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Drop Beam Eight “YOUR ADVENTURES” with Edwin Shirts

Confidence is the biggest part of any shot taken at a big game animal. So far this 2012 season my confidence dropped with each shot I took at my prey. I completely missed a spike buck and a doe to start the season off. Then, during pre-rut I put an arrow in a big buck, but never found the quarry at the end of the blood trail. I was sick and my confidence dropped each time, putting me into a state of confusion/despair.

I took my bow to the bow shop, and the bow technician and I determined that my drop away rest was bouncing back up and hitting my arrow, during the shot. What? Why has it just presented itself? How come for the previous 8 of my 9 years I have been bow hunting this has not happened? The answer still eludes me. I got the new rip-cord drop away rest on my bow now.

After I didn’t find the buck, I felt like just giving up for the season. A hunting buddy and a good friend told me that I should not give up. So, I went to the bow range where I practice. I bundled up like I am while hunting, figuring that this could be the reason I am missing or not putting the arrow in the right spot. This notion could not be farther from the truth if you bought it a plane ticket to Cancun. My first shot all bundled up at 20 yards was right dead center on my target bag. My confidence level grew with every arrow hitting its mark. Now I am ready to get after these deer again, and I am so thankful that a good friend had talked me into not quitting.

Here is where my adventure begins, and there is success at the end of the blood trail. I left the bow range and went home to take a shower and get ready for an afternoon hunt. I got on my earthy smelling camo outfit and to the hunting grounds I go. Deciding to go to a spot I had not hunted in at least 5 years. It is still within the public hunting area I love to hunt, just a location I have not been to in years. Arriving at ground zero around 11:00 am, I hung my scent wicks out with the hot doe scent.

Every hour I rattled and used my grunt call and the Primos “long can” doe estrus bleat. I set the stage for any buck cruising the area to believe there were two bucks sparring then getting aggressive because there was a hot doe there. It worked well, right around the 3:00 pm a “drop-beam” 8 made his way into my setup. He smelled the hot doe scent I had hanging in the nearby trees. He came up to a little tree and began to rub his forehead scent gland and antlers on this sapling. He paused to smell the tree and lick his scent. I was witnessing this beautiful scene at 20 yds away. My heart was pounding like a jackhammer!!! I thought for sure the buck would hear it. At one point he stopped thrashing this tree and looked right at me. It seemed like an eternity, but it was only a matter of seconds. He went right back to rubbing.

I know this one particular sapling to be exactly 20 yards, because I had ranged it earlier in the day with my range-finder. He walked right in front of this tree. I pulled my bow to full draw and and tried to stop him with a mouth grunt.  He kept on walking, so I did it again and he stopped dead in his tracks. I am just about to take the shot and he starts walking again, so I wait and he angles a little more towards me, but walking away to the left. I know the other side of this little creek with running water is 11 yards. I let out yet another grunt and he stopped long enough for me to touch off my arrow. “I stuck him” My arrow had found its mark. “I stuck him” is all I could mutter to myself. This is when buck fever really set in.  I put my bow back on the hook on the tree, I was standing next to. By the way, I am hunting from the ground. Yes from the ground, back against the tree, eye level with the beast. You cannot get any more excitement, from this kind of event, even if they bottled it.

So, I get on my cell phone, the deer is running away with my arrow sticking out of his side. He gets out there about 65 yards and starts walking. I am thinking to myself, “dang-it”. I have wounded another one?  My buddy answered the phone, with a shaky voice told him what just happened. I told him to get my father and my camera and meet up with me. I also called another buddy, who had a deer cart. As we talked on the phone, a huge 10-pointer walked in and went after the deer I just shot. This buck went over and started fighting my buck. The other buck came as close as 51 yards and his right beam was solid red with blood from my 8 pointer! I have never seen or heard of this kind of thing happening before. I was a little overwhelmed.  The buck walked away, and I tried to get settled back down and clear my thoughts. I left all my stuff at the tree and walked back to my truck to meet up with my tracking crew.

An hour or so later we all came back and followed the blood trail; my arrow was on the ground broken about 70 yards from where I shot him. The broadhead must still be in him. My buddy said, “Edwin, there he is.  Aren’t those antlers right there?” I confirmed it and the photo shoot began. My best buck to date with my trusty Hoyt. Thank You Jesus for the patience and perseverance. Confidence played the biggest role in this hunt. Without it I probably would have been home watching others stick big deer with their bows.

Edwin Shirts, Mr. Wingbone’s Calls