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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First let me say this is not a Trophy hunt story. this is a venison harvest story.

My son-in-law Mike got his first archery deer yesterday, a fork-horn California mule deer up in the San Bernardino mountains somewhere above 7,000 ft. He was quite excited and had put a lot of effort into it, scouting, trail cams, and lots of practice. I watched him put 3 arrows into 6" at 65 yds in the back part of our lot. He had a great story to tell too! Seems he was sitting on the ground, back to an oak, in full camo and this young buck deer came to withing 3 feet, that's right 3 feet of him, deer snout to masked camo face. He now SWEARS by the scent-free theory of washing clothes, etc. Mike didn't more a muscle, other than his heart beating rather rapidly. The deer finally wandered 20 yards off to a stream and then when it started up a hill to the left it stopped and stared at him again. He thought OK, this is too much to pass up and began slowly raising his bow and drawing, all the while the deer continued staring but not moving. Mike says he was sure the deer would bolt at the movement, but it didn't. The shot was through and through, going through both lungs and cut the heart on the way. I'm not sure what brand, but he used a 2 blade tip that opens 2 wider blades on impact. He said the deer bolted off but only lived 5 seconds before it dropped and it left a big blood trail. When he saw part of the heart cut off and all the blood insided he knew why. Not a trophy as in a wall hanger, but there is a bunch of meat now cooling down and seasoning in our refrig. It was a great hunt, IMHO.

He used Matthews Reezen 6.5 70lb draw. Rage broadheads.

AND he didn't kill the big 4x4 he has on trail cam and I'll get to go there in rifle season in about 3 weeks! Whoo hoo.
 

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Cool, congrats to him! Sounds like he earned it for sure!
 

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Bow hunting can be a lot of work, sounds like he had a great hunt!
 

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What a great way to start a bowhunting career. Sounds like he put a lot of hard work into it and it paid off.
 

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sounds like a trophy hunt to me. he did his homework and it paid off. meat in the freezer is my kind of trophy. you can't eat the horns
 

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Discussion Starter #6
fresh backstrap

UPDATE: daughter just cooked up some backstrap. wow is that good. as good as filet mignon IMHO.
 

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Great bow hunt story!
 

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Loved the story.Wish I could have been there.I hunted whitetail in Indiana and Michigan in my younger days with longbow and recurve,(some were just gallery bows) but never got a deer until I had gone on an antelope hunt in Wyoming and an antelope commited suicide on my arrow at about 10yds.It was a case where I went to full pull at 30yds with a great bear recurve and the antelope never stopped coming until I released.I guess that gave me the confidence I needed.From that day on bow hunting just got bigger and better.It got to the point that if I missed it was complete shock,not the other way around.Just a matter of knowing how to shoot through very small holes in brush and grass and hitting.(and also knowing shots to pass on)If it is possible I always had more fun bow hunting than gun hunting.Bowhunting always seemed like I was closer to nature and more alert.I have taken antelope,mulies,whitetail,elk,black bear,and one mountain lion (Treed of course),fox and coyote,and many,many woodchuck and some squirrel and rabbits with a bow.I used to love the stalk.You just tingle all over.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sounds like there may be a story or two in there, Sam. Would love to hear them.

My son-in-law Mike tells me that among his 4 hunting buddies, who have been bowhunting in California for 5 years, this is the first deer any of them has ever taken with the bow! Since the overall success rate in Cal is under 10% for everything it indeed was a very good hunt. He put many many hours in scouting and I think this was his 10th day actually hunting with the bow. Some days he was in a tree stand, others on the ground. He almost took my grandson Caleb with him, but because it was a school day he didn't. Caleb is 6, but has all the camo gear and his own bow, although he isn't eligible for a tag quite yet he loves going with his dad, both hunting and fishing.

Mike's season is done now in that Zone but he has another archery tag in an adjacent zone. Rifle season starts Oct 9 and I'm all set. Bags packed, all I need to do is grab water and food and I'm up the mountain.
 

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bobvonb - where's the pics

samuel - you are my idol, I sold my compound two years ago and have been missing with my recurve ever since.
 

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Bowhunted for 3 years before I ever got a shot on a whitetail. I thought I was gonna jump outta my skin, but managed to anchor a nice sized buck with my old Browning recurve. Shoulder injuries retired that bow, but I'd LOVE to be able to do it again !!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dang, just watching my son-in-law practice. 65 yds, 3 shots with about a 4" spread, all in the white center circle that looks to be 8" or so across. he said it's easier without buck fever. nice shooting though.
 
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