Whitetail.com Great Stories

1st Crossbow Buck
by Tom Considine

17/11 Wisconsin

I hunted with a rifle from 12-18 years old.  When I went off to college I stopped.  I'm 33 now and 2 years ago when I moved close to my dad's farmland again I took it up.  I've got 4 kids, so I'm generally hunting for meat.  Dad's got plenty of deer so I've been shooting 2-3/year and harvest it my own.  This year I tried canning venison and it's absolutely delicious!  (Mom does the canning if I'll prep the meat)

I was itching to hunt more during the rut, but I wasn't confident enough with a bow.  Like I said, I want the meat so I'm not looking to make it harder to get it.  I shot my father in laws crossbow, and it was just too easy.  I scoured craigslist and got a decade old Horton crossbow.  It was $150 for the bow, 5 bolts, and 3 new thunderhead broadheads.  It has a red dot sight and I sighted it in at 20 yards.  The bow seemed weak (9 inch drop from 20-30 yards), so I was looking for a 20 yard shot.

First 2 times in the stand I felt a little exposed.  I'm on the edge of a field on a heavily used trail.  We've been hunting this trail forever.  Deer tend not to bed on this property, but it's a highway between a marsh and a cornfield so they're always walking through.  The deer were popping out into the field at about 50 yards, (very frustrating for a newbie with a crossbow wishing he had a gun), scenting me, and walking away.

Last Thursday I had a small 4 point pop out in the field and head to my trail.  If I'm being honest, he wasn't going to live.  I'd passed on him twice and wanted to see if my weak bow could even take something down.  I'm not a patient hunter, and this buck was taunting me.  Fortunately for me he spotted me at 30 yards and slowly turned and walked away.  Just as he went into the woods out of sight this 8 pointer appeared to be following him.  I cried a little as I saw him taking his route away from me, again lack of gun frustration mounting.  As he reached the woods to leave me, the unlucky fellow changed his mind, picked up my trail and turned towards me.  He walked from 50 yards out to within 10, happily stopped behind a tree so I could draw up, and then presented me with his broadside.  The shot seemed good, but he took off pretty fast and disappeared into some brush.  I waited half an hour in panic, questioning my bow, whether I had hit him even, and if I was gonna be able to track him.  Long story short, the bow' s got enough juice, the shot went through both lungs, and he made it less than 50 yards.  2 days later I got a nice doe in the exact same fashion, ran off and fell next to his gut pile.

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