Friday, March 1, 2013

A Successful 2012 Deer Season by Meg Grossman

            My family and I had an incredible year hunting whitetails in Pennsylvania. I drew first blood in the early archery season followed by a buck in rifle season!

I love hunting and especially enjoy bow hunting. That afternoon I was fortunate to spend it on an acorn infested hill side. My husband, Matt, was across the creek on the other hill side keeping watch on a food plot in a blind with our almost three year old daughter.

I was watching a flock of hen turkeys feeding as they pasted my tree stand. About eighty yards above me in a thick sapling area, something was harassing the few straggling hens. Even thou it wasn’t the coolest evening, deer just can’t resist acorns!

I started to piece together the movements of a doe moseying off the top of the hill for dinner. I decided she was a mature doe that would be a great harvest to start the season!

After about twenty minutes of analyzing her every move, drawing back and letting down once, I made the final range. Twenty-three yards. Perfect. Now if she just turned a little bit more.  She took one more step and started to feed.  I drew my bow back for the final time, settled in for a good clean shot. Thwack! And off she ran up the hill. I waited a little bit and heard a crash!

I radioed Matt that I shot a doe. Within a matter of minutes our daughter was with Grandma and Matt and my father-in-law were like hound dogs; head lamps on the ground sniffing out the next trace of blood. The doe went about seventy yards before she was expired. It was a great feeling to share the beginning of 2012 deer season with my family.

After the long awaited archery season was complete, rifle season was on and so was the snow!  I was really stoked for opening day.  I climbed my stand early that morning only to be greeted by the next door neighbor!  I don’t mind other hunters but when they make a ruckus all morning long, talk, cough, and push me over the edge, my blood boils. I was so disgusted by about 9 o’clock I was ready to get out of my little invaded piece of paradise. 

After noon we headed back out for a long evening sit where I knew the only florescent orange I would see would be my own. I chose the beloved double ladder stand where I had harvested a buck three years ago, when Taylor was born. I got comfortable and sat for a few hours without seeing much of anything. Then at about 200 yards I saw one doe, then another and another. The deer just kept walking out of the thicket right to me. I was pumped after my heartbreak from the morning hunt.

Doe after doe came by then young scruffy bucks.  They weren’t walking ten feet from the ladder of the stand!  I was looking for a certain few bucks but they weren’t playing fair.  Just when I thought all the deer were past me, I took one more look out front and I couldn’t believe there were two more bucks that walked around the roots of a fallen tree.  I turned up the magnification on my scope and counted the first one; a basket rack six point. Then I glassed the second buck. He was a nice eight point. They were about 100 yards out walking towards me.  I pushed the safety off and hunkered down.  I gave him a “mur” to grab his attention. When he stopped and looked up, I squeezed the trigger.  I heard the bullet hit something hard and the buck took off on a dead run.  He ran right under my stand and stopped not five feet behind my stand hidden by a huge maple tree. 

At this point I wasn’t sure if I even hit him, a million “what if’s” are running through me head.  I felt like I made a good solid hit on him but… I didn’t know. There was no doubt he was going to bolt out from behind this tree and would be gone.  I held the crosshairs on the other side of the tree and in a split second he ran. I touched one more off and he was into the dark pines where I could no longer see.

I gathered my shaken thoughts and shaking body and sat down.  At that time my husband calmly said on the radio “What are you blaz’n away at Meggy?”  I was a little nervous and super excited.

As I was waiting for the hounds to come, I saw blood on the snow where the buck had ran under my stand.  My nerves were slightly eased at that sight.  Finally the guys were here and we started tracking.  The “I’m not sure’s” were starting to come back because the blood trail wasn’t what I wanted to see. We kept walking thru the pines and then we saw his rack in the lights.  He was down!

It was a huge sigh of relief to see his big body piled up in the snow.  When we got him back to the house, Taylor was waiting to see the buck! 

Matt was the next one to harvest a great nine point later that week!  We are grateful for the time spent in the woods together and for the opportunity to harvest beautiful deer.


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