Summit Treestands
Crimson Arrows & Hunter's Moon
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Hawkeye 03-Sep-20
Empty Freezer 03-Sep-20
Bou'bound 03-Sep-20
BOWNBIRDHNTR 03-Sep-20
Korey Wolfe 04-Sep-20
Hawkeye 04-Sep-20
INbowdude 04-Sep-20
Charlie Rehor 05-Sep-20
Korey Wolfe 05-Sep-20
Drahthaar 05-Sep-20
redquebec 05-Sep-20
From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo

Hawkeye's Link
Hello Bowsite. The second edition of "Crimson Arrows" will be released on Friday and we are excited to get it out there. I am grateful for the support over the past few years and because some of you have the first edition-I spoke to Pat and asked if I could include the extra stories here on Bowsite.

This way those who have the first edition will have access to the entire book--and those who don’t can see if they enjoy the way the stories are written and laid out. The Audible version has also been updated and can be downloaded for free if you have the original.

The Official Book Trailer is attached here as well and hope you like it.

With whitetail season just around the corner, and this year’s Hunter’s Moon forecasted for Halloween night, I thought I’d share one of the stories in the book entitled…… “Hunter’s Moon.”

Thank you for the support—it is greatly appreciated!

Hawkeye

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Grain dust lingered in the autumn air, trailing combines as they rolled through fields of gold. It was harvest time in the Midwest: a season of beauty, bounty, and change. While brilliant colors, gridiron classics, and Halloween costumes are all reasons to favor the fall, bowhunting whitetails is at the top of my list.

It was October 21, 2018, and I was headed to southern Iowa for my first bowhunt of the season. Work commitments and a family wedding had kept me out of the timber thus far, but I could stay away no longer. A cold front had engulfed the Midwest since early October, digging in and becoming the norm. In fact, it seemed that Iowa was under a weather dome, with a bowhunter controlling the thermostat. Frosty mornings and cool evenings were a daily occurrence, and the deer were on the move. I contemplated where to hunt that afternoon—with one buck on my mind.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
There was a mainframe nine-pointer roaming the farm, with heavy antlers and a massive body. I knew where he was bedding but had yet to capture a daylight photo of this brute. Still, I was hoping the colder weather and coming moon phase would increase his daylight activity. The Hunter's Moon was forecasted to rise on October 24, 2018, and would be the second full moon since the fall equinox. The late Charles J. Alsheimer, the leading authority on moon phases and whitetail deer behavior, had called this the Rutting Moon, and believed it to be a catalyst for increased breeding activity. His book Hunting Whitetails by the Moon is a fascinating read. And while lunar phases have never dictated my hunting schedule or style, I can't deny their influence. No matter their effect, something had the bucks on their feet, and I had to take advantage before the rut changed the game.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
I arrived at the farm at 4:30 PM and quickly changed clothes before flinging a few arrows down range. Confident that my equipment was sound, I grabbed my safety belt and headed across the creek. Sign was prevalent as I rounded the bend, with scrapes and rubs tattooing the farm lane. Fresh earth lay exposed beneath licking branches, while a shingle oak stood twisted and torn, its limbs looking more like a pretzel than a sapling. There was a stand near the back of a large corn field, with clover and turnips along its edge. Through the years, I had taken two does from this location but had never seen a mature buck. Although my friend Houston had hunted this stand the day before, the wind was perfect and access was easy, so I headed there.

I moved up the hill and along the timberline, finally reaching my stand at 5:00 PM. As I approached the tree, now only a few yards away, I looked up and stopped on a dime. A mature doe had risen from her bed and was staring right through me, threatening to end my hunt before it started. Even worse, the wind was blowing over my shoulder toward the doe, surely confirming her suspicions.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
To my surprise, she slowly turned and disappeared down the ridge without a sound. I moved toward my stand, expecting sharp snorts and bounding footsteps to follow, but they never transpired. I quickly tied the pull rope to my bow, clipped my safety belt to the lifeline, and made my ascent. Once I was situated, I nocked an arrow, placed my bow on the hanger, and relaxed.

Almost a year had passed since I hunted this stand, and I paused a moment to take it all in. The corn and clover were thriving, while hedge apples and acorns littered the ground beneath me. A mixture of green and rustic-red painted the oaks, while hickories, walnuts, and sugar maples displayed deep yellow hues. I could see cherry trees and gooseberry bushes through the timber, their leaves a striking, sunset orange. It was a perfect evening, with steady winds and cool temperatures, and I felt blessed to be there. After ensuring the coast was clear, I sent a text message to my wife, letting her know that I had arrived safely. I then put my phone away and sat back, hoping to catch a glimpse of a few deer before sundown.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Gooseberry
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Gooseberry
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Cherry
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Cherry

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
This young ten-pointer was the first whitetail to emerge from the timber.
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
This young ten-pointer was the first whitetail to emerge from the timber.
Thirty minutes later, with streaks of sunlight shooting through the dark timber, I saw movement to my left. Antler tines were swaying back and forth, hidden behind a small sapling. My adrenaline was flowing as I peered through the cover, trying to determine if it was a mature buck. It wasn't long before the buck exposed himself, moving slowly toward the field edge.

