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The One That Got Away… Update on Daniel’s New York Hunting Trip

It’s Wednesday in the middle of the rut here in NY and there are deer everywhere.  For the past 3 days I’ve seen deer and have had them under the stand and they even bedded down around me as I hung my stand.  This morning just like the rest of the week was good and cold so I was expecting some good movement.  Well I was not disappointed when deer started coming in all around me.
Where shall I begin.. Tuesday morning I climb in the stand with snow flurries thinking this is gonna be awesome!  Well the morning did not disappoint.  About 8:30 I had a nice high 6 come in at about 60yds in just enough thick branches I had no shot.  Then about 20 minutes later a doe came down the same path but this time she came right underneath the stand.  Knowing we are in the rut I was lookin for the buck to be following and I guess she heard my heart beating out of my chest because just as she stepped out from under me she looked up and spooked. After about a 30yd dash she stopped, looked around and walked away as of nothing ever happened.  So I sat until 11am and finally went to grab lunch.
About 1:30pm I headed back into the woods, bow in hand and my climber on my back.  At lunch Perry and I discussed a new spot to try just off the meadow at the top of the hill.  So off I go headed straight to the meadow.  As I crest a little gully I look out to see 3 deer standing in the field already.  Stunned I hide behind a tree and video for a minute before sneaking through the leaves back about 65 yards into the woods.  As I sneak back I find a tree and hang my climber.  Just after I get it hung and pull my hoodie over my head for the nights sit I see an ear flop on the edge of the woods. “oh sh**! here they come” I thought as I strapped my release back on and got ready.  As 4 deer pile into the woods a fawn decides he’s not going any further and lays down 35 yds to my 12 o’clock.  The others keep coming and a big doe notices me.  She stomps and puts on a show with her head bob and weave for a minute or two then decides I’m nothing to worry about and walks another 35 yds to lay about 60 yds to my 3 o’clock.  At this point my bow is up, my release is on and I’m ready to shoot. Well this is the position I would hold for the next two hours as I watched these deer lay around starring at me. Finally, just before dark, the big doe stands and walks perfectly into my shooting lane.  I draw and hit the stand causing more of a scare for me then the deer.  She keeps coming and I get my pins right in the money spot.  Just as she’s perfect I release, “thump”!!
Well… I shot right under the deer.  25 yds?!?!  Really!!!!  What the heck.  Well let me just tell you my biceps are still soar from the 2 hour hold and I guess I just got so excited I dropped my bow.  Anyways, the deer run 40 yds and stop, look around and mozzy back into the field.  What a night!!  I pack up my stuff and head back to the cabin.
The next morning I try the hillside again just off the side of a great deer run.  About 8:30 two does come up on my right and head across in front of me over the hill. I bleat a couple of times and watch the hillside eager to see a buck come next.  Well he does, not 10 minutes later he comes down on my left.  It couldn’t have been any more perfect until I kicked the quiver stoping him dead in his tracks… Finally he moves again heading down but still toward me where he finally gives me a shot.  I judged him to be at about 40 yds and watched the arrow fly perfectly toward the back of the shoulder.
He takes off down the hill and stops with a doe at the road I came up.  As They decide to head back up the hill I get a little nervous knowing if It was a good shot he shouldn’t be headed up.  As she walks by at about 50yds I can just barely see him walking up the road.  After all this excitement I wait for about 30 minutes call my buddy Perry and get down to look for the arrow only to find it sticking in the ground with no blood.  What?!  I know I hit this deer, so I look a little and find blood, good blood.  I follow it all the way down to the road where there’s a puddle.  At this point Perry meets up with me and we think he’s gotta be laying on the top of the hill with all the blood.  So we follow a foot wide blood trail up the hill into a thicket where it starts to turn to drops, down a gully, over another hill and finally come to a point where the property ends and another persons begins.  With gun season opening on Saturday and the deer going into another persons property we were stuck and unable to continue.  My first rack buck with a bow and we lost him.  The only thing I can think is that after we tracked for close to a mile I had to have shot under him and grazed his brisket.
Dis-heartened from my miss the night before and upset from not being able to find the buck I decided to take the night off and sleep in the cabin.  About 4:30pm I get up to find a doe grazing in the yard. With my stealth skills I snuck downstairs, grabbed the bow and slipped the sliding door open. The deer still unaware of my presence fed as I drew my bow back.  1 step, 2 steps, 3 steps, and I can see the deers hind quarters.   One more step and I have a shot. Well just as I step down she takes off into the woods.  What a crazy day…  and week so far!!  I’m headed back into the woods in the morning to see what else I can see.


Daniel Gunderman

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