The Womack Journal: If at first you don’t succeed

Editor’s Note: Warren Womack of Bluff Creek has kept a journal of every deer and turkey he killed since 1968. Going into the 2022-23 season, his lifetime count is at 387 deer and 93 turkeys. We share some of those delightful stories here as hunters prepare for another Louisiana deer season.

Bow kill #245, Dec. 6, 1997

I’m setup on my favorite creek crossing and it’s below 32 degrees, clear and still with a hard frost. I used a small Mini Mag flashlight to walk in. My arrival at the familiar tree was timed just right to be able to climb and set up my stand, on the east side of the creek, at first light.

With years of hunting experience I’ve noticed on these cold mornings when the frost starts dripping the deer start moving. This morning was no different. During the warm up it was 8:35 a.m. when I saw two does headed my way to cross the creek from east to west. The lead doe was a good 25 yards ahead of the second one. I wanted to shoot while sitting, but she came too close. At the last minute I had to stand up for the 6 yard shot.

Sometimes, especially when it’s colder than normal, it’s difficult for me to shoot under 10 yards and I missed her. My arrow had passed in front of her shoulder under her neck. After they left, I had a serious talk with myself about missing “easy” shots after working so hard for the opportunities. I nocked another arrow and hoped for another chance.

It was 8:50 a.m. when a group of six deer came in from behind me after crossing the creek from the west to east. This time my shot was at 7 yards and I missed again. Evidently that conversation about missing didn’t help. My two arrows were stuck in the ground about 6 feet apart.

As soon as I shot, my reaction to the miss was to reach down pull another arrow from my quiver, and nock it on the string. The last doe in the group was a little slow and passed in front of me as she was leaving. I bleated to her and she stopped, but a tree blocked my chances for a shot. As she moved on I bleated again, and she paused. This time there was a lot of limbs and twigs between us but I could see a “killing spot” exposed through a small hole and shot at the center of that hole. She was broadside and I saw the arrow hit her tight, behind her shoulder. It really felt good. I love a perfect shot, especially after back to back misses.

I stayed in the tree another 30 minutes just enjoying the beautiful morning. If I hadn’t had a deer down, I think I would have stayed there all morning. Once down, I stepped off my shot at 17 yards. Walking the compass bearing in the direction that she had ran, I cut a blood trail about 30 yards out and found her at 90 yards. After pictures and video show and tell, I field quartered her. It was a challenging hour pack-out from bottom land to high ridges headed back to my truck.

Note: She was my 44th deer kill with my Acadian Woods one piece recurve.

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