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I would like to share an interesting tale that happened a few years back on a bow hunt in Arkansas, but still feel to this day, what are the chances of this happening again? Most likely never. Still when I go hunting these days, I always carry a video camera in my possible bag. Yes, I carry a possible bag when bow hunting. I take out all the muzzleloading accouterments and replace them with arrow tips, first aid kit, plastic bags, a harness for dragging deer, emergency flashlight, beef jerky, and now a video camera. Cameras are small and compact now, so they do not take up a lot of space.

I parked the night before in order to get an early start, sleeping under my 4X4 Ford F-150 to keep the dew off me. I went out early in the next morning, which is the first time I have been deer hunting that year. I had been in this area previously, hunting for squirrel and saw a definite potential for deer. Arkansas deer that have had a nice diet of soy beans, persimmons and the like. In that part of Arkansas, one does not find deer dung without persimmon seeds in it.

Upon arriving at the spot I had scouted previously while hunting tree rats, I sat on a tree stump that was partially hidden by vegetative growth. Soon, no less than thirty doe began to graze in the open field. First, a few, then several and then the whole congregation showed up. Where's the buck? Where's the buck? There has to be a buck! I sat there for three or four more hours, still no buck.

One very good reason to carry along a first aid kit is while sitting there, one one the doe did notice me and walked up to within five feet of me and stood there staring me face to face. Fearin that the doe may hove or bite me, I raised my arm toward it to see the doe jump about six feet imto the air, turned and ran off. The other doe also left since I had made my presence known. Who knows, that doe could have attacked me.

I finally needed to rest my haunches and got up to walk down the top of a ridge. I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a buck crawling on its knees in thick brush about 70~80 yards away. That son of a…..! I could not get a clean shot, too far for a bow shot anyway, so I carefully followed it parallel for a while until I lost it.

Fairly soon, I heard a huge noise, but could not determine the direction because of the rolling terrain. I decided that the sound was coming from over the next hilltop. I began looking for a place to traverse the valley to get to the top of the rise, but there was a deep ditch at the bottom. As I was going down the hill and trying to decide a crossing point, I happened to see two deer heads popping up out of the ditch. It was two bucks fighting over territory!

I crept down the hill a little in an attempt to get a clean shot, trying not to expose myself to the deer and making any sound that would alert them. I was wearing bison moc's (which I made). I soon noticed they did not care about me as they were concentrating on fighting each other.

As I arrived at the edge of the ditch, which was about six feet straight down on my side, I stood there watching them in battle. I was frozen, I could not move. My heart was pounding and my whole body was shaking. What a sight! If only I had a video camera. I could have sold it to Field and Stream or what ever.

There they were, first they would stand facing each other and then they would charge. Wham! Their antlers would clash, and then they stood up on their hind legs and hove each other. They would separate and face each other again and charge, wham! Their hooves are what were creating most of the noise, not butting antlers, as I would have thought otherwise.

I finally regained composure and fearing they would soon notice me, as I was only ten yards away, aimed for a heart shot at the nicest looking buck, a six pointer. Arkansas counts only one rack, not both as they do here in Tennessee. I drew back with my Bear compound and let the arrow fly. The buck ran around in a big circle, coming back to the same exact spot as I shot him, looked and me and fell over.

Meanwhile, the other buck jumped up out of the ditch, almost hitting me, but I was concentrating on the buck I had shot. After gutting it, I had to determine how to get it up the steep bank of the ditch.

I finally was able to get under it and shoved it onto the ditch bank. Worn out, I rested on another tree stump, when I noticed blood on the stump. followed the blood trail and read the leaves that had been disturbed. The blood trail thinned, but I could still read the leaves. There was still some blood a sign, mostly at the base of a tree. The puddle of blood told me the deer was injured and was stopping to rest.

After following as far as I could, the trail lead into a bamboo thicket and I lost the trail. It was becoming late afternoon and I had to give up the search and return to my bagged deer to get it back to the truck before dark and it was about a one mile trek.

One pooped hunter later, I finally arrived at the check-in station, told the ranger about the injured deer and left for home. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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Good story. That was a hunt to remember. I too have seen deer crawl to get away from hunters.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Yup - they resort to all kinds of chicanery to avoid hunters in thick brush.

Years ago, I was a blocker on a small patch of woods in Indiana on a deer drive. The guys fairly beat the brush to toothpicks because we had seen a nice buck enter and not come out. Catching a movement along a grassy fence line, the sun shone through it and I could see a doe down on her haunches and knees crawling along the fence getting away from the woods. Watched her go about 50 yds when she felt safe and bolted to another patch of woods across the field.

The buck got right in the middle of a very thick Brier patch that was over head high and wouldn't come out, although hunters were within feet of him. Deciding someone had to get into the briers and having some new Cabela's brier pants, I volunteered to do the job. Couldn't penetrate that stuff for the life of me! Tore those new pants almost to pieces. I could lean on it, but never get in. We decided we'd wait for another day or season for that ol' boy.
 

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Good story! Reminds me of my uncle that got me into hunting. He actually quit carrying a bow most of the time and carried a camera, back when they weren't small. thanks for sharing the hunt.
 
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