After doing 3 swamp tours yesterday, I was ready for a relaxing evening at home. But instead we were called onto the blood trail of a 10 pt buck and Simon found his first deer.
Pope and Young score of 136 1/8
A very proud, and happy young lady with her first bow kill!
After my older and more experienced dog was unable to focus on the blood due to the fact that he had gorged himself on raw meat and kibble the night before(hungry dogs hunt), I went and dropped him back to the truck and took a 2 year old who had never found a deer in his life.
The 2 year old was hungry, and had found the deer, and was growling in the thicket before we got the big surprise that it was a high scoring trophy. The briars were intense and we were slow moving. The brush was so intense, that after we had found the deer, we had only moved this 10 pt 25 yds in 1 hour!
Everywhere we turned were briar patches, and downed trees. After we found the deer, it was an ordeal for five healthy young people to move this deer the 125 yds to the clearing at the food plot where the going got a lot easier. When we got to the food plot, I asked someone; "What time is it, about 10:30?" And they replied; "12:30!" Ohh well, time flies when you are having fun!
Deer traveled almost 400 yards after the shot according to GPS. Caught liver and possibly 1 lung, no pass through. We found the deer 5 hours later, deer was very stiff. Had been dead a while.
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It took several very determined folks on all fours crawling on several occasions to track blood and bring this beautiful deer out of the thicket. The buck first went 200 yards without bleeding a drop! Bullet(a hunters nickname) found the first magic drop of blood, without that, this story could have turned out a lot differently.
Four hours after the shot, there is nothing like the words "There he is".
Blood trail of a 10 pt buck and Simon found his first deer.
Below is Shannon's story, in her own words...
The "OFFICIAL" OTP Sherburne Kill...
Hunting is full of ups and downs; misses, getting busted by deer, buck fever, going several hunts without seeing any deer. One minute you're anxious and pumped up but when one thing goes wrong you question your ability and skill.
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to draw back on a doe I saw while hunting Sherburne WMA. Everything during that hunt was perfect, from going undetected by a doe who I watched for 45 minutes to her standing broadside directly in front of me at 10 yards. The pressure of never killing with my bow made me anxious and doe fever set in. She was granted a free pass back into the woods to live another day and I felt like I was gonna die. Was my hard work and persistence ever going to pay off?
Something about public land hunting fascinates me. It's the thrill of starting from scratch to harvesting a public land deer that keeps my head afloat when I feel like I'm going to give up and drown. Of course, if it would be too easy, it wouldn't be that appealing to me.
3 days after I had that eventful hunt with the doe, I was ready for redemption. I got settled in my stand at 3:30 and sat there waiting for deer thirty. I was praying the doe would come back out. About 5:00 I hear some crashing in a thicket in front of me and heard a grunt. All of a sudden I count 4 deer running around on the treeline followed by another grunt.
One doe decided to walk out and head my way. Excitement was building up because I knew if I had her in range I was going to shoot her this time. As she was down in the slough I stood up and grabbed my bow. I was shaking but mentally talking myself out of getting too nervous.
All of a sudden I hear a grunt and see a beast of a buck walk out the thicket and start hooking a tree. At this point I was elated! This is the kind of stuff I watch on tv!!! The buck started following the doe's path, went down the slough then I saw his majestic head and horns rise about 35 yards from me.
At this point I was thinking if this was real or not and if I should just shoot the doe who was 15 yards in front of me to my right, or see if this buck was going to chance giving me a shot. As soon as he stepped up and turned, he put his head down and walked a few steps, grazing. I drew back with ease this time, surprisingly.
I had turned my limbs down half a turn but I don't think I had needed it. Thought for a second on how to compensate for the draw weight decrease, aimed my 30 yard pin a little high and released my arrow. Words cannot describe the relief and the excitement, when I could see my green fletching sticking out where I had shot him.
It was a little high and a little further back than expected, but I was confident it was a vital kill. I immediately sat down and watched him run off and tried to see where he went to, back into the woods. Then I grabbed my phone to call Ceth and told him to stop his hunt and get over here now with Bullet.... I had shot a monster!!! Ceth told me to get down and find if there was blood where I shot him, and mark it, since dusk was quickly approaching.
I got down and had no flashlight. I couldnt find any blood with just my cell phone light which was about to go dead! Great!
While Ceth and Bullet were coming from their hunting spots I was talking to myself downplaying everything. My 10 point buck shrank to a 6, maybe 8 point. I didnt want these guys let down when they found the deer, just in case I had imagined shooting a buck this large. The three of us were on a good blood trail for about 75 yards into the woods. We came to a stand still and decided to back out. It would give him extra time to lay and we could call for more help.
The woods were thick with briars and there were down trees everywhere. We met up with LSUSlick who offered his services. He wanted to try out some new spray stuff that makes hemoglobin glow in case we lose a blood trail. We also called Catahoula1 who was on his way with some blood trailing dogs. I was begging these guys to please find my deer. I knew it would be worth it, when I found him.
The five of us ventured back down the blood trail. Bullet and LSUSlick were trying out the spray and following a glowing trail when there was no blood we could see. Catahoula1 was letting the dogs work and Ceth was on another path looking for blood. I stayed at last blood. At one point I was thinking I knew this was all too good to be true. The rain was supposed to come, and I didnt think there would be a chance at finding him after that.
Just when I'm feeling disappointed, Catahoula1 hollered, "We got blood!!" Everyone migrated through briars and limbs to see a very good blood trail. We would follow a little while then lose the blood again. One dog veered away from everyone else to my left and I kept looking down the path and wondering. The dog came back after he was called, and I didnt think much of it.
After not finding blood on any paths elsewhere I told them about the dog going that way. Sure enough, there was a very good blood trail and then a pile of blood. We knew we were getting close.... The dogs went ahead and I heard one growl.
LSUSlick and Ceth were on their hands and knees with a flashlight. The relief I felt when I heard Ceth shout, "Oh My God Shannon, you killed a monster!!!!" When I layed eyes on him, his body was a lot bigger than I thought. His horns were even bigger too!! I counted ten points... A first bowkill doesn't get any better than that.
I literally thought he looked like a horse lying there! Now came the hard part of dragging the beast out through all the thick woods. He had ran almost 400 yards and was expired a little while before we found him. It was determined I made a liver shot and maybe caught a lung.
I extend my gratitude to everyone who helped track and get the deer out.
Every one was worn out, cut up from briars, and had fallen down, but everyone was ecstatic to help and had encouraged me that the deer would be found. Catahoula1 and LSUSlick were smashing briars and brush, making a path at one point so we could drag the deer. It was after midnight when we made it to a clear area out of the woods.
This hunt was unforgettable. It's amazing how so many people came together to help find a deer. From the beginning to the end, it was an adventure that I'll relive again and again.
December 21, 2011
Weapon: Bowtech Soldier Bow
Ammo: Trophy Ridge Expandable Broadhead
Huntress: Shannon Beard
Harvest: Ten Point Buck
Sherburne Wildlife Management Area
Atchafalaya Basin Swamp,
South Central Louisiana.