1st Round Goes To The Deer


The One That Got Away.....

I was pretty pumped this year for archery season. I had shot a lot of 3-D shoots and felt pretty good about my abilities this year.  My confidence was up, since we had been busy in years past working on building houses, but this year we got more time to shoot.  We spent a good deal of time scouting, and I had my deer named Moose picked out.  A few days prior to season we went out to our hunting hole in the middle of the day to check our camera.  Up jumped the two deer we were hoping to kill this year.  They were within 60 yards of us and they weren’t spooky at all.  We were feeling pretty good about our chances opening morning and hoped to be done early that day.

Opening morning came, and it was a bit of a disappointment, we had another hunter set up within 100 yards of our blind.  I couldn’t believe he set up so close.  There is never anyone else in the area where we are at, but this year was to be different.  We chose to stay, but nothing came in and after 15 hours in the blind, I was beat.  There aren’t enough games you can play, and my book was just making me tired.  This seemed to be the pattern for the rest of the week.

Some Turkeys We Spotted Out Hunting

The next day we learned a guy we knew that hunted near the area we hunt, got the big buck Darren was after.  He saw it coming in with some other deer in the direction of our stand.  The big one gave him a good shot, so he took it.  To our disappointment and excitement he got it and it was a dandy deer.  I know Darren was dejected, but there was another deer a bit bigger running around the area, so we set out sights on that one.  It wasn’t to be though, as it never made itself seen to us.

We decided to try a new area and spent a lot of time hiking around, and putting up new game cameras.  The deer just seemed to be allusive.  By day four, frustration set in and we knew a new plan needed to be set in motion.  I know hunting means hours of hiking, sitting, glassing, but this was a slow year.

A Deer We Caught On Camera, But Not On In Our Sights

We took a drive up out of Sisters and parked the truck.  We wanted to hike down an old skid road the ended at a big cliff overhang.  We figured that would be a great place to glass, and our friend had seen good sign there in previous years.  We headed down the trail, my husband was leading, our friend Jake was in the middle and I took up the rear.  All of the sudden out of the bushes, a bird dove down at my head.  I ducked and then it dove at me from the other side.  Now, mind you this is at 11 am, so I am thinking this bird is insane.  Then I realize it is a bat, and I take off running.  I must have looked like a crazed woman running fiercely past the guys.  Almost at the same time, Jake realized what it was and he was right behind me.  I started swinging my bow at it, and Jake and Darren used their hats to try at hit a home run with this bat.  The bombing of this bat continued on for 10 minutes.  I was getting worn out, and finally Darren got the bat with his hat.  He only knocked it out, but when they went to kill it, it woke up and flew away.  That wasn’t quite what I had planned for a new hunt, but it was clearly exhilarating while it lasted.

We hunted pretty hard until the last week, and remembered that the year previous was cut short because Darren had to have an emergency appendectomy.  Well, we decided to take the last week off and we thought we would really give it all we had.  That lasted about three days, then Darren got strep throat, his throat swelled shut and we ended up in the ER twice in one week.

A View From Our Hunting Area

We gave it one last shot Sunday, the last day of the season.  We sat up on a bench overlooking a deep draw.  From the bench you could see alfalfa fields and they are usually bursting with deer.  We glassed the bottom and sure enough, there were some nice big deer in there.  We watched them for at least and hours and decided to send Darren and his buddy down there to make a stalk. David, Darren’s brother and I stayed up on top and watched the deer and talked the other two down to them.  It took quite awhile for them to get down the draw, but they finally got within 60 yards of the deer. The anticipation heightened and Darren was ready to make the shot, but only had a head shot and chose to hold off.  He hoped he would be offered a good clean shot, when suddenly the wind shifted and as quick as the deer were there, they were soon gone again.  Defeat was upon us all and it was clear our season was finished. We had to walk away knowing the deer chalked up a win for their team, but we hope to have a strong comeback for second season.  I have never hunted black tail deer, so we look forward to go over the mountain and try our hand at black tail hunting.  Who knows, maybe we will even come across a bear or cougar to kill.  Those animals are on my bucket list as well.  Anything would be good at this point in time.

At least we had a day of excitement, now we must move on to planning for rifle elk season in a couple of weeks.  I hope to share some good news with everyone.

About the Author

Heather Moore

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a field staff shooter for The Bow Rack in Springfield, Oregon, a field staff member for PursueTheOutdoors.com, a member of the local archery club, Oregon Hunters Association, Women in the Outdoors, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry.