We had a good time down at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA opening weekend. Beautiful, cool, clear, dry, breezy hunting conditions greeted us all. What a welcome relief from the usual 90-degree openers we’ve come to expect.
While we did not see a lot of deer movement, the sign is very good. My dad saw a doe about 75 yards away that would come no closer; he also had a yearling walk by his stand at about 20 yards. My buddy Randy had a yearling come out on him as close as 6 yards, but he also chose not to shoot.
I had a couple of close encounters that got my heart to beating pretty rapidly. First I had a nice, mature doe approach and stop at 18 yards at 7:10 am. I could see her head and neck. Suddenly a loud crack from behind me got her attention and she stepped back into the thickness. I was at full draw and since I couldn’t see her anymore, I turned to my right to see what had startled her. It was another doe, and they were in a stare down.
I settled my pin on the second doe , but the only shot I had was a shot at her chest almost straight on. I did not want to risk the shot and she only needed to give me two steps to be in my shooting lane, broadside.
But this is bow hunting right? You don’t always get what you want. Ha ha! She took ONE step, looked right up at me in my ladder stand about 15 yards away with the brisk breeze blowing right into her face. Not good! She started bobbing her head, and I knew this was about to end – badly for me. She hopped across the opening and disappeared.
As I said my heart was definitely pounding by this time. No amount of doe bleats would get either doe to return.
Forty minutes later, I saw some movement in the shadows of the myrtles that I was hunting in. I quickly drew back as a very large doe walked from my left to right. I made sure it was not a spike, placed my pin and shot through the 3-foot gap that was available.
I thought I had hit her as she jumped a little and took three steps. I nocked another arrow, and she had an equally large doe following her. I had the shot, but did not take it as I did not know for sure if I had hit the first doe. The second one turned and left area. The first one did likewise.
I could see she was not shot at all, by her casual walk. I could see the nock of my arrow sticking out of the mud. After about 20 minutes I walked it off and sure enough my shot was short.
My buddy, David Simoneaux, had better luck. At 6:45, he heard a crack and looked up to see a doe creeping across the lane he was hunting. He took an 18-yard shot quartering away. His G-5 broadhead did its job, opening a massive exit hole on the doe.
She ran about 30 yards before expiring.
So all in all, a good start to the season.
Stay tuned, more to come.
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