Proudest Shot And the Humor That Goes With It

Was it my first deer kill? After six years of patiently playing “The Waiting Game” and finally taking a nice doe? Or was it my first wild hog, on a hunt in which I flew to Oklahoma to shoot at a critter we don’t have here in Minnesota. (I don’t think it’s either legal or ethical to be shooting hogs at the local Hormel plant here. In fact, I think it would be greatly frowned upon!) The broadhead-tipped arrow passed through both lungs and sliced the heart, which sent the hog stumbling only 12-yards on its road to Slumberville. Great shot indeed, but not my proudest.

Maybe the shots I took on carp with my bowfishing rig? It really takes some practice to actually hit a fish under the water. Naaaw, that wasn’t it either.

I’ve shot several rabbits with my bow, two within 45 minutes time of each other.

And another rabbit that sported a wild “hairdo” that looked like dreadlocks, due to a disease spread by ticks. It really looked like it had antlers! Honest! (Ohhhh, so that’s where the story of the jackalope came from!)

As wonderful as all these shots were, my proudest shot was on a little 13-striped gopher, sometimes known as a ground squirrel.

Proudest, you ask?

Why certainly. Let me explain.

While sitting at my dining room table, I had caught movement in the grass outside my window. My eyes followed the grass blades moving until I saw a little head pop up. Ahh, the little critter that has been making holes in our yard. My husband was also sitting at the table when I mentioned to him that “I’m gonna try and shoot me a gopher.”

I grabbed my bow, which was hung up on the kitchen coat hook, for times such as these, and grabbed my favorite rubber blunt-tipped arrow that was sitting on the kitchen window sill. It was what I called my “Bunny Bludgeoner”, but would now try to bludgeon a target even smaller.

I snuck out back and looked for the movement in the grass once again.

There he was, over by the shed. I got as close as 15-yards and decided any closer would send the rodent scurrying down into his sub-terrainian hide-out.

I drew back my bow and just waited. Patience is a virtue, you know.

Wait, wait, wait.

Come on gopher! Pop your head up just once more! That’s all I ask!

I honestly don’t recall how long I was at full draw, but was thankful for the moment that the gophers head popped up above the grass blades.

I thought, “OK Janice, now’s your chance.”

I released the string and hoped that the arrow would fly true to where I aimed.


Wow! What a hit! The arrow passed right through the gopher’s neck, which sent it, and the gopher high into the air, then dropping to the ground.

After punching the air with my fists several times as I did a gopher jig, I picked up the arrow, (now even luckier than ever), and held it up high in the air for my husband to see. He watched the whole episode transpire through the dining room window, not believing what he had just seen, but I think enjoying the dance I gave most of all.

Yep, this 15-yard shot on a little striped gopher was my proudest shot. Ever.

Could it happen a second time? Well….. A few days later, I saw something small in the grass once again. I grabbed my bow and arrow, went outside and drew on the object. I was at full draw for quite sometime when I wondered if that gopher would EVER move! I decided to creep a little closer. I sure hoped I wouldn’t spook him away though.

Well, the joke was on me! It wasn’t no little gopher I had my pin on, but a big ol’ doggy doo-doo! No wonder it never moved! Sure glad I didn’t shoot at it!

I can’t begin to tell you of all the people that asked, while they snickered, “Did ya get it mounted?”

I do seem to recall though, that we have some bumble bees back behind the garage. Do you think….? Could I possibly…?

Stay tuned.


© January 2007