This is a guest post by Sonny Ithipathachai. This story originally ran in an edited form in NC Sportsman Magazine. This is the unedited version.
I’ve been around for about 43 years now, and one thing I’ve learned is fashions and trends never die, they just get recycled every 10 years. I call it the, “Everything old will be new again theory.” So goes my first hunt, first shot, and first deer of the 2011 North Carolina season.
We bow hunters are a ritualistic bunch and have our own little routines. We dress outside, wash our clothes in no scent detergent, and shower with no scent soap. We do everything that it takes to reduce our scent signatures. Yet with all the meticulous steps and planning, I always forget something. This time it was my shooting glove, so now I have to shoot with bare fingers.
I put out a scent wick with some 2-drop supreme a little upwind from the area I was hunting, and then I climbed up a nice straight young pine about 12-14 feet. I didn’t want to get too high because of all the leaves and branches. The recurve is very limited on range and I am only accurate out to about 25 yards.
A beautiful red fox ran by just 30-yard directly in front of me after a mere 30 minutes of sitting. It was beautiful, with red fur on its sides, dark gray fur in the middle, and the tail was tipped with black. The wind was picking up, and it was nice and cool. I remember I did not break in sweat at all walking the 200 yards in, and knew this was going to be a good day.
Time slowly ticked by as I sat motionless, scanning the woods for movement with my eyes going from left to right. A squirrel feeding at eye level just 15 yard in front of me kept me entertained.
That little bushy tail would stand on its hind legs and grab berries and eat. Then it would hang upside down like a monkey and eat. It is funny how one passes the time watching the littlest things when you’re in the woods. I was surprised that the squirrels were not on the ground looking for food, but would rather gather something to eat up in the trees.
By 5:30 p.m. I heard my 1st buzz of a mosquito the size of a cricket. I quickly turned on my ThermaCell, and all is good with the world again. The wind must have died down a little as well.
It was now 6:30 p.m., and I saw movement directly in front of me just 40-50 yards away. It was a buck moving from right to left on a trail in front of me. He disappeared into the thick woods, and I slowly got into the standing position…waiting for him to show up again.
Then from the left corner of my eye I saw movement. There were two does walking, stopping, and feeding up a path that was to my left. They moved at a normal pace and had no idea they were being watched. Sunlight was starting to leave me fast, and I wanted to wait for that buck to come back, but hunting with the recurve is a game of opportunity. So, I had an opportunity to harvest a doe, and that’s exactly the decision I made.
The two does were walking from left to right, and when the bigger one paused long enough in an opening. I was able take a deep breath and draw my bow. She had turned completely broadside to me.
|Sonny and his trophy.|
I was able to pace out the distance from where she was shot and it came out to be 23 yards. It was getting dark and I got out of the woods by 7:00 p.m.
The next morning I went out and found my arrow. It was intact and laying on the ground just 15 yards from the point of impact. It didn’t have much blood on it….just a little on the fletching, but then I did remember putting about 8-12 layers of clear coat on it. No liquid would ever stick to those arrows. It must have stayed in and got pulled out as she ran.
Bill Howard writes a weekly outdoors column for the Wilson Times and Yancey County News and the bowhunting blog site GiveEmTheShaft.com. He is a Hunter Education and International Bowhunter Education instructor, lifetime member of the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, Bowhunter Certification Referral Service Chairman, member and official measurer of Pope and Young, and a regular contributor to North Carolina Bowhunter Magazine.