Deer win the battle this year, but there is always next year

If you have a chance, come out and watch some of the Leflore County Tournament this weekend. It is a good chance to watch our area youth battling it out on the hardwood. Wister’s boys are in the semifinals for the first time since 1994 (at least that is when Jerry Carpenter and I decided). That is the year when some of my junior high players’ dads were playing.Good luck boys!— — —Deer archery season ended just about like it started for me this year. Saturday morning, I headed out with Russell Broussard and Dan Carter for an all-day hunt hoping to end the 2011-12 season in a good way. Saturday morning was uneventful, with none of us seeing even a single deer. So, we had lunch and got a game plan for the evening.Russell had some prior commitments and had to leave, so Dan and I headed into a stand where Russell was seeing some good evening activity. I sat in a tree stand, and Dan got set up on the ground a couple hundred yards away — and hoped for some deer movement.At about 5:30 p.m., I decided to stand up in my stand and be ready, just in case deer did show up. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later here came a big doe right down the trail just like she was supposed to.I had a spot picked out which would give me a 20-yard broadside shot, and the doe cooperated heading right to the spot. I had my bow drawn when she hit the spot, and I stopped her with a soft “maac.” Now, what happened next is still etched into my brain, and will be until next bow season.I settled my 20-yard pin on the doe and squeezed the release, only to watch the arrow sail only an inch or two over her back. She hopped out of range and looked around trying to figure out what had just happened.I have my bow sighted in where I can hit a deer target in the vitals 10 out of 10 times, but I have missed four deer this year by shooting over their backs. I attribute this to two factors. One, I shoot at my deer target from the ground (which I will fix next year as I get ready to hunt). Second, the amazing ducking reaction time of a deer, both of which could cause high misses.I have talked to several experienced bow hunters who tackle these obstacles in different ways. One hunter actually sights his bow a few inches low at 20 yards to compensate for this, and the other simply aims at the bottom of the deer when he shoots. I am not sure which tactic I will employ next year, but you can bet I will take steps to fix the problem.Now that bow season is over, I plan on doing some predator hunting and rabbit hunting. My old buddy, Lee Shipman, has invited my boys and me on rabbit hunt this weekend, and I think we are going to take him up on the offer.Have a great week!— — —Email questions or comments to