We headed to the Platte River right after school yesterday. Sam chose to sit in the “Road” Stand. We hung this stand last week overlooking a trail the deer use just before entering the alfalfa field. Several deer entered the field from the west but bypassed the stand. Just after Sunset, the neighbor drove in and pushed the deer off the field. A doe was headed right at Sam. Already at full draw, Sam stopped her at five yards and squeezed the trigger on his release. His arrow found its mark high and a little further back than he wished. The doe ran off toward the west leaving Sam to wonder about the shot. Time seems to nearly stop while waiting to take up the trail. It is during this time that one’s mind begins to play tricks on you. A full range of emotions takes over. Joy and excitement often give way to worry and apprehension. Was it a good shot? Will we find her? How far will she go?
We took up the trail about a hour later. About 20 yards down the trail we found a little blood. We followed her about 75 yards but after finding very little blood we decided to wait until morning. As they say: “When In doubt, back out”. We were a little nervous about the weather. It had been 82 degrees yesterday. It was supposed to dip down to 48 over night so I decided we would wait.
Sam had to go to school which left me to look for her on my own. Would this be like his Muzzle Loader doe last fall? I had taken up the trail on that deer the next morning and found her while he was in school. He, of course, offered to skip school and help but the Dad in me thought that was a bad idea. This morning was the annual See You At The Pole prayer at the School. As the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes Sponsor I wanted to be there to support the students. I finally got away at 8:30 and began the search. I quickly found the spot we had marked and devised a plan. I had gone a little further west last night and found nothing so I guessed she might have made a left turn. I followed a trail to the south but after finding nothing I circled around to the west and headed back to where we had marked the last sign. I found the trail she had been on and worked back to the last point we had marked. Almost immediately I found her lying on the same trail. She was only 30 yards from where we had marked the last blood sign. I most likely walked less than 15 feet from her in the darkness last night. Sam had hit her high about mid-body. The arrow sliced through the liver and into the abdominal cavity. The lack of blood was caused by the high angle of the hit with no exit wound. The doe had gone about 100 yards and had died within seconds. Sam is still in school and hasn’t seen her. I can’t wait to see his excitement when he arrives home this afternoon. God has provided again. I thank God daily for the opportunities I have as a dad to spend time with my kids enjoying His awesome creation. Next week is our early antlerless firearm season. I plan to spend some time in a blind on the same alfalfa field with my 12 year old daughter Mattie. It will be awesome.