Real People Real Hunters ~ RealTree Camo

Name: Mark Coleman
Date: 10/16/04
Harvest Location: Dickson
Size: 7 Point
Shot Distance: 37 Yards
Harvested With: Bow
Story: "The air was stagnant smelling from the fronts that were passing through from all the rains throughout the week. The temps were in the low 50's and with the wind blowing, it felt a little cool. Just before 6:30, I was at my tree and getting ready to climb. Just as I got in my climber and started up, I hear something running off to my right. I froze. I could see two dark objects running about 30 yards off to my right and cutting out in front of me. When they came to the trail that I used to get to my tree, they stopped. My first thought was two dogs. The way they ran and the sounds, surely they were dogs. The objects were of medium size, but I just couldn't make them out. This was all I needed, two dogs coming up just prior to day break, barking and hanging around. What better way to start off a morning hunt! I continued to climb the tree and they wondered off making very little noise and did not bark. Still don't know if they were dogs or doe. I got settled in my stand to watch as the woods came to life. It was starting to round 7 am. Did I mention that I was very tired? I didnít get much sleep the night before. Well, I won't deny that I started dozing off. A time or two I heard something and jerked to look around for any sign of deer - nothing. I dozed off again. This time I awoke to the sounds of deer blowing - instant adrenaline rush. This will get your blood pumping every time. I didn't move, but turned and starting looking for the source of the sound. After constant blowing and snorting, I saw a doe move into the picture. I was sure with the wind direction, that I had been busted. I could tell there were two deer, but I could only see the one doe at this point. She moved forward and kept looking in my direction. I wonder if I had been snoring during my brief nap and they heard it? Anyway, she finally eased a little and moved into a clearing. She was around 45 yards to my Northeast. She kept looking back a time or two and finally I saw movement from the other deer. As it moved into an opening, I could! Instantly tell it was a buck. He seemed to have some interest in the doe, but then quartered and started walking up the hill farther away from me. I was instantly heartbroken to see the buck start walking farther away from me. My first thought was this looked like the buck I had gotten a picture of on my motion camera twice back before season started. He was a nice little 8 point with tall tines. I decided to pull out my digital camera to at least get a quick movie of him standing there. The resolution wasn't working well from the distance he was standing. I put the camera up thought I should grunt at him. Maybe he will respond. As I fumbled for my grunt call, I made a 'bleat' noise. He stopped and didn't pay much attention. I got the grunt out and hit it a time or two. Still he paid no attention. I tighten down on the reed to make a younger buck grunt then a bleat. Finally, I got him to turn around. I hit the regular grunt once more and he started walking towards me. When he got about half way, I heard something behind me. At this point I was standing up in the climber, but hadn't turned to my right. I easily looked over my left shoulder and could see some deer. I felt pinned at this point. The deer that I heard behind me worked their way directly beneath my stand. It was a doe and her two little ones that I had seen earlier in the season. When the buck got within 7 yards, I heard yet another noise to my left. I froze completely at this point. I kept my eye on the buck and he started jumping towards one of the doe. Since I thought all the deer were preoccupied and directly under me, I could quarter! A little to my right and get into position. I didn't get far went he buck looked directly at me. This seemed to last for an eternity. He dropped his head as he had something else on his mind. He started at a doe and I finally got the deer count; 4 adult doe, the buck and the two little ones, a button and doe. With all the deer within 12 yards of my tree and this many potential eyes on me, I was sure to move at the wrong time. As the buck run a doe or two, I thought I could move into position. Facing back forward in the stand, I caught the buck to my left, stopped facing directly away about 8 yards out. I had not cleared the small limbs from the tree but saw an area I could take a shot. With his spine in full view, there was no way I could miss. I scanned the area quickly and drew back. He stayed still as I found that one opening. I missed! I saw my arrow fly just to his left as he buckled down and sprung away. The deer scattered from around me and were all looking around for the source of the noise I just made. I nock'd another arrow and found the buck around 35 yards to my Northwest. He was behind a tree. I thought, 'what the hell', I couldn't mess things up any worse by taking a 'hail-mary' shot. I leaned out over the front of the stand and extended all I could. I drew back and found his front right shoulder in my peep sight and raised the 30 yard pin just a few inches high. He took that fatal step forward and I released. Honestly, I could see the arrow fly just over the top of his back, I had missed him again. All the deer took off except for one doe. I nock'd another arrow and thought; I will get something this morning. The doe wondered off with no clear shot. I was frustrated and tired at this point, so getting down and heading home was stressing hard on me. But, what if one of the deer came back? At this point it was only 7:20 and I still had plenty of time left. I pulled out my binoculars and scanned the areas looking for my arrows. I finally found the one closest to me, but with the angle and terrain of the other shot I couldn't see the other one and didn't figure I would find. I sat debating getting down for about 15 minutes. The call of my bed had won. I climbed down and gathered a few things up then went to reclaim my two arrows. Grabbed the first one and headed over to the where I made the second shot. I went straight to where the buck was standing when I shot. I couldn't find it, so I walked a little farther back. Scanning the ground, I noticed blood. I was shocked. The few drops turned into more and more. I started trailing where I had seen him run. With the blood still getting thicker, I had a flashback. Last year I had shot a buck and tracked him until the blood run out. I never found him. But this time could turn out to be successful. I kept on the trail and when I looked down to the bottom of the hill, there he was. He had started down a hill and never made it up the other side. I walked down to make sure he was dead. I grabbed his antlers and counted only 7 points. His left brow tine never developed. The arrow that I thought went over his back had actually disappeared into his right side and exited only half way out the left - clipped both lungs. This is my first 'bow' buck. I have shot a few bucks over several years with my bow, but the difference in this hunt - I found this one."

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