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Old 01-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
Pope & Young
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Splendora

My Time With Sacagawea

I received a package from my friend Bob Sarrels in mid January 2012. I knew it contained the bow he had just made for the guys on the Texas Bowhunter (TBH) Traditional page to use as a traveling bow. I opened up the package and put the beautiful bow together. I was not surprised at the clean lines or the smooth draw as I have a couple of Bob’s bows in my collection already. In fact I used a Sarrel’s longbow on my second trip to Africa. Bob makes an excellent bow and I could not wait to shoot Sacagawea.

The weather did not cooperate with me as strong winds and heavy rains kept me indoors for a couple of days. When I did get out to the little shooting range I have beside my house, I found I had a problem. Every arrow I had was way too heavy on spine to shoot well. I called Bob and to ask him what arrows he had tested the bow with and what would work. He told me he was sending me a package with a few arrows, field tips, and broadheads. I called my buddy Joey down at the Bow Zone and he told me he would have me some arrows fleched in a couple of hours that should also work.

I was not ready to hunt with the bow that first weekend, and went to the lease without it. When I got back, I had a package waiting again from Bob, and Monday armed with what Bob had sent and what I had purchased, I started shooting and tuning.

Things went pretty well and I was grouping arrows and getting good flight. I would occasionally have one that would go a bit left when I made a bad release, but overall I was feeling good by the end of the week and ready to hunt.

It just so happened that I had scheduled to take a few friends up to Marty “Buff” Thomas’s place, Big Oak, that weekend. While I would be acting as guide, I knew I would have a chance to hunt as well. Marty has made the place so nice and has a good population of animals and I felt certain I would get a chance at something. Being that I am the first to have and shoot the bow, I was feeling a little pressure to get Sacagawea off to a good start. I was not going to be too picky about what animal I would take.

Just before heading to the stand for the first time I decided to shoot a few practice arrows on Buff’s nice range. I picked a fifteen yard shot at 3-D hog target and let fly. I shot three arrows right where I was looking, so close the feathers looked like one clump. I did not shoot another for fear of damaging one of the few I had. I was ready to hunt.

After dropping my friends off at what I hoped were the best spots, I picked a blind near the back fence for the first evenings hunt. I took a couple of pics with my phone as I sat and waited. One turned out pretty cool. It looks like the arrow is glowing. A magic arrow on a magic bow, ready to fly.

Right at dark I saw three sika does, but they were very nervous and would not come closer than about forty yards. Then five BIG boars came into the feeder. I judged the smallest one to be about a buck fifty. A couple of times they got to around twenty yards, but I was not going to take that long of a shot. I was concerned some about the light weight bow and fairly light arrow on a boar that large. They did not give me the ten yard shot I was looking for, so it was not an issue.

The next morning after dropping off the other hunters I chose a stand in the center of the ranch that I really like. I got settled in and I could hear something coming in the dark. As it got lighter, I could see two sika does picking up the corn I had hand thrown. I knew that if one of these gave me a shot I would take her. I had my video camera and was hoping to capture the shot on tape.

The does moved into the perfect spot in the shooting lane. I had enough light to shoot, but it would not make a good video, so I waited. Then the feeder ran and one of the does ran away. I had one left. She was in the perfect spot, but on the video screen I could see her shape, but knew you would not be able to see the arrow fly. I decided to wait a little longer. I was nervous that I might be blowing my chance to be the first to get an animal with Sacagawea. It was cold and overcast and no matter how much I pleaded, the sun would not hurry. As I sat there considering what I was doing, I heard footsteps in the dry leaves. Something else was coming in. I glanced to the right and saw an ibex/Spanish goat headed my way. I know that they can be bullies and would probably run off my deer.

Without a moments hesitation and forgoing the video, I picked up Sacagawea and pulled to anchor. I picked a spot on the twelve yard, quartering away, sika doe, and let the string slip from my fingers. The arrow flew great, and passed through the doe about two or three inches above the spot I was looking at. It was below the mid body line and passed all the way through.
I instantly felt a rush of relief and joy as I knew that I had made a good shot. I heard the doe stumble and fall. It was over in just a few seconds and thirty yards from the stand.

I can not tell you how pleased I was. I really wanted to get the bow started off on a good note. A miss or worse a poor hit, would have been very disheartening. Sacagawea had accounted for her first animal, January 21, 2012.

I waited for a half an hour or so and went to my prize. I took a few pics with my phone to remember the moment. I then loaded her up and went to retrieve the other guys. After retrieving my good camera, I had my friend Lou take some more shots of me, Sacagawea, and the deer.

I carried her afield one more time that evening, but nothing came in.

I really enjoyed my time with her and hope that all of those who come after me have as much fun and success in their adventures.
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