Saturday, September 5, 2009

Deer Down! Opening Day Success

I somehow managed to sleep a few hours last night, so I woke up ready to hunt this morning. I got up at 4:30, got ready, and then drove the 45 minutes to my hunting spot in northern Loudoun County.

On the way up the driveway to the property I hunt I saw about 12 different deer. One group of 5 was bedded in the property owners front yard, and I managed to stalk to within 25 yards of the group of does before they busted me. This was all before shooting light, but the full moon made the stalk possible and extremely fun!

I then walked into the woods and managed to get into my stand after only bumping one deer. Since the property is only about 20 acres, stealth is key to having a successful hunt. I got in my stand at about 6:10 and waited the 35 minutes or so for the sun to rise. During that time, the deer (a nice 6 pointer still in velvet) I had bumped on my way into the stand walked directly under me and proceeded to eat beechnuts. Luckily I had sprayed down with Scent Killer, so he never winded me or got spooky when he crossed my trail.

Then, at about 7 am, I saw a small herd of deer making their way up the ridge towards my stand. They had seen the buck and decided to come check him out. The group ended up being a spike buck and 6 does. I had enough time to range shooting lanes and get settled so that I would have a good shot if the deer came close. Finally, the deer all moved within my 40 yard range so I readied myself to shoot. All the deer ended up crowding into a bunch and walking directly towards the bottom of my stand! I had to draw and then hold my draw for about a minute, waiting for one of the does to turn broadside for a shot. One finally did at 30 yards, so I let fly!

The doe was walking and quartering slightly away when I shot, so I managed to get liver and one lung with the shot. The arrow passed completely through and the doe took off down the ridge. Then, she piled up 50 yards away and never moved again. I made an okay shot, but I'll give all the credit to my Rage broadheads here. The entry and exit wounds they create are amazing, so as long as you make a decent shot they are going to go down quickly.

I waited a few minutes, sent a few texts, and then got down out of my stand to field dress the deer quickly due to the heat. She ended up being a good sized yearling doe.

All in all it was a beautiful morning, and I was blessed with the reward of a beautiful deer. I then cut grass for a few hours and got my Dad to take a few pictures of me when he showed up to work. We also scouted a stand location and I should be returning to the property on Monday to hunt and then hang this new stand. I can't wait to get back out there!


  1. Congrats on the deer! I've never shot one opening day, but it must be quite the treat. How many deer can you shoot per season?

  2. Paul- You get 6 original tags with your Big Game license. 3 antlerless only and 3 either sex. You can also buy bonus tags (antlerless only). I usually kill around 10 a year.

  3. Is that a deer or greyhound? Justing kidding; congratulations!

  4. Congrats! I can only daydream about hunting, and you already have a deer on the ground.

    Congrats again.