When he cleared the timber and stepped into the open, I could tell he was a young ten-pointer, no older than three-and-a-half and would get a pass. I left my bow on the hanger and took some photos as he moved through the food plot.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20
In time, a fawn emerged from the timber at a fast trot, followed by a mature doe, both making their way into the field. The buck stopped feeding and took notice, before aggressively moving in their direction. The doe understood his intentions but wasn’t receptive, and soon was dodging and darting through the food plot, doing all she could to avoid his advances.

As they moved within 10 yards of my stand, the buck suddenly froze and stared in my direction. The wind was still in my favor, blowing out of the southwest and down the ridge. I couldn't fathom what was wrong, but within seconds he was gone, dashing across the field and out of sight. I slowly turned and peered into the forest but saw nothing.

I assumed the buck had crossed my entry trail and caught my scent, a reasonable explanation, and one I was content with. I was getting settled when a grunt erupted from the ditch behind me. It was so loud that it almost startled me off the stand. Somewhere between a grunt and a growl, another deep bellow echoed from the hollow. I carefully lifted my bow off the hanger and turned, waiting for the buck to appear.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
I could see tall tines and long main beams through the timber, moving in my direction at a steady clip. This was happening, and yet, I still couldn't believe it. With each step the grunts grew louder, and the beast drew closer, until the big nine-pointer materialized along the field edge. I remember looking down at the orange fletching on my arrow, and the moleskin along my bow’s riser, before taking a deep breath and preparing for the shot.

For so many years, I had envisioned a giant standing in this position, glaring into the field with broad shoulders and a massive rack. I had pictured his strides as he approached from my left, the trees I would use as cover to conceal my draw, and where I would stop him before releasing my arrow. All of these dreams and scenarios played out over the next few seconds—except one small detail.

A twig. One….small….twig.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Full draw.............
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Full draw.............
There was a honey locust tree, angled and innocuous, a few yards in front of my treestand. Houston and I had clipped and sawed the year before, knocking branches and thorns off its course bark, clearing the way for a broadhead-tipped arrow. However, upon reaching the stand’s platform that afternoon, I noticed one twig remained in my shooting lane. I made a mental note to bring a pole saw the next time in, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

As the buck strode across the field in the fading light, I hit my anchor and mouthed a soft grunt, stopping him at 27 yards—right behind that twig. I could hear Mr. Murphy laughing, before whispering in my ear, “You didn’t see that one coming, did you?”

I can’t say that I panicked, in fact, I was surprisingly calm. Here I was, at full draw on one of the biggest whitetails I have ever seen, with his vitals obscured by a lonely, lifeless twig. I normally shoot sitting down, so I had to rise up and lean to my right. Upon doing that, my field of view expanded, and although it was an awkward angle, I was steady as I pulled through the shot.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20
Like a placekicker at the buzzer, I watched my arrow arc through the air, its flight and intentions perfect before slowly drifting to the left. The orange fletching disappeared behind the beast’s ribcage with a loud whoomph, and he erupted toward the standing corn. I had bowhunted long enough to know the reality of the situation, and calling a spade a spade, I had hit the buck too far back.

I could hear the buck crashing through the corn stalks, and then all went silent. I sat down and collected my thoughts, my mind sifting through the possibilities. There was no doubt that it was a lethal shot, but finding the buck would be a tall order. I had no clue where he entered the corn, as my view was obstructed by a cluster of oaks and Osage orange. The moon was climbing higher above the tree line, its luminous rays growing brighter with each passing second. I crawled down from the stand and crept over to the impact site, expecting to find my arrow. Having no luck, I quietly backed out with plans to return the next morning. The buck needed time, and despite a healthy coyote population, I had to be patient. Hopefully, we would find him at first light.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
The cold weather continued that night, coating the landscape in a blanket of frost. I followed a salmon-colored sky along the eastern horizon, arriving at the farm just after sunrise. Houston had work commitments and couldn’t join me, but my friends Mitch, Don, and Seth offered to help. We headed to the impact site, hoping to find my arrow and determine the buck’s line of travel. It had been 14 hours since I dropped the string, but I was still concerned.

