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NJ opener was a success!

Old 09-09-2002, 08:20 AM
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HuntingBry's Avatar
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Location: Phoenixville, PA USA
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Default NJ opener was a success!

Well, we got out bright and early Saturday morning for the opener in NJ. I was hunting a good morning stand that we had found late last season and checked out again in March. The only problem was when we got there they had done some logging in the summer and there was some landscaping/construction equipment on the edge of the woods. We got in the woods and all of our landmarks seemed to be gone. I stumbled around for a few minutes and stepped on a cut log 3 feet long that rolled out from under me and sent me to the ground. I cut my bow hand and my climber flew forward and cracked me in the back of the head. Very frustrated, I found a promising looking tree and decided that was where I was going to set up.

When the sun came up I realized I was about 50-60 yards away from where I wanted to be, but decided to stay put and see what the morning held. About 7:00 a.m. I saw a deer's head poke up over the hill approaching me. I grabbed my bow and got ready. She came up over the hill and I was happy to see that it was a doe since NJ is an "earn-a-buck" state for many of the zones including the one we were hunting. She approached and stepped over the log that I had ranged at 31 yards. I knew that if she kept on her course she would pass a cluster of trees and allow me to draw. She did so, as if it was scripted. I came to full draw as she stepped out, stopped and put her head down. I leveled my 20 yard pin a bit high behind her shoulder and released. This was at 7:15 a.m.

I didn't see the arrow hit, but saw my fletching sticking out as she ran off. She ran away up toward the road and began to stumble. I thought she was going to go down right there, but she regained herself and kept going. I lost her in the tree tops as she went up the hill.

I was concerned about the lack of penetration I got so I stayed put and replayed the event in my head. I ranged out where the deer was and she was about 27 yards away. I was figuring 25, but my 30 yard pin was on the bottom of her chest so the height should not be a problem. I was still shaking from the excitement of the first shot of the year. I know some of the guys on this board say they get no thrill out of shooting does, but I still get a rush no matter what kind of deer I shoot at. We had agreed to meet at 9:30 so I decided to stay put until then.

At around 9:00 I got down and left my stand so as not to make a lot of noise and slipped out of the woods the opposite way of where the deer had run. When I got to the truck my friend Mike was not there yet and his father was just returning. I opened the truck and saw Mike's quiver in there with only one arrow in it, so I figured he had a busy morning. We went and found Mike and he had gotten his doe. He shot her around 8:00 a.m. and had used his arrows to follow the blood trail. We got him and went to where I had shot my deer.

I showed Mike and his father where the deer was when I shot and found where she had kicked after being hit. It was now 10:00 a.m. We started following in the direction she ran and there was no blood to follow. I found the back of my arrow broken off with about 7 inches of it missing. We kept following where the deer ran looking for blood and got up to the road. Mike started walking in one direction on the road, I walked the other and his father stayed in the woods. I came across blood on the road and followed it to the other side. Mike's father and I tracked the blood while Mike walked ahead in the direction the deer seemed to be going. He called out from a thicket and there she was. The shot had been a little low and forward and caught one lung before hitting the far leg joint not allowing an exit wound. She had run about 400 yards when we found her. This illustrates the importance of what Rob had said in his post about not being too eager to get down and start looking for the deer. You can be sure that if I had gotten down early and bumped that deer we never would have found her.

With 2 out of 3 does needed in the bag we went out for the evening hunt. I was hunting a stand watching a corner where the deer usually like to come out to the field in the evenings. Around 6:00 p.m the deer started coming out and they kept coming out to the field from everywhere except my corner. I saw around 25 deer in all and 7 rack bucks. The smallest was a 7 point with about a 16 inch spread. There were two nice 8 points, a 6 point with about an 18 inch spread, a smaller 6 or 8 point (I couldn't tell because he was shedding his velvet and he was far off so I couldn't determine whether there were points or strips of velvet), a very big 8 point with a wide high rack, and a buck that was almost completely black. When I first saw him I didn't know what he was, then I saw his rack. He is a big boy and very unique with his coloration. This is the first anyone had seen of him. Many of the bucks came from one corner of the field around 7:00 p.m. I can't get out tonight, but I am already planning to leave work early tomorrow and head over there and you can guess where I'll be. Hopefully, I'll get a crack at that dark buck, despite his big rack he would be a unique trophy. Wish me luck.
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Old 09-09-2002, 08:27 AM
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

Good job Bryan! I like that "earn a buck program", it sounds good. Congrats, and good luck on those bucks, sounds like there are some nice one's around

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Old 09-09-2002, 08:44 AM
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

Sounds like a good start to the season,Keep up the good work
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Old 09-09-2002, 09:43 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: austin texas USA
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

Congrats on your doe you did good. If your buck is all black with no white on him at all then he mite be a malanistis (sp) it is a resest gean from an albino, we have them in my part of texas.

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Old 09-09-2002, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!


Congratulatons on the kill. Taking a doe is great. I don't get the same thrill from a doe that I do from a large buck, but there is still plenty of excitement.


Just curious where you got your genetic information on the dark bucks. I couldn't quite make out what you were saying, but I have a keen interest in genetics and was wondering if you could point me to some information. Normally, albino is a recessive gene that inhibits the expression of melanin. I'm not sure what it would have to do with a buck that exhibits excess melanin, but I'd like to find out.

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Old 09-09-2002, 10:16 AM
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Location: Fredericksburg Virginia USA
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

HuntingBry congrats on your doe and good luck on the black one. I really like that earn a buck deal they have there, that is something I would love to see Va. have, we have a huge population of deer that need to be thinned out. I wonder how some of the trophy hunters would handle the earn a buck deal. I can tell you now that an old doe is one of the slyest of deer.

The Tazman aka Martin Price
Founder and President of
Virginia Disabled Outdoorsmen Club
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Old 09-09-2002, 10:18 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

HuntingBry, congratulations on the fine doe. I too still get the thrill harvesting a doe.

That was a great story, full of detail and thanks for the plug on the "After the Shot" thread. You did everything right and you were rewarded with some fine venison. It's not always the shot that earns the animal. Great job and good luck on the antlered ones.

<font color=blue>Good Luck and Good Shooting</font id=blue>

<font color=red>Rob</font id=red>
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Old 09-09-2002, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hilliard OH USA
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

Congratulations on a great opening day!


&quot;Getting close to the game is the joy of Bowhunting for me, the harvest is a bonus.&quot;

Live 15 ft Python after eating a small Antelope!
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:22 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

Congrats on the does! Sounds like a good opener. I hope you get that dark buck.
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Old 09-09-2002, 02:07 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Passin\'through>>>>------------> NJ USA
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Default RE: NJ opener was a success!

Congrats HB...I was out opening day too. Had a doe in my sights at 15 yds ready to release when a full spotted fawn came running up to her. I let down and watched them walk...I seen quite a few deer in the evening. I'm sure they smelled my sweat and stayed away...C'mon cool weather....
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