TroutandBucks shot his first ever deer on Saturday afternoon on my Sparta property, Here's the story:
I was sitting quietly when I heard the unmistakable sound of a deer snort. That was followed by another snort and some hoof stomping. Although I thought they were close to me, I knew I wasn't moving and had the wind in my favor. I froze just in case it was me they were seeing from a distance. About then, I heard the THWACK of his crossbow and a thud as the bolt hit the deer followed quickly by deer scattering through the forest. I grabbed my compound in case any made their way toward my stand, but they ran down the mountain into the hemlock swamp below. I waited a few minutes and texted T&B and got the confirmation that he shot and hit one. He sat for a bit before climbing down and I heard him yell at the first of several bears we'd be dealing with that afternoon as we did the recovery.
He found good blood at first and I told him to track it by himself and just reach out if he needed any help. After a bit, I got the call that the blood trail was getting lighter and lighter and could I lend a hand? I met him at the edge of the clearcut and we tracked his deer down where he made a second shot to finish it off. His first shot was a bit low but the BB wasn't going to survive it. If we hadn't found his deer bedded behind a tree, it would have been bear food within minutes as we quickly learned. I gutted it for him, showing him how it's done for future reference. I showed him how to use his HSS safety harness and the deer drag it comes with to drag it up the side of the mountain as I gathered his crossbow and my gear and led the way. We both lost 10 pounds on the hike up!
As we were maybe 1/3 of the way up the ridge, we came across a well known sow and her two cubs that we see every time out. Here she is with the kids from one of many trail cam pictures I have earlier this fall.
She was coming straight down the blood trail toward us. I ran her off and she came back a second time, but after a shout, she left for good with the two cubs. Another 1/3 of the way up, we encountered our 4th bear, a single adult. He or she also walked off with a few loud words and we got T&B's deer to a logging road where I waited with it while he got his Blazer and drove it in. Here's the check in call
He wanted to hold out for a nice buck for his first deer, but I told him to take the first deer he could to get his first one and because I'll be doing a 4th clearcut later this winter and need to keep the herd down a bit so the stump sprouts don't get over browsed the next two years. We have had excellent forest regeneration when we cull a bunch for two years of each clearcut. Congrats to T&B on his first deer. Now you can focus on the 8 pointer
Edited by Bucksnbows, 10/06/14 - 10:11 AM.