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Mel's Deer

My First Deer

Hunt PA

I actually started hunting with a rifle 20 years ago and managed to take 1 doe in my first and only year of hunting. Motherhood, marriage and nursing called though, and I never found the time to get back out there chasing deer. I always wanted to try bowhunting, but finding the time and a partner to teach me just never happened.

Then 3 years ago I met my husband, who is a devoted bowhunter. He got me all setup to hunt, but the problem was that because I had injured my back lifting a patient at work, I didn't have the strength to pull back a compound with enough poundage to get the job done. I tried for 8 months to get my muscles in tune, but couldn't get above 35 pounds. So, he ended up buying me a Barnett Quad 300 crossbow and I went and got a handicapped permit from the PGC to hunt with it.

My first year was a success even though I didn't get a deer. I missed a doe, saw quite a few deer, but didn't get any shots at a buck. But I was out there where I wanted to be and that was the important thing.

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This year was different though. My hubby had the time to do alot of scouting this summer, and he had the lowdown on at least a dozen bucks that were hanging around the State Forest lands that surround our town. Opening week was a little slow for me with no deer being sighted. The second week went much better. We started seeing the deer that we knew were in the area, but they were doing a pretty good job of staying out of bow range.

But during the third week, things changed for me. I was hunting a scrape that the hubby says has been a primary breeding scrape for years. It's HUGE! It's in a thick area with lots of saplings and the bucks have it tore up real well! There's one spot with clear shooting, and for 3 days I set up there hoping to get a shot. Well for three days I could hear deer running away from the area, and I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. On the night of day 3, my hubby suggested setting up 100 yards downwind of the scrape. He thought the deer were scent checking the scrape before coming in to it, and were winding me. So, the 4th day I followed his advice and set up 100 yards downwind. He was right! I saw 2 bucks that morning and couldn't get a shot at either of them. But at 1 pm, a nice 7 pointer came sneaking by and his full attention was on that scrape. My heart was pounding so hard that I thought for sure the buck would hear it! Then, as I got ready for the shot, a doe that was behind me started snorting. The buck went on full alert, but it was too late for him. I squeezed off and watched the arrow sink into the vital area behind his shoulder. He ran in a half circle around my stand and fell dead before my eyes. The entire scene from the time I pulled the trigger until the buck folded up might have lasted 6 seconds. I was amazed at how fast that broadhead worked! I was in a state of shock. Thankfully, my hubby wasn't that far off and actually heard the shot and the commotion of the deer falling. He was there in a heartbeat to congradulate me. After alot of high fives and celebration, we field dressed him and went for help getting him out of the woods. It was a day I'll never forget.

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