By Alex Comstock
I love deer hunting. It doesn't always have to be a big buck to get my heart rate up, shooting a doe can be just as fun. Especially an old warrior of a doe that has outsmarted hunters for years. I was fortunate enough to be able to harvest my first deer of the season this past weekend, and boy let me tell you, I was pumped!
This year, I've got tags in three states. North Dakota (where I live), Minnesota (where I'm from), and Nebraska. For North Dakota and Nebraska, I've got 1 tag for each state. So those will be going (hopefully) on bucks at some point. In Minnesota, I can only shoot a buck on the west side of the state that borders me in North Dakota. But, when I travel back to my hometown in Northeastern Minnesota, I am actually allowed to shoot unlimited doe's as a part of a city hunt.
So this past weekend, I had to travel back to my hometown for a few days, and knowing this, my goal was to get some venison to stock the freezer with, being it's really the only place I can shoot doe's and I will only be back there maybe a couple of times during the hunting season.
With that in mind, my first opportunity that I had to jump in the stand, I was all over it. Hunting where I grew up is much different than it is out here in North Dakota. It's an urban setting, hunting close to roads and houses, and sharing the woods with hikers and bikers alike. I was set up in a stand in a feeding area between two bedding areas, not more than fifty yards off of a road and it didn't take long for the action to start. After only being in the stand for roughly 45 minutes, I noticed movement up ahead. There were two doe's working by me within 40 yards, but it was so thick I could hardly see them. I got the camera on them, and not long after there was a mini doe fight, and one got pushed out and started in my direction.
Right then, I knew it was game time. I got my bow in hand, camera was rolling, and I was just waiting for the doe to come in where I could shoot her. She slowly worked her way in to my shooting lane, but was facing right at me. I waited and waited, and finally after seeming like an hour (actually about a minute or two) she turned broadside or so I thought. I came to full draw, put the pin right on her heart, and released. Right away I knew I hit my mark, and I thought I'd have her back to the truck within an hour. After taking a few minutes to settle down, I climbed down out of my stand, and went over to the arrow.
Shockingly, there was no blood on the arrow, only guts. I was pretty confused, and I couldn't find much blood around the sit of impact. After going back home, and re-watching the footage, the doe was just slightly quartering to me, and the shot was a tad low, but still looked pretty darn good.
I waited about an hour, and went after her. I blood trailed her for about a hundred yards, and then jumped her out of a bed, but she only scampered about forty yards away and stopped. Being that it was now pitch black out, I opted to back out and give her another hour or two. By then, there was a hefty amount of blood, and I knew if she let me get as close as I did before jumping her, and after only running off a little ways, she would expire soon.
An hour and half later, I headed back to where I jumped her, and found her within minutes. I was ecstatic! I quickly tagged her, got her back to the house, and all packaged up and in the freezer. It was a successful night. It felt great to do everything again for the first time this year and get another deer under my belt. Now hopefully I'll be able to put my tag around a nice mature buck soon, get ready the rut is almost here!