I was a bit late getting to the hunting grounds, and was walking in as the sun was creeping up. Thinking I was gonna be wasting my time, I still cocked the crossbow and set a bolt, and stalked real quiet like into the woods... based on the advice given to me on the FaceCrackBookSpace by MattG from Better and Better.
I was about 20 yards from my tree stand when two deer spooked and took off. They'd been eating the acorns from the oak that was near where I'd set my stand. Had I been out earlier like I should have, I'd have been sitting in that stand with a 15 yard shot. Instead, I spooked two of 'em.
I stood there, quietly cursing myself, and thought "This day is a bust..."
Then one of them was foolish enough to turn back and stood about 25 yards from me.
I thanked my lucky stars, slowly raised the crossbow, and thumbed off the safety. He looked in my direction, but either didn't see me or didn't think he should be afraid of me. I was moving at a glacial pace, and hoping he didn't take off.
Walked over to my crossbow bolt and noticed it was well covered in blood. A good sign, for sure. Took me a couple minutes to settle down my adrenaline rush, but I finally calmed down enough to call the wife:
"Honey? Is everything alright? I thought you went hunting?"
"I did. Gonna need you to make room in the freezer..."
She said that's one of the best wake-up calls ever. I'll take that.
Anyway, found the blood trail, started following it, and discovered that deer dropped about 20 yards away. The arrow went straight through his chest cavity. That was as good of a shot as I could want. A quiet "Thank you for providing for my family" and I started dragging him out of the thick brush.
Everything below the diaphragm was intact, and when I got into the chest, I found that his lungs were pretty much non-existent... Nothing there but shredded tissue. A quick, ethical kill, which matters more to me than anything else.
I took him to the house for a quick photo at the wife's insistence, then a drive to Farmland Locker, a local processor for carving. I suppose at some point I'll figure out how to carve a deer myself, but at the moment I don't have the time or equipment to do it properly. Should be getting my meat this week.
I sent a bolt from a standing position, it went straight through the deer, out the other side, and I managed to have the presence of mind to watch which way he ran. At least until he got into some thick brush I couldn't see through. But I had a general sense.
A small button buck, perhaps 120-130 pounds on the hoof. No trophy deer for sure, but I don't care... It'll make good eating. I managed to field dress him without much fuss, thanks in no small part to my frequent watching of "How To" videos on You Tube.
I'm pretty stoked about it.