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Hooked on Bowhunting

EhlersBy Cindy A. Ehlers

-- I have only been bowhunting for four years. My husband talked me into going bear hunting with him and our hounds about 25 years ago and I was hooked. So, when my son suggested I try bowhunting, I thought why not.

I spent the first year getting acquainted with a bow that I borrowed from a friend. My camo clothes were borrowed from my son and husband. Even though I was new to bowhunting and had yet to take a deer I really liked it.

Now I have a Hoyt bow and all of the camo clothes are mine. I look forward to fall because this is my most favorite time of year. The temperature is starting to cool down and the leaves are changing colors. I can sit in my stand, relax, read a book or watch nature. My son and husband make fun of me because when I am up in my stand I don't just sit there. I read my book, write in my hunting journal, and I have my camera ready, a bottle of water and my cell phone. 
 
This past fall, I had already hunted quite a few afternoons without much luck. I had a doe and two fawns that were regular visitors to my area but that was it. In fact, I named the doe, Tiny, as she was so small. By the first weekend in November, I was starting to think that I would not fill my tag. But the rut had just started, so my husband and I decided to stay with it.

About 5 p.m., I happened to look to my left and thought I saw something coming toward me. I laid the book down and kept watching. As the deer got closer, I realized that it was a buck. My heart started to pound. Could I do this? Would it see me? I thought this might be my only chance at a buck this season.

As the buck closed in, I reached slowly for my bow and stood up at the same time. The buck walked behind some trees, which gave me a chance to pull back on the string. The deer cleared the trees. I took careful aim and watched the arrow connect with my target. The buck kicked and walked away.

I was so excited, my heart was just pounding. I knew from what my husband and son had told me that I had to wait. I expected the deer to run off. Rather, it walked away slowly. I sat in my stand and tried to calm down. I let 15 minutes go by, which seemed like forever, and called my husband from my cell phone. He said that he would walk toward me and let me know if he came across anything.
 
Jim arrived 15 minutes later and informed me that he did not see the buck. Oh no, did I miss? No, I couldn't have. Jim said we should call our son, Justin, and the three of us would look for the deer. Justin arrived, and we immediately found a trail. The trail led us to the deer just 50 yards away.

This was the biggest deer I have ever shot with a bow or rifle, and the first buck that I have shot with a bow.
 
Cindy A. Ehlers
Neillsville, Wisconsin

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