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Talk about a cool and challenging hunt. I went into this hunt thinking it would be a cakewalk. It wasn’t even close. There were three parts I was really excited about, flying in, hunting whitetail in a channelized area, and going to my favorite NFL Team’s game. Reaper 02 (Doug Datish) is from the town we were hunting in and around. His connections with people really made it possible to pull this one off. We hunted all over his old stomping grounds.
We had Three days to get a whitetail for a Pittsburgh Steeler tailgate party. We also brought in wild meat from our previous hunts; bear, hog and elk. As always you have to plan a hunt and know the properties you are hunting. We new in order to pull this off legally, we would have to use bows. Well, that is no problem. Hunting with a bow is one of my favorite hunts. Then we had the insertion issue. Anyone can just drive in, but we were able to fly into a private airport. We did have a vehicle staged to get us around to the urban locations.
The planes we used were small piper cubs. The pilots volunteered their time, fuel and plane. Remember, if you ever plan to fly into a hunt, save your pennies. You might be surprised how much it cost to fly in. I want to thank both pilots, Bill and John. They even let Doug and I grab the stick in the back and fly the planes. We really had to watch how much gear we brought for the hunt. If you ever fly in on a hunt, make sure you find out how much weight, including yourselves you can take in a small plane. One good aspect was that we were able to do an aerial recon on some of the areas we were going to hunt.
Our first day in was on a 6 acre lot behind a Toyota dealership. We did scout it out and found a lot of good deer sign. Now we were not going for a monster buck, we were going after meat, lone doe or mature buck. A trophy to us isn’t always a monster buck, I know a lot of people including the reaper team who think any deer is a trophy. We made a natural ground blind and sat during the morning with no deer showing up to be food. However we did find a couple urban findings.
When we hunt in the wild woods, we usually don’t find trash. We found a lot of trash and it makes you wonder why people can not take out what they take in. I live by the rule of bring out what I bring in. I want all of Reaper Nation to think about this when they are in the woods. If you were able to bring it in, you are able to bring it back out. We did find a good thing that came out of it, a trash birds nest. That’s right, a birds nest made of plastic and it was the hardest and most secure nest that I’ve ever seen. That was kick ass on the bird’s part. Now we did find something else in the woods that really make you wonder what to do.
The craziest thing I have ever found in the woods happened on this trip. We found marijuana plants. They were as tall as Doug and myself, we are 6’4”. What do you do when you come across Marijuana plants? I’ll tell you what we did. We didn’t touch a thing, you never know who planted it and how hard they will protect it. Since we aren’t the cops, we told the landowner and didn’t return to hunt the property. Leave it up to the property owner.
Our hunt was not going as planned. We were not seeing any deer. We found a lot of sign, but nothing was walking in to our setups. So, we got very aggressive. When I feel the pressure is on, I like to get more aggressive. We were finding sign and sitting for a while and then moving. This worked out like a charm. As we walked around a cornfield in town, yes, I said it, a cornfield in the middle of town, we came across a ton of sign. The landowner, Ron, said we could hunt there because the deer were crushing his crop. So, we stalked around the outer edge and wouldn’t you know it, we came across a lone doe hitting it hard. The wind was right, and we were walking very slow, stopping and watching. Every time we stopped, we would do it in cover of the wood line. We didn’t walk too far. I look at it like this, when you take your time and stop, look and listen, you walk like an animal.
The doe didn’t know what hit her. As I drew back, I focused on the kill spot. Even with my heart racing, I controlled my breathing and focused. When the arrow flew, I didn’t think that deer would go very far at all. We waited for about 30 minutes and then walked to the arrow. We found the arrow very quick, that’s the nice thing about Lumenok. The arrow had good blood and off we went. The deer was about 100 yards out. Here is the biggest tip of all. When we looked at the footage later, we noticed the arrow clipped a cornstalk. I didn’t even notice it when I took the shot. Lesson learned, it could have deflected the arrow to make a bad shot and we might not have recovered the deer. Remember; clear your lane before shooting.
Now, we completed our mission and it was time to deliver the deer to the chef. We were lucky to not get arrested. We showed up at our buddy’s house in the back yard wearing Multi-cam and dragging a dead deer. Our very good friend Tod Wentz owns a restaurant in Philadelphia called Townsend. He was recently named as the Top Chef in Philadelphia and his restaurant was voted in at #6, not bad for 6 months of operation. As soon as we butchered the deer, he was making the most amazing dishes for the tailgate party the next day. He had the bear, hog and elk already going. We all toasted the bounty and the real work began.
The Tailgate party was a major hit. We had so many people that enjoyed the food that we turned some folks around on wild meat. In fact, I still get emails about the food. This day turned out to be a day to remember. We were surrounded by good friends, new friends and watched a killer Steeler game. The Doctor family provided the tickets and drivers so we could all enjoy the event. I want to give a shout out to them and Tod for hosting a great time.
In conclusion, Urban hunting has become more popular and a very successful hunt. A lot of big trophies are taken across American cities because no one has hunted them. You also have to take out the doe. The population of deer in urban areas has sky rocketed. Doug (Reaper 02) did a great job of lining up the talent on this one. This hunt wasn’t just the Reaper Outdoors team in the field alone, it was a community that supported this hunt. Hunting is more than killing, its about a community and a way of life. As long as hunters are representing and getting in the woods, we will all enjoy our favorite grocery store. Now go Urban hunting and let us know what you think.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Sign up and become part of Reaper Nation. If you have any questions, comments or just want to chat, you can contact me through reaperoutdoors.com.