My son and I setup trail cams and baited in anticipation of the early season. The spot that looked the most promising didn't show any bucks but plenty of does and fawns. Due to commitments we couldn't hunt until 9/14 AM and got in and set up a full hour before daylight. Based on camera results we assumed the deer would come from our right and that my son would get first shot at a harvest. We jumped deer going in and they went to our left and disappeared. At 7:02 AM, I'm looking to my right and reach up to adjust my face mask when I hear a snort from my left. Slowly turn my head and I see a lone doe just out from under the canopy stomping and looking right at me. As I keep watching I see 4 other does milling around pacing back and forth. Only the lead deer is stomping and snorting, the other 4 are inching closer and closer but the lead doe keeps walking out in front of them and stomps or snorts. This goes on for 35 minutes before they all finally leave. We wait a few minutes and then climb down to assess the situation. I can see it in my son's face, he's disappointed that the shot opportunity was blown. I'm crushed because I never took into account that if the deer came from my left that I'd be sticking out like a sore thumb on the side of the tree.
We back out of the spot go home and and make plans to hunt again today. Just like on the 14th we bump deer off as we walk in. This group however goes off to our right and my son goes up in his stand but I set up a ghost blind off to his right. At 6:53 he whistles, points to his right and puts up 3 fingers. Not 2 minutes later 2 mature does and a fawn appear in front of me. A couple of minutes pass and another mature doe and a fawn join the first group. I'm 15 yards from these deer on the ground peering over the top of a ghost blind and while they aren't real sure what's going on they don't spook. I'm doing everything I can to keep still and I'm waiting for my son's bow to go off. Minutes pass and nothing, when the shot finally does come I don't hear the bow but hear the solid whack as the arrow strikes the deer. She peels off a little right and disappears into the undergrowth. The other deer with her take off to my left and pass under my tree stand. My son climbs down and asks if he hit solid. I say yes but we need to go check his arrow. We find the arrow and it's covered but with a slimy smelly greenish brown substance - gut shot. I tell him we need to give her time to die so we walk out to the truck, put all our stuff in the bed, grab the cart and wait 45 minutes. He keeps telling me that he aimed a little high but didn't think he was that far back on the deer. He says he felt the shot was good. He also says that he didn't see the brush waving left or right and that she had to be straight out in front of us on the trail that she took. We go down the trail not even 10 yards and it opens up into wetlands. The trail splits and goes left and right. The right trail is used more. My son says you go right I'll go left. There is no blood so I tell him to look for tracks in the mud. We go maybe 15 yards and he says I got her. Very proud Dad moment, his first bow deer, first bloodless tracking job, Well done Eric! Turns out that he entered high got one lung and the liver before exiting low and back. Broadhead pulled guts out which blocked the exit.