I want to share an experience I had to hope others can benefit from it. One evening while watering the arena, I noticed a big deer out behind the horse arena at our home. It was after shooting hours so nothing I could do. The next evening, I noticed 3 big deer out behind the arena. Again after shooting hours so nothing I can do. Then I decided to hunt the area, these deer were big from what I could tell. They were coming into what I would call a no typical area. They come out of the woods, have a horse pasture to the right, dog pen to the left and large arena right in front of them. All I could think is, man that clover they are feeding on must taste good.
It came time to put my plan together, hunt in the evening and hope they come in before dark. Find a tree to put a climber stand on. Wait this is an open area, the only trees around just allow me to get 8 feet off the ground. That is not going to work. Let's pop up a ground blind but where? Again this is an open area. I could put it out in the field but I figured it might stand out like a sore thumb. There is no where to brush it in next to the tree line. I then though about how people put stuff around their homes. It is not uncommon to go behind someones home and find a shed, canoe or other items next to a house or garage. The deer probably wouldn't think much of it if a human stuck a box behind and next to a building. So there it got set up.
Here is a view also out of the ground blind into the open area. I got the blind all setup, dressed in black because the inside of the blind is black. I brought my Black bow with me and here I sit and wait.
The first evening I see a big doe come out of the woods and into the open area. I have already ranged things with my rangefinder early so I know my yardages. She is out there around 65 yards, too far for me to sling an arrow and feel good about it. She starts working her way towards me and the dogs start barking. She is up to about 50 yards and not really moving now because the dogs are going off. I am sure they have played this game before and she knows they can't get to her because she is not running off. She has stopped and keeping an eye on them and not moving. Day light is fading fast at this point and I need her to close the gap a little more. She finally relaxes again and starts eating the grass and clover. She continues to work he way towards the blind. Stopping to check on the dogs and to look at the ground blind. She come into around 40 yards and I get my bow in place. She then raises her head and her eyes are locked in on me in the blind. My arm is shaking and the adrenaline rush is kicking in. This is why we hunt, that is a rush like no other. I can not move an inch or I know the next thing I see will be the white flag running away. She drops her head and starts to graze again. This is my chance to pull my bow back. I am at full draw and she starts to come closer. She comes up to about 25 yards and I look through my peep and sight. It is blurry, it has gotten too dark at this point. I can kinda see her but it is not real clear. I can release the arrow and hope it hits where it needs to and if it does not take a chance on injuring her, loosing her or total miss and scaring her off. I let the bow down because I do not want to take those chances and have more respect for her than to take them. I do not regret this choice, I must make a clean shot and quick kill. It is the only way us as hunters should hunt. She eventually walks back into the woods and I make my way to the house. I did not scare her off she left quietly so maybe I will get another chance.
The next evening that I was able to hunt it was the opening day of firearms season. A friend came over to hunt with me and he headed to the back of the property far away from the house. We had the grill loaded down with pork ribs slow cooking s after dark we could have food waiting on us. I got in my blind and waited once again. Just like clock work close to sunset out pops the big doe into the field. She is perfectly broadside at 65 yards again and this time I have my 270 rifle. When I get my gun up she turns directly towards the blind so I hold my position. She then shows more interest in the blind. She keeps staring at it strait on. Again, here comes the adrenaline rush. I am looking at her and it appears she is looking at me. I begin to shake, sweat and the scope fogs up. After a few minutes she finally puts her head down and is back to grazing on the clover. I reach up and wipe the fog off my scope and wait. Again tonight daylight is fading fast and it is time to focus and get ready for the right opportunity. She finally turns broadside, I put the cross-hairs on her and fire off the shot. I see fire through the scope and boom. As I watch she runs and jumps the fence into the horse pasture. At this point I realize I have an awful ringing in my ears. My phone is going off, I am getting text messages and trying to keep an eye on the deer. I lost sight of her at about 50 yards from where I shot. She stood there for a few minutes but now I don't see her standing there. At this point I realize I am never shooting my 270 inside a ground blind again without ear protection. I put the gun up, and grab the spotlight after waiting 30 minutes. We go to the location where she was standing and I can't find any blood. I go to the location of where I last saw her standing and there she is DRT (dead right there). Largest doe I have shot to date and only one on firearms opening day. Now back to bowhunting.
In conclusion I think of the things that allowed me to make this happen. Scouting and finding out where the deer were. Finding out what time of day they were coming to that location. Setting up a box blind in a non-typical location. Thinking outside the box. Not doing anything to scare the deer off and change their schedule. Not making a possible bad shot and loosing an injured deer. Keeping my cool and calming my nerves only taking the shot when everything was right. Some of those older does are just as hard to kill as an old buck. They don't get that big from making mistakes.