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  • Everything Old is New Again (In 10 year Cycles)

    Iíve been around for about 43 years now, and one thing Iíve learned is fashions and trends never die, they just get recycled every 10 years. I call it the, ďEverything old will be new again theory.Ē So goes my first hunt, first shot, and first deer of the 2011 North Carolina season.

    This was my first time in the deer woods and I dusted off my early 1970ís Bear Kodiak Magnum 55 lb. glass powered recurve. I had made two nice wooden arrows tipped with 125 grain Steel Force glue on broad heads. These wooden arrows are heavy and weigh approximately 600 grains each. Arrows were dressed out in NCSU colors, so go Wolf Pack.

    The weather had cooled down significantly that Saturday afternoon. Last Thursday the high was up in the 90ís, and Friday morning I drove to work through a brisk 57 F! It had been raining, and the clouds had rolled in threatening showers for the day.

    I had not been scouting, but knew this little bottle neck in the woods that was a perfect spot to set up in. I was excited and looked forward to just spending some relaxing time and self reflecting in the woods. Things had been hectic lately, and hunting is cheaper and more therapeutic than a $200/hr shrink.

    We bow hunters are a ritualistic bunch and have our own little routines. We dress outside, wash our clothes in no scent detergent, and shower with no scent soap. We do everything that it takes to reduce our scent signatures. Yet with all the meticulous steps and planning, I always forget something. This time it was my shooting glove, so now I had to shoot with bare fingers.

    I put out a scent wick with some 2-drop supreme a little upwind from the area I was hunting, and then I climbed up a nice straight young pine about 12-14 feet. I didnít want to get too high because of all the leaves and branches, and the recurve was limited on range.

    A beautiful red fox ran by just 30-yard directly in front of me after a mere 30 minutes of sitting. It was beautiful, with red fur on its sides, dark gray fur in the middle, and the tail was tipped with black. The wind was picking up, and it was nice and cool. I remember I did not break in sweat at all walking the 200 yards in, and knew this was going to be a good day.

    Time slowly ticked by as I sat motionless, scanning the woods for movement with my eyes going from left to right. A squirrel feeding at eye level just 15 yard in front of me kept me entertained.

    That little bushy tail would stand on its hind legs and grab berries and eat. Then it would hang upside down like a monkey and eat. It is funny how one passes the time watching the littlest things when youíre in the woods. I was surprised that the squirrels were not on the ground looking for food, but would rather gather something to eat up in the trees.

    By 5:30 p.m. I heard my 1st buzz of a mosquito the size of a cricket. I quickly turned on my ThermaCell, and all is good with the world again. The wind must have died down a little as well.

    It was now 6:30 p.m., and I saw movement directly in front of me just 40-50 yards away. It was a buck moving from right to left on a trail in front of me. He disappeared into the thick woods, and I slowly got into the standing positionÖwaiting for him to show up again.

    Then from the left corner of my eye I saw movement. There were two does walking, stopping, and feeding up a path that was to my left. They moved at a normal pace and had no idea they were being watched. Sunlight was starting to leave me fast, and I wanted to wait for that buck to come back, but hunting with the recurve is a game of opportunity. So, I had an opportunity to harvest a doe, and thatís exactly the decision I made.

    The two does were walking from left to right, and when the bigger one paused long enough in an opening. I was able take a deep breath and draw my bow. She had turned completely broadside to me.

    Replays of past failures flashed through my mind. I had missed on a nice doe at 15-yards last year because I thought she was out farther and aimed high. The arrow sailed over her back. Everything looks different when youíre up in a tree above 12 feet.

    I kept saying BRASS in my mind, Breath, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze, just replace squeeze with smooth finger release.

    I could see the arrow flying straight towards the two deer, and it looked like a good clean shot. The two does bolted in opposite directions. Looking down at my watch, it was 6:45 p.m. As always, I thought I had missed. When I got down on the ground to where the two deer where, I couldnít find my arrow and thought it might had just buried deep in the ground. The ground was wet from all the rain.

    For some reason I decided to walk and look for my arrow in the direction the larger doe ran. I didnít find my arrow, but did find her lying on the ground just 35-40 yards from where she was shot. I was so happy, and looked up and thanked God. Taking anything with the recurve is a gift.

    The entry wound was slightly above her right front shoulder, and the exit wound was well behind the opposite rib cage. When I looked at her closely it did seem like I got both lungs and grazed the heart. Iím guessing my arrow travelled around 175 to 190 fps, and she probably jumped the string a little, this was why she was hit quartering to and not a 100% broadside.

    I was able to pace out the distance from where she was shot and it came out to be 23 yards. It was getting dark and I got out of the woods by 7:00 p.m.

    The next morning I went out and found my arrow. It was intact and laying on the ground just 15 yards from the point of impact. It didnít have much blood on it, but then I did remember putting about 8-12 layers of clear coat on it. No liquid would ever stick to those arrows. It must have stayed in and got pulled out as she ran.

    Iíd had that old Bear bow for about 10 years and have killed a couple of deer with it. Itís probably older than me. I did notice how the popularity of traditional archery is making a comeback. Iíd often wondered if that bow could talk what stories would it tell, would it say to me ďEverything old is new again. Although an archer may shoot a million times, every shot is a new beginning.Ē I donít know, I just know that Iím very happy with my 1st hunt, 1st shot, and 1st deer of the 2011 season.
    That has got to be the most awsome account of the hunt I have heard in a long, long time. Thank you for that. Congratulations on a wonderful accomplisment., and you made the arrow! I don't think I've ever heard that on this site in the 7 years I've been on it.

    Well you've done it once.....great luck on the second one!
    Deer story
    Congratulations on a nice deer and one heck of a hunt story. Very entertaining and kept me at seats edge. It just proves that all the high priced new gadgets we use for hunting might be money wasted. The native americans made their own hunting bow and arrow and killed deer. In fact I spent time again this week finding arrowheads they left behind. I think what you have done is great. Keep it up. You will only get better with time. Thanks for sharing and good luck the remainder of this season.
    GREAT GREAT Hunt and Story SW...Felt like I was there...I picked up a Old Bear Kodiak Magnum LH At a Yard-Sale for $10 a few years ago that looked nice but I never got the hang of Shooting it so I put it on Ebay and it sold for $263.00...I was excited and the Guy was tickled to get it...Thanks for sharing the Great Hunt.
    Sharing stories, hunting & fishing tradition.
    Thanks for reading and the comments. Sharing our adventures in the field is a part of the whole experience. Good luck to you this season.
    Great Pick!
    That was an excellent pick on that bow, and awesome profit too! Let me know if you find anymore, they're very collectable and rare. Good luck this season.