After shooting some pictures, I went back and took a nap. I woke up right around 2:30 pm to most of the snow having melted. Only a little bit remained underneath trees where the sun had a harder time getting to.
Again, I gathered my gear and went back to the pop up for the evening sit.
There was a yearling doe underneath the feeder when I arrived and all the corn from the morning sit was gone. There was a fair amount of standing water underneath from all the melting snow, but I spread some corn around the edge and got in the blind. Almost immediately deer started to come out, several does and yearlings started to feed along with a yearling spike. About 45 min later the feeder goes off and some more deer filter in and out. The previous week I had seen a nice mature 8 point come in and feed for about an hour, but held off on him as I still had a wife and kid who had not shot a deer yet and didn’t want to take an opportunity from them. Ended up my wife saw a big 10 point she hunted for the remainder of her stay and with the oldest in Florida until after season this would be a good deer to take if he came in.
After about 20 min I had not seen him and was wondering if he had moved on when I have a few younger bucks come in. Min later I see a good rack come out of the cedars, only to hang up just out of range looking at the feeder. I don’t know if it was the water, but he did not like the setup and he turned around and walked off. About 15 min later I here some pigs in the background, but they do not come to the feeder and he once again comes into the feeder. He stops at 20 yards and I am waiting for him to get comfortable when again he spins around and walks off. Kicking myself for not drawing back when he walked up, I figure I just blew my chance and he is going to bed down for the evening.
5 min later several more bucks come in and out including a severely busted up 4 year old. I glance to the left and surprisingly, here the 8 comes and he drops his head and starts to feed at the edge of the water. Not wasting any time, I go to draw back, there was a noise ( I think my bow creaked ) at the draw and him along with all the other deer jerk their head up and look at the blind. I quickly anchor my peep, settle the pin right behind his shoulder and hit the release. At the impact he kicked and I could see the arrow come out the other side. Figuring perfect shot placement and a big 3 blade broadhead, I’m expecting a short blood trail. I wait 5 min then go retrieve the arrow.
At the impact site, I find a blood covered arrow but no blood save for two pin drops on an oak leaf. I give it 5 more min then start to look for blood. I find nothing so I go the direction I think he went only to find noting. It’s getting dark and I’m 20 min into the search finding nothing. I go back to the scene and look start walking in a completely different direction when I come across a patch of snow underneath an oak. I look in the snow and happen so see bright red blood across the frozen patch. Hopes have risen although once out of the snow I find no more blood. I cross the clearing and look up the opposite hill about 75 yards up and I see the unmistakable sight of a downed deer. I walk over to him and find blood all over the ground from a behind the shoulder shot. Autopsy revealed the broadhead passed directly thru both lungs, yet he managed to make it almost 150 yards before giving up the ghost.
Extremely proud to take this respectable hill county buck with my bow. He may be the only buck I take on the property for the foreseeable future as I’ll save the horn hunting for the kids and wife.