Success : Encounters : Hayfield Hunter

By Dave Stueve

Last Sunday was the last day of the ML season in Iowa.
Larry, his son Chris (who was hunting with his bow) and I went to our favorite hunting ground in NE Iowa.
Larry and Chris took stands we have in a woods behind the farmstead while I went to a stand on the far end of the farm overlooking a cut hayfield on one side and a creek bottom on the other. I got to my my stand at about 6:30, legal shooting time was about 7:00. 

Here is the view to the hayfield that I took the week before.

Here is the view to the creek bottom, also from the week before.

I saw nothing until about 9am when I noticed 2 deer on the picked bean field on the other side of the hayfield. I ranged them and the closer one was 138 yards. Yes, a little far for a bow shot but remember, I have my CVA Optima Pro and it is sighted in an inch high at 100 yards. I put the crosshairs on the deer, holding a little high and pull the trigger, BOOM, the deer just kind of looks around. I missed. The deer continue to feed. While I am reloading I am thinking, well this isn't working. I decide that thanks to the hill in the middle of the field I can get closer without the deer being able to see me. I climb down and walk into the hayfield. As I near the top of the little hill in the field I begin to walk all hunched over, closer to the top I end up belly crawling. I get the to crest of the hill and take a peek. Where'd they go? Darn, they must have seen me get down or heard me coming? I get up on my knees for a better look. Nope, there's one of them. I pull the gun up and drop that one.
Now we are getting to the Camo part of the story.
The other deer, at the sound of the shot, hops into the opening that is a tractor driveway between the hay and bean fields. The deer is about 40 yards away from me, looking at me and I am in the middle of a cut hayfield, holding an empty gun with about as much cover as I would have in the middle of my yard at home. I think, well, at least I got one of them. In spite of the fact that I think there is no way in hell I'm going to be able to pull this off I slowly begin to reload. Now for those of you familiar with ML guns, it takes time and a lot of movement to reload. The deer is looking right at me, or should I say "through" me. Bobbing his head from side to side, moving back and forth a few steps, trying to get a different angle on what this thing in the field is. I get a powder vile out of my pocket and pour it down the barrel and get a Power belt in the end of the barrel. The deer is still there, looking. Now I have to get the ramrod out of the gun and ram the load home. I am sure to get busted now! Nope, I pull the ramrod out of the gun, lots of movement, turn it around, unscrew the extension in the rod and push the load home. The deer is still trying to figure out what I am.

I lower the gun down towards the ground and get a primer in place. The deer is still there. No snorting, stomping or any other telltale sign that they see you.
I slowly raise the gun to my shoulder, put the crosshairs on the deer and BOOM. Dead deer, 2 dead deer.
I could not believe I pulled it off!
Now keep in mind, these were not adult, Pope and Young deer. They were both young tasty ones and maybe I couldn't have gotten away with what I did with wise old deer?
Maybe the 2nd deer was just one of those "dumb" deer that wouldn't have run off if I was wearing a pink bunny suit for camo? At this point that would all be speculation.
The fact is, I was able to get within 40 yards (bow range) of a deer, in a cut hayfield with 0 cover for 50 yards in any direction, the deer on alert (remember his sister laying there dead not 30 feet away from him) reload a ML rifle, that takes several minutes and shoot him while I was dressed head to toe in Enigma camo. I am a believer!

Here they are, I know, they are not big deer but they sure will be tasty and it made my season and put venison in my freezer to enjoy.

Here's me from the weekend before in my Enigma™ camo

I talked to Chuck on Monday and told him I need some insulated Enigma™ for later in the season. I have been wearing my other camo and ScentLok camo as layers under the Enigma™ but when it gets cold as it does for later in the season I need some more insulation. He is also working on 3D Enigma™ that should be even better. I want more! A man can never have too much camo!

Dave Stueve
Double Lung Archery Inc. owner
Hwy 218
Laporte City. IA 50651
319-504-9294 cell