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When Dad's Away - Livie's first deer

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Our house in Maryland butts up against a large wooded block of land owned by the owner of our rental. We had many encounters last year with deer coming into the yard. Maryland allows baiting and we had corn piles out through the winter to continue to bring deer into view. I had put up a ground blind, but never did hunt the deer. This spring I bought a Parker crossbow to be used by Livie and my Betterhalf this year. Livie has been practicing and we got the bow fine tuned for this season.


So once we started seeing does groups back in the yard she was champing at the bit to try and get her first deer. This last week I was at a conference for work in Toronto. But the two of them went out on Monday even though I was not around. They only saw one doe, but had no shot. I later found out that they did not go to the level of scent control that I felt was needed for the close proximity and the potential of the deer being down wind from the blind. Well they went out and bought scent free body wash, shampoo, odor neutralizers, etc. on Weds (they didn't go upstairs to my hunting/fishing room to see that I had what they needed already :rolleyes:). Weds evening I am at the conference when during one of the session breaks I get a call from my daughter whom is in hysterics. When I got her calmed down, she related her hunting story. They had gone out and around 4:15 to 4:30 a doe and fawn came into view. The deer approached the blind straight on. Livie was ready but waited for the deer to give her a good shot. Once she felt that she had a good shot, she pulled the trigger. She told me that she hit the deer and that they had looked at the bolt and it had blood but also stomach contents. She mentioned that the deer may have been quartering to her when she shot. Later they both mentioned that the bolt went through the deer and hit a small tree on the other side of the deer. She also told me that they followed the deer and bumped her. When she had stopped sobbing and apologizing that she made a bad shot to me, I told her to let the deer lay for the night and go back and try to find it in the morning. I also found out that Livie had probably less than 2 hours of sleep that night. Many of us, including myself, have had that same type of night when you are not certain of your shot.

So Thursday morning I kept trying to get a response from my wife or Livie to see if I could help by looking at photos of the blood trail. Nothing until about 8:15 I get a text "we found her". That was followed up with a text that a predator(s) had found her before they did. The hindquarters have damage, but still a fair amount of meat to salvage. The two of them partially gutted the deer at the recovery site (left in lungs/heart in chest) and drug her back to the house. They got out the rest of the inside bits and rinsed the dear down well to remove any gut contents and got her hung before they started for the airport to pick me up. Looks like I now have work to do tonight and tomorrow to get this deer processed and packed up. Not a bad "honey do list" ;). I am so proud of the both of them!

Here she is relieved that they found her first deer. Now she is back to being excited and wants to see if she can get a buck. Also she wants me to move the blind a bit so that she can get better broadside shot placement on the next deer.


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