Written by Jason Swingen, Updated

My third year hunting whitetail deer in the Duluth City Bowhunt. Last year was my first ever deer taken with my bow. Hopefully I can make it happen again this year.

Opening morning was extremely foggy with scattered storms, so I opted out of the morning hunt with the plan of hitting the stand once it cleared up in the afternoon. I had never hunted the area before and hadn’t even seen a deer on my Stealthcam. I didn’t have extremely high hopes from the Stealthcam footage, but there were tracks and beds nearby so I new there were deer in the area. I pulled my SD card on my way back after not seeing any deer. Unfortunately I made the wrong decision in not hunting the morning. A doe walked by my stand around 8:30 a.m. and again at around 11:30 a.m. I was a couple hours too late.

The next day I went out in the morning hoping to see the doe, but again did not see a single deer all morning. I took a break mid-day and came back in the late afternoon. I got in my stand around 4:30 p.m. and within a few minutes I heard a branch break and some water splashing behind me in the creek right were I walk through to get to my stand.

I turned around and watched a nice 10 point buck standing 20 yards behind me. Exciting right!? Yes, except for the fact that the Duluth City Bowhunt has an earn-a-buck rule that means that you must harvest a doe before you can shoot a buck. So instead of grabbing my bow and hitting the trigger, I grab my phone and hit record.

He walked right past me at 15 yards then made a rub and bedded down only 30 yards from me. For an hour I watched this buck as if he knew that I wasn’t able to take a shot at him. I did gain a huge amount of confidence in my scent control. The wind was directly toward this bedded buck, but he didn’t seem spooked in the slightest.

Now that I knew there was a shooter buck in the area I decided to grab my climber and hit a different area to try and get my doe.

New Area

After seeing a nice buck this weekend I decided to move to a new area so I didn’t risk the chance of bumping him. Threw my climber on my back and walked into the woods. There was not much deer sign, but a few tracks in the mud have me a little motivation. I climbed up a birch tree on a side hill near intersecting trails.

15 minutes after sunset there was some rustling in the brush 30 yards away, then I saw movement through the tall grass. She slowly walked out right onto the trail I was on and looked right up at me. I had my binoculars in hand and froze when she looked up. A few seconds later she lowered her head. I grabbed my bow, drew back, and settled in my 10 yards pin.

I watched as my lighted nock flew through the air. I thought a may have shot a little high, but with such a steep angle I new the exit wound would be about perfect.

After waiting 30 minutes I climbed down and called my wife Morgan help track it. We looked at the arrow and I was a little worried there was not much blood, but I had payed close attention after the shot and thought I heard a crash not too far away.

We started looking for blood drops, and finally found our first drop 15 yards away. I was getting more worried about the lack of blood we were finding, but not long after we found her! Less than 60 yards from my stand.

Duluth City Hunt Doe