The recent demise of my tried and true Jennings Buck Master due to old age and over use (the bow, not me, but then I am old and overused as well) brought about the need to make a decision about the direction of any future bow hunting tools. My shoulders are not what they once were, so I decided to try a Crossbow. Reading and looking at as much information as I could, I decided to go with an Excalibur. I was able to trade one of my redundant firearms for a 2008 display model Exocet, Excalibur’s 200 lb. version, it came with a new warranty, so I felt like I had achieved as good a deal as possible. I chased down a scope to go with it, and finally got it zeroed in yesterday, (Saturday, October 17, 2009).
This morning boded well for the task at hand, harvesting a deer for my Dad to make the year’s first batch of sausage with my new Excalibur Exocet. His Church has a tradition of breakfast prior to services each week, and he supplies and cooks the deer sausage.
Light frost and clear skies greeted the first peak outside. I checked the pack to make sure I had all the necessities, the change over from compound to crossbow requires a different kit. I jotted down a list last night prior to going to bed, knowing how I tend to forget things, I wanted to be sure and not wind up at my farm missing some important necessities. Satisfied that all needed accouterments were on board, I headed out for the hour drive to my hunting grounds.
Orion watched as I eased down the old logging road towards my stand site. I had cleared the dead fall limbs from my path to make the trek as quiet as possible. I heard deer snort out in the field, never a good sign, but I plodded on. At the base of my ladder stand, I cocked the bow and tied it to my pull rope. After scaling the rungs, I hauled her up and loaded an arrow. I settled in to watch the dawn.
Pink up brought huge billowing clouds of fog, the field had water standing in some of the middles from all the recent rain, and the cold temps raised vapor off the surface. I could tell that here were still deer in the field, just making them out as they moved around. A group of does and fawns appeared out of the mist heading for a trail that exits the field some 30 yards from where I watched, but they broke into a trot as they came to the standing corn. Too many eyes to deal with, I never attempted stop them or bring the bow to bear. In the mist behind them I could see the form of another, lone deer headed on the same course, so I readied for the chance that I could stop this one.
It was a young buck, with an uneven rack. When he hit the corner of the field, I “baaa’d” and he threw his head up and skidded to a stop. Just as he halted I let fly the arrow and watched it in, connecting just where I had aimed. I heard the “thunk” and saw him spin and head back whence he came. Double lunged, I saw steam exiting both sides of his chest as he was able to cover maybe 40 yards before collapsing. Falling in the open field, there was no need for tracking this time.
I lowered my bow and pack, retrieved my arrow, and followed the trail. The 125 gr. Slick Tricks left a definitive path to follow, even if I had not seen the deer fall, trailing would have been no problem.
Second shot shows the relationship of the ladder stand and the few rows of corn left standing with regard to the location of my downed deer.
I think this is going to be a very effective tool in my deer hunting arsenal.
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." Samuel Adams
TFA/NRA Life Member
Chapter Leader, West TN Regional Chapter