During this past summer I practiced shooting my bow a lot. Mom and dad had bought me a new Hoyt Ruckus. Dad had me practice shooting a Delta McKenzie target from the ground. Then, we started practicing climbing a tree using our Ameristep Rapid Rails. Once I got comfortable climbing and locking myself into my Hunter Safety System we started practicing from the tree stand. We would go to the backyard a few times a week, climb the tree and practicing shooting from the stand. The coolest part was shooting at the Real World Buck. It was cool because after I shot dad would explain where my arrow would go in and come out when the deer was at different angles. After I’d shoot I’d learn if my shot would have killed the deer. It was a great way to learn.
It was opening bow season weekend in Wisconsin. My dad and I packed up and headed out to the Crazy Oak, as my family had named it. We had some buckwheat planted in the spot so we were hopeful. We got settled in the tree and dad took a picture of me with his phone. Just as he was about to post it to Facebook a doe appeared on the field about 30 yards away. I whispered, “Dad, doe….doe!” Dad said, “Get your bow ready!” The doe ran back into the woods. We thought maybe it was trying to catch our wind but it came back out from the same spot a second time. It ran back in again and came back out a minute or two later. When she’d do this it made me nervous. That last time she came out she continued out to the field in front of us. She stopped and stood broadside about 15 yards away but she looked nervous so I waited to take a shot. Just then some cranes flew over making a lot of noise. This did scare her, she turned and trotted a few yards. My heart was pounding out of my chest. The doe was offering me a quartering-away shot at about 15 yards. The doe stood there awhile and I confirmed with dad that I should shoot her quartering-away. I pulled back my Hoyt and laid my Hellrazor right where it needed to go. She took off running back into the woods. I turned to dad and asked, “Did I kill her?” Dad said that I did.
Shooting my first whitetail made me feel like a million bucks. We called mom and Grandpa Ray to come and help us find her. They arrived a few minutes later. Dad and I carefully climbed down and shared the story with mom and Grandpa.
After gathering lights we were on the trail. My Grandpa Ray took the lead and first found my arrow bloody and broken off. After a few more yards we had found her. She’d only made it 60 yards or so. I was so glad I could experience my first bow hunt and harvest with my dad, Grandpa Ray and mom.
I dedicated this hunt to my dog Nellie who was with our family for 14 years, longer than I have been around. We had just lost her that Tuesday. I miss her a lot but know she is shining down.
I’m hooked on the hunting lifestyle. Nothing is better than being in the outdoors.