A Very Special Hunt
Story of Don Schroder's Kill
By Don Schroder 

I was in my climbing tree stand on opening morning of the bow season. After videotaping a doe and her two fawns, I hung my camera on a branch and slowly stood to stretch. An unseen doe spotted me, and I froze. Just then an 8pt point buck trotted across the swamp and passed within 25 yards of me. He stopped behind a bushy tree and proceeded to make a scrape, tossing oak leaves high into the air. I could see him, but would not be able to shoot an arrow through the brush. Both he and the doe left without me having an opportunity to either shoot or videotape them.

Next morning, I was in the same tree. With my bow on my lap, I decided to video the doe that returned with her fawns. Just then another doe ran by followed by the 8pt point . I videoed him as he stopped behind a tree and then as he dashed to almost the same spot where he made the scrape the previous day. Again, I couldn't shoot an arrow through the obstructions, but I was able to video him. He knew something was wrong, and stood motionless for five minutes except for slight movement of his head and scanning with his eyes and ears.

As he started to move away, I hung my camera, slowly stood, and readied my bow. I knew he was tending that doe and wouldn't leave. Luck was with me, and the doe cautiously moved around behind my tree. Anticipating the buck would follow, I came to full draw, and he stepped out, presenting me with an 18 yd broadside shot.

After the shot, the buck ran about 10 yards and stopped, standing there for almost a minute before bounding away. As the minutes passed, I replayed the whole episode in my mind. Noting how well the deer moved after the shot, I began to doubt that the arrow had gone as intended. I couldn't make myself wait more than 20 minutes before quietly descending and walking to the spot where the buck stood at the time of the shot. My Arrow had indeed gone completely through the buck and was covered with blood from the lungs..

It required an enormous effort, but I waited the full hour after the shot before following the blood trail. Blood sign ended in about 30 yards , but when I followed that direction, I found my buck. The adrenaline rush made the drag seem easy, but I was exhausted by the time I retrieved my ATV and managed to load the buck. The brief video of the buck on the ATV revealed sounds of heavy breathing.

The videotape has allowed me to enjoy my hunt over and over and to share the experience with my family and friends. It also encouraged me to carry the camera, which led me to video two bucks sparring, but that's another story.