Bow Season: Impatience

This is the sixth part of a 12 part series covering my time spent with a Kansas Whitetail outfitter during his entire bow season.

The hardest part of bowhunting is waiting. We wait for the season, we wait for the shot, and if a shot is taken, the bowhunter waits to begin the search for the targeted deer. However, some hunters don’t wait and that is the single largest mistake I have witnessed. Over the years I have watched my outfitter friend deal with multiple impatient clients who push or bump their deer prematurely. 

In fact, this outfitter has it in his contract that when a deer is shot with an arrow, the hunter is to remain in the stand until the outfitter or one of his guides can make it to the scene. It seems simple enough, but it was shocking to see the blatant disregard for this rule by a couple of hunters that just could not wait.

In one case, the overly-eager hunter ruined his chances at recovering a wounded deer by pushing him only minutes after a poor hit. The deer jumped up from its bed and ran onto the neighbor’s property. The neighbor refused permission for a follow up. The hunt was over.

On another occasion, a hunter who just happened to brag about his various hunting skill sets continuously to everyone in and out of ear shot, got buck fever and made a poor shot. In his zeal to prove his superior hunting and recovering skills, he jumped his deer and it crossed too many other properties to even guess where it ended up. It probably died at least a mile from where it was shot. All the hunter had to do was sit, wait and accept the input from a guide (who is more often than not a voice of reason). Mr. Hunter of the Year blew his hunt and literally chased a 150-inch deer into the next county.

The worst violation of the outfitter’s rules that I have witnessed was watching a middle-aged man repeatedly get down out of his stand and walk around, take naps, and defecate only feet from his tree stand. The outfitter had shown me a view spot over 800 yards away on a hilltop where I could spy on this stand and see actual hunting in action. However, the only action I saw was from a poser who claimed he was an all-day hunter. He was not.