Deer hunter

I took my first buck, on my first hunt. It was an impressive 9 point – and I took it with a bow.

My wife’s uncle has about 180 acres of hunting and fishing land about an hour from where they live. We were out there from 6-10 AM Thursday (Thanksgiving day) and Friday, and from 1:30-5PM Friday and Saturday. I’ve only been in that family 14 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever been asked along on a hunt. So I bought a bow in September and boned up on every bit of archery knowledge I could get my hands on so as not to appear too much the neophyte. My hunting companions were to be seasoned hunters, some with trophy rooms full of antelope and bear skins. I practiced almost daily in my backyard shooting into the basement.

Thursday morning at 8:20 I found myself miserably cold in a 20′ high tree stand. I had been up since 4:30, had only black motel coffee in me, and had seen nothing more than a sunrise and the forest come alive with tiny not-in-season creatures for the past two hours. The buck wandered in alone, coming straight at me. I didn’t get a side shot until he was about 8-10 yards from the base. I grunted “meh” like they do on TV, to get him to stop. My first shot went a bit high – it was much closer than I had practiced, and at a steep angle…and who knows what my form was like at that point – and hit him in the spine. He dropped instantly, got up after a bit, but had trouble walking without his hind legs. He made it to about 40 yards away before I could get another clear shot, since he was in brush. I bullseyed that 40 yard shot, which was a lot farther than I realized, once I had a chance to pace it off later. He only went a little bit further after that. Lots of blood.

This was 2 hours in on the first of 3 days. So I had to pay my dues, be a good sport and freeze my butt off the next morning and two afternoons as well, hoping for a 10 point or better to show up. I had the best luck of the four of us (uncle- , stepdad- , and brother-in-law), with an in-range 6-point buck on Friday morning, and 2 does bedded down right in front of me for the better part of an hour on Friday afternoon. But they were off limits to me. I realize I was pretty lucky since nobody else even had a single deer come into range all weekend. (I should say worthy deer, as my BIL says he passed on a spike at 10 yds, on Saturday afternoon).

I did not have to field dress it, as I was told “the first one’s on the house”. But I did just finish cutting and freezing about 28 pounds of venison. Now to find some recipes.


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