We have a new spot in Howard County MD where the does have appeared to have a lucky star or possibly a force-field of alien origin protecting them.
Four hunters had been to this place previously and all have come away empty.
It was getting jinxed and last Saturday it was my turn to see if I could break the jinx.
I started up the tree at 2:20pm, and as I was climbing up I turned behind me to see two does coming into the yard from the south. Arghhhhh! I wasn't even settled and the voodoo was already going strong.
The mature doe spotted me and started the head bob. I decided to go overt and whistled and waved my arms at her. She and the other deer bounded into the forest. My strategy was as follows: Deer are not stupid and they recognize stealth behavior as threatening. If you're not acting stealthy they don't recognize this as hunting behavior and may just come back.
Sure enough, about an hour and a half later the first deer entered the yard. She sent in the button buck to test the waters! Ruthless mama!
The button buck started grazing, and she slowly approached the feeder. She remembered exactly where I had been 90-minutes ago and she was looking up in the tree and bobbing her head side-to-side to get the parallax on me. Here's a game camera picture of her looking at me. Note that the time-stamp of the camera pointed to the feeder is off by 1 hour. You can see how absolutely BUSTED I am here.
It's pretty obvious that I was busted, and just a matter of WHEN she was gonna blow outta there. She turned towards the other deer in the picture and started stomping away. I had previously ranged that tree on the right side of the picture at 38 yards. She got almost to the tree and I had the safety off of the Tac15 and my aim point in the cross-hairs on her. She turned and stopped to scoff at me one last time and the arrow busted her far shoulder and dropped her right on the spot. She bawled a gurgling bawl as she dropped and didn't expire right away, lifting her head from time to time. I reloaded and got back on her. Every time I thought she was down for good she lifted her head again. The humane thing was to end her suffering so I sent another Rocket Steelhead her way and it went through her entire body length-wise from back near the ham and then out in front of her shoulder. She expired quickly. The other three deer ran off to the west. I decided to wait and see if I could get another one.
About 4:40pm two deer came in from the north again. The camera didn't get a picture of it, but the picture below from that morning is just about exactly where the second big doe walked in. This is 22 yards from my tree.
This doe hugged the woods and was very cautious. She stood in the woods watching the feeder for a few minutes before heading in. I'm sure she saw the other doe laying there in the yard but seemed not to care. She turned to face the feeder and stepped clear of the woods, giving me a perfect 22-yard broadside shot. It doesn't get any easier than that. The arrow caught her right behind the shoulder and 2 inches above center line. She ran like the wind to the woods and I heard her crash about 20 yards in. Here's the pair with my pack back at the truck and then later at the hunt club. Both are nice big does in good condition. One will go to my daughter and her husband, and the other to a friend who has not had a chance to hunt this year due to family obligations. My wife and I had grilled tenderloins marinated in teriyaki last night, and they were delicious!