First big game bow kill ?

5.56×250

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Things have wound down here in Ga, with the rut tailing off . Another year without a buck worthy of my bragging wall, at least so far.
Sitting here, I started thinking about the excitement around taking a big game animal with a stick and string . Those days are behind me now . Degenerative disc disease has taken my bow hunting lifestyle away from me. I still have the memories of success in the field and in competitions around the country and I guess that will have to do.
All this brings me to the subject of this thread. First bowkill . Tell us about your first nerve racked, heart pounding, close quarters harvest ....
 

5.56×250

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I will get us started. My first bowkill was a big mature whitetail doe . My bowhunting career had started with several clean misses . Missed a 20" ten point the first hour of the first bowhunting trip ever !
Anyway , on this hunt, I was hunting with a friend who was very accomplished as a bow hunter. We were on his aunt's 50 acre old family cattle farm that had long since gone back to the wild side. I had scouted and picked a spot on a creek that had a few early season water oak acorns falling and a good bit of deer sign. I actually sat in the creek on a rock . My arrow would clear the bank if I kept good posture when an opportunity would present itself . Maybe 45 minutes into the hunt a big doe and a couple yearlings came in and started feeding on the acorns. I decided i would take the doe since the yearlings seemed capable of feinding for themselves . I waited for a good shot opportunity while trying to avoid 3 sets of eyes at 15 yards on the ground. Finally momma stepped behind one of the big oaks and gave me the opportunity to draw . I almost got to full draw when her head popped out from behind the tree. She cold busted me and I sat at 3/4 draw on the 70# XI Miles Keller compound as she bobbed her head up and down, trying to figure out what was moving around in the creek. She turned her head long enough for me to get to full draw , but her body was still obscured by the big oak. She stared at me for what seemed like 5 minutes, but was probably closer to 45 seconds. She blew, stomped her foot, and made her final fatal mistake by taking two steps forward and looking to her yearlings. At this point I was a shaking, nervous wreck and stuck all my pins on her and punched the trigger. The arrow landed with a solid crack as the muzzy broke her spine and dropped her right there. I was so shook up that I emptied my 6 arrow quivee at her to finish the deal. 4 misses left me with one arrow to finish her suffering. I calmed myself and squeezed the first respectable shot of the evening. Clean double lung shot. She expired in seconds. I was 17 at the time, 37 years ago. I got control of the nerves over time , mainly through 3D competitions . The national level shoots really helped me to shoot through the nerves and make every shot count.
What's your story ?
 

Greyfox

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My first big game bow kill was a whitetail doe that I shot as a teen back in the 1960’s. I was raised in rural Western New Jersey proximate to the Appalachian Trail where game was plenty and bowhunters, very few. Myself and my buddies had been totally mesmerized watching the exploits of Fed Bear frequently featured on the Wide World of Sports on Sunday afternoons. I cut lawns, painted fences, and shoveled driveways, until I had enough money to buy a 45# Bear Grizzly recurve, a matched set of a dozen cedar arrows with broadheads/field tips, a quiver, and accessories. It took a full year to build up my muscles and master the instinctive shooting technique. I worked feverishly building the skills to stalk/still hunt or build a ground blind to get within bow range of a whitetail. Tree stands were not common practice in those days. No luck the first season, but success was in sight. By the second season, I felt prepared. On the opener, on a Monday, after school I rushed to my chosen spot, a wooded area with a well worn trail, trail bordering an open brush field. The wind was perfect and the wet leaves made for quiet still hunting. Within a half hour a group of four does were moving across my direction towards the field. I also changed direction, hoping to get a shot if they went into the field to feed. As I approached the edge of the field they were already out there feeding at about 30-40 yards. One doe gave a perfect broadside shot. I drew thinking, ‘pick a spot, pick a spot!”. At the shot I heard a crack and the doe I shot at ran in back of brush pile. I waited about 20 minutes(seemed like 20 hours). I finally approached to the spot where she was standing and found lots of blood and half my Razorhead tipped cedar arrow. That was the crack! She was dead on the other side of the brush pile. She was center-shot through the heart with half the arrow fully penetrating. That was the first big game animal I had taken with either gun or bow. The memory will last forever as my greatest hunt, and the beginning of a life long passion.

