It must be known by now that it is the ever-mystical flight of the arrow that turns me on the most. It doesnt even really matter what I am shooting at, a trophy stag, a little doe, groundhog, squirrel, or clump of dirt, I just love a pretty arrow hitting what Im aiming at.
Loud, grinding, soulful, guitarnoize; tight bands; Mrs. Nugent in the gyro-fest of Zumba bombast; happy children and grandchildren; confused liberals; over-the-top horsepower; victory over evil; and a good BBQ campfire all qualify as major turn-ons for my ultimate quality of life, for sure.
But, here and now in the dynamic throngs of The Hunting Season, I am astounded that I can even type these words I am so over-arrowed at this point. With 60-plus seasons under my well-notched belt, 2012/13 will go down as a total backstrap orgy of unprecedented joy and celebration for me.
And as I shall write about and share with you all in the upcoming months, some mighty beasts have been felled with some mighty pretty arrows in the last 90 days, so far.
September, October, and November have been a nonstop predatory party at both my Texas and Michigan deer camps. I missed only two days of hunting, one due to torrential downpours and the other to a very special day dedicated to raise money for a young gal with terminal cancer. Not much else could pull me away from my tree stands.
It was a cold dank morning when VidCamDude Kris Helms and I decided to take advantage of the strong south wind by rowing across Lake Nuge for a whitetail ambush try on the big ridge. The quiet row across the foggy, still waters already had us going and would substantially add to the completeness of this late October bowhunt. It was in the air!
A virtual silent approach to our double tree-stand further increased our dreamy expectations that this hunch was right on the money. We fastened our Safety System harnesses, fired up the SpiritWild vidcam, nocked an arrow, and slightly squirmed to get our bodies in the perfect comfortable position for the patient waiting game.
A dog barked and a train whistled off in the distance. The yelping, honking geese could be heard before shooting light. It took my entire wherewithal to remain somewhat calm for the umpteenth time with my bow in hand. I mean, come on. Ive been doing this my whole life, hundreds of days a year, every year forever. Relax, already, Mr. WhackMaster!
Not a prayer.
Then it happened. Shapes materialized in the forested bowl to the southwest as a trio of deer emerged from the shadows below our food plot. Kris and I snapped to attention, bow and camera lifted into readiness.
The three does made their way to a huge old choke cherry tree and began to eat the tiny purple berries and spit out the pits. I had never seen this happen before and learned yet another lesson in unpredictable deer habits.
The lead doe now stepped into range when she abruptly pivoted as she approached the trailcam we had strapped to the tree days before. The camera must have made some kind of noise causing her to abandon the main trail and skirt the edge of the marsh grass.
Now all three deer were on alert and the shot would be over 30 yards instead of 20. As the biggest doe entered a window in the brush, I came to full draw, let out a quiet bleat, and sent my arrow when the 30-yard pin touched her chest.
At the THWACK!, I knew I had drilled her nicely and the other two deer jumped and stopped to watch the hit doe scramble into the thicket. In under two seconds, I had another arrow on the string ad as the second doe tiptoed to look at the bloody arrow I repeated the same move and drilled her nicely as well.
Doe number two exploded into the same puckerbrush as doe number one and now doe number three jumped back another 30 yards to our right, head bobbing, trying to figure the whole deal out.
Between her head bobs I was able to extract arrow number three from my quiver, nock it, and as she slowly sauntered back toward the woods from which she originally came, I again let out a slight bleat, causing her to turn, and at 35 yards my third arrow in less than a minute caught her right in the crease for a lovely heart shot.
She bolted 20 yards, looked around for a second or two, then tipped over, stone dead like her other two pals.
I looked at Kris and he at me, with smiles as broad as the Grand Canyon. The most exciting moment in a long bowhunting life had just taken place, and we both knew it.
The season was already three weeks old, no one had hunted this area yet, and with everything else in our favor, like our silent approach and setup, my dead silent Martin bow, the non-pressured deer were in a rare state of vulnerability, their guard temporarily down.
We tracked, filmed, photographed, loaded, gutted, skinned, and hung each deer to complete the greatest, most fulfilling morning of deer hunting in my life. Three for three pretty much as fast as a guy can load and shoot a bow, aiming small and missing small for a trifecta of bowhunting heaven.