Bow hunting is not for everyone. It takes patience, attention to details like wind direction, stand approach, and deer movement patterns. Not to be overlooked is the ability to sit completely still for hours on end in a lock-on or climbing stand. Sometimes beginners luck comes into play and new hunters are in the right place at the right time and score in their first season. Other times it comes with a lot more trials and tribulations attached. We have noticed numerous first kills with a bow or crossbow this year and decided to share a few of them with you. Rosalyn's came fairly easy. Chris, not so much. Here are their stories:
"I have been watching this same buck on my camera since July. It was amazing to see his rack grow almost weekly. The night before bow season I went to a friends pig roast and a guy that hunts near the lease I hunt showed me this 8 point in velvet on his camera. I recognized it right away but didn't say anything. I had been tracking his pattern for 3 months.
The next morning I was walking to my stand at 5:40AM. When I was almost to my stand I saw a pair of eyes in the distance. I knew it was either a bear or a deer. The closer I got I knew it was a deer due to the height of the eyes. It was "him." The 8 pointer in velvet. We were face to face staring at each other. Those 5 seconds felt like 5 minutes! I gained my composure and turned off my head light and stood still praying I wouldn't scare him off. I then proceeded to walk slowly to my stand on a different path. Once I got in my stand a million thoughts began running through my mind.
"Did I scare it? Will he come back?"
I never heard him run off so I was hoping he didn't go far. At 6:50am I saw him in a distance, about 70 yards away. I had a clear shot but knew it was too far. I watched as he stood on his back legs and reached for something in the tree. He then moved slowly into the woods. I knew if I had patience he would come back. At 7:24am he appeared in my food plot. I took the shot and hit him perfectly. He ran about 40 yards and fell. I was so excited that I got the deer I had been tracking since July! Not to mention it was the first deer I ever killed with my crossbow!"
26 year old Chris Ellis of Deville, LA, took a little more time connecting with his first deer. He began bow hunting in 2010, 6 years ago. He confessed that towards the end of each unsuccessful bow season he would break out the rifle to try and ensure some meat in the freezer. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to connect on a deer in 3 years with either weapon.
"Bow hunting looked cool on TV so I asked my uncle to borrow his bow. I started bowfishing first and immediately got hooked so I was determined to get a deer with a bow."
"I just wasn't seeing anything bow hunting. Ever. I had been hunting a local WMA near my house." But recently his luck finally changed as he recounted his eventful weekend.
"I got busted that morning by a doe at 9 am. I was on my phone and she caught me before I saw her. She started blowing. Game over I thought so I changed trees that evening. A hog walked out 20 minutes after I was in the stand. I smoked him. That was the first animal I have killed with a bow ever. The next morning around 10:15 I was climbing down and I noticed three deer where coming in. First shot went right under one of the does. I was ticked and happy that I had at least shot at a deer. Sunday morning came and I got in my stand at 7:30, well after daylight. My buddies never showed so I contemplated just going home. But I figured since I'm here I might as well get in a tree. At 9 am I heard some coons playing. At 10 am I spotted the doe. She stopped at 20 yards and gave me a percect broadside shot. I thought I missed because I saw the arrow fly crazy, but it ended up being a clean pass through. She ran another 20 yards and stopped. That was my last arrow because I had already missed one and shot the hog earlier in the weekend. Before I knew it though she started wobbling and then she fell. I sat down for 20 minutes trying to regain my composure because I was shaking and so excited. I ended making a heart shot with my Bowtech Assassin and some old Muzzy Broadheads."
Two completely different stories and experiences, one common denominator: Killing an animal with a bow is the ultimate high in the hunting world. Congrats to both the hunters and to the rest of the new Louisiana Bowhunters finding success for the first time in the woods this fall.
– Justin Lanclos LABH Founder
If you or someone you know has a great kill story or a topic suggestion email us at firstname.lastname@example.org