I still have that old Bear Grizzly that is over 50 years old, and in pristine condition. A work of art, and memories that will last forever!
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dmj

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My first kill as an archer was with a Shakespeare 50 lb recurve. It all started with an old long bow my Dad had laying around the house. I was 15 and had harvested several deer with a rifle and got it in my head that I wanted to try archery. My Dad said as soon as I could hit a target approximately 8 inch by 8 inch three out of three times at a range of approximately 17 yards ( if I remember right) we would get some archery equipment and start archery hunting. Well I practiced and practiced and actually got so I could hit that size target pretty much every time. But when I would go get Dad to show him, I could never hit it more than two for three. Well this went on for several months. Then I got the idea that I'd buy him a bow for a gift. That worked. He purchased shooting glove and arrows and started practicing. I did the same. And that fall we hit the woods. After numerous failed stalks and some misses (still haven't figured out how a deer can duck under an arrow fired at less than 15 yards but I'm sure there are a number of you that will agree that they can). Anyway we learned that this one draw held deer more often than not and figured out how they wanted to escape. So I'd go around to the escape route and Dad would slowly hunt through the draw. We did this several times and as I gathered more info I finally got my chance. It was a mature mule deer doe. There was 3 of them. Two does and a fawn. Probably more luck than skill but my goal was to pick the dry doe. Stood there and when they went by me and were quartering away pulled back and let that old bear broadhead go. Right behind the shoulders. Deer jumped and ran 30 yards or so and was down. That was 55 years ago and I still hit the woods every fall archery hunting both deer and elk. Sadly my Dad is no longer with us. But my hunting partners are now my son, grandsons and younger brother. This topic brings back good memories but when I stop and reflect on the evolution of life it also makes me a little sad. Happy hunting every one, be safe and enjoy every minute of it.
 

YZ-80

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My first was a 6 point buck up in west central PA in 1996. I was 20 ft. In a tree in a LocOn Contender climbing stand, with a Darton Renegade bow, shooting with finger tabs. I was rather exposed in the stand, due to my lack of experience but the 2 bucks I was watching at a distance didn’t seem to notice, and I successfully grunted them in. I drew and shot at one of them in mid-stride and sent an Easton 2314 through his liver. He trotted away and laid down in plain sight and the other buck just stood there for 10 minutes. I climbed down and almost had to chase the other buck away, before putting a finishing shot on the liver shot buck. Looking back on it is almost surreal. It wasn’t pretty but I was very happy to have gotten that deer. One thing I’ll say is this: Bowhunting is hard and any deer taken with a bow is a trophy. We see a lot of YouTube buck porn and I’m the first to give guys credit for shooting the monsters, but anybody who bow hunts successfully deserves credit too. This past year at 53, I decided to hang up the Compound and Summit Viper in favor of a crossbow and ladder stands. I guess it’s my “AARP” transition into senior bow hunting. One thing’s for sure, I’m
always happy to get a rifle in my hands after several weeks in the stand with a bow (or crossbow)!
 

5.56×250

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My first was a 6 point buck up in west central PA in 1996. I was 20 ft. In a tree in a LocOn Contender climbing stand, with a Darton Renegade bow, shooting with finger tabs. I was rather exposed in the stand, due to my lack of experience but the 2 bucks I was watching at a distance didn’t seem to notice, and I successfully grunted them in. I drew and shot at one of them in mid-stride and sent an Easton 2314 through his liver. He trotted away and laid down in plain sight and the other buck just stood there for 10 minutes. I climbed down and almost had to chase the other buck away, before putting a finishing shot on the liver shot buck. Looking back on it is almost surreal. It wasn’t pretty but I was very happy to have gotten that deer. One thing I’ll say is this: Bowhunting is hard and any deer taken with a bow is a trophy. We see a lot of YouTube buck porn and I’m the first to give guys credit for shooting the monsters, but anybody who bow hunts successfully deserves credit too. This past year at 53, I decided to hang up the Compound and Summit Viper in favor of a crossbow and ladder stands. I guess it’s my “AARP” transition into senior bow hunting. One thing’s for sure, I’m
always happy to get a rifle in my hands after several weeks in the stand with a bow (or crossbow)!
I am contemplating a crossbow for next season myself. It's a tough pill to swallow, but as of now I dont hunt with archery gear at all, so i recon it would be my chance to get in the early deer woods. I exclusively archery hunted for many years after rifle hunting became boring . Now with my physical issues, being able to hunt is the challenge, so equipment used is irrelevant. I'm even starting to get a little excited about the prospect of hunting with a " bowgun ".
 

