Change is Good

I’m normally a believer in the philosophy “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”  From cell phones to hunting gear, every year there’s a new model, a better system or more gadgets.  I had been bow hunting for eight years and was certainly not a ‘gear gal.’  I felt if I added more gear to my bow that I would increase risk of things that could go wrong.  My trusty hand-me-down bow had served me well.  I had tagged five doe in those eight years and felt pretty comfortable with my set up.

It wasn’t until my husband bought me a new Renegade LSII for my birthday in August of 2004 that I realized the difference a little technology can make.  My new bow felt lighter, smoother and my arrows had more speed.  I only pull 45 lbs. but I’ve had success with the old bow and proper arrows, broad heads, rest, and sight.

Unlike other people, I get excited when summer comes to an end.  It means that, with the start of fall, I’ll be spending every weekend in the woods.  I love the early bow hunt in Wisconsin.  September is beautiful with its crisp mornings and warm afternoons.  I am blessed to hunt on private land where the deer don’t feel the pressure from other hunters and my chances of seeing a nice buck are good. 

It was Friday, September 26th.  I arrived at my Dad’s cabin a little late and had only 45 minutes left of good light.  I hustled out to the closest tree stand, a permanent one on the edge of a small pond.  I settled in expecting to see some deer hit the water for a drink at dusk.  It was a beautiful evening and I was lucky enough to watch a handful of doe and yearlings mill around the water. It was getting dark so I lowered my bow on the pulley string. Climbing down from the stand I spotted a beautiful, wide 10 pointer approximately 60 yards to my left.  When his head was lowered to the water I climbed the rest of the way down, unlatched my bow and crouched down at the base of the tree.  Unfortunately, the buck went in the opposite direction.  I peered around the tree to see him walk off and, to my surprise, noticed another big buck at the opposite edge of the pond.  This one was not as wide but had beautiful tall tines.  I watched him drink until it got too dark to see. I ran back to the cabin to tell my Dad about my exciting sit!  His comment was, “Well, I bet I know where you’re sitting tomorrow evening!"

I headed back to same stand on Saturday’s hunt.  It was another warm September evening and I enjoyed watching a group of young raccoons play in the tree next to mine. With only 15 minutes of hunting time left, I anxiously stood, waiting for one of the bucks to show.  Sure enough, Mr. Tall Tines came walking over a small ridge, straight to the pond.  I watched him from across the water, praying he would come my way.  My heart began to race as he headed in my direction and I could feel my adrenaline rush.  I knew if he just continued on that runway, it would bring him within 30 yards of my tree.  He put his head down to graze and I drew back my new bow.   I aimed a little high, knowing he was at the maximum distance I felt comfortable shooting.  I heard the arrow hit and he bolted.  Shaking with excitement, I sat down, tried to collect myself then headed straight back to the cabin.

I felt it was a good hit but didn’t want to take the chance of kicking him up. We decided to wait until morning to go tracking.  Tossing and turning, it was a terrible night’s sleep.  I kept playing the shot over and over in my head, praying it was a good one.  When the first sliver of morning light came, I jumped out of bed and headed out with my Dad.   We found a nice blood trail and after 15 minutes came across my first, nice Wisconsin whitetail.  I don’t remember ever being so excited! And to share it with my Dad made it all the more special.  I had my Renegade bow for only one month and had been blessed with a nice 10 point buck.   I guess change can be good!

 

© March 2008