Editor’s Note: Archery seasons are already open in some states and/or soon to open in mid-October in various states. My friend Bob Walker of Livingston, Alabama, has been hunting deer for about 50 years, guided for deer for 30 years and owns the R & J Deer-Processing business (205-652-7280) in Livingston Ala. in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt. To learn more, visit (https://foodprocessing.cc/) and his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/).
The second day of Alabama’s bow season one year, I decided to take my wife, Alice, hunting. She had never taken a deer with a bow, and she had been practicing with her bow and getting ready for bow season. I had a small food plot with a number of water oak acorns around it where I planned to take her to bowhunt.
The trees around this green field historically dropped their acorns during early bow season. I had put a stand up on the corner of that field where I felt certain the wind would be right to hunt on the day I took Alice. I helped Alice get into her tree stand, and I went to another stand to hunt. About an hour before dark, I got a text from Alice that said, “I think I hit a doe perfectly.” Immediately, I left my stand to go help Alice find the deer she had arrowed. When we went to the spot where Alice had arrowed the doe, we found her arrow, and it was covered in blood. We had a good blood trail, and we found the deer about 80-yards from where Alice had arrowed the doe. When she saw her doe stone cold dead, she really got excited, and I was probably as excited as she was if not more excited, because this was her first deer to take with her bow.
As I mentioned earlier, my family and the people I hunt with put does on their hit lists during bow season.Harvesting surplus does is just a good deer-management tool. The browse on a piece of property, even with green fields planted, only can support a certain number of deer. If you don’t remove a portion of the reproductive segment of your herd, once the herd reaches the carrying capacity of the land, your bucks and does can’t grow to their full potential each year. That’s the reason we encourage people to take does during bow season. Harvesting does at the beginning of bow season also helps the archer get more comfortable with having deer in close and making accurate shots. Then later in the season, when the archer wants to take a buck, he is better prepared.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” available in Kindle, Print and Audible versions, at (http://amzn.to/YpoQHA). You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free, and you can hear 10% for free).
On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book. To see more of John’s deer hunting books, visit www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.
Tomorrow: Why Consider Winds When Bowhunting