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I’ve wanted to hunt for almost as long as I can remember. I was around 11 years old when I saved up enough money from various odd jobs and purchased my first bow; an early compound made by Bear Archery which looked almost nothing like the compounds of today. I purchased it at the now defunct Wilderness Archery in Dover NJ, where I‘d go shooting with my father now and then. But my father wasn’t a hunter, nor were any our relatives or friends, so as the years went by, I picked up new interests and eventually stopped shooting with my bow. Nevertheless, I knew hunting was something I wanted to do, but inevitably put it on the backburner to things like college, career, homes, marriage, children and life in general.

Last November I got my FID card thinking I‘d only hunt during the shot gun season. I started researching hunting topics via the Web and stumbled on NJH where I found and joined a hunting club. By talking to experienced hunters in my club and elsewhere, I decided to participate in bow season too. Since I’m using an Xbow, many folks would say I’m not a true bow hunter, but I decided it was the easiest and most ethical way for me to hunt during bow season. So after lots of reading, various NRA courses, scouting and setting up tree stands in 100 degree heat, I passed the Hunter Safety course for Bow, Shogun & Rifle/Muzzleloader in August of this year. My first hunt was opening day of bow season and I’ve done eight half day hunts since then.

I took last Friday off from work and after some unanticipated delays, finally got to my stand around 4pm. I saw nothing after sitting for over an hour but was nevertheless happy to be in the woods. Then a deer walks in and I got the shakes! I ranged it at 33 yards before it walked behind a bush. I thought I lost it, and then it meandered from behind the bush and gave me a broadside/quartering away shot which I took. The deer ran around 20 yards before I heard a loud crash. I saw some movement then it jumped up and ran for a couple seconds before I heard a second crash.

After waiting for a half hour, I got down from my stand and went to where the deer was shot. It was getting dark and I almost couldn’t find my bolt; it made a total pass through and was almost completely embedded in the ground, with only half the fletching exposed above the ground. I pulled it out of the ground and didn’t see any blood. I took a whiff of the bolt and it didn’t smell very good. All I could think was “Gut shot…not good“.

Luckily, there was another member of my club hunting the same property who ended his hunt early to help me track the deer. I managed to find some blood on my own, but not as much as I hoped to see. When we both started looking, I had a sinking feeling this wasn’t going to end well, and then the guy helping me track the deer says “Well, you definitely made a good shot” as he picked up a leaf with frothy blood on it. “Looks like a double lung shot to me. This deer was dead the moment you pulled the trigger, it just didn’t know it right away.”. We kept on the trail, and after a couple minutes, found the expired deer. It was about 50 yards from where it was shot. This was also my first time field dressing a deer. It turned out that it was a double lung/liver shot. The Rage broad head I used produced a devastating wound on my target. I’m not a trophy hunter, so the deer wasn’t a slammer, but it sure felt pretty darn big after I dragged it almost 400 yards back to where I parked.
 

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[up][up][up] CONGASSSSS!

What no pics?!??!

Lol... yeah everyone thinks finding the deer is the hard part. DRAGGING THEIR DEAD ASS OUT is the hard part [lol]
 

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Nice. Congrats
 

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Lol... yeah everyone thinks finding the deer is the hard part. DRAGGING THEIR DEAD ASS OUT is the hard part lol
[rofl][rofl][rofl]
 

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You never forget your first congrats, first of many I'm sure. You have to watch them after the shot, makes finding them easier. Enjoy those straps!
 

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Way to follow your heart and stick to it. I have a similar story and got there at 30 before wife, kids and house. Joined a club and those guys helped me a lot with gun hunting tips and deer habits but bowhunting was a long, self taught process that is still a learning process everytime I go out... it never stops which is the beauty of it all. Congrats on your first, may your next be a slammer! [up]
 
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