Disclaimer: It's not a huge deer I know, but I've never successfully used a call before, so this is exciting for me.
The day started early, 0345 (3:45 AM for the folks who aren't prior military) to be exact. I started by cutting back strap from one of last years deer, along with celery, carrots, etc. I was making stew for dinner after a long day of hunting, which wasn't as long as I thought it would be. So I meet up with my friend Pat and his wife Haley at their house to ride out to the property together, and we meet Pats dad, Mike, out there. (don't worry there is a lot of land we aren't close at all) After a few greetings while getting ready I was the first to head to my stand, shortly after everyone else walks by me, as my stand was closest to the truck. So we all waited for the sun to come up and shooting hours to start.
As the sun came up, there was an unusually low amount of shots fired for opening day of rifle season (typically it sounds like World War III). As I send a text to Pat saying its going to be a slow day according to the low amount of shots fired, they started to ring out. After a few minutes I saw tree limbs move in the tree line about 150 yards out, and birds flew out of the tree, so of course I get excited. I keep watching the tree line waiting for a monster to pop out. Then I heard a shot ring out from where Pat and Haley were sitting. Then another one. A text from Pat revealed that my "monster" (which ended up being a fat doe) had popped out across the field from Pat and Haley's stand, and Haley had taken a 200 yard shot and missed, so Pat took her with the second shot I heard. Luckily for them she ran literally right under their stand before dying so they didn't have to go out to pick her up, and could keep hunting without getting out of the stand.
About an hour goes by, and I think to myself about the day prior when I pulled on an 8 point with my bow, and spooked him. I figured I wouldn't see anything because of that, and right after that thought goes through my mind, I heard something behind me.
Little back story, I left my orange vest at home, and didn't have time to go back and get it. But Mike, Pat's Dad, lived close to where we hunt and said he had a sweatshirt I could borrow which was orange. Little did I know Pats dad uses extremely scented laundry detergent. So I smelled great, and there was no way a deer wouldn't scent me.
So back to this deer point coming up behind me. He's an 8 point like the one I saw yesterday. I think it's the same deer, how stupid of him to come back out after almost being killed the day before. So I'm facing west in my stand and have wind coming from the east. So that helps a little, and luckily I put ever calm on my boots about 50 yards out from my stand so thats a plus too. So I look back and see this 8 point walking though the woods, and think to myself, "he's not huge, but I am out of deer from last year, so I'm taking him." But right as I thought that he turns around and starts walking away, but he didn't act like he smelled me or anything, so I was like, "oh no, not today buddy get back here." (in my head obviously) So I grab my MAD R.I.P. Growl and I blow 2 shorts and a long at him, thinking, "I've never used a call successfully, this will never work." Well sure enough, he came to a complete stop and looked back at the field where my stand was facing, walked right out of the woods and got on my ever calm trail, and followed it for a second, and walked 10 yards in front of my stand.
Now by this time I'm frozen in amazement that my call actually worked, after never successfully using one. So I take my shot, "Boom," right in the shoulder! He runs into the middle of the field about 200 yards out, and starts limping and acting like he's about to drop, then acts normal. So I Draw my rifle up again because I don't want this deer to suffer, and, "boom." right in the shoulder again and he takes off into the woods.
After searching for a while I look at the pond and there he was right next to the bank of a pond in the middle of the woods. Luckily I had my tall boots on, so I was able to get him without getting my feet all wet. He ended up not being the same 8 point from the day prior, I figured deer were smarter than that. I also noticed that since I was so excited about my call working my first shot was just low of the chest cavity, and only hit him in the top of his leg. the second shot was a clean shot around 200 yards (go me). He ended up field dressing around 185lbs, and I spent the rest of the day processing him, and part of the next making grind, and summer sausage, which I hope turns out awesome, I've never tried it before. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
Now I know there are a lot of folks out there, that can use calls like its nothing, but I've only been hunting a few years, so I still have a lot to learn about it. But I think the MAD R.I.P. Growl really helped me out. It's so easy to use, even beginners like me don't have problems.