This is a pic of my South Dakota bow kill. If you read my other posts you'll see I had a short season. I normally go to SD antelope rifle hunting but was denied a tag last year. In past years I've seen some good deer in some of the areas that we hunted and in 2009 I saw a large mule deer that was very huntable with the bow but I had no tag. So with my ND tags filled I decided to get a SD bow tag and try my luck. When I got to my area I quickly realized things had changed, instead of winter wheat everything was in sunflowers. Plenty of deer, in the sunflowers. Not what you'd call spot and stalk territory. I could see them in the flowers but now way to get at 'em. I looked at the maps and headed for some ground I had hunted several years before. This was rougher country which produced a B&C antelope for me that year.
The first evening in the area produced plenty of deer, one mule was about three miles away but looked to be a very large deer. I planned to be near his area the next morning. I hunted this area for four days hiking in two miles every morning, I did see several deer that were in the 170 range maybe better, but they would not come over to the public ground. I watched the deer I harvested for several days kind of waiting for something larger to appear. The 85 degree temps made for a tough hunt, the critters were getting into the junipers early making it hard to glass up what they were before they were gone. The second day I saw my buck I tried to make a play for him but being in new country I didn't know that the small draw they crawled into would become a huge juniper filled canyon when I got there. I did still hunt thru the junipers only to spook whatever was in there. I saw him the next day but they headed to thick cover early. A cool front moved in over night and I was hoping for added movement in the morning.
I located the bachelor group with my buck in it before sunrise, because of the cooler temps they bedded high in a finger draw. They were around two miles from me so off I went. I closed the distance stopping to glass several times to verify their location. This stalk took about a half hour after I closed the distance, because of the stiff breeze and the good cover I was with in 34 yds quickly. I wasn't in position more than three minutes when they stood and started sparring it was 12:00. As my buck fed across the draw from me he was facing straight away, finally he turned and I ranged him at 61 yds. I put my 65 on the bottom of his chest and released, with the wind in my face there was no wind drift and the arrow centered his chest perfectly. He ran up the ridge and tipped over. AWESOME. I boned him out and filled my pack with 70 lbs of meat + gear = well over 100lbs and packed him out three miles. I'd never done that before, it was one of the hardest and most rewarding hunts I've ever had. Hopefully I can try to give myself a hernia next year. He grossed 162" 5x5.