Nena’s First Bow Deer

I was sitting in a tri-pod stand, underneath a tall cedar tree that overlooked a small pond on a gentle rolling hill. There were game trails all around me. That pond and its’ surroundings just screamed “here piggy piggy!” This is a great spot to hunt and I am pumped to be back at Hugelland Ranch. Zane the land owner told me this particular spot had been heavily trafficked by game because of the pond. He assured me I would see lots of animals. The only bad thing about that particular morning was the wind. It was blowing like crazy because of a front that was on its way, but fortunately it was working in my favor. I was downwind of the pond where most of the game comes in. I had my hopes set high and was just excited to be back in a stand, in the woods!

My uneasiness with heights is still an issue I have been dealing with since I began trying to bow hunt. It is a new element that increases the challenge of bow hunting for me personally. I am not a fan of heights, but unlike rifle hunting you get the best advantage when you can be off the ground and above the animals. This is a challenge many new bow hunters must face. This is just one of the factors that gives me such a feeling of pride and accomplishment. I am using hunting as a way to face a fear that I have and defeat it. Anyways, I lucked out this time. If my legs had been any shorter they wouldn’t have reached. If I get a shot on an animal today I will be taking it sitting and don’t have much to brace myself on. I was layered up even though the front hadn’t hit yet. In the early morning that wind can have a chill to it that will get to you no matter how bundled up you are. I was wearing a camo sweat shirt with several layers, pants, snake boots, and my favorite face mask. I wish I would have had my bush baby guilly suit top on, but couldn’t wear it on that hunt because I left it on at dinner the night before. It reeked of steak and campfire. Lesson learned!!

I sat there with my bow in my lap anxiously waiting for some critters. I watched a few doe come into the feeder. I always enjoy being so close to the animals, even if it’s only for a few seconds. That is easily one of the most rewarding elements of bow hunting. I felt like some sort of predatory bird up on my perch patiently waiting for the perfect prey and opportunity. I always go into my own little make believe world when I’m hunting. Truth be told, I actually live in my own make believe world most of the time, but when I am hunting I am free of judgment or comments from others. For me it is fun to pretend I am an animal, and put myself in the mind of a predator when I am out in the woods. That may seem odd to some people, but for me it is another little part of the bow hunting experience that brings life to what can sometimes be long and uneventful hunts.
One doe walked directly under the tri pod and just stood there for a brief second. I thought she was going to see me but she kept walking. A yearling doe and two little nubbin bucks came in with another mature doe. I contemplated weather or not to take one of the doe. They were kind of skittish because of the wind and I never really had a good shot. And in my mind if you do not have a good shot angle or approach that you feel confident about then you should never shoot. I would rather walk out of those woods and take a better shot another day than wound and animal with a poor unethical shot .

Right when I thought the hunt was about over and it was time to go get breakfast a small buck came in. At first I just watched him for a bit. He was acting aggressive to the does eventually running them off. The more I watched him I realized he looked kind of funny. He was one of the deer Zane had told me he wanted gone…..he had no brow tines. He was a cull and I was going to try and take him. We came here to hunt for hogs, but management is a big part of what makes a ranch successful. This is not normally a deer that anyone would brag about. He was just a small cull buck with no brow tines. However, he would be my first bow kill and at the same time I could help out Zane who had been gracious enough to open his place up to me for a second time. This was not a deer that you really want to put a tag on, but that was never an issue for me. This was not about trying to take some world record or trophy buck. It was an opportunity to do some herd management for the ranch and at the same time take down my first deer with a bow. My decision was final and I had no doubt in my mind it was the right choice, so I prepared to take the shot. A shot a will never forget.

In an instant I went from ferocious lion ready to pounce on my prey back to the little girl who could barely hold up the rifle to shoot my first paper target. Somehow my arms turned to jello. It was like I lost control of them for a brief second, a brief second that felt like hours. It’s amazing how many thoughts and images can rush through your mind in the matter of a few seconds. Why does my bow feel like a hundred pounds? How will the wind affect this shot? Is he going to see me or hear me when I draw back? Will I make a good shot, what if I hit him then we can’t find him? I can’t wait to show him to everyone, I can’t wait to tell my story. It’s crazy how your nerves can make you feel when you decide you are going to take a shot! I managed to draw back my bow. And let me tell you, it was not easy at all….my nerves were getting the best of me. I had to take control of my body and I did. I steadied the pin on the sweet spot, pulled the trigger, and whack the arrow hit him! It hit him, it hit him, it hit him! Holy moly rolly poly it really hit him! He took off and I could tell by the way he ran off that he wasn’t going to go far. I was overcome with excitement and energy! I was so high from endorphins I thought I might actually fly of that tri pod stand! No, wait! I can’t fly…Nena calm down and wait you are not an Eagle, if you jump out of this stand you will break your neck! Ahh!! That was the longest 30 minutes ever!
I finally did it! I shot my first deer with a bow! It was a feeling of accomplishment and pride I will never forget! I had been hunting and trying to take a deer with a bow for a while now. A few missed shots and beginner mistakes and a year and a half later I got one! It was way more exciting than the javelinas I had shot the year before. Bow hunting is hard and I welcomed the challenge! Now I am hooked. That being said I will still use a rifle and shot guns on certain hunts. I can’t give up my guns! I have a love and respect for guns, but am intrigued by the challenge of bow hunting. I am very comfortable with guns, I have a lot of experience with them and own several. They are what I grew up hunting with. Bow hunting is a new found thing for me and it will be something I stick with. Variety is fun and learning new things and ways to hunt