My First Archery Season

The first few days of Pennsylvania's 2014 archery season were rainy, chilly, uneventful ones.  However, by the middle of October, the weather had turned unseasonably warm with temperatures reaching into the seventies.


On Monday we got back into the blind and were set up for only a short while when I noticed something moving through the woods directly in front of us.  I focused on that spot for a while only to have a deer move out into the open below the area where I'd spotted the movement.


I got my TenPoint Stealth up and ready.  Three doe quickly moved into shooting range, but I already had my eyes on the largest one.  As soon as she came broadside, I pulled the trigger.  All I saw was the Lumenok hit her behind the shoulder, and then it was on the ground behind her.  She wheeled and darted off.


I let out a sigh of relief and then got that “I'm gonna faint” feeling.  I knew I had hit her good.  After a thirty minute wait, we began tracking her.  It was the best feeling when I saw that white belly on the ground.  Field dressing it was a precise process, but skinning it was my job.  I had helped my dad for years, but this was the first time I did the whole deer myself.


We took a couple of days off, but then went right back at it.  Thursday was a dud, but Friday I was back in a blind again.  It was a slow night; nothing really happened until a doe appeared at the edge of the blind window.  I pulled the TenPoint up and got ready yet again.


When I saw that brown behind the shoulder, I pulled the trigger.  That “I'm gonna faint” feeling returned, and I found myself trying to calm down.  When I found that arrow covered with blood, I was relieved once more.  The doe wasn't too far off.  She had gone less than one hundred yards and piled up in the middle of a soybean field.


The hard work began again.  This night, though, being cooler than Monday, we didn't have to worry about the deer getting too warm.  So we didn't have to quarter her up and put her in the freezer right away.  I finished this deer all by myself again with a few pointers and tips from my dad.  That Sunday for breakfast my dad made deer chops, my favorite.


I hunted for days after that, not having much luck.  Then on the snowy evening of November 13th, my dad and I settled into a treestand overlooking a beaver swamp.  The entire area is nearly impenetrable with dangerous water levels in places.


My dad rattled quietly once, in case anything was nearby.  We waited a few minutes. Nothing! He rattled again, a bit louder this time.  Instantly movement caught my eye in front of us. Out of a small  group of pines came a deer.


A closer look revealed it was a BUCK: a five point with three on one side and two on the other!  That was decent enough for me.  It didn't take him long to make his way towards us.  The only problem was, he wasn't stopping.  I wanted to end him right where he was, but knowing my dad probably wouldn't enjoy the drag across the deep creek, I calmed my urge to pull the trigger.  Once the buck got across the creek and over the bank, I stopped him broadside at about 30 yards and pulled the Tenpoint's trigger.  Done!


Since this was my first archery buck, I had the skull dipped in Muddy Girl pink camo as a Christmas present.  I'm now counting down the days until I get it back because I know it’s gonna look awesome.


I finished my first archery season three days early.  With three deer down and in the freezer, I was satisfied.  I loved hearing my mom and dad say they were proud of me at the end of the season.  I went out for almost a month after school, rain or shine, determined to get something.  This season can go in the books along with the others, and preparation has just started for next year.


I don't just like hunting, I love it, and this year just adds more and more to that love.  I always like to say that for some, hunting is just a hobby.  But for me, it’s an obsession.