Carmen Lafromboise’s husband, Tony, gets the prize for best Mother’s Day gift. A handmade card might’ve been nice, but it can’t compete with a new crossbow.
Shooting lessons were included.
Tony wanted to be sure his 49-year-old sweetie was adept at shooting it. Very adept, since they’d booked an out-of-state, weeklong deer hunt for the fall.
The couple, return customers of Ohio Premier Trophy Outfitters in Adams County, made the same trek from Vermont in 2018.
Carmen mastered her crossbow long before their late-September road trip.
“I practiced shooting a lot, and Tony even had me doing jumping jacks before shots to pump up my heartrate and mimic the thrill of seeing a buck approach,” she said.
On a very hot, 90-degree opening Saturday, Carmen accompanied a guide/cameraman, Jason, to an elevated blind in a field. She said it was more like an oven.
After watching does and fawns for most of the evening, hunter and guide heard a coughing noise.
“Jason said it was coming from my right,” Carmen said. “When the deer first stepped into range, all I knew was it had antlers, and Jason was getting very excited.”
The first time Carmen tried to shoot the deer, she’d forgotten to flip her crossbow’s safety. The second squeeze of the trigger got the result she wanted, and the buck kicked like a mule before rocketing and then walking unsteadily into the woods.
Jason caught everything on film.
The recovery wasn’t immediate. Sign was sparse, and the terrain was impossibly thick. Tony and some others found it the following Tuesday morning, while Carmen was trying to fill her doe tag.
“Suddenly, a text came from Tony: We can smell your deer. We’re going to find it,” she said. “Soon after I said a little prayer, I heard what sounded like hooting and hollering. I knew instantly what that meant.”
Carmen’s Adams County 19-pointer, her first-ever buck, scores 208 1/8 by the BTR’s yardstick. A much more detailed account, in her own words, will appear in Rack magazine next fall.
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