During the spring of 2013, I fell in love with my very first bow purchase, a Mathews Passion. I spent the rest of that spring, summer and fall practicing with it.
Because I’d been out of town, I had to miss the first few days of the season, but when I got home my first priority was to get in the stand.
I put in hours and hours, and then more hours just waiting and praying that something big would walk in. I knew there were quite a few big boys in the area thanks to my trail camera.
So I waited.
I was determined to get my first buck, and had passed on many perfectly acceptable bucks because I knew I would get a big one.
“Getting your first buck is your hardest,” I’d been told. “Just take whatever walks in first.” But I wouldn’t listen; I didn’t want whatever walked in first. I wanted something to be proud of, and I definitely wanted to take it with my bow.
With the season coming to an end, I was discouraged. Maybe it wasn’t meant for me to get a big guy, but God didn’t let me down.
On Sunday morning, Dec. 15, 2013, my boyfriend Tyler Deckard said, “Let’s hunt today, but let’s use the muzzleloader.”
I told him I really, really wanted to use my bow, but he talked me into the muzzleloader. So, there we were, sitting in the tree line, watching doe after doe walk by in a snow covered field. Then, I saw antlers. I immediately looked through the scope and saw an 11-point buck with a 5-inch drop tine.
I started shaking uncontrollably as it walked right to us. The closer it got, the more nervous I got.
The buck was 150 yards away in a pack of five does, just standing there being a beast. About 50 yards to our left were three does, and they got spooked and started making a fuss. I was scared I wouldn’t get a chance to shoot, so I focused and prayed.
At 150 yards, using a gun I had never shot, I took my buck of a lifetime in southern Indiana.
He didn’t drop right away, but Tyler was hitting my back. “Good shot, babe! Good shot! You got ’im!”
Actually, I thought I’d missed. I started bawling. Honestly, I couldn’t believe I’d missed a buck of a lifetime, and my first buck at that.
After a little blood tracking, we found him! It was an amazing experience, and Tyler told me it’d been very hard not to push me out of the way and take the buck himself.
Tyler’s dad, Eddie Deckard, and cousins Dustin and Clayton Dillard came over to help us get it out of the woods. I can’t believe the recognition I’ve received for taking this stud.