This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to once again try to help my brother-in-law Sid Smith (DailyOutdoorsman.com) tag out his first archery White-tail. Sid just recently decided to help his family in a few ways when he developed an interest in hunting, as a way to provide supplement to his family’s table. Of course there is an obvious financial savings but for the Smith’s, it was about reducing the amount of processing their food receives before it reaches their table. Sid had asked me to assist with his transition into the woods and help provide some insight.
Sid had four previous tries foiled by one factor or another but with the slight temperature changes; in addition, to the early stages of Rut, his chances were very good for another shot at the all important…#1.
Sid had arrived slightly ahead of our prearranged 5:30am meeting time. Anxious for another shot no doubt! My eldest son, Noah, was tagging along this particular morning and would prove to be an asset later on making a total of 3 heading in. Sid was the first to reach his destination. After some “Good Luck’s”, Noah and I continued on. We were hunting in a line, making it possible to cover a larger area and maximizing one of the Hunters chances. Noah was dropped of next with me continuing farther down the hill and slightly upstream. In hind sight, the stand picks were pretty spot on, as everyone had movement and several opportunities.
Around quarter-till 9a, I received a text from Sid who stated his was…”95% sure he had a solid hit” on his 1st White-tail. I was excited but the ‘95%’ scared me. I wasn’t sure how to respond. Then another text, “…make that 2 does”. Say what? 2 does? In the beginning of Rut? No, had to have misunderstood what he was saying. As I was sitting and thinking about how to proceed with the given information, I heard my son throw a few Buck grunts out. After adjusting my focus up the hillside towards my son, I noticed movement in the thicket. It was a small 4 point Buck. My son was trying to lure him up the hill for a shot. It appeared to be out of range for my son and not quite what I’m looking for, so he was getting a free pass today. But as he walked by at 12 yards, I noticed a limp. He was moving slowly and gently, really nursing the injury. There was part of me looking for Mercy but being a younger Buck, I felt he would still have a good chance of recovery. I was intently watching until he left my sight but was uneasy with my choice. It would prove to be the right one…
After meeting up with Noah and Sid around midday, Sid showed me where he had tracked blood leading towards …the area where I was hunting! I asked a few questions regarding what we might be looking for and the general reaction of the deer after the shot. I felt pretty confident we were looking for a downed deer. This was exciting, Sid had tried four previous times with no success but ultimately with some valuable knowledge. We began tracking in the last area where I had seen the 4 pointer. As luck would have it, I was dead-on with my assessment. He was down. The shot proved to be slightly further back than anticipated. But because it was a quartering away angle, it did the job. Success!! Now for another first in Sid’s amateur hunting career…Field Dressing 101
Please look for the next post detailing Sid’s first attempt at Field Dressing 101…
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