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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you know, I have access to a small piece of property that boarders my house. I have posted some trail cam photos earlier this year of some of the deer from the property. I made myself a goal of harvesting no more than two deer from this property, and one of which had to be the Matriarch Doe. She is the one on the left in the front of this pic:


I had witnessed her run other deer into the ground when crossing the fields last winter, and she seemed to kick all the bucks off the property as soon as she was done with them. She also kept her family about the same size, one lesser doe and a couple fawns, kicking out all the others. I wanted to remove her to see what would happen to the property in a few years.

Well, opening day, I saw her in the morning across the field from me with her family. One smaller doe and two fawns. That afternoon, I took a small doe from the property, my first NJ deer:


She was a 39 yard shot from the ground. Double lung + heart. She went down in sight after about 40 yards.

I have hunted this piece off and on throughout the season. What I thought was my own private paradise turned into 5 hunters on less than 30 acres as the property owner lets almost anyone who askes hunt there. As other hunters converged on the property I backed off and hunted elsewhere. Taking another doe
on 9/21 with a 19 yard shot from a stand 20 feet up.
Lungs and liver, she went down after 80 or so yards in a corn field.



I changed jobs at the end of october which gave me a week off inbetween. I hunted the week hard, but also the piece next to my home was being hunted hard by another bow hunter. He was in there every day of that last week in october so I only hunted it once and that was still hunting. That day I called in a nice 4 point that I let walk. I believe that this is a trail cam pic of him still in velvet:

Hopefully, he will still be around next year.

In the beginning of permit season I took another deer from a pop up ground blind at the edge of a corn field on a different property. It was a 22 yard shot. Deer was actually up hill from me so my shot went in, through one lung and the broad head lodged in the deers spine. Tons of blood (trail looked like someone dumped a bucket of paint) deer went down in sight after walking 30 yards. Sorry no pics of this deer.

Thanksgiving night was the next time I had a chance to check the property. I still hunted the edge and waited near a funnel. At about 30 minutes to dark the parade started. Two small deer, could not tell if they were doe or scraggly spikes, and the 4 point come down the trail. The 4 point must smell me as the wind is wrong and he starts snorting. He runs up the trail about 20 yards, snorts, then back down about 20 snorts, and keeps this up for 4 or 5 times. The other deer are nervous but just look at him. I am along a tree line that separates two meadows. The deer enter the meadow on the other side of the trees from me. I shadow them to about the center of the treeline. One of the smaller deer spots me and being young dumb, walks right towards me. Then his small buddy joins him. They are both broadside to me, at one point I probably could have taken both with one arrow as the stood prefectly quarting away and in line. However, they were small, and I could not tell buck or doe. The 4 contiuned to act nervous. Then from behind me to my right, the Matriarch Doe busts through the fence line towards the meadow the other deer are in. She stops a the top of the fence row, gets a good look at me and blows out of there taking the other deer with her. Pretty exciting.


So this long story takes me to yesterday afternoon. I had put up my 15' ladder stand back by this funnel on Friday. Facing so I could easily see the trail that the deer had taken, but also see the two meadows. The wind was perfect, and since we had rain all night the previous day, I was hoping the deer would be moving.

I was right. At 3:50, I saw movement in the meadow to my left. I was planning on having the deer come from my right from the thick stuff around the swamp, but they came off the ridge instead. First deer out is a small doe (or maybe button), next is a bigger doe. Next is another small doe about the same size as the first, followed by another. Last to come out is the Matriarch Doe. The work the edge of the field towards my stand. The little ones are out front and heading for the trail that will take them right by my stand. I ready my bow and attach my release. The Matriach Doe, stops by a walnut tree and squats to pee. The other older doe is working some browse on the field edge. As the Matriach Doe approaches the trail that will take her right to me, she steps over it. Ok, I find my next shot window, about 25 yards away. As she goes behind some brush I draw. This attracted the attention of the little ones, but I think because they are so used to getting all their clues from the bigger does they do nothing. The Matriach Doe is still moving, I give a little bleat "mahh" to stop her, she stops perfectly. I release and I see my arrow hit, but I also see it hit behind her. Did I miss?? Couldn't have!! She is running with huge bounds, across the meadow in two or three leaps and starts up the steap ridge. Then I see her fall and slide back down a few feet. It is all over in less than 5 seconds. The other deer continue up the mountain and out of sight. I wait about 15 minutes and get down. My arrow is stuck in the gound, fully covered with pink blood. I wait for another 15 minutes. I get out my camera to photo document the event. My camera will turn on, but not focus. Must be due to the condensation and keeping it in my cat quiver all season. The tracking is easy, but I was surprised on how poorly blood shows up on really wet snow. It was there, but sinks in very quickly. From the frist sign of blood, I can see her where she slide down the ridge. She ran about 80 yards total, which was amazing because it was only a few quick jumps.

I quickly dressed her, and went to get the truck. No dragging tonight. She was pretty tough to load in. A checked her at 57 west. Check in guy commented that she was big. I hung her in my buddies shop to butcher her tonight or tomorrow. Our estimates is that she weights 140+ lbs dressed, but don't have a scale to hang her from.

-dan
 

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Congrats Dan, job well done [up]

BTW, I too fulfilled my goal this year. My goal was to harvest my first ever deer with a bow and 2 more with my shotgun. I pretty much blew my goal to shreds. I harvested 3 deer with the bow, including a nice 8 pt. And then an additional 2 more deer with the shotgun. What a great season I had.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys!

I was really bummed that my camera went down. I guess I will have to invest in some sort of moisture barrier for my next camera. Big ziplock will probably do the job.
 

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[up]Those big old does can be the toughest kill out there. They've usually seen more hunting seasons than the biggest bucks around. And they always have extra eyes, ears and noses with them.

Congrats Dan!

:)[up]
 

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Those big old does can be the toughest kill out there
No kidding, I have on several occasions through out my time hunting the spot in zone 13 have had many old does bust me. These old ladies are just so smart and spooky its amazing.

I didnt not reach my goal for this year, due to some circumstances beyond my control.
For 06, I would like to take 5-6 does. 2 for me and 4 for Brother John. 4 deer may get him through a couple of months if he stretches it. And I would like to shoot a nice mature buck. I have not shot anything bigger than the big 5 I shot 3 years ago. Hopefully this coming year with enough time and scouting,we'll see.
 

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By the way Dan, Great recount of your year and this hunt..great job[up]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys
 

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Nice story Dan. Congrats on doing what I'm only dreaming of doing right now! BTW, were you 'DiverDan' on the old NJtrout board?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yes I was and am. I have not cruised by there in some time.
 

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Yes great story and good pic.[up]Very enjoyable.Congrats you ditched the boss doe. Trust me another will take over.Nature is brutal some times worse than humans.The strong survive until they get killed.
 
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