Life at Full Draw
Hello Readers! So thankful that you took time out of your day to join me on this wonderful Thursday! I was debating over my morning brew what I should discuss today, and it came to me so easy because of the sudden weather change earlier this week. I have to admit that Sunday morning was wonderful. I walked out onto my porch and enjoyed my buck deer coffee cup full of Folgers while watching squirrels and birds all over the yard. The squirrels were after persimmons on our two large trees. There were also twin fawns with their mother eating the persimmons that the squirrels were dropping or knocking loose. The cool morning temperature made me wish that I were 20 feet up a big pine tree with my bow waiting for a nice buck. I would even settle for a big sow hog since it was so cool! I am so ready for next Saturday that I can’t stand it. Opening day of archery season is upon us brothers and sisters! Can I get an amen? Sept. 26. It is circled on my calendar and highlighted.
Fall is my favorite time of year! Teal season, archery season, gun season and duck season. I also have my birthday in late October. A lot takes place that I enjoy in the fall. I’m not a pumpkin spice latté type of person. I love my coffee don’t get me wrong! Just don’t make my coffee into an autumn-flavored calorie-filled disaster. I don’t fill my house with pumpkin-scented potpourri or wax melts. When I hear the word fall, I think of leaves, hunting, camo, deer stands, blinds, grunt calls, doe estrous, duck calls and frosty cool mornings. I’ve got to stop talking about it. My trigger finger is getting jumpy.
I wanted to talk about that first bow kill today. The biggest adrenaline rush any archer will ever experience. I know it was for me. The story behind it gets my heart racing.
I became interested in bow hunting back in Fall 2007. I was a freshman in college. My dad had one, and I tried to draw it. Drew it fine but my draw length was about a half-inch shorter than his. I am long armed. I realized that I wanted my birthday and Christmas gift to consist of just one thing. I wanted a bow hunting set-up. Of course, that consists of arrows, bow, sights, arrow rest, quiver, nocks, broadheads, practice points, release and a target. I settled on a Hoyt Trykon and vowed to practice a bunch and not take it hunting until the next deer season.
A year’s worth of waiting was torture but I wanted to be good and not rush it.
Fast-forward a year and it’s Oct. 1, 2008. I’m a sophomore at Southern Arkansas University. I am in my Developmental Psychology class. My last class of the day and it lets out at 1:50pm. Just enough time to drive from Magnolia to New London and be on my stand by 3 p.m., as long as I didn’t meet traffic or a state trooper. I got home and changed into my camo. I parked my four-wheeler in my hiding spot and walked to my stand. I climbed up and tethered myself with my safety harness. I got comfortable on the tiny seat and nocked an arrow. And now to wait.
It will be my first time to hunt with my bow. I was nervous, scared and was having a bad case of the what-ifs. I figured it would be an hour or two before I saw a deer since it was 73 degrees and sunny. Boy, was I wrong. I looked out over the overgrown clearcut after being there just 20 minutes and my heart stopped. Coming through the tall grasses was a rack. And it was a dandy! I was on the adrenaline rush that would kill most people. He walked into the timber and investigated every bush and leaf. I was praying for 25 yards broadside at an opening he was walking towards. As his head was behind a tree I went full draw, waiting on him to step out from behind it. Five seconds seemed like 20 minutes. There he was in all of his glory. Beautiful eight point. I looked through my peep sight. Orange pin is 20 yds. I aimed a couple of inches above where I should. Thwack! He falls and stumbles. Perfect hit! He spins around and I watch him run to the clearcut. He runs maybe 40 yards and I hear him crash. I see bushes shake when he falls. I know where he is.
I am shaking so bad that I am afraid I will fall out of the tree so I sit down. I am breathing so fast and so excited I can’t contain myself. I calm down for about 10 minutes and climb down. I follow the trail. It was so easy to follow with the perfect shot. I find him with the arrow 5 feet from him. The last 4 inches of it along with my broadhead are missing. Make a note to be extra careful at the skinning rack! Razor blades on a stick are still in his lung. I drop to my knees to check him out. I tear up and thank the Good Lord for this meat, and I thank the buck. I am so full of adrenaline that I load him with no help. I am jacked up! We get him skinned and quartered. I take the horns to Simmons’ Sporting Goods for the Big Buck Contest. He scores 97 inches Pope and Young. I stayed in first place in the ladies archery category for 7 weeks until people started bringing in farm deer from Mississippi. I was so proud of that deer. Today, his horns hang on a board above my recliner with the arrow sitting in them. The broken arrow sits in his horns with Gorilla tape keeping the two pieces together.
Archery is a true test of a hunter’s skills. It is very addictive. I promise if you decide to get into bow hunting, you will never want to pick up another firearm. Hello, my name is Katie … and I am a bow hunter.
Just a reminder that there are two gun and knife shows this weekend that take place Saturday and Sunday. We have one in town at the American Legion on Smackover Highway. The one they had back in early summer was great! Mr. Jerry and his guys did a great job! There is also one in Ruston at the Civic Center. They are supposed to have guns, knives, antique firearms and coins. Go check them both out! Have a great weekend everyone and God Bless. Please send your first bow kill pictures to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will include them in our outdoor pages!