How To Bowhunt Does Without Impacting The Rest Of Your Property For Bucks
Low Impact Doe Hunting
October 1st – Opening day….SKUNKED!
Well, I started off the season with what I hope will be one of my few skunks of the season. My October 1st morning hunt really started the night before with all the activity I watched from my barn window. Even though it was a full moon, there was lots of activity behind the house on my 13 acre lot in the evening. Several bucks and does were seen moving from food plot to food plot. Some even came up into the yard.
So I decided to get up and at it at 5 a.m. As usual on the first day of the season I took longer on everything getting prepared. Went to the barn to take my shower, get my gear together, carried my crossbow and boot bin out to the back of the yard, but forgot something and had to go back. By the time I got back and into the stand, which is located deep into the SE end of the 13 acre property, it was already getting light in advance of the 7:45 a.m. sun rise.
But with a moon minor (moon set) in the morning, and nice cool temperatures around 40 degrees, and all the activity I had seen the previous night, I went for it. But I made one major mistake. As I was walking back, I wondered why the weeds were so high—then it hit me—I was taking the wrong path. I had planned on skirting the east edge of my property so that deer could not see me from my neighbor’s open hay field as I walked across the yard from the barn. I had taken a path I had not mowed, and so was likely leaving scent as my pants brushed against the weeds, and worse yet, I would likely have been seen by any deer back in that field as I left the barn.
Long story short, I made a rookie mistake and got skunked.
All I saw to shoot was a lousy ground hog. I thought about the probable $15 price tag of the shot, and passed. I only have a 3 arrow capacity for my quiver, so unlike Jake, I do not carry an extra arrow for such opportunities.
October 2nd – Killed a doe.
I am going to use this as an opportunity to talk about how I go about killing an early season doe. Later in the season I will use the muzzleloader, usually from a pop-up blind. But I do not typically kill does from my good buck stands. In this case, a lot of thought went into finally taking the shot, and I will explain it in the video below. I had shots at 3 does. One was at 35 yards, too risky for the crossbow. One was moving towards a sensitive sanctuary area, only 10 yards from the stand but too much risk that I would screw up the buck hunting going forward. The third was perfect. About 17 yards away, and I felt her escape route would not take her into a sensitive sanctuary. I was right (this time).