Well, I had my chance on Saturday night, and blew it.

Short story: Doe standing broad side at 42 yards and I shot low.

Long story: I decided to head out to Sam Houston to see if I could get on a doe. It was last minute as I worked until 4P, and it got dark at 7. Usually takes me 1.5 hrs. to get out there and get situated. Walked into a brand new spot that I had never hunted before. Side note here, I have found that the last few times I have seen deer it has always been when I've walked into a new spot that I've never hunted before. So, I have bow in hand, aerosol can of doe in estrus, and I'm set. Oh wait, I forgot my climbing stand! Too late. I'm already in the forest. I was in such a rush to get going I forgot my face net too. Anyways, expecting to not see anything I decide I'll paint my face using the black ashes off the base of a burnt tree I'm leaning against. I cover my hands, face, neck, ears with ash and feel like I'm Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator (remember when he hid in the mud?). So, I realize the odds are against me as I have only a bow, I'm on the ground, and I know nothing about this spot. I walked for a while and just watched for a group of oak trees. My thought was maybe the oaks will have acorns and that may bring the deer in. I see a patch of oaks and head for them. These oaks are situated on a Y where 3 dry creeks intersect. I ended up standing at the top, or split, of the Y so I had a view of all 3 lanes. I'm standing there clearing the leaves away from my feet so that when I move to look around I don't make any noise. I had not been there 15 minutes and was moving around quite a bit trying to see where the most likely avenues of approach would be. I am leaning against a tree hoping that this will break up my outline. I'm leaning to the left side of the tree to look out. Nothing there. I look back to the right and immediately my eyes focus on a brown patch. Thinking that I just got here, I've been moving around like crazy-that CAN'T be a deer, I start scanning back to the left slowly, and then slowly back to the right where my eyes again focus on this brown spot. I think, if it were a deer it would already have run.. So, I reach down pull up the binoculars and sure enough it's a doe standing there looking straight at me! I was in shock. She had been there at least 3 minutes at this point & she had not moved an inch. I lower the binocs, raise my range finder and realize that there is a very small window between 2 trees. My rangefinder says 34 yards, but as I move it back & forth, it shows 42, then back to 34.. I realize the deer must be at 42 & the trees that I'm shooting between are at 34.. I have been practicing shots out to 50 and felt comfortable. I put the range finder down, pull an arrow out of the quiver & noc it. I'm expecting her to run off at any moment wheezing her head off, but when I get the release attached and draw back the bow I look up and she's still there! I reposition my feet, turn directly towards her, pick my 2nd pin, get my breathing right, and slowly release the arrow. I can hear the arrow schwoooshing through the air as it heads toward her.. She does not run at the release. I hear the arrow connect, but to me it sounds like it hit wood. At the sound of the arrow hitting, she jumps straight up in the air, lands, and kind of runs off sideways like she is trying to get her balance. It's now 6:50PM. It's too dark to try and track her and I was afraid if I hit her I would push her further away. I went to the spot where I thought she was standing to see if I could see blood, or find the arrow.. Nothing. Small head lamp did not light up enough to see and after walking up to where she was standing I realized she was actually in the dry creek bed when I shot at her. I go home thinking I'll go back in the morning and pick up the trail again. I returned this morning, found the tree I was up against when I shot, and then tried to remember where she was standing when I released the arrow. Found the little window in the trees & walked a straight line towards it, dropped down into the creek bed and started looking around.. Found my arrow. The shaft was broken about 4 inches forward of the fletchings. No blood, no hair. No wounded deer at least. I can't imagine what would break an arrow shaft (carbon) 4" forward of the fletchings. The tip of the arrow had no dirt, or anything on it to indicate what it hit. I looked back towards the place I was standing & realized that since she was actually lower than I was there was some undergrowth between my position & her. The arrow must have hit something & deflected.

It was not a wasted day though. I went & scouted some other areas. I walked up to within 15 yards of a doe at one spot. She was 5 yards off the side of the trail. She scared me more than I scared her. I had no arrow nocked and was not prepared. I quickly got an arrow out, got my release on & began to draw back thinking she would stop. Well, she stopped about 35 yards out and as I swung the bow around I watched horrified as my arrow sailed off into the stratosphere. I thought maybe my release slipped, but as I looked at the bow string the loop that you hook your release on had broken and allowed the arrow to fly. By this time the doe just wheezed & bounded off with her tail flagging.

After I left there it started raining and as I rode around to other spots I noticed several deer out in pastures milling about. The deer were moving today. Only saw a couple other hunters and they were basically going back to their trucks when it started raining. Had I brought my climber I would have gotten up in it & stayed.

Good luck everybody!

A hog is nothing more than a bullet receptacle.