The last two weeks, the deer have started moving again – somewhat anyway – at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA. I saw 14 deer in that time period, had a couple of "almost" shots, passed on a big cow-horned spike, but nothing too serious until late last week.

After a morning hunt on the Big Island in which we saw nothing, we decided to try a perimeter island where I had seen a few deer lately. The wind was blowing 10 to
15 mph, so our chances for success did not seem too good, but you have to make the best of the situation.

I had a spot about a 20-minute walk back in the marsh where I thought I would have a decent chance to get a shot since no one was hunting in that area this season. I wanted to wait until I had a buddy to help me drag one out from that far back, and my dad and David Simoneaux were with me so we decided to give it a try.

I used the wind to my advantage and sat on a big log next to a thicket with a known bedding area across from me and two small ponds to my left.

I was hopeful that I would get to see a deer or even more likely a hog. I sat down at 2 p.m. and waited. At about 4:15, I heard something coming through the thicket directly behind me. I could hear the water sloshing and was pretty sure it was hog coming to me at point-blank range.

I stood up and was ready to draw back (later I would realize it just a nutria). Suddenly I heard more water sloshing from my right in one of the shallow ponds. To my complete surprise, I see the antlers of a 6-point buck rising over the brush at the edge of the pond no more than 25 yards away. I turned and began to draw back and, at that exact moment, the 6-point and I locked eyes and I knew this was not going to be good.

He immediately turned and bolted, and I saw he had two nice does trailing him that were high tailing it out and to my left in rapid fashion. I let down and let out a loud waa and than another waaaa and the does stopped. I drew back and put my 30-yard pin on the first doe and let loose – thwaack! – and my arrow fell at my feet.

What the heck? I was in a state of shock, as the two does ran off and I tried to piece together what has just transpired.

I ran the scenario over in my mind, and all I can figure is when I let down the arrow became partially un-nocked and it was basically an almost dry fire. As I looked my bow over, I noticed something missing off of my Mathews Drenaline. The upper string suppressor rubber stop had flown off, as did the small harmonic stabilizer. The limbs seemed sound on draw back and I did not notice any other damage.

A short time later, while commiserating how this bow season was about to end, out walked another nice doe. I drew back, picked my spot and watched as my arrow did a corkscrew and fell harmlessly short.

Aarrghhh! I did figure the shot would probably not work because the bottom string suppressor was still on and that made the release of the arrow uneven and doomed to failure.

I got home, looked up what I need on the internet – a $5 piece of rubber for the string suppressor – which I drove to Lafayette the next day after work and purchased. I read that at times the rubber from the string suppressor has been known to fly off. Of course the manner in which the bow was fired caused the piece to fly off.

Thank goodness all appears well and my bow is shooting perfectly again. Had this happened in October I would have been upset, but to happen near the end of a largely unsuccessful bow season for me – REALLY sucks! I do have a few trips scheduled to Sherburne WMA before the season ends on Feb. 15, but this one stings and will last awhile.