After a thorough search around my treestand, with no sign of blood or my arrow, we spread out. I circled around the corn and walked along the timberline, checking trails and fence crossings. As I approached a heavy runway that led into the forest, I looked down and caught a flash of red. There was a small patch of blood on the pasture grass, leading toward a hardwood ridge and thicket. We backtracked through the corn and quickly found my arrow, with its shaft and feathers coated in crimson.

We slowly moved into the timber with our senses on full alert. The sign was sparse but steady, with dark droplets on fallen leaves, and streaks of red along sapling trunks. Fresh footprints were also evident, as large depressions followed the blood trail down the ridge. We had covered over 100 yards, and still not found his first bed, when we heard a flock of crows cawing. They were a good distance away, but with the blood trail waning, we all wondered if they had found something.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20
We pressed on, still finding small droplets, with an occasional pool of blood where the buck had stood. The crows were still hammering, growing louder as we drew closer. The sign had led us down the ridge into thicker cover, now near the steep banks of a creek bed. We had lost blood at this point, almost 225 yards from my treestand, and didn’t know which direction to go. The buck could have crossed the creek into a jungle of multiflora rose and cedars or doubled back up the ridge. Both were possibilities, and we had to be careful.

Don, Seth, and Mitch moved down toward the creek, while I veered left into the hardwoods, praying we’d find a clue that would give us direction. I was getting nervous when I saw Don motion toward Seth, who was now on the other side of the waterway. Don had seen something, and then Seth did too. They were moving in that direction when suddenly, Seth hollered, “He’s right here, Eyad! Get your bow!”

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
#270 on the hoof!
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
#270 on the hoof!
I rushed toward the creek and down the embankment, crawled up the other side, and there was my buck. He was bedded along the creek bank, hidden within a clump of honeysuckle. I placed a final arrow into his vitals and ended the hunt. A whitetail’s resilience and strength never ceases to amaze me, but in this case, it was hard to fathom. I tipped my hat skyward and said thank you, before kneeling beside the buck’s massive body. His rack was polished and heavy, with a sticker-point off both G2s, and shredded bark along his brow tines. I could still hear the crows’ raucous calls in the distance, their commotion a red herring after all. The broadhead had clipped the buck’s liver and our patience had paid off. Had we pursued him the night before, we would have pushed him out of his bed, perhaps never to be seen again. Although the ending was bittersweet, I was grateful for it.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
The next evening, I was rummaging through my sheds when I pulled a heavy antler from the pile. I had found it in a bean field the previous winter, not far from my buck’s final resting place. The shed’s main beam and tines were unmistakable, and I knew it had once belonged to him. I placed the antler back on the pile, grabbed my coat, and stepped outside into the night air.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Dallen Lambson's "Hunter's Moon"--which was based on the trail cam image from that memorable night.
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Dallen Lambson's "Hunter's Moon"--which was based on the trail cam image from that memorable night.
The Hunter's Moon was nearly full, illuminating the pasture behind my home. I thought back over the past two days, humbled by the thin line between success and heartbreak. As bowhunters, each outing and every hunt provides an opportunity to learn. Whether it be understanding moon phases, trimming twigs, shooting at awkward angles, or practicing patience on a blood trail—it’s our job to decipher and learn from each one. This hunt was no exception, and each fall, when I see the Hunter's Moon rising, I will remember those lessons.

From: Hawkeye
03-Sep-20

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Thanks for reading everyone :)

03-Sep-20
Its pretty cool to read the words from a passionate bowhunter. We are all very fortunate to do what we do and should never take it for granite. Thanks

From: Bou'bound
03-Sep-20
Always great reads and great hunts. I wait for your story on your son’s first deer.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
03-Sep-20
I have the first edition and bought a few for friends. It's a great read and written by an even better guy. Keep up the good work Eyad!

From: Korey Wolfe
04-Sep-20
I guess this a dumb question, but is the second edition another set of stories? Or a few extra stories added to the first set?

From: Hawkeye
04-Sep-20
Hey Korey. Same stories with five additional stories and artwork from Dallen Lambson and Larry Zach (~60 pages). The book went out of print this spring as the publishing house closed its doors. We decided to print a second edition with another company and added the stories to it. Was hoping to post the additional stories here for those who had the first for that reason :)

From: INbowdude
04-Sep-20
Very cool brother. Thanks for sharing! Best of luck this season.

05-Sep-20
Best always Eyad...

From: Korey Wolfe
05-Sep-20
Thanks, I enjoyed the first edition for sure! Great story of a great hunt.

From: Drahthaar
05-Sep-20
Great read, beautiful buck. Forrest

From: redquebec
05-Sep-20
I enjoyed everything posted! Then I saw the 270.6 on the scale and my jaw dropped. I knew he was good, but wow that's a lot buck. Good job!

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