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Saplings, they just jump right up out of nowhere. We all know, weve all been cheated once, twice or if you are like me, many times by the little stick. We wont talk about the 3D shoots where my old friend Allan, right before I shoot says, now dont you hit that sapling. I laugh as the sapling is about 2 feet away from the target, Fwap! Yup, hit the sapling.

My first struggle with a sapling happened many years ago during my first venture to Paradise with Leon. It was a cold Saturday morning and I headed down the road off to a spot I had scouted Friday afternoon.

I had worked my way up and around the left side of the pines, walking up and down these little moguls through the lines of straight pines. Late morning, I was hungry and was kind of diddy bopping when I walked over a mogul right into the middle of five startled hogs. I mean I was right in the middle of them, about 6 feet away from all of them. I had a nocked arrow and quick thinking, picked out the big black boar. He was standing there chomping his jawls looking straight at me. I drew and released, fwap! I then realized my arrow had penetrated a nice one inch sapling. Needless to say the hogs at that point, were history.

Then there was the time I was hunting deer in a fern covered area at Pine Log. I caught a glimpse of movement about 50 yards off. As I snuck up, I noticed a doe and a nice 4 point buck simply feeding and walking away from me. Wind was right, so I got down and started to do a belly crawl to get close. I set up behind a nice size bush with the wind in my face while the deer slowly moved from my right to my left. I started to relax and calm down, nocked an arrow and if my estimate was correct, Id be skinning a 4 point buck in about 20 minutes. The buck slowly walked into my shooting lane, he took a step, looked away, I drew and released. No fwap just a clank, clank, clank. I neglected to see a very small sapling right directly in the path of my well placed arrow. The broadhead sliced halfway through a sampling, shot straight up and hit a few limbs about 15 feet in the air. Needless to say the deer at that point, were history.

Later that same season, I decided to venture down to the power lines at Pine Log for a little walk in the woods. The leaves were making way too much noise so I opted to slowly ease into the stream that ran through the thickets. I have done this a few time with success. The water was not cold and my boots kept traction just fine. The stream was only about 3 feet wide and about 4 feet deep with close to 1 foot of water running through it. Perfect.

I slowly eased up the stream and there they were. To the right working towards me about 20 yards away was a young spike with a good size doe. I let the young spike walk past me and set my eyes on the doe. I nocked an arrow while the doe walked past me then did a 180 and started to walk back where she had just come from. Perfect, I could not have asked for a better shot. She was standing 20 yards away, broadside. I drew, aimed, and released. Fwap! It was a perfect shot. Her left leg was forward and the dark area right behind her shoulder had an arrow sticking right out of it. Funny, she was just standing there. She should be running, I could see the arrow had hit its mark. The doe at that point took a step forward and I noticed as she moved, my well placed arrow stayed right were I shot it. The dark spot behind her shoulder, yup, SAPLING!

I quickly nocked another arrow as I had a chance for a second shot. Again, I had another open broadside shot. By now you are probably thinking one of two things; either I am the luckiest hunter in town, or, where is that young buck? I will tell you where that young buck was, he was about 15 feet behind me. He snorted so loud that I jumped, he jumped, the doe jumped. Needless to say the deer at that point, were history.

So, I can honestly tell you that if there is a sapling between me and the critter Im hunting, Im going to hit it.

FVR published TBG

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