YZ-80

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I am contemplating a crossbow for next season myself. It's a tough pill to swallow, but as of now I dont hunt with archery gear at all, so i recon it would be my chance to get in the early deer woods. I exclusively archery hunted for many years after rifle hunting became boring . Now with my physical issues, being able to hunt is the challenge, so equipment used is irrelevant. I'm even starting to get a little excited about the prospect of hunting with a " bowgun ".
Go for it. No shame in using the tools availabile to you. You’ve paid your dues. Let the young guys chase the glory. Been there, done that. I’ll take ‘em any way I can get ‘em!
 

5.56×250

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Go for it. No shame in using the tools availabile to you. You’ve paid your dues. Let the young guys chase the glory. Been there, done that. I’ll take ‘em any way I can get ‘em!
That's how I'm feeling more and more these days.
I managed an archery shop and was the head tech guy on the equipment when Ga legalized crossbows for archery season. When they first passed the law, I was against it . My thought were, if you dont want to put in the time to get proficient with a bow, stay out of the woods till gun season. As time went by I changed my outlook on the subject . There was no way to force someone to put their time and due diligence into becoming lethal with a bow, so for those that either didnt have the time or will to put in the practice time with regular archery gear, the crossbow was a way to reduce wounded deer . I could get someone who had some skill with a rifle ready to be lethal out to 30 yds or so with a crossbow in an afternoon on our indoor range. Past 30 yards, being able to accurately range distance became necessary. As much as I hated sharing the archery woods with bowguns, it was better for everyone involved if it shone a better light on archery hunting by reducing waste. I cant shoot a bow anymore because I dont have the dexterity in my neck to turn into the bowstring and aim. I'm out of choices if i want to get out in the woods in the early season, so a crossbow it is !
 

Rick Richard

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My last kill a few weeks ago.

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I used a vertical bow for a LOT of years, but at 66 I finally went to a crossbow last year. I find it didn't improve my shooting distance, but very much improved my accuracy. Since last year, I have taken 3 deer and recovered all of them with very short tracking needed. Happy I went to the crossbow... And now ladder stands, which are nice and comfy for those all day "sits". Good luck on your decision and like most I don't think you will regret the change.
 

Creedmoor shooter

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My first bow kill was when I was 11 and it was a 6 point NH whitetail. It was tail end of the season. I know I was december but that was all i remember. I was hunting in the middle of a snow storm that was snowing quite heavily. I saw the out line of a deer headed my way from down the logging road. When he got closer I saw it was a buck. Being a young archer I was extremely excited. My bow (hoyt ultra sport set at 40#)was equipped with a whisker biscut. It was fairly cold out either teens or 20s and just before he got to my shooting lane I drew back. That carbon arrow made a terrible racket on that cold whisker biscut and he stop dead in his tracks. I held for what seemed forever and he blew out of there and stopped 20 yards away in the bushes. Took him about 5 min but he circled back around because he had no idea what had just happened. This time I waited until he was in my shooting lane so I drew back. Again it made the terrible noise and he stopped in his tracks again. I settled the pin and let the arrow go. I heard the arrow hit and he took off. Left to get lights and came back an hour later and found him piled up 60 yards away. Using a 85 grain thunder head and it never touched the opposite side of the rib cage on a perfect lung shot. After that I was hooked on archery. I ditched that whisker biscut after that incident. If I could only hunt one style it would be archery. Nothing gets my blood pumping more than to kill deer at 15 and under yards. Killed a doe this year at 13 yards. Nothing beats it!
 

