West Virginia Public Land Bow Kill From the Ground

Wv bow kill

With cold weather and rain, Halloween turned into the perfect evening to be in the woods.  I’ve been eyeballing a small cut over spot on some public land for a couple seasons.  I’ve also though it would be really cool to sneak out the main tram road through the thick stuff and try and glass a deer bedded downhill.  I’d tried this twice before and both trips yielded no deer.

Since trying to kill a deer this way seemed fairly unproductive, the Halloween outing would serve as a scouting hike that I’d take my bow on…just in case.

After making my way to the highest point in 12 acres of tree tops and slash I sat with wind and rain squarely in my face.  I diligently glassed the opposing hillside and the point below like I had twice before and this time was no different.  I made a second pass with the binoculars and when I did, I saw deer bedded down in a laurel thicket that borders the cut.  Using the wind and rain to cover my approach I closed the gap to 55 yards without being detected.  I knew I wasn’t going to shoot this deer which I could now clearly tell was a spike.  I was just happy to have gotten to bow range of a deer without it knowing.

After watching him for almost an hour, the spike stood up and started feeding out to the left and soon was out of sight.  Within a few minutes, the spike returns almost acting spooked.  He crosses in front of me at 15 yards and continues into the brush.  Soon after, a doe appears from the same spot about the same time I hear a grunt.  The doe crosses in the same place as the spike.  Walking out of the established trail, the buck appears quickly and I get him stopped at 30 yards and make it to full draw.  Quartering to me, my arrow hit the right lung and liver.  He went 25 yards and stood in the open looking the opposite direction. Through the tall weeds, I could see bright red blood pulsing down his side.  His legs started to shake and he tipped over right in the tram road.

I had no expectations of killing a deer while sneaking through this clear cut.  I figured at best I might jump one up and that would be that.  But the rain and wind covered my movement and I had a good vantage point to observe from.  The rest was a little luck.

When I skinned the deer, I did see something strange.  It had been shot with a 2 blade mechanical right behind the shoulder.  The scab was just about off of the outside cut and a layer of dense fat had formed under the hide.  The broadhead did not penetrate the chest cavity.  I don’t know why it failed, but it failed.  Another case for fixed blades.

Cut from the outside almost healed.

Cut from the outside almost healed.

The red cut on the bottom is from the broadhead.  The  fiberous fat had grown in around the wound.

The red cut on the bottom is from the broadhead. The fiberous fat had grown in around the wound.