It was a pretty active morning…it picked up as time went by. I saw several different doe groups but nothing presented a shot. At about 10 15 I saw a doe coming through that was no doubt being chased. I saw a large bodied deer chasing her, bristled up, thick neck. They came in to about 20 yards and I heard the big deer grunting. As he stepped into the clearing I noticed he did not have one single antler on his head. I am not sure if he broke them off, or if they didn’t grow. He was no doubt an older deer. I hesitated and they were gone as quick as they came.
By around 11 I was frozen solid. Toes, fingers, torso, I was cold. I called my son and asked him how things were going for him. He was back behind me watching for them to come from the front or up the hill and I was watching for them skirting him, or coming down the hill. We were set up on a large hillside. He told me he had several opportunities at does, but he was holding out on a buck. I just wanted to fill my tag being 1 first crossbow deer ever, and 2 gun opens next week and ill have time for a buck. Jimmy isnt old enough to hunt gun season yet the way the peoples republic of ny currently have their laws set up. I was a bit frustrated, seeing all the deer I did and unable to get a shot, including a 6 doe group that never slowed down. I remember pleading with the man upstairs “there’s 6, can’t I just have one?” Lol. I told jimmy to come over to me.
Most of the deer both of us had seen headed up the hill into the same area. We were both ground hunting. I wanted to scout it out for the evening hunt and set up higher up.We snuck slowly up the hill. I was looking around for a place I could set up and hide and my son frantically whispered “dad, dad, daaaad” and pointed. I honestly didnt think too much of it at first…but when I glanced over at him his eyes were popped right out of his head and I could see the desperation in his face. I had to lean to the left of a tree in front of me and when I did I saw a large thick necked deer, mature face, staring at us. I eased my xbow off my shoulder readied it and leaned out to the right side of the tree. He was directly facing me. All I could see was his chest neck and head. Approximately 35 yards. I centered my crosshairs directly on his neck, exhaled softly and squeezed. I followed through properly and had no idea what had happened. The lumenock did not light and the black mission arrow quickly disappeared. There was no loud thump, the deer quickly turned and bolted off out of sight. My son ecstatically insisted I hit him, but I told him to calm down and not get too excited yet. I have spent alot of time with my crossbow, it is an Mission Mxb 400 and I can stack arrow after arrow in the bullseye at 50 yards with it. I set that as my max range, of course under perfect conditions. I use the grim reaper xbow razortips, 100 grain.
We snuck over to where I shot and I found some kicked up leaves and dirt. A few steps later I saw one bright red spot of blood. I showed jimmy, and a couple feet from there I spotted blood everywhere. It crossed a path and headed downhill. I could see the trail from where we stood. As hard as it was, I chose to backout. It was 11:23 am. We went back to the truck, I had some coffee and we waited till about 12:45. We headed backup there and picked up the trail. I can honestly tell you I have never in my life seen such a blood trail. It was all over the ground, trees, brush,rocks, anywhere this deer passed by. He still made it 100 yards or so. We were approaching some tall grass when to my horror I saw a buck stand up and take off down the hill. I stood there dismayed but quickly realized there was no way that was my buck with the amount of blood he lost, and his trail quickly confirmed he did change direction about where I was standing. We continued down the hill a short distance, and I spotted a blood stained white belly laying there. I knew he was a big buck, but I didnt think he was as big as he is. The arrow hit him perfectly in the center of his neck, severing the windpipe, his jugular, came out through his lungs and his shoulder. For the life of me I have no idea how he even made it 30 yards. There was hardly any blood left in him when I field dressed him. We went back to find the arrow and found it about 10 yards behind where he was standing. The deers thick body didnt even seem to have slowed it down.
I am humbled and honored to have had this happen with my son standing right next to me. I keep telling him I owe it all to him. All I did was pull off the shot. Either way, we did it together and I couldn’t be more thankful to the man upstairs who made it all happen!