Longtime bowhunter fights through pain, returns to adventure
By Matt Sheterom
After a freak accident to my left hand, I didn't want to give up bowhunting. I practiced through the pain because I really wanted to take another buck with my compound bow. Tonight, I did it!
It was a slow recovery, but eventually I built back enough confidence to shoot out to 30 yards. My hand got stronger every day, but using the fine motor skills for working a buckle or turning a screwdriver remained frustrating.
I'd been watching this buck since early summer and had tons of trail cam photos of it. Although I knew there were potentially bigger bucks in the area, I really enjoyed watching this beauty, and I came up with a plan to take it.
Our season opened in late September, but I had not hunted this stand for several days because of poor wind direction. Tonight was the first time the wind was just right for my set up.
I spooked two deer while walking to my stand, but continued on.
Two hours later, this buck showed up along with nine other deer and several sharp-eyed turkeys.
Somehow, I was able to negotiate a 22-yard shot with all the other eyes surrounding me. I was thankful the arrow hit exactly where I was aiming, and I figured it would be an easy trail to follow.
I watched the buck run away and was extremely grateful it was stayed on top of the ridge instead of running down the biggest hill in the county!
I climbed out of my stand and sent a text message to my buddy J.T., then went home to give the buck time to expire.
When J.T. arrived, he laughed and reminded me how for three months I'd been telling him how any deer shot from that stand would probably run straight downhill to the creek bottom and be a pain to retrieve.
We laughed all the way to where the blood trail curved over the ridge and began to head downhill. Then it wasn't so funny anymore. Unfortunately, we didn't find the buck on top of the ridge as I'd hoped, because it made it to the very bottom of the hill, submerged in the middle of the creek. Needless to say, I got wet!
It was an incredibly steep, tough retrieval and I rolled a quad in the process. It was scary, and I'm sore and will no doubt I'll be hurting tomorrow, but I'm incredibly thankful to have avoided serious injury while struggling to get that buck out.
But, I wouldn't trade those moments for anything except, maybe, for a smoother road up that hill!
After I tell my wife stories like this, she always asks, "And you call this fun?"
Why, yes, honey. Yes it is.