Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Owling My Deer

My First Deer With A Bow
At an early age, we were taught that when my father came off his stand and it was time for us to move out of the woods, he would call like an owl. I have heard him call hundreds of times and you can not tell the difference between him and a real owl. I have watched while he called owls in to us. The purpose was to not disturb the woods and we could all slip out without any undue noise. Years ago, when we hunted up at Abbeville, we had located an area where a dark colored and very smart big buck lived. We called him the Shadow. We never got him but had some great times hunting this area. This is about the time I got my first deer with a bow.
A sand ditch wound down the hollow and ended at a forgotten pond. My stand was on the edge of this and the deer sign was plentiful. It was hot and dry and I knew deer were watering here in the day. My brother Paul had held up at a stand about halfway down the long ditch and was hunting the edge of a cane thicket. Dad had moved several hollows north of us to a spot he had found. We hunted with recurve bows then and had been practicing half the summer. I knew if I could get a deer in range I had a very good chance.
The October afternoon was hot and very still when right at dark, two deer came out across the pond, waded in and drank, then slowly moved around and down the edge toward me. I managed to ease to my feet and got in shooting position as the two does ambled toward me. I put all my concentration on the spot on the deer I wanted to hit. I pulled back and made the 15 yard shot. The deer exploded, turned and took off. A few minutes later I found the arrow up the trail lying half in the water. there was no blood on it but I knew it was a good shot. It was now dark and I heard an owl hoot way up the hollow. Dry mouthed and excited I tried to owl back, it probably sounded like a wounded crow. A few seconds later my brother, Paul, owled. I owled again, my Dad owled, then Paul owled. What the heck was going on? I needed to track that deer before it was pitch dark. I owled, Paul owled, Dad owled. Two real owls joined in and you would have thought it was an owl convention! Damn! Finally I could hear Paul and Dad together owling. I owled back and finally they got to me. Paul had got a deer at the same time as me! Ten minutes later we located my deer and late that evening we had them both loaded and headed back to camp. A wonderful memory of a great hunt for all of us. Paul and Rex


Ivan T. said...

Very cool history and photo


Kristine said...

I'm laughing at the idea of all of you hooting in the woods, trying to get the others to come to where you were.

Good story.

Hammer said...

Cool story. Where did you hit the deer?

Editor said...

right behind the right shoulder,
a perfect shot, thank goodness

Jon said...

Good story! Me and my boys always used a Rebel yell for locating. No Yankees ever answered.

Fathairybastard said...

Man, that's cool as hell. I grew up dreaming about doing stuff like that, but my dad played golf. What can you do? One of these days.

And Jon, that's hilarious.

Matt said...

Good story Rex. The first bow kill, to me, is almost as important as the first deer and is just as if not more exciting.