So I started to think of how lucky I have been this year. I have been fortunate to hunt with many people and chase a variety of game. I was able to harvest a ten point with my bow, which is my personal best. The following is what I feel I am most lucky for though.
Mike Adams Jr. was able to shoot his first banded goose during Michigan's early goose season. I was able to see how excited he got when he realised what had happened. The look on his face was priceless. It was great to listen to him tell the story to family and friends.
I was able to see Jake take his first ever duck on his first ever "Big Boy" hunt. What a blast it was to see him get so excited about it. He was on cloud nine. I am sure it will be something that he remembers for the rest of his life. I know I will remember it.
Getting out with a couple of new friends from http://www.talkhunting.com/ . Al and Ken were able to get out and do some early goose hunting and it was great to get to hunt with these guys. It was definitely fun in the goose blinds while they were along.
Receiving a phone call from a very excited Mikey after he shot his first deer with a bow. I truly felt honored and privileged that he thought enough of me to call me either first or second to tell me about it. Pretty cool.
Having Dave give me a call screaming in the phone in the early morning "SIX POINT DOWN". Then stopping by to show me his trophy. Man was he excited, as well he should be.
One of my favorite things though has to be seeing my 2 year old son Drake shooting a bow for the first time. Maybe I am a little biased but I am a proud poppa. I will never forget helping him as he actually stuck a 3D deer target in the vitals at 5 feet! Then see him running down the range to give the UNJ team high fives. Priceless.
I enjoy my own experiences in the outdoors but it is always more enjoyable when I can take part in getting out with new friends, experiencing a child's first duck, archery deer or seeing my son shoot a bow for the first time. I definitely have a lot to be thankful for and I appreciate the experiences the people in this blog have provided me with.
So until next time, be safe, appreciate what you have and get into the great outdoors.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Twas the night before archery opener and all......OK really let me just get to the story!
I awoke on opening morning and was ready to go. I had been eagerly waiting for today to the point of making myself sick. I know go figure, but it is the truth. I had prepared for this day like never before. I put in a lot of hard work and effort and now it was time for it to pay off.
Before I go any further one small detail I forgot to mention is that I wouldn't be hunting out of a tree because my "friend" finally told me he "lost" my tree stand in a move. Yeah, I can see how that would happen. NOT! So I will be using a borrowed ground blind from my brother in law. Thanks D, I really appreciate it.
So as the morning goes I arrive to the property and get my gear ready for the hunt. I slowly make my way out to the blind that I had set up about twelve hours earlier. I make sure to walk as slowly as possible to not spook anything in the area. So far so good.
I get settled in the blind and go to pull back my bow and come to realize that it is smaller inside than I thought. I will have to draw back diagonally from corner to corner or I will not have enough room. Glad I figured that out now. I get comfortable and begin to watch the deer woods wake up. I wouldn't have to wait too long to see a deer.
7:50 I spot movement from my right 40 yards out. I expect this in the morning as because the deer are on their way back from eating in the field. I notice that it is a buck and I get ready for the shot. He made a left turn and came down to the actual runway they travel and I let my arrow fly.
I wait a half hour and go check for my arrow. I find it and it is covered in sign letting me know I had hit it good. I go about twenty yards and don't see it so I decide to wait. I decide to get some assistance from my father in law. Hey why not, I don't want to have to drag by myself when I can get help. Almost four hours later we pick up the trail and then are stunned when we see a ton of sign and then everything including the deer vanished into the forest air. (Another blog another day) At this point I am sick to my stomach again. I go home and shake it off and refocus.
I head back out into the woods at 4:00. I am ready to go with great anticipation. I see a couple does early on in the hunt but it wasn't what I was after. So I waited and waited and played poker on my blackberry, and waited some more. I started posting on a website about my hunt in real time and waited some more.
Then at 7:00 some movement gets my attention from out front and left 50 to 60 yards or so. It looks to be a nice deer and I start watching as intently as one can watch. It is coming from left to right and on it's way out to the field. Finally I notice that my speed beef has head gear. I slowly fold up my chair to give myself all the room the blind would allow. I draw back and am ready to take the shot. The buck continues to make his way nibbling on branches and taking his time. He has no clue I am even there. At 7:20 he makes his way into an opening and I released the arrow.
The deer turns and goes back left fifteen feet as though nothing happened! Uh oh. He stops and looks back to the right. What is going on I heard it hit didn't I? He then continues left and now between he and I is a thicket and I can no longer see him. I nock another arrow and look to where he should be coming out and wait and wait. I don't see him and I now feel like I just want to crawl into a hole.
I hear a couple of snorts and some upset deer but can't see 'em. The noises weren't in the direction of the one I shot at. I decide that I would get out and check for my arrow. I go to where I shot and the it was just laying there. I pick it up to find only a little bit of sign. I walk to where I last seen the buck and on my way I see sign a lot of sign! I only have on my green headlamp and turn on my flashlight and see not 20 yards from where I shot him, my trophy laying there.
I walk up and take the time to appreciate him. I give thanks and then I inspect the head gear. I just shot my first ten point. My G5 Tekan had done it's part and my Bear Lights Out did it's part. I call and let everyone know what is going on. My father in law arrives about a half hour later and helps me get it to the truck and up to the barn. Pictures were taken and flashes going off left and right. I felt like I was a rock star and was on cloud nine.
I have always wanted to take a ten point in my hunting career. Always dreaming about what it would be like. Well now I know and I hope it doesn't end anytime soon. The rack wasn't as big as the one I had always envisioned but it is my trophy and I wouldn't change a thing.
The crazy part in all of this is, I used to shoot on a archery league and really enjoyed it. So much in fact that I never really hunted with my bow because for some strange reason I just enjoyed the league. So this year I decided that I was going to take my first deer with my bow. So there you have it. My first deer with a bow. The only way you will know this tidbit is from reading it here because I purposely have left it out of all the conversations I had late last night. Cheers.
So until my next blog, be safe, appreciate what you have and get in the great outdoors.