Success - archery deer hunting, whitetails from the ground?
I knew that my 2010 archery whitetail hunting opportunities would be slim so after a boring, cold sit in a tree stand my first morning I decided to make a move. I was in my truck heading to a different area when I spotted a big buck cruising a tractor trail cut straight through some pine bedding. I parked, gathered my gear and hustled around the bedding area to try and "cut him off at the pass". Along the way I grabbed my light-weight folding 2-dimensional doe decoy since I figured I would be out for the rest of the day and didn't want to go back for it. Sneaking along a tractor trail into the wind, I noticed some does in the brush 40 yards ahead. I dropped to my belly and began sliding backwards when I saw a big 6x6 buck bee-line it straight for the does. My heart pounded as I fumbled to deploy the decoy and get it standing up in the middle of the trail. The buck was focused on the does so I made a move to get behind a 24" diameter tree trunk 8 yards from the decoy. As I did, I saw the 20" wide brute spot my decoy and head straight for it. I drew my PSE LiteSpeed while still behind the tree trunk, eased out from behind it and centered my pin on the deer's vitals who was standing broadside a couple yards from the decoy. Unfortunately my shot was blocked by thick spruce branches and the buck wheeled around and was gone before giving me a good shot. That was the first of many close encounters this season including with several large shooters. I vowed to continue being aggressive and to hunt from the ground, often on the move this season. I haven't had a shot yet, but I've had the most fun, rewarding archery season of my life and I will continue hunting into this January hoping to bag an archery buck from the ground. By the way, my closest encounter was when a 1 1/2 year old 4x4 sauntered up a trail next to the tree I was crouched beside. I couldn't take it any more when his head and antlers poked past the tree about 16" from my face. I twitched my bow and he spun back from where he'd come like a wild cat. He wandered off like nothing had happened wondering what the movement had been.