It was around noon on Oct. 8, 2005, in my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, when the 2 days of continuous rainfall finally ended and I was able to hit the woods once again for an evening bowhunt.
With bow in hand, I sneaked along a fenceline to my treestand, which was on the edge of a field with a large section of woods behind me. It wasn’t long after I’d climbed into my stand that I began to see deer movement, but none of the deer I saw came within my shooting range. I was reading an issue of North American Hunter magazine and had just put it down to look for more deer when I noticed a nice 8-point buck standing no more than 35 yards behind me. As soon he put his head down, I slowly reached for my bow and pulled it from its hook on the tree I was sitting in. The buck never saw me as I stood up and turned to face him, but by the time I was ready to draw back and shoot, he’d moved far enough behind the tree that I had to take the quiver off of my bow.
While I was in the process of removing my quiver, the buck heard me and trotted off. I sat down and was very disappointed with myself for blowing a chance at such a nice buck. I was still thinking about what had happened when I turned to see the same buck standing in the exact same spot he was in before! Now that God had blessed me with a second chance at this buck, I knew I had to do my part and put an arrow through him! When I was ready to shoot, I came to full draw and put my 30-yard pin behind the buck’s shoulder. I squeezed the trigger on my mechanical release and watched as my 100-grain broadhead punched through his vitals. As I watched him run off, I thanked God for giving me another chance at the buck and I let out a huge sigh of relief, knowing that I’d finally shot a deer with my bow.
I stayed in my treestand for approximately 15 minutes after the shot and then walked back to my house to get my dad and brother so they could help me track the buck. We didn’t find a lot of blood at first, but we still had approximately 1 hour of daylight left so we spread out and walked through the woods. On our last sweep of the woods before dark I heard my brother yell three of the happiest words I’ve ever heard, “I found him!”
After receiving congratulations from my dad and brother, we field-dressed the buck and dragged him 200 yards back to the truck. It was one of the happiest days of my life!