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  1. #1

    My first deer. (written 2007)

    In the past 8 years of my fully committed bowhunting career I never dreamt that the stalk on my first successful adult deer kill would pan out as it did. Ever since I began bowhunting and learning of the challenge that any deer species presents the stick flinger I have had my eyes set on a deer as the ultimate in bowhunting achievements. Something that I put at the top of the species pyramid.

    My first real deer hunting experience came in July this year when on the Management Team hunt with Mick Baker’s Trophy Bowhunts Australia. A solid week of chasing the basalt chital opened my eyes to the thrill that comes from hunting these truly amazing creatures. Many stalks were had and a number of shots presented and taken.

    To be successful on chital I learnt that not only does the hunter have to do everything correctly, right up to delivering the arrow to the right spot, but, also that the animal has to still be there when the arrow arrives. Myself and the other boys on the hunt managed to put together numerous successful stalks and shots, however the deer were able to put to action almost as many contortion acts to successfully evade the pointy end of our arrows. It is said cats have 9 lives, well, I reckon deer must have 99!

    As many of you have read in the write up of our week’s adventure there were a few moments of victory for the bowhunters. Ant and Scott both managed to take deer each and many congratulations were shared for their achievements. Although I had a golden opportunity to bring home a mature chital stag (after a 3 and a half hr stalk) it was not to be and I was only successful in taking a young chital for meat. Not what I’d imagined my first deer to be, but a deer nonetheless and a chital at that.

    My first deer.

    My next deer hunt was to take the form of a dash down to see Antonio over the weekend just gone. My hunting and participation here on TBGA have been necessarily curtailed somewhat in the past few months due the decision to relocate to China for work in 2008. I had hoped to organise a few blokes for a last hunt before heading OS but as this time of year typically proves it was too difficult a task to find a time when we could all get away. So in light of that I was wanting to get to Sydney to catch up with my best mate Dave before leaving, a plan was hatched to see Ant whilst down that way and chase a few of the East Coast Rusa.

    Arriving at Ant’s house around mid afternoon on Friday, we set about getting ready for the arvo hunt. We weren’t going to waste any valuable hunting time! Hitting the hills by 4 pm we were soon glassing for opportunities. It was certainly a change of hunting style to all that I’ve done in the past. The area certainly presents the hunter with a number of unique challenges not limited to the lantana strangled gullies, the near vertical slopes and the fact that at any time the deer are only a moment away from vanishing into scrub impenetrable by any mortal bowhunter. The first afternoon revealed numerous sightings and one or two possibilities for shots, but none were to unfold successfully for us.

    Several deer sighted

    That night we headed to Pego’s place and over a good feed we stayed late into the night watching bowhunting footage the boys has collected over the years.

    The next morning saw us in the paddock as the sun was just peaking over the horizon. Deer were spotted near immediately and plans were hatched to get us into positions of advantage. Again, try as we might the pieces just didn’t quite fall into place for the a positive outcome.

    After heading back to Ant’s and having a much needed kip on the couch we geared up again and hit the hills for an afternoon hunt. It became clearly evident to me now that although there were many deer here and there were opportunities to be had, the deer were very well aware of the safety the thickness of the lantana presented them. They would vanish as silently as campfire smoke to areas we simply could not follow.

    Plenty of chances

    My first real stalk and shot opportunity came late on the Saturday afternoon. We had come to the top of the last gully on our way back to the ute when Ant spied a mob of nice sized does feeding some 100m’s away. A few words of advice on the line to take (as Ant knows these hills, gullies and paths through the lantana like the back of his hand) and I was off.

    I made my way using the slope of the hill to my advantage and reached a tree within my confident shooting distance. I ranged the nearest animal at 40m’s and waited for her to present a good shot angle. After only a short wait, she fed a few more steps and turned nicely broadside. I drew and stepped slightly out from behind the tree. Settling into my anchor I put the 40 m pin half way up her chest. I gently squeezed off the shot and watched the arrow burn a trail to the deer… only to see yet another contortionist act as the doe dropped to her stomach and the arrow pass harmlessly through the space where her chest had been only moments prior!