5.56×250

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My first bow kill was when I was 11 and it was a 6 point NH whitetail. It was tail end of the season. I know I was december but that was all i remember. I was hunting in the middle of a snow storm that was snowing quite heavily. I saw the out line of a deer headed my way from down the logging road. When he got closer I saw it was a buck. Being a young archer I was extremely excited. My bow (hoyt ultra sport set at 40#)was equipped with a whisker biscut. It was fairly cold out either teens or 20s and just before he got to my shooting lane I drew back. That carbon arrow made a terrible racket on that cold whisker biscut and he stop dead in his tracks. I held for what seemed forever and he blew out of there and stopped 20 yards away in the bushes. Took him about 5 min but he circled back around because he had no idea what had just happened. This time I waited until he was in my shooting lane so I drew back. Again it made the terrible noise and he stopped in his tracks again. I settled the pin and let the arrow go. I heard the arrow hit and he took off. Left to get lights and came back an hour later and found him piled up 60 yards away. Using a 85 grain thunder head and it never touched the opposite side of the rib cage on a perfect lung shot. After that I was hooked on archery. I ditched that whisker biscut after that incident. If I could only hunt one style it would be archery. Nothing gets my blood pumping more than to kill deer at 15 and under yards. Killed a doe this year at 13 yards. Nothing beats it!
I agree there is nothing like archery hunting. I miss the challenge of matching witts with a mature buck with a bow. Taking a grown buck will leave an impression in your memory that never goes away. Unfortunately so does the misses ! My last miss was a 20+" 8 pt that would have gone in the 150s . Was a chip shot at 27 yards . He was following a doe on veterans day in misty overcast conditions. He was so big in the body compared to the average Ga buck that I called him 20 yards even, held low in the heart because he was nervous , and made a smooth release . I watched that arrow barely rub his brisket and the back of his front leg. Perfect line ! That was 12 years ago and I can remember that arrows path and the massive Ga buck like it happened this morning. To this day , that is the most impressive Ga whitetail I've seen from a stand ! I have lots of memories of mature bucks that weren't as luck as the big 8, but that miss is my most vivid bowhunting memory.
 

Creedmoor shooter

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I agree there is nothing like archery hunting. I miss the challenge of matching witts with a mature buck with a bow. Taking a grown buck will leave an impression in your memory that never goes away. Unfortunately so does the misses ! My last miss was a 20+" 8 pt that would have gone in the 150s . Was a chip shot at 27 yards . He was following a doe on veterans day in misty overcast conditions. He was so big in the body compared to the average Ga buck that I called him 20 yards even, held low in the heart because he was nervous , and made a smooth release . I watched that arrow barely rub his brisket and the back of his front leg. Perfect line ! That was 12 years ago and I can remember that arrows path and the massive Ga buck like it happened this morning. To this day , that is the most impressive Ga whitetail I've seen from a stand ! I have lots of memories of mature bucks that weren't as luck as the big 8, but that miss is my most vivid bowhunting memory.
Here in NH the hunting isnt very good. We are ranked 6th worst state to hunt with just shy of 50% of our buck kill being 1.5 year olds. Seeing a bug buck with your bow is just about unheard of. I missed this bad boy at 40 yards last year. Rookie mistake I raised my arm on the shot to watch my arrow. I've been bow hunting for 13 years and I still make those mistakes sometimes. My heart is still broken. I can still see that arrow in flight.
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YZ-80

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Here in NH the hunting isnt very good. We are ranked 6th worst state to hunt with just shy of 50% of our buck kill being 1.5 year olds. Seeing a bug buck with your bow is just about unheard of. I missed this bad boy at 40 yards last year. Rookie mistake I raised my arm on the shot to watch my arrow. I've been bow hunting for 13 years and I still make those mistakes sometimes. My heart is still broken. I can still see that arrow in flight.View attachment 163336
I’ve heard that about NH and Massachusetts as well. I’m blessed to live in a state (and area in the state) where deer are plentiful. Heck, as of this writing, I have 23 crop damage tags left! We can only shoot does on crop damage and I only take what I need or can donate. I never fill all those tags. The DNR has a pretty good handle on things here and the herds have been sustained quite nicely. I think they are under a lot of presssure to cull the herds due to a lot of vehicle strikes and property damage so the bag limits are generous. I have my complaints about MD for sure but for me, it’s a Sportsman’s paradise!
 
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