Finny's 2013 Small Acre Success

By: Finbar Murphy aka Finny


My 2013 archery season here in Maryland was just getting started, though I already had a few does on the ground I was eager to pay a visit to the taxidermist. If I was going to kill a buck this year I had a very good idea which property I would be on when I killed it. Unlike the previous years I didn't even set foot on this little 5 acre slice of heaven unless I was refreshing a Monster Raxx mineral site or checking trail cameras.


I knew from a year of previous experience that this property was primarily a doe bedding area and during the rut it seemed like bucks would come from every corner of the county to check these ladies out.

Finny with his 2013 small acre success trophy!

The property itself is about 4 1/2 acres hayfield and 1/2 acre woods with an island of small trees and a barn in the middle of the hayfield. My plan to hunt this property in 2013 was simple, just wait until I have a trail cam picture of a shooter on one of my two trail cameras. My cameras were placed on field edges near the barn and house so I knew these bucks would only expose themselves like this for one reason!!


A card pull before work on October 23 yielded the kind of picture I had been waiting for!!


After seeing this picture I immediately checked the wind for the 24th and sure enough it was the perfect northwest wind I needed to sneak into that island! The rest of the day at work was torture, I just wanted to go home and try to sleep so I could wake up at 0400 and make my 20min drive and climb up!!!

The minute my alarm went off on the 24th I was up and in the shower in less then twenty seconds, I could not wait. If you bow hunt you know that this is a magical time of the year. I was out door and on the road by 0430, by 0530 I was sitting in my Lone Wolf Assault with my Mathews Chill hanging to my right. It didn't take long before I had deer around me I could not make out what sex they were in the darkness, but quite a few had walked right underneath my stand. As darkness turned into day light I could see deer coming in from my right hand side, but none of them were the bucks that had kept me up all night. As I was watching the doe group to my right about 70 yards away I heard a crack behind me, directly behind me before I could turn
to see what it was he was standing right in front of me. It was a little basket rack eight point that looked as if he had just got in one hell of a fight. Not long after that I hear another SNAP this time its moving slower and following the same path as the last buck right under my stand! I slowly turned my head to the 3 o’clock position saw his rack and slowly turned it back and tried to calm my nerves. By this time I had the basket eight and five does all inside 40 yards all completely unaware I was there.


At this point seconds seemed like hours the buck was standing there in the island behind me maybe five yards from the base of my tree I had my arm extended holding my bow on the hanger frozen in position. The buck slowly made his way out into the hay field he stopped and worked over a mock scrape I had made a few weeks earlier, while he did this I was able to get my bow off the hanger.


After tending the scrape he started to make his way up to the top of hay field towards the does at this point I was able to come to full draw. I let him get to a clump of grass that I had pre ranged at 20 yards and let out a bleat and he stopped dead in his tracks whipped his head around and looked right up at me, but it was too late. He was quartering away when I took the shot. The arrow slipped in behind his left shoulder, went through both lungs, and lodged in right shoulder blade. I am sure it broke his opposite shoulder as he fell right after being hit by the arrow, but was able to get back up and make a run for it.


At this point I was shaking I could not believe what had just happen, it was 0714 and I was sending BBD texts and though I had just shot that buck I was still covered in deer!

After climbing down and finding hair at the point of impact I began tracking slowly. I quickly became nervous because I did not have a lot of blood, I attributed this to not having a pass through. The blood would be pins and needles one second and gashing out ten yards later so naturally I slowed down even more.


40 yards in I found my arrow I had gotten about 14” penetration and it appeared to have little bubbles it!

This of course is a great sign because it reaffirmed that the Killzone did indeed go through some lung. After another 15-20 yards and all kinds of circles and going back and fourth I had lost blood.


At this point I just walked to were I thought the deer may have died and sure enough there he laid. Walking up on a dead buck like this is possibly the best feeling in the world to a bow hunter. All the off season preparation, scouting, mineral sites, trail cams...led to this moment.




In conclusion, every small parcel needs to hunted differently some may offer great early season hunting with great food sources, some may be nothing more then a doe bedding area that attract bucks during the rut, and some maybe a spot deer go to escape other hunters.


In the end it all comes down to knowing the property and how, why and when the deer use it.


-Finbar Murphy




Yet another example of an awesome hunter capitalizing on a small acre property...have your own success story? Interested in sharing it with other hunters...always looking for more stories showcasing the fact small acres can be rewarding!


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As always God Bless and good luck out there!


-Ty Miller

Small Acre Hunting




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