high on the right side and passed almost straight through to a lower spot on the opposite side. My guess is that it hit the top of the right lung and cut through the lower left lung. There was a very obvious hole on both sides. Those mechanical broadheads do some serious cutting and leave a good blood trail. The deer probably traveled one hundred yards from where she was shot to where we found her.
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My first deer with a crossbow. Needless to say, I am tickled pink. I'm thinking that me and that TenPoint Phantom CLS are going to be real close companions from now on. I'm not selling my guns, but this crossbow is going to open up a lot of hunting areas that would otherwise be closed to me.


Great report and nice doe. Good luck with that quiver in the future!

Yankee by birth, Rebel by choice.


That is a great story, Al. Thanks for sharing, and glad that you were able to get one.

"Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?"   -- Same Kind of Different as Me


Nice kill AL!

How many deer are you allowed to kill in a season with a bow in Va?
I remember back in Illinois, you could get bonus tags if you hunted with a bow.
I think the allotment was 6, of witch 3 could be does and 3 had to be bucks.

Crossbows were different. They were not legal, except by special permit.
I think you had to be handicapped to be able to hunt with a crossbow in Illinois.
None the less I think it's a good weapon to hunt deer with.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.



Great story Al!  Urban bowhunting can be very exciting.  Sometimes it's amazing how many deer can be in funnels along creeks and between neighborhoods.  What county were you in?



September 19, 2007, 19:24:09 PM #6 Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 19:28:17 PM by Woolly Bugger

Al, maybe it is just the pic but is your croosbow loaded and poiting at you? Nice deer and story though. Glad you are able to hunt and enjoy the wild.


That kinda ran through my gut, I mean mind, too.


You only needed one bolt, anyway.........one shot, one kill.  ;D

I've had to make the trip back down the tree to retrieve something I've dropped before........happens to all of us  ;D


Ref xbow pointed at me - I explained that on other site but answer is no, it is not loaded. Still, you're right, I should not have posed the picture that way.  8@S That is the way accidents happen.


Quote from: Al on September 19, 2007, 21:45:54 PM

Ref xbow pointed at me - I explained that on other site but answer is no, it is not loaded. Still, you're right, I should not have posed the picture that way.  8@S That is the way accidents happen.

Al. i knew you would'nt do something like that, but i could'nt really make out the pic, thanks for clarifying. Hope you get a pope & young this year.