Doe Patrol

14 Oct

The original plan this past Friday was to get out of work a little early so I had enough time to stop by the house to switch vehicles before I made the hour drive south to my main hunting property, and still have to set up a stand.  A small cold front was in the process of coming through the area and with a rising barometer I wanted to make sure I was in the stand for the evening hunt. It was about an hour before I was going to leave when I got an email for a last minute meeting that was going to push back my departure time by and hour. Because of this, I had to start considering other locations where I already had stands hung.

I pulled in to the farm at exactly 4:30pm and made the decision that I still wanted to hunt this particular field edge where I was getting trail camera pictures of several deer and two bucks that were looking pretty good. One big 10 pointer (2-Pac) of which I had several years of history with. The last time I checked my cameras I noticed that 2-Pac was visiting the area in the mornings on a southwest wind. With that said, this evening setup was not just to see what was moving close to dark but to also see if I could lay eyes on 2-Pac coming back to the bedding area the following morning.

I wasn’t even finished setting up when I heard a corn stalk snap in the corn field that I had used to access this stand location. It was a young doe and a yearling buck that were walking the exact path I used to get to my stand. They didn’t seem nervous or seem to have any indication that I was there, or had even walked the same line. Unfortunately, I didn’t even have an arrow knocked on my bow. So these two deer got lucky, for now.

I’m not one to blatantly plug of product, but, if you get a chance to try Nose Jammer, do it. I have seen awesome results with this product when accessing my stands and preventing deer getting spooked from ground scent.

Now 5:30pm, and after a quick text to my wife to let her know that I was safely in the tree, I sat down to enjoy the last hour of daylight. Just about the time it took me to take a deep breath, I noticed movement where the first two deer had come from. It was a doe and her yearling. I instantly stood up and grabbed my bow before she stepped in to my shooting lane. And the rest is history…

 

 

After I watched her fall in the corn 10 yards from where I shot her, I received what I call the “Post Kill Rush”. This is when the past two year of disappointment are forced out of the body by immense happiness. I was jacked! This was the first deer I had shot and killed in the last two seasons. I was really high!

Now I had a decision to make. Do I get out of the tree, get her cleaned and  back to the truck before more deer work their way in to the area, or do I stay and see what else shows up. I decided to stay, and I’m glad I did. It was maybe 20 minutes later when I noticed antlers walking through a strip of timber that bordered the bean field I was sitting over. Then I noticed another, and then another. The last buck was by far the biggest and most mature. They disappeared behind a thick clump of bushes only to reappear again on a popular trail leading to the bean field. The first buck entered the field and walked out about 20 yards from the field edge and started feeding while the larger mature buck put his ears back and chased another younger buck out of the area. Then like a school bully, the mature 9 pointer who I have not given a name to yet walked up to the middle of the field and established his dominance moving the first buck who entered the field off his spot and started feeding. At this point I had planned to shoot the buck if given the opportunity.

 

Ten minutes later, the buck had worked his way about 30 yards from my stand but was behind a branch that was coming from my tree. Then, like a tornado siren, two coyotes began to bark in one of the fields to the north of my location. Tails up and the fields cleared.

At last light, just when I thought the night was over, the two deer from earlier worked their way right under my stand. Chip shot at 7 yards. After the shot I watched the deer lay down on the field edge and put her head down. At this point I got down out of my stand and walked back to get my truck. I cleaned and loaded the first deer then walked to where I thought the second deer had fallen, she was not there. Because I was going to hunt the same stand the next morning (due to a 180 wind shift) I didn’t want to lay any additional scent or perhaps bumps the doe, if for some reason she hadn’t yet expired. So I went back to the house to hang the deer, wash my clothes, and prepare for the morning hunt.

 

Very few things can top this feeling.

Very few things can top this feeling.

 

I wanted to make sure I was in the stand extra early to catch any movement coming off of the fields in to the marsh and timber. As the gray turned to color, it didn’t take long for the first, and only, deer to show up. If I had another tag in my pocket this doe would have gotten an arrow, but because I had yet to recover the second doe I shot the night before I decided to give her a free pass. I had to leave the stand early for parenting reason, so the hunt was not long at all. I tore down and went in search of the second doe. It didn’t take long at all to find her as she was 10 yards from the last place I saw her. Cleaned her, loaded her, and back to the farm to hang and process.

 

The spoils of the hunt!

The spoils of the hunt!

 

Overall, this was awesome weekend. My two year drought ended and I was reminded of how awesome the power of the harvest can be. I now have clean organic meat for my family and look forward to tasting the spoils of victory. With groceries already in the house, it’s time to focus on the reason I spend all this time and money preparing for the season. Mature bucks!

As always, thanks for reading.
Dan (DFW)

5 Responses to “Doe Patrol”

  1. Adam Parr October 15, 2015 at 12:58 am #

    Dan – Great article as always! What a way to end a drought with 2 in one evening! Nothing better than taking a few does to put some meat in the freezer. Now you can focus on getting one of the hit listers.

    What is your take on shooting does during early season in your stands that you have set to kill bucks? I’m always on the fence of shooting a doe in an area where I could potentially alert or put scent in an area I want to leave undisturbed. Do you feel it has an impact on your hunting or does it depend on where the stand location is?

    Thanks Dan!

    • Dan Johnson October 15, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      Great question. Most of my historical “doe kill” stands are near a food source or along a CRP or crop field. I won’t touch some of the other stands until I am in full buck mode. Thanks for reading.

      • Adam Parr October 16, 2015 at 1:56 am #

        Thanks Dan. Drop a monster this year!

  2. Josh Shaffer October 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    Good read Dan. I think we all forget the rush of hunting does while focusing on bucks. Cool story. Happy hunting!

  3. Tom Woodin October 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Ive just started using nose jammer this year and the few times ive been out deer have walked my trail in or at least crossed it and haven’t spooked. Two young bucks and some older does so it seems to help. Can’t offord ozonics so this will have to do.

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