Just Kill A Deer Already

Erika Cochran | December 20, 2018

“Cochran, you just need to kill a deer.”

Those were the words that Brad Gill spoke in our discussion about me not being sure if I was ever going to sit in my spacious blind again. It was difficult for me to come to terms that I injured a buck and was not able to find it.

After Brad spoke those words, I knew I had to go sit and get over the lull I was in. I told myself that there were plenty of deer showing up, not to leave the woods that day without killing one.

So, I got my camo ready during lunch, but I couldn’t find my orange vest in my truck. I was in luck that we were able to find one in the GON warehouse, and I didn’t have to worry about wasting time going home to get mine. I left work that day and went straight to the woods. Little did we know what was going to happen that afternoon.

I am the type who gets anxious sitting and waiting. Waiting on a deer to step out… that just makes the anxiousness worse. Your mind begins to wonder if the buck you have been watching since June, the buck I knew as “Obsession,” is going to step out… was that crunch of the leaves him… oh wait that was a squirrel… there they go running up the tree….

Now as I look through the woods, I do see a deer, but is it a buck or a doe?

She steps out. She isn’t big, but I need something to get over this hump. I waited for her to get broadside… I pull back… and there goes the arrow. She runs and now I see the arrow. Just laying there right in the open. I begin to think. What did I do wrong? How could this happen? I did everything how you should. I wait about 10 minutes of wondering and thinking to myself. I sent Brad a text asking to talk. He calls me, and I explain about the deer and the arrow.

“Cochran, go look at the arrow.”

“Brad. There isn’t going to be anything on it.”

Right as I said that, I pick up the arrow, and inform him of blood. He tells me to come on to his 30-30 Ministries camp that was going on in Eatonton that weekend and have some deer chili for dinner. After dinner, we would go look with his dog, Lily.

Lily wasn’t necessarily needed yet, but any tracking is good practice for her.

After a good ‘ol bowl of deer chili, Brad, Lily, his daughter, Rileigh, and I head out to find my deer. After getting to the property and going through the details, it was no time we found my deer.

If you noticed earlier, I said she. Well, at the time, I did think it was a doe. However, it turned out to be a button buck. I killed my first deer with my bow. I didn’t plan for my first bow-buck to be a button buck. I had wanted it to be the nice buck I knew as Obsession. I had passed up several deer, does and smaller bucks, waiting on Obsession. However, things do not always go as planned.

As for Obsession, he continues to roam the woods, as far as know. My hopes are that he will make the mistake of stepping out one morning or evening before the season ends when I’m in the blind.

Obsession in velvet

Through all of this, I have learned a lot, and I do continue to learn. Plans change. Hunting requires more patience than I have when dealing with a young puppy, and it requires time. Some people get lucky with one sit, while for others it takes multiple sits and camera checks. You also have to take something quiet to do if you are like me. I cannot sit long without wanting to get up and move around.

One thing I have learned and still work on daily is you have to realize mistakes will be made.

After this hunt and killing my first deer with a bow, the passion for hunting grew for me that much more. The realizations and the obstacles that occurred with getting to that point of killing my first deer with a bow was worth it. The adrenaline and heart racing and making sure everything is right before letting go of the release is why I will continue to bowhunt. I have killed two bucks with a rifle, and hunting with a bow is much different. This button buck is only the beginning for me and my PSE bow. Hunting isn’t easy, and bowhunting isn’t any easier.

Quite frequently at the office, I’m told, “You ready to hunt with a rifle yet?”

My response, “I think I’m going to stick with my bow.”

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  1. headpig on December 20, 2018 at 1:20 pm


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