    I was disappointed but not surprised, having seen the chital do this a number of times earlier in the year. I followed them up after their short dash but was not presented another shot. It was getting near dark at this point and I returned to the top of the hill where Ant had come to have a bit of a look for my arrow. It wasn’t to be found and we turned to head back to the ute.

    We’d only travelled not 50m’s when we spied a lone doe on the opposite ridgeline. Hatching a plan in the fading light we began skirting around the head of the gully to get into shooting distance. Moving quickly (as we had to) it was only about 1 mintue or so before I had gotten around the gully and began my stalk down the hill.

    Ant has stayed behind, just below the crest of the opposite ridgeline. I used the natural drop away of the hill as my cover as I moved downwards. Nearing the 50m mark, the doe was still out of sight. In order to get closer but still remain out of her sight I decided to sit on my backside and “bumslide” the rest of the way. I found that this was not only an easy way to move, but quite quick as well.

    So here I was half on my bum, half on my side sliding down the hill. My heart was pounding, the sweat from an already challenging afternoon’s hunt was pouring out of me and my senses were on full alert looking and listening for the exact location of this deer. I had my release clipped on and an arrow on the string (whisker biscuits are great!) and quicker than I new I saw the back and ears of the doe just above the grass line.

    Pulling up I maneuvered to a kneeling position. I didn’t have time to range her but knew the distance to be no more than 20 m’s (a practically flat shot for my bow). I drew with the bow fully horizontal as I was kneeling leaning right over to keep from being spotted. I got the string back and anchored. With the bow as upright as I could get it (about 30 degrees) I put both the 10 m and 20 m pin on the deer’s chest and let fly!

    Keep in mind, this whole entire stalk has to this point taken no more than about 4 minutes! So, as the arrow smacked perfectly into the doe taking out her heart and I saw her drop within 2 steps it was with absolute exhilaration that I realised I had my first mature deer successfully on the ground! I threw up a fist and shouted in triumph as I turned to see Ant running over, a grin on his face that matched mine! Accomplishing my bowhunting goals has proven to give me much satisfaction over the years, but nothing compared to sharing in it with good mates.

    We shook hands and set about capturing the moment on film. I look at these photos now and can say I have had no bigger smile on my face nor felt more success and joy in any of my other bowhunting achievements to date. Whilst some may say it’s only a doe, it is an adult deer and that has been my goal for 8 years. My sights now change to going one better and taking a mature stag. I hope it doesn’t take another 8 years
    My first "real" deer.

    I have to take the time to thank Antonio for a truly awesome weekend. His family’s gracious hospitality and the effort he went to over the few days was fantastic. The whole time he refused to take his bow to hunt, insisting on going all out to get me a deer before I leave Oz. He left no stone unturned or gully unvisited in our search. It was an honour to be there and I’m glad to have been able to repay you in a small way mate with the meat of the deer for your family.

    Ant even insisted on packing out the doe!

    I also got to meet a Pego, Stealth (Frank) and to hang out again with Shane whilst there, that too was a pleasure boys and it was great to meet you all.


    Equipment used:
    Bow – High Country Sidewinder 70 pounds, whisker biscuit rest, G5 sights, true ball stinger release.
    Arrows – Easton Axis St 340’s, 2 inch blazers, Voodoo Wraps, Rocket Aerohead expandable 125gr 3 blade broadhead.
    Bino’s –Vortex Hurricane’s (10x42)

    Ant skinning out the deer using my Mayall Knife.

    The heart entry wound.

    The heart exit wound.
    Last edited by Luke; 11th July 2018 at 04:58 PM.
    Original Founder - The Bowhunters Group of Australia
    • To foster participation in bowhunting.
    • To promote humane and ethical hunting.
    • To protect the right to hunt.
    • To assist and educate fellow hunters.
  2. #2
    good stuff mate, well done, thanx for the time taken to post up,

  3. #3

    My first deer. (written 2007

    Cheers mate.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Original Founder - The Bowhunters Group of Australia
    • To foster participation in bowhunting.
    • To promote humane and ethical hunting.
    • To protect the right to hunt.
    • To assist and educate fellow hunters.

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