Killed my first archery mule deer in 1971, the year I graduated from college. About that same time, I began hunting black-tailed deer with archery equipment. Probably not prior to, but more likely it was shortly after.
In those days the problem was that we had limited opportunity to hunt on the coast as we controlled no property. But we did have one ranch where we could hunt, and Rob bagged several bucks there, but I was in the Navy and not around much. When I did get a chance to hunt, I couldn’t put it together. Those hunts were always spot and stalk or still hunts. Had to run into a buck and then get lucky enough to get a shot.
So it went and then we began to look for a ranch where we could control the hunting pressure. We finally found a ranch, but we still couldn’t control the hunting pressure as we were one of a dozen hunters on 2,500 acres. We didn’t hunt with rifles, and the weather during archery season was a problem. July is a tough month heat wise. I managed a couple shots over a 20 year span and Rob did about the same. We never killed a buck with our bows.
As we began to control the hunting pressure, opportunities increased and I began to hunt more from blinds and stands. I missed a two bucks from my double bull blind. Then I missed one from four feet out of my tree stand. None of them were big bucks, but at least it was looking more do-able.
Over the last six or seven years I’ve moved my tree stand twice and this year I finally struck pay dirt. Yesterday I bagged my first blacktail with bow and it’s a nice buck. Here’s a photo. I’ll tell the story soon. It’s a pretty good one.