By John Hansen
-- I’ve been a longtime bowhunter and don’t even own any firearms any more. I’ve just always enjoyed the challenge and scenery associated with bowhunting.
In 2007, I was out on the last day before firearms season when I saw a buck that had been taunting me for three years. And he had just beaten me yet again. The sun set without him offering a shot, and I returned home to eat some tag soup.
I got up the next morning and headed to work, wondering how all the gun hunters were doing on opening day. When I got to the bottom of a hill near my hunting spot, I looked over to see MY buck with five does staring at me from 40 yards! It was the first time I had seen that buck anywhere but in the woods, and even then it was always near the rut.
I called my wife from work and told her that I was going to have to try to get that buck. Next I went to a friend’s and borrowed his .270 rifle. He had me shoot it a few times to become familiar with it and check the zero.
That evening, I got on the computer and purchased my first rifle permit. I was ready.
The third morning of the rifle season, I was in my stand before daylight. At exactly 7:20 I saw a big buck through the brush. I couldn’t see it clearly, but I could tell it was a shooter, so I scanned the thicket for an opening. The only shot opportunity I would have would be right between the branches of a forked tree, so that’s where I put my crosshairs and waited.
When the buck stepped into the scope, I fired. It ran just 30 feet and fell over. I couldn’t believe it!
I waited about an hour before I got down, and you can imagine my excitement when I walked up to the buck and realized it was the one I had been hunting for three years.
I still love my bow, but there’s nothing wrong with picking up the rifle every once in a while.