Video: Blacktail Deer Hunting on Afognak Island, Pt. 3

A couple days after Thanksgiving, my belly still full of turkey, we were out after more deer with two new guests at the lodge, Zeev and Wayne. As if the hunting hadn't been good before, Luke assured me that I was about to have my mind blown. The snowstorm had just blown out, and the winds were calm enough that we could make it into some bays that are usually very productive. They are surrounded by steep mountains, so as soon as there's much snow, all of the deer are pushed down to within a hundred yards or so of the beach.

On the first day of hunting in there, we saw close to 100 deer, and Zeev took two beautiful bucks, while Wayne got one. I had some action as well, as you can see in the video, and my sloppy shooting was really driving me nuts. We came up on a nice fork horn buck that was feeding behind some logs, and I jumped off the boat to try and get a shot. He got wise and was making his way up off the beach when I stopped and flung an arrow at him. Luckily I missed cleanly, but I was left beating myself up. I knew I could shoot my bow, but I couldn't figure out what my problem was.

Luckily Zeev and Wayne picked up the slack for me. Zeev's second buck was simply a stroke of luck. We spotted a fox picking through some rocks for food and drifted in to shoot him. By the time we were in range, the fox was behind a rock, so I started wailing on the deer call to get him to come out and see what was going on. The fox ignored the call, but all of a sudden, a big 3x3 blacktail came trotting out onto the beach. There was a bit of a scramble, but Zeev made a great shot on him, after which we put the hammer down on the fox!

It was a fantastic day to be on the water with buddies, and the hunting wasn't bad either. Luke was definitely right, my mind was being blown--both by the awesomeness of this place, and my lousy shooting. I decided I'd get up early the next morning and shoot a few extra arrows to try and regain some confidence.