After several failed scouting attempts and uneventful hikes in the deer woods, I finally decided on a stand location near Goose Lake that was surrounded by a fair amount of sign. I choose an old maple tree that over looked a runway heading into a clear-cut containing succulent grasses and buds. From the numerous piles of deer pellets it was apparent that the deer were feeding in the cutting. However unnecessary, I took two bags of apples and two of carrots, and spread them thoroughly in front of my stand.
Hopefully the bait would help to channel the deer down the runway and past my stand. I then planned to return to the spot in one week to check the wait and hang Upon the passing of one week I returned to find the area ripped up with deer sign and all of the bait gone. I hadnt expected this positive of a response and I was more than happy to deposit four more bags of bait about my tree. I then carried my aluminum tree-stand about twenty feet up the knotty old tree and hung it on the maple behind two pines that would help the conceal my location.
I was now ready for the upcoming season which was not more than tree days away. I was anxious to return to my little set-up with my bow and see how the spot was going to produce. I sat there that first night covered head to toe in my camouflage enjoying the squirrels antics, listening to the breeze, and wondering why there were no deer passing through my neck of the woods. Darkness quickly set inn and I left the stand a little puzzled by still hopeful. The next night I climbed into my stand with renewed hope and I could just sense that something was going to happen.
Within the last forty minutes of shooting light I noticed a gray form approaching form directly in front of me at about twenty five yards. As I studied the deers head for antlers it closed the distance to fifteen yards. I clenched my bow tightly land felt for the string as I realized the deer was wearing two long spikes. The young buck put his nose to the ground and inspected the area for any unnatural oders. As the buck paced the area back and forth, he was keeping a small line of brush between us making it impossible for me to take a clan shot. All I could think about was how I needed the deer to step into an opening or else he would walk away unscathed.
I sat there helplessly watching and waiting and hoping. Finally before he walked out of range and behind more brush that was thicker yet, he stepped into a lane and I steadily drew my Darton to full draw. I then placed my sight low and tight behind the bucks front shoulder. As I exhaled a deep breath, I released my Easton shaft and it zipped right through the deer. The deer jumped slightly as if it had waked into a fence and then just looked around trying to find the source of the noise that my bow had made when I released. The buck then simply waked under a pine tree, staggered a bit, and then laid down to its final slumber.
I was amazed by the deers reaction, it didnt even know that it was hit. It was then that I truly appreciated all of the hours that I had spent practicing last summer. As I clambered down and claimed my trophy I was thankful that I had come to the U.P., elsewise I might have missed out on some of Michigans finest hunting opportunities.Bibliography: