New York’s Archery Opener

Opening weekend of the 2011 New York archery hunting season for whitetail deer was on October 15th and 16th.  Unfortunately, the weather was not good and the strong winds across southern NY shut down most of the daylight deer movement in the area I was hunting. It was the kind of day that makes shooting a bow even more challenging as the wind gusts moved the trees back and forth throughout the day.  From my tree stands, I only saw one doe on Saturday and three antlerless deer on Sunday morning. Fortunately, I hunt on private property so the deer are generally not disturbed by other hunters and at that point I could only hope the weather and deer movement would improve for the next weekend.

On Saturday morning October 22nd, I was back in one of my tree stands in NY and the weather was cooperating. Only a slight breeze started the day and there was an overcast sky. There was no activity until 8:00 am when I saw the first deer of the day approaching through brush at about 50 yards. I could see antlers at that point, but I couldn’t judge the size. The deer appeared to be headed on a course that would not present a shot when it suddenly turned and headed down a trail that passed within 12 yards of my tree stand.  As soon as the deer turned, I could see that it had at least 8 points and I drew back as it approached at a fast walk. The trail angled toward my stand so the deer was quartering slightly towards me when it came into the shooting lane. When the buck slowed its pace at 12 yards, I placed my sight pin behind the left shoulder just above the center of the rib cage and released the arrow tipped with the WASP SharpShooter broadhead. I heard the arrow hit the buck, but shooting at 12 yards really doesn’t present an opportunity to follow the fight of the arrow. The buck immediately bolted and ran about 30 yards stopping in some heavy brush. Within seconds, it turned to the right and ran a short distance. I couldn’t see the buck at that point due to the thick brush so I waited and listened. Within a minute, I heard what sounded like something falling on the forest floor, but I still couldn’t be sure that it was the buck.

I waited another 5 minutes and climbed down from my tree stand to search for my arrow and blood. I found my arrow covered with blood and sticking several inches into the ground.  It was clear that the arrow had passed completely through the body cavity, but the blood trail at that point was sparse. I decided to follow the trail for the first 30 yards and then make a decision based upon the blood signs as to whether or not to give the deer additional time to expire. At the end of the 30 yards, the decision was easy. I looked in the last direction the deer ran and there the buck was lying dead about 20 yards away. 

As I approached the buck, it was the first time that I realized it was a 10 point. After I had made the decision to shoot, I didn’t focus on the antlers again and concentrated on the shot placement. The arrow struck the left rib cage behind the shoulder and angled back and down (remember it was quartering slightly towards me). The exit hole was low in the right rib cage and about six inches further back than the entry hole. As a result, the WASP SharpShooter broadhead had cut its way through the left rib cage hitting both lungs and the bottom of the liver. The broadhead then cut through the right rib cage burying several inches into the ground after completely passing through the deer.

That’s two animal kills (see my prior article on the WY elk hunt) in the last 30 days involving great penetration using the WASP SharpShooter broadhead. In both cases, the animals only traveled a short distance before dying. Thanks once again to WASP for making this accurate and effective broadhead!—Bob Shenk, WASP Pro Staffer