A Deer Story


Active Member
Nov 2, 2009
Fast forward to opening day of bow season. You hunted this morning but did not get any shots at deer, although you did see a young doe and her small spotted fawn cross a small clearing under your stand but decided to let that doe walk. You decided to hunt from a stand at the end of a large food plot for the afternoon hunt and have been waiting in your stand for two hours. Its been a hot day and from your scouting, you know the deer have not been moving early in the afternoons, but are waiting until just before dark to feed.

For the past 10 minutes you have been watching a lone doe teasing you about 100 yards away by calmly eating and occasionally raising her head to look in your direction. Even thought the slight breeze is in your favor, she senses something is not quite right at your end of the food plot so she is not coming any closer. The sun just set at 7:39 PM and, although legal shooting extends another 30 minutes, there won't be enough light to shoot but a few more minutes due to the shadows from the trees you are under.

Fifteen minutes pass and the light has faded so you cannot see the doe any longer. You are about to end your hunt when to your left you spot the movement of a deer. A fat nanny steps cautiously from behind a tree straight out in front of you at 30 yards. It's now 7:55 pm and the deer is a dim but still legal target. Instinctively, in your mind you subsitute your target block for the deer. Here is what your mind sees.

Can you make a clean shot in this low light at that distance? You are instinctively shooting a traditional recurve bow with no lighted pins to help you. Just sticks and string and you. Thirty yard shots are 5 yards beyond your self imposed limit but you know your bow can kill effectively at that range if you can strike the kill zone. In your daily practices you have taken hundreds of shots at your target block under the same low light conditions, from all possible angles, and at a variety of distances. So, you are confident you can make a good shot! You know you can do it.

The doe stops and lowers her head to feed looking away from you toward the doe at the other end of the field. Without hesitation, in one smooth motion, you raise the bow, draw, aim,..hold a second longer to be sure your sight picture is right...then release. In the dim light, you cannot see your arrow fly but you hear the satisfactory thwack of the arrow hitting the deer. You hear the sound of the deer crashing through the brush and wonder where your arrow hit. Did you hit the kill zone?

By the time you get out of your stand and to the spot where the deer was feeding, it is now 8:05 pm and dark. If you made a poor shot, then you might have trouble finding this deer tonight. How did you shoot? Because you practiced day after day on shots like this, here is what you find.

You grin, because there a few feet away is a blood stained arrow that passed through your deer and a nice blood trail headed off into the woods. Following the blood trail is easy, because you made a vital zone hit and you find your deer piled up fifty yards into the woods.

Practice is what made that shot work. Are you practicing?

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