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Sobrbiker

My first archery kill-velvet OTC solo

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I had posted this on some FB groups, so I apologize if it’s been seen already. I really wanted to post here as this forum is where I got my first bow last October, and the journey really started that led to a successful harvest 9/4/20 (Thx again mulie hunter!!)

 

Lots of firsts this week: first hike in camp on my back hunt, first completely solo DIY hunt, and even better: FIRST ARCHERY KILL, and even better: FIRST ARCHERY COUES!!
I got all my gear together and set up my Mystery Ranch Pintler pack to haul camp in a 55L dry bag, drove up Wed night and hiked in by the moonlight and set up camp. Saw a couple deers’ eyeballs checking me out-amazing how bright their eyes glow from just a headlamp pointed their way!
I hunted Thurs morning, mainly still hunting the juniper flats somewhere in good Coues country in 21. Spotted 2 little bucks, a small 3X and an even smaller forkie, frolicking and feeding with a doe.
I maneuvered around and walked into a small clearing between bushes at 72yds. Being an old guy I took a second to figure which was the 3X and as soon as my pin started to settle on his chest both deer quartered away and walked on.
I underestimated water consumption and  
hiked/hunted a trip back to Jeep for more water, then still hunting again Thurs late afternoon bumped a nice buck but didn’t get a shot.
I realized my experiment in hiking camp in (only a mile or so from Jeep) was gonna deplete my time and water I decided I’d pack up Fri morning and find a spot I could camp by my water supply.
After getting everything packed up and on my back Fri morning, I figured I’d carry a nocked arrow on the hike because it’s my luck I’d get a chance if I didn’t for sure!
About 1/4mi from Jeep I came around a corner to see a decent buck about 40yds looking right at me. I froze and when he turned his head a bit I went to hook my release and he whipped his head right at me, then show me his nice white butt, tail held high and was gone.
I got to the Jeep, set my bow on the hood, dropped the 70lbs I’d been packing. I fired up the Jeep and turned on the AC, downed a god amount of water and when I started putting gear away.
Then I saw him, or I should saw his rack-about a 100yds away standing broadside on the track I’d just hiked was a grey ghost with a rack as wide if not wider than his ears. I couldn’t believe it, he just stood there. I grabbed my rangefinder and bow and stepped behind the edge of a juniper. He was standing there looking tight at me. I ranged him at 94yds, dialed my MBG ascent, drew back and sidestepped into a perfect “at the range” form and he lowered his head to grab a bite and I let fly.
Again, I’m bifocal old (53) so I can’t see where my arrow went, but he busted left and I heard what I thought was my arrow impacting the prickly pear he was by.
I waited a bit then went down and didn’t see any blood, couldn’t find my arrow in the cactus or bushes, then saw it in the middle of the track about 25ft further down. I picked it up, and holy crap, there was blood on the 125gr Exodus, shaft, fletching and nock!!
I saw no blood on ground where he had been and only two tracks where he pushed off. No blood apparent for about 10yds I looked in the direction he went, and my heart sank. My worst fear of not being able to recover an injured animal, and learning to track with no help for hours in 100* heat loomed before me.
I went to Jeep, secured my gear, got pack setup for a lengthy search and recovery, feeling excited and sick to my stomach at the same time. I gave him an hour to not bump him if wounded and set at it.
I was kind of gridding in the direction he went, looking in vain for any blood or tracks for about 10yds, when I looked up to see where the game trail in the grass and rock went when I saw a velvet rack poking out from behind a rock about 50ft ahead of me.
I was amazed and grateful beyond words to find him with a perfect boiler room pass through that dropped him about 95ft from where he was when I hit him!! I have been practicing hard all year and shooting to 100 regularly-trust me, had conditions not been perfect I would have let down.
Not huge, but a great old warrior with torn up ears, and an awesome older representative buck of mid-state high desert Coues.
 

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  • Like 17
  • Great Buck! 1

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Sweet dude sounds like you worked hard. Congrats

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41 minutes ago, MULEPACKHUNTER said:

Sweet dude sounds like you worked hard. Congrats

Thanks! As an adult onset hunter that caught the bowhunting bug 2019 late OTC I can say this: All the prior early season weekends since 8/21 I was out early/staying late day hunting spot and stalk and almost died multiple times realizing that just ‘cause I work construction outside doesn’t mean my cardio is up to par😆

I really think this buck and how he presented himself was a gift from the Coues gods!

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Ya even gym guys find out quick that mountain fit is a different thing. Weighted miles at elevation is just different. 

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3 hours ago, Sobrbiker said:

Especially in muggy 100*+ early season

Nice buck.

 

early season was in January. This is velvet season😉

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1 hour ago, oz31p said:

Nice buck.

 

early season was in January. This is velvet season😉

Thx.

Pretty sure the deer don’t go by calendar year, it’s pretty universal that early season is velvet, our January hunt is the same as the rest of the country’s late (November) hunts....

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Great shot and Congratulations!  That's a dandy buck, especially for your first!

Thanks so much for sharing your success here with us.

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