As some of you know about 6 weeks ago on the archery opener i fell down the side of a steep ravine and fractured the large bone between my knee and ankle (tibia) on my right leg vertically like a piece of kindling. Long story short 4 to 6 month recovery during which i am supposed to stay off of it. Well a man can only take so much and after missing rifle the first week of November i have been plotting on how to circumvent my limitations. The plan i came with was:
- one of the ladder stands at camp is accessible by a relatively wide flat hard trail that is only 400 yards from where i park the truck - should be able to negotiate it on crutches
- 90% of the time deer taken here come in from the north or west and drop in the open field to the east so recoveries are easy
- even though i am 56 i am relatively fit except for my busted leg and can do sets of 10 pull ups for 3 or 4 reps. I figured surely i can haul my rear end up the 14 or 15 rungs on the ladder even if i have to take a rest half way. In fact it should be easier than pull ups as i have one good leg to push off with for each rung.
- need a day with correct wind and snow on the ground for easy tracking
- hopefully do it during rut and just before a weather front is moving in
- need someone on one hour standby just in case things go south or if recovery is difficult.
Well today the stars aligned and all my boxes were ticked. Got to camp at 2 pm and strapped my Matrix to my pack, suited up, put my pack on and hobbled to the stand. Setting the crossbow was a challenge and required leaning with back against the tree trying to balance on one leg with no crutches. Definitely tweaked my leg but i got it done.
Hauling my rear end up the ladder with only one leg proved relatively easy as i had hoped. The view to the left:
and to the right:
At 4:56 pm a nice 6 pt buck popped out of the bush to the northwest and almost instantly gave me a broadside shot at 25 yards. I immediately took the shot. He jumped and headed straight into the open field running about 150 yards very erratically before dropping. I lowered my pack and crossbow and than slowly descended the ladder and hobbled over to look for the bolt. This is what i found:
Hobble back to the cabin and got the backhoe to head over to where i saw him drop and this is how i found him:
Backhoe made the recovery easy and by 7:30 he was dressed and getting loaded into the truck:
So definitely tweaked the leg setting the crossbow plus twice more while i was field dressing. Tomorrow will tell the tale on any price i am going to pay for my cabin fever relief.