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King of the Woods Hunting Contest

Beasley Brothers 2007 Hunts are brought to you by:

  Don't Forget the Does!  

-- By Kevin Beasley --  

Shooting big bucks can sure be exciting, but don't overlook the great hunts on does too. In some areas of Ontario, shooting does is necessary to help the health of the herd, not to mention the great table fare.
    It all started last December when James Vanos invited the three of us to come to southwestern Ontario for a deer hunt. It ended up that Keith could not come, so Paul and I went. That hunt we were unable to connect on anything, but we saw more deer than we ever would have anticipated and for that reason we were hoping to get invited back next year. In the fall of 2007 we received the invite. We couldn't wait and this time the three of us were all able to fit it in.
    On Friday, November 30, we headed down to James' place so we could get a good night sleep before we did the deer drives on the Saturday. The first drive we saw a handful of deer but were unable to kill anything. The second drive came with a little different result. This drive was set up on the edge of a river with woods running along the river, the woods was only about 75 yards wide and it went straight up a hill to a field. It was a perfect pinch point. We had three guys that were going to slowly walk through the bush to push the deer and 5 sitters. We had two guys set up on the field at the top and three of us spread across the woods. I was the last man right along the river.
    About 20 minutes into the drive I looked up and saw three deer coming my way, about 75 yards away. They were coming right along the path that ran straight to me. I was standing behind a tree that was about three feet in diameter so that they would not be able to see me until they were right beside me. The lead deer was a doe and the two behind her were fawns. As I peaked out from the tree I saw that they were closing the distance. When they got to about 30 yards I used the tree to conceal my movement as I drew my Vectrix and waited until they came broadside to me. They worked all the way into 10 yards before giving me a broadside shot. At that point I let out a whistle and the doe stopped right in her tracks. I tried to get my pin on her, but just as I was getting it settled on her, she took two large jumps past me. I then turned my attention to the first fawn that was behind her, put my pin on its vitals and released. I could see my arrow go right through it. It then went 20 yards to my right and caught up to the doe and they just stood there not knowing what to do. After about 10 seconds the fawn fell over, startling the other two. They went straight up the hill and eventually made their way out to the field and came within 25 yards of Brad. He grunted and put them to a stop. He made a solid shot and the doe went about 80 yards and laid down just inside the woods and expired. That was two deer on a single drive with bows in our hands.

  Doing drives for does can produce surprising results. This doe and fawn were shot on the same drive and another one was missed.
(l-r) Back: Clayton Vanos, John Vanos, James Vanos, Bart Foster.
Front: Keith Beasley, Kevin Beasley, Brad Tweddle, Colton Tweddle.
Missing: Paul Beasley and Ed Arnold.
    This hunt was a great experience for us, because we had never done deer drives with our bows before we met these guys. It really was neat to go out with them and see how they did their deer drives because I was really shocked that these deer were so easy to stop. I always thought that driving deer was best for the gun hunt but they certainly showed us otherwise. The key was really with the pushers. They walked slowly enough that they weren't chasing the deer around, but really just bumping them enough to get them moving.
    This was a great opportunity for us and we thank these guys for allowing us to participate. The area has an abundance of does and hunts like these are a great way to further enjoy the outdoors while helping out the deer herd too.

  Another drive with the southwestern Ontario boys in late December produced a lot of deer sightings but only one shot fired. Late season drives like this one can be a lot of fun and a great way to fill the remaining tags while helping thin out some does in the process.  
    This fall I had been watching a lot of deer close to home and had many trail camera pictures of them, but the pictures seemed to be of all does and fawns. I had these deer close to me a lot of times, but was never able to ever get a shot at them, until on the morning of Dec. 12. On that morning I got up earlier than usual and went out to the area I had my camera set up. It was now just after daylight and I was able to see that there was two deer, a big doe and her fawn. They were out feeding under two apple trees. They were not getting any closer to me, so I decided that I would try to close the distance on them. I knew that I had a chance, because we had just received some snow the night before and it was light and fluffy. The fawn had worked her way to the edge of the woods and the doe was standing there watching her. I knew that the doe was soon to follow so I decided it was time. I ranged the doe at 45 yards and with her in a completely relaxed position, unaware of my presence, I felt confident in the shot. I had practiced up to 60 yards with my Hoyt Vectrix all season long and I was confident I could make the shot. I took a deep breath and drew my bow. The deer was slightly quartering away from me so I focused on her opposite leg and released my arrow. Just as my arrow hit the deer she was off like a shot straight into the woods. I decided to give her 25 minutes before going to check the spot of impact but I felt really good about the shot.
    When I finally got over to the spot where she stood I could not believe my eyes. There was blood everywhere. The G5 Tekans that I had been using sure did the job. She piled up less than 100 yards away and I was excited to harvest this big doe.

  This picture was taken while following the blood trail from Kevin's doe in mid-December. While the snow sure makes the blood stand out, there's no question that this blood trail was an easy one to follow. Kevin was using G5 Tekan II's on this hunt and they clearly did a great job.  

As you can see from this trail cam picture of Kevin's doe, she was a very mature animal. When trying to lower the doe population and the choice presents itself, it's best to target the oldest does in the group as they are typically the best breeders dropping 2-3 fawns each spring.