Wednesday, November 6, 2019

DS19 Part 35: Biscuits, Gravy and Blood Trails

Took the morning hunt off to have breakfast with family. Jason sent me a message around 8am.

Him- I think I shot a doe. She looked wobbly then a buck pushed her off
Me- What do you mean you think you shot a doe?
Him- Should I get down and check my arrow?
Me- Yeah, let me know what it looks like.
Him- clean arrow
Me- ughh, you shoot under or over her?
Him- Missed by ten yards. Sucks because I had two more in my shooting lanes for ten minutes after. Arrow is clean, no blood.
Me- any fat grease on the shaft?
Him- no, she was uphill of log, I found it under. Back up in my tree now. There's deer coming
Me- sends him a pic of homemade biscuits and gravy

Best biscuits and gravy ever
Him- you suck.
Him- I just missed another one
Me- sorry man, sends pic of half eaten biscuits and gravy.
Him- God I suck. Just blew a chip shot. Pushed my hand forward instead of releasing
Me- you have any arrows left?
Him- just shot a doe
Me- yeah!?
Him- dragging a leg, moving uphill. I'm out of arrows

I finished breakfast and headed out to where he was hunting. It's a steep ridge near a funnel across the top. I had noticed good deer movement on that ridge during a leeward wind last year.  It was leeward that morning and deer were pouring through. I throw some flagging tape and a bottle of power aid in my fanny pack and hike up the hill. He is running me through what happened and I see a deer slinking through the brush towards us. Deer, buck! Dont move!" I whisper. It's a solid 8 and we get about 3 minutes of video of him at about 30yds before he finally realizes what we are and heads back over the ridge.

The stuff that happens when you don't have a bow in your hand
We look at his arrow and first blood. Its pink with a few air bubbles in it. He got a pass through but its only bleeding on one side. White hairs with light tan hairs. There is hair in the blood spots for 10yds or so. I suspect single lung. Its only been about 40min since he shot her, so I suggest we wait 20 minutes before picking up the trail. We hike back to the car and grab the sled, knives, etc and hike back up. He leads the trail and I hang back. It's not much of a trail, more like blood pouring out. I am confident the deer is dead but about 100yds later I'm surprised its not and am thinking single lung for sure. I am staying back about 30yds behind him, when he stops. He nocks an arrow and starts stalking up the hill. He draws, shoots. I hear a thwack and see a deer jump up with an arrow sticking out of its hind quarter. I run up to him, she is down again just 20yds up the hill and expires shortly after.

There was a melancholy moment after she died where the two of us stood over her in the morning sun just a few feet apart and paid our respects, appreciating the seriousness of what took place.  I wasn't even the one who made the kill, and it was a very emotional moment.  I didn't cry, but I came close.  It isn't like on TV when these clowns hoot and hollar and straddle the dead deer and put all of their focus on the horns and their egos.  Real hunters have too much respect for these animals to be so irreverent.

Deer are amazing animals and its remarkable to see how strong they are even when mortally wounded.  Even when you make a great shot, you can lose deer, so I think there was also a little bit of relief on both our parts that we found her at the end of the blood trail.  As I write two months after the fact, its been fun to watch Jason's social media posts full of venison meals.  Yeah, it sucks to see an animal you love and respect so much die, but the food part of hunting is why we're willing to make that sacrifice.

He guts her and we sled her down the hill.

He didnt hit any lungs or the heart. She spun as he shot and turned a broadside shot into a quartering to shot, maybe even straight on.  The arrow went in in front of the right shoulder and came out behind it kind of in the armpit.  It wasn't the single lung I was thinking, it was a no lung.  He got lucky and hit an artery which explained all of the bubbles and the bright pink blood and the hair coming out for so long on the trail.

I headed out to hunt and he went back to camp to start processing.

I decided to hit the spot I missed the big 10pt. Only I moved my stand location about 75yds north along the ridge onto a different spur. I was set up by 2pm or so and didnt see anything until about 5pm. A solid 8pt buck is working his way up out of the bottom up my spur. I stood and watched him browse on acorns through my rangefinder until he got to 43yds and stopped. He looked up my way, didnt like something and slowly browsed backwards retracing his footsteps up the hill. I threw a couple hail mary grunts out but he paid no attention. I snort wheezed and he stopped for a minute or so and continued browsing. 10 minutes later I see a head with horns pop up over the next spur north. It's a buck and at first I mistook it for the 8pt circling back around. But no, it was the 10pt I missed. He came to about 80yds and worked his way back down into the bottom where the 8 came from and disappeared. I grunted but he didnt act like he heard it.

I climbed down and hiked the mile and a half out. Got back to camp and made venison stroganoff with back strap from Jason's doe and homemade pasta.

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