In the fall of 1983, I went bow hunting with my brother Rob in Land Between the Lakes’ (LBL) Area 8. We arrived just before daylight to get our homemade climbers set up. As it got light, I scanned the woods for any movement. I always like to play a game when bowhunting and this morning was no exception. I imagine that there is a deer within a hundred yards of me and it’s my job to find it! After playing that game for a while, I finally did see a couple of does. They were about sixty or seventy yards away, so since it was such a slow start and a couple of hours of not seeing very much, I decided to get down and do a little scouting. At the time, I didn’t know Area 8 very well, so I started following a dry creek next to the trail we had come in on to see where it went. I had been slowly walking, looking, and watching as I worked my way deeper into the woods. I decided to take a break and sat down on a root wad and put in a chew of tobacco (my only vice at the time). Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw a 10-point buck walking parallel to the creek about forty yards away. If he continued on his path, he would soon be in bow range, but he suddenly stopped and reversed his course and disappeared into the woods.
Since that was such a close encounter, I decided to move my stand to that spot after lunch with Rob. It wasn’t long after I got settled in before I saw a deer approaching; it was a 6-point buck. He came in behind me at 20 yards, so I couldn’t get turned good to get a shot. All I could do was watch him as he passed by me and continued walking for about 75 yards. Then he turned and came directly out in front of me at 20 yards. That allowed me to put my 20-yard pin on his heart, and I let that arrow fly! He jumped and ran off about 50 yards before he abruptly stopped and turned his head towards me. He just stood there, looking at me for about ten minutes before he laid down. That ten minutes seemed like hours, so the moment he laid down, I decided to sit down. As soon as I did, he jumped up and ran over the ridge, and out of sight.
I got down out of my stand and found my arrow before going to get Rob to help me find the deer. Rob and I returned to the scene of the crime, where I climbed up in the stand again and directed him to go to the point where I last saw the deer. As soon as Rob got to the crest of the ridge he saw the deer lying there. I quickly got down and met up with him, and I was thankful he helped find it and get it out of the woods before dark.
I had shot and killed a six-point buck with my Bear Whitetail Hunter bow at LBL, which was my very first bow-harvested deer. I was now officially a bowhunter. I am glad I got to share this hunt with my brother. It’s always better to share a hunt with someone. Who are you going to share your next hunt with?