By Kurt Nielsen
Kurt Nielson (left) and his nephew, Zach Nielsen, may not be avid bowhunters today if a little blue bow had not came into the picture nearly 30 years ago.
-- My wife, four children, and I live in Nebraska. I grew up as the middle child, with two brothers and two sisters, on a farm located in central Nebraska. Our dad would take us fishing and hunting when we were kids. We were always doing something outdoors with our dad.
One year, Kevin, one of my older brothers, got a little blue bow for his birthday. I remember my dad asking Kevin what he was going to do with that stick and string. Well, Kevin managed to take a jack rabbit with that blue bow. Dad was in awe and that was the start of our bowhunting experiences, which continues today.
Flash forward to the current deer season. I called Kevin to see if he and his son, Zack, would like to go on a weekend bowhunt with my son, Jason, and me. Trying to get all of us together is tough because our kids have school and fall sports.
Finally, the day came for us to head to Kevin's. After we arrived, Kevin and I discussed the game plan for the following morning.
The alarm clock helped us get out of bed, as we rose with anticipation and headed to our treestands for an all-day hunt. I made it to my stand well before sunrise. By 9 a.m., a doe walked by me just 25 yards out. Right behind it, I spotted a nice buck, which made my heart jump. I could not believe the buck was coming toward me within shooting distance. I have bowhunted for 27 years but the bucks have always been just out of shooting range.
The buck was 40 yards out and began to rake a tree with its antlers. My only thoughts at this point were to stop shaking, regain my wits and focus on an aiming point. After the buck showed one of the trees who was boss, it walked to within 25 yards and headed toward an open shooting lane. Three more steps and the buck was in the open. I let the arrow go and watched it connect with the buck. The buck jumped, ran a half-moon circle and crashed to the ground.
Still standing, I was stunned and thought it would be in my best interests to take a seat before my safety harness came into play.
The next day we were out in our stands by 6 a.m. The morning was cold, crisp and beautiful. The woods woke up once again with turkey talking, birds singing and deer moving around the leaf-littered bottoms. We sat until noon, and to my surprise Kevin's son, Zach, took a great buck around 11 a.m.
We headed back to the house to take the pictures and reflect on our weekend of being together with the family, hunting in the outdoors and making memories that will last a lifetime. I sat down and began to think how we had made it to this point of lives. I concluded that if my brother had not received that $30 bow for his birthday the last 27 years of hunting and spending time with family and friends would of been lost some were else. That's a hard pill to swallow.
So, thanks to my older brother who talked me into getting my first bow when I turned 13 years old. There is no mistake that these are priceless memories that can never be replaced.
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