In the state of Florida, our deer season allows us to harvest does for only a designated period of time. My preparation paid off as I took a doe with my favorite choice of weapon, my bow. I waited until the last possible moment to take the shot, because as hunters, a mature buck would take priority. She is a mature doe, even though she is not as big as a doe from the Midwest or the North. Hunters in the South, Especially Florida, are given a hard time due to the size of the deer. I live in the South, so most of my hunting is done near where I reside. It’s all about the challenge of the hunt no matter where you live or hunt or the size of the mature game you are after. Wherever I have the opportunity to hunt, I Will.
This doe will provide many meals for my family and I over the next year. I try to harvest at least six deer per season so we will have enough venison to last throughout the year before the next season begins. I will make jerky, burgers, meatloaf, kabobs, steaks, chili, and much more. I rely on my skills as a hunter to be successful so as a family we are not forced to consume domesticated meats found in grocery stores today.
Preparation is everything! As long as I am continuously setting myself up for success, all I need is that one opportunity to make it happen. In this case, it happened to be in a Cypress swamp bordered by a thick barrier of Palmettos and Water Oak trees raining acorns. There, deer have cover, plenty of food, water from the swamp, and plenty of space within their habitat, hence why I chose this spot. I tucked myself deep in the Cypress trees in my portable stand waiting for the right moment.
I shoot my bow regularly throughout the year to fine tune my skills as an archer. On this particular shot, the only opportunity I had was a hard quartering-to shot. In other words, she was almost facing me head on. My goal was to aim small, so if I missed the exact point on her body, I would only miss small and still make a good shot. Here is where my strength comes into play! Since she is facing me, movement is key. If I get busted by her precise vision, the hunt is over. I must draw very slowly so I will not be seen and to do this takes strength. When I positioned my stand during my scouting efforts, I made a mental note of certain Cypress trees and their distances from my stand using my range finder so I would use the appropiate pin. I knew the particular Cypress tree she was standing beside was thirty yards from me. I placed my thirty yard pin just past her shoulder and touched off on my release. My arrow flew through the air hitting her exactly where I hoped. It passed through her vitals resulting in a fast clean kill.
Now this is where the real work begins! It’s my obligation to care for this animal as cleanly and as fast as possible. This includes tracking her, carrying her out so I can field dress, quarter, and put the meat on ice. She only ran about forty yards before expiring, so I only had about 150 yards to drag her. This is just one example of how a well thought out plan came together. This particular Cypress swamp is loaded with rubs and scrapes from bucks so you better believe I will be back at that spot before too long. Let the Hunt Continue! Hunt Strong, Train to Hunt!