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Author Topic: Had a little luck with the longbow  (Read 1288 times)

Online Darren Haverstick

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Had a little luck with the longbow
« on: October 31, 2022, 09:49:48 AM »

I took this past Friday off to hunt at my favorite place on earth, the farm that has been in my family since the 1850's. Nestled in the eastern part of the Missouri Ozarks, it is everything a feller could want in a hunting spot; steep hills, deep hollers, abundant hardwoods, and lots of game. Mine even comes with a grouchy old caretaker who keeps the coffee hot and makes me peanut butter cookies when I come to visit. Most people call him Stick but I just call him Dad.

Friday morning was what you hope for when planning on spending a day in the woods - clear, cool, and still. I drove my truck up an old logging road leading to the ridge behind our barn. On either side of that ridge are deep hollers and the descent into either is pretty much straight down. At the north end of the ridge is an old loading ground with a salt lick at the south edge of it. Thirty yards across the loading ground to the other end leads you to a big oak flat that deer and turkeys just love to travel through. With the wind in my face, I climbed a big black oak about 15 yards south of the salt lick well before daylight and got settled in. I could already hear deer moving about so I knew it was going to be an active morning.

Just after it got light enough to shoot, I heard a stampede coming down the holler on my left. I know it was at least one buck and doe but it sounded like a hundred! They circled around behind me but wouldn't come out of the brush. I grunted a couple of times to see if I could draw the buck out and was rewarded with a snort-wheeze response. That was the first time I had ever heard that in the wild! Thinking the dude was ready to scrap, I did my poor imitation of the same call but nobody came out to play. Eventually, I heard the deer trot back off in the direction from whence they came. Not a bad way to start a morning hunt, I thought.

Another 20 minutes went by and a little fork-horn walked right under me, oblivious to everything but the need to breed. He went on out to the oak flat and about 15 minutes later I heard him return but he had somehow grown another couple points and gotten a little bigger. This buck had his tongue out, nose to the ground, and trotted past me in the other direction like he was on a serious mission. Yeah, I remember being a teenager. His twin came by me a few minutes later and I wondered if all the grownups were sleeping in that morning. Later, I had two grown coyotes and a pup go by and then heard some turkeys calling softly across the holler on my right. I certainly was getting a show that morning.

At around 8:30, I saw a buck crossing the oak flat about 100 yards away. By his movements, I thought he was with a doe but I didn't see her. I grunted to him a couple of times but he paid me no mind. I watched him walk around the head of Tater Cave Holler on my right and we promptly forgot about each other. About 15 minutes after that, though, I heard the leaves boil in his general direction and here came the doe he was after. She quit her mad dash and started walking towards me, with him in tow. Hmmm, things just started to get interesting.

The doe came straight towards me, across the loading ground, and went to the salt lick in front of me. The buck hung back on the far side of the loading ground, trying to act cool and uninterested. I still hadn't looked him over properly but I knew he had a big body that would look great in my freezer. The doe was tense, and I think she saw my shadow, because she suddenly spooked and hopped off to my right about 10 yards. She started to go off down into Tater Cave Holler and I figured that it was all over now. The buck would follow directly after her and never come close to give me a shot. For some reason, though, he didn't. He came straight to me across the loading ground and was heading for the road on my right. I made a conscious effort not to look at him head on and waited for him to walk by. There is a small hickory on my right that I use as screen between me and the road there. When he went behind that tree, I drew my longbow. It would be about a 10-yard shot when he came on the other side and I remember thinking to aim low because I was way up in my tree.

I picked a spot behind his shoulder, let go of the string, and immediately saw that I got a pass-through. The buck wheeled behind me, ran about 25 yards, and then stopped on my left side. I could see the entry wound in his side and the blood pouring from his nose. He stumbled, ran another 10 yards, and then somersaulted down into a white oak. The sight of him dying, and knowing I was the cause, immediately filled me with sadness. But I was happy not to have to track him and I gave thanks to his spirit for what his body would provide me and my family.

The rest, as you know, is just work. I climbed down the tree, gathered up all my gear, and then walked back to my truck. When I finally went to retrieve the deer, I was shocked at the sight. To be delicate, I will just say that I could not believe there was that much blood in a whitetail! He had managed to sling it six feet up the trunk of the tree he landed near. It was like a horror film! I used an entire package of wet wipes to clean him off enough for a PG-rated photo. I dragged him out, got him loaded in the truck, and headed back to Dad's. I found the other piece of my arrow still in his lungs when I field dressed him. Folks who doubt the lethality of stickbows and wood arrows need to see what I had just seen.

He is now cut up and stored in my freezer. We got a new pup, Daisy, this summer and this was her first deer butchering party at the Haverstick household. Needless to say, she is a fan and is ready to attend her next one.

Equipment notes: I used a Wild Horse Creek Destiny longbow and a homemade Douglas Fir arrow tipped with a 190 grain Meathead.


Offline Winter Hawk

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Re: Had a little luck with the longbow
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2022, 05:10:58 PM »
Good job!  Looks like a good dog also....  :hairy

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Online KDubs

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Re: Had a little luck with the longbow
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2022, 08:03:19 PM »
That's awesome Darren, it's been awhile since I've had a bow kill, Quite a rush.
 Looks like some nice powder measures and knife handles.
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Online The Miner '49er

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Re: Had a little luck with the longbow
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2022, 11:28:03 PM »
Great recount of the day and the hunt. Seems like perfection. Looks like you took that nice buck with one of the arrows you and your wife made recently and that is the icing on the cake. Thanks for all the details. Congratulations!
Defend the 2nd Amendment - If you can't fight for your rights, you don't have any!     "I was standin' at the toe mark on the 25-yard line, I was gunnin' fer' a 50 with my rifle Clementine."

Online rollingb

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Re: Had a little luck with the longbow
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2022, 12:33:30 AM »
Congrats on the nice buck Darren!   :applaud   :hairy
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Online Two Steps

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Re: Had a little luck with the longbow
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2022, 07:05:43 AM »
Congratulations on your deer Darren, and thanks for the story.  :bl th up
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Offline Bearhntr

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Re: Had a little luck with the longbow
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2022, 07:34:55 PM »
Nicely done sir!
Congratulations on a fine buck.