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Maine Hntr

First archery deer

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Well I finally closed the deal on my best buck and first archery Deer last night. I sat the morning with almost no movement, I kicked a couple out of the area on my walk in at dark and sat in stand until just past 11AM with no other movement. I decided to call my buddy up the road and take my climber out behind his property, somewhere I've only hunted a couple times but I knew of a nice ridge somewhat close to what I believe to be a small cedar thicket where they bed I'm assuming. The acorns have dropped this year like I've never seen so I thought being in the deeper timber on an oak ridge might bring the does in toward later afternoon and this might give me a good opportunity for a buck. I got in stand around 2PM and it was pretty quiet, when I got up into my tree I realized only 40 or so yards in front of me there was actually a nice little draw coming up to the ridge I was on, it just looked like a nice funnel area. I had brought my rattling antlers and did a sequence of rattling shortly after getting into stand, nothing.. I decided just after 3 to try rattling again, about 10 minutes after rattling I see this buck coming up through the draw I previously mentioned, he was just kind of wandering through not in any particular direction, I hit my grunt tube a couple times softly and he heard that and started coming right to it. I knew he was a big bodied deer and nice tine length, he mulled around for a few minutes, wind was marginal, kind of blowing diagonally across between the two of us. He ended up going to my right and reached a spot where he was just over 25 yards out and head behind a tree, I drew back and he didn't stand in that position long enough for me to steady and release an arrow, he kind of backed up and faced directly at me, so now I'm holding at full draw for what seems like forever, shoulder getting tired, etc. He turned back and faced away so I let down at this point to get a quick rest, he then started moving back to the right at the same distance so I drew back again, stopped him and released. Shot looked great, I could see the arrow buried in what looked to be his vitals and he was actually quartering slightly away so I figured I probably hit both lungs maybe even top of heart, he just walked off slowly and I was waiting for him to start wobbling but never did. I watch him go behind a clump of trees only 50-60 yards away at which time I lost site of him, then I see three other tails go up and run off, I had thought that was either him and a couple others or he had piled up and they took off. I waited just over a half hour and got down to try and find blood, nothing, not a single drop.. I decided to walk to where I had last seen him, I walk up and he's laying head down in a flat dry swamp area, he lifts his head and just looks at me, only 25 yards away.. he looks like he's just nodding off so I decided I wanted to try and get another arrow in him except his rear end is facing me and I don't have a good shot, I take a step or two to the side to try and get a better angle and draw back, at which time he stands up slowly, I quickly let an arrow fly, which ended up missing. He walked off again, slowly.. at this point I figured I should probably back out, I wanted to check where he was bedded first though to see what kind of blood there was, nothing, not a single drop. I let him lay a couple hours and got my buddy and went back in with more flashlights, we ended up finding him piled up pretty much where I had last seen him. If you look at the photo of him and I you can see the arrow still buried in which looks like an ideal shot but all of the bleeding was internal, I believe the arrow buried in his offside should and ended up breaking off inside him. The drag then began which was a huge task in itself but well worth it in the end. Feels good to have a nice deer down early in the season, most of my harvests have been after Thanksgiving.

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