and Strings :: Solomon's Mine
Author Topic: Solomon's Mine (Read 81 times)
The Bible speaks of King Solomon's wealth and legends abound of " King Solomon's Mine". Oddly enough a few weeks back this thought popped into my mind as a title post to use if God Blessed me with an oppurtunity to harvest the great buck seen in Neal's game cam pics from last year....here's how the hunt unfolded.
With the prospect of only having one day to archery hunt this year I really debated on spending the money to buy my archery license. Last Sunday I decided one day was better than none so I uncased my bow which I haven't shot since last fall. I practiced four mornings this week before work, shooting ranges from 25-40yds. I opted to only shoot 18 arrows each day and really concentrate on my shooting form/anchor point/site alignment, rather than on shooting a volume of arrows. Tuesday I bought my archery lic at Gander Mountain and also spent time looking at some "Rage" broadheads...but the tightwad in me decided that my old broadheads were just fine with some sharpening.
I'd ordered some "4 play" from Timber Valley scents after hearing strong praises about it from our friend Will Nelson in CO, it arrived just in time friday afternoon. On the way to camp I remembered that I'd given my grunt call to my grandaughter "Micky" last fall after calling in her 1st deer with it so I swung into Wally World at Mill Hall. I decided I'd buy a "Flextone Doe Estrous" bleat can to use with the new deer scent.
I arrived at camp about 6:30am...in the rain( insert long sigh)...of course !
I chose to head to my ladderstand over by Grammy's Rock for the morning which is on the Western ridge of our lease.
I arrived at my stand about 7:30am and put out a couple cottonballs with scent nearby. A deer trotted away unseen as I started to climb into the stand. I stayed until 10:00am, enduring a few rain showers and heavy fog that limited visability to 25yds. I tried rattling a couple times along with using the bleat can but no avail so I headed back to the campers and was greeted by the tinkling sound of my son Seth's grouse dogs bells. He shared his experiences and then the Sun began peeking through so I decided to do some more exploring down over a steep ridge along our Northwestern line across the Big Jeep Trail. The Jeep trail is currently blocked by a large oak tree blown over in the recent storms...so that would keep tresspassing by 4wds down and was a plus in my mind. I knew one stand across the creek hadn't been hunted from the past season or two and the nagging thought of "the one that got away" from four of us on a deer drive last rifle season was dogging my mind so I swung across Monument Run and up onto the Oak flat beyond the ATV trail. I found the stand in good shape and still secure with the exception of old Gpsy moth sacks attached underneath. I climbed up in and decided that it might be a good spot to spend a couple hours relaxing in the sunshine. I used the rangefinder to mark several trees in possible shooting lanes then got down to quickly make two mock scapes. I made one 28yds above the stand and a second 25yds below the stand. I got back in the stand, attached my safety harness, then texted my wife...it was 12:01pm. After a minute the thought to switch broadheads hit me. I had three arrows tipped with Fred Bear 2 blade which I like to use in heavy cover as they hit exactly where my field points do at 30yds and also cut a good entry wound. The other 2 arrows are tipped with TC Shockwave expandables which are extremely accurate at 40 yds and cut a larger wound channel upon entry but don't deploy until then so entry wounds don't bleed much but exit wounds are large( I'd picked these up for an Elk hunt in 05'). I switched the Bear tip nocked arrow for one equipped with a TC tip.
I settled in for a few moments and decided the 57 degree temp and time of day made chances of seeing deer almost nil before evening. I checked the time and it was now 12:06pm so I pulled "The Can" out of my pack and made three quick bleats (as per the instrution on the package).
I was stunned a few minutes later to see a big buck coming in at a slow walk 70 yds above the stand. As he came in through the brush he rocked his rack back & forth to clear small pine branches...reminded me of seeing Bull Elk on TV hunting shows do that. I got to a standing position and quickly got nerves & breathing back under control, quite a feat for me as the noise of his hooves clicking on small stones seemed extremely loud by this time. He was crossing above the mock scrape behind a small pine as I came to full draw. I remember focusing on my sights & shooting form more than the buck in the few seconds as the oppurtunity unfolded. He crossed just behind a tree I'd previously ranged at 35yds and into an open shooting lane, giving me a slightly quartering but mostly broadside shot. I didn't try and stop him as alerting him didn't make sense to me . I buried the 40yd pin in his shoulder crease and touched my release. I watched the arrow hit low in the mid-rib cage area and he took off running. I could see the shaft buried over half way as he loped away and knew it was a good shot. The buck went about 75 yds then turned and took a couple steps uphill into some small pines out of sight just inside our boundary markers The Holy Spirit took over as a real sense of calm came over me...all thoughts of doubts or questions that usually race through a hunter's mind after a shot disappeared instantly. I quietly as possible packed up and backed out in the opposite direction the buck had headed. I hiked back up to the 3rd landing, stopping long enough to text the wife and a few camp members with the report and requests for their prayers of a successful recovery. I then headed to the campers to locate Seth and enlist his help. I wanted to give the buck a couple hours before looking to reduce any chance of pushing him to soon. On the next mountain is "Noodle Camp" which has always extended an offer to come over with their 4wd ATV's and help us get game out of hard to reach places so I jumped in the Toyota and headed that way to see if anyone was at their cabin. Tim jr. & Emmil's son Logan were there and only to happy to help us.
At 2:30pm we started after the buck. Logan drove us down to the big Jeep trail in the Kubota and parked it. We hiked to the stand and slowly moved to where I'd seen the buck last. Immediately we spotted his bed with a large pool of bright red blood in it but the buck was gone. For a moment we thought we'd blown it and had bumped the buck to soon. Tim jr went to the left 10 yds and waved us over...3 more beds with lots of blood only a few feet apart. As we were standing there looking at a heavy blood trail heading back in the direction of the stand, Seth said he could hear a deer " grunting" just ahead and Tim also confirmed this. We eased along the blood trail and within 20 yds could hear the deep grunting of a dying deer and see some thrashing in the brush ahead. The other three guys stayed back and I nocked a bear tipped arrow. I snuck to within 15yds of the buck, which was done for and had his rack twisted up in the oak scrub. I placed the arrow at a steep angle through his rib cage...exiting the left shoulder and it was over in seconds. The others came over and the congratulations began ! If I had stayed in the stand the entire time I would have seen the buck come back as he ended up about 20yds above where I'd hit him earlier.
Tim jr. & Logan went to get the Kubota while Seth took lots of pictures and I field dressed the buck. The men from Noodle Camp sure made it easy with only a 50 yd drag to the ATV.
I'm not 100% sure if this is the buck we named Solomon but looking at game cam pics from last year...he's mighty close !
What an awesome one day archery season and I'm so Thankful for an 11th hour Blessing and everyone who helped make it a success . Here's his pic . 20" spread 10 pt.
Edited by Phil, 15 November 2012 - 06:02 AM.