I’m psyched to be posting two bow kills from among our competent ranks in two days! Following Jan’s javelina yesterday, our own Paula Smith just sent me this photo and great story about her hunt last weekend. Congrats, Paula! -K.H.


 As a follow up to the article on "Field Goals" & "Risky Business" I wanted to let you know that I have attained one of those goals. Saturday night I shot a doe with my bow: second shot at an animal with my bow, first time I hit target. 

 It was getting dark and I was ready to pack it in when I saw a doe come out of the woods across the field from me. She made a beeline across the field and stood right in front of my stand (divine intervention?) 17 yards away. I lifted my bow and she looked my way but not up and then continued to eat.  When I drew, she looked again and I couldn't tell if she spotted me or not as there was not much light. (I did think, cripes now I have to shoot you before you go tell all your friends where my stand is). I sighted her in and shot and she tore ass across the field back into the woods where she came from. I sat there for 15 minutes or so cursing myself out for missing, thinking it was probably too dark for the shot. You see, I have never seen a bow kill, and was expecting a similar reaction as I got when I shoot a deer with a rifle -- they fall over. 

 I got down and proceeded looking for my arrow with a flashlight, still cursing myself out. I spotted my arrow standing straight up out of the ground and knew I blew it. Grabbed the arrow and went OH YUK!, I had talked myself into the fact that I missed and didn't even check the arrow. It had gone through the deer.

 I went back to camp not sure what to do next but I did know that I should wait, so I did and drove back out with a spotlight about 2 hours later. As soon as I walked in the woods and shined the spotlight I could see her (dead) at the top of the hill. My entrance shot was on the money; the exit wound was back further than I would have liked. 

 Now the work begins. Since nobody was around anywhere, I did drag her out, then towed her to camp. I couldn't lift her into the bed of my truck no matter how much I tried. I then gutted the deer by the headlights, and got her hung and skinned. Then I slept at camp with a spotlight on her so the coyotes wouldn't come and eat it, and then butchered it up in the morning.   
 I'm happy to report that I did not have a heart attack, but every muscle ached from head to toe and I about sliced off my finger sharpening my knife :(  I was proud of myself not only for the good kill but for everything that needed to be done afterward. I did it, not perfectly by any means, but I got the job done and this is the first time I have done everything from beginning to end (deer hunting) all by myself.  
 She's not a trophy but she certainly was my top goal for my first archery season. Now I can concentrate on turkey hunting unless I see a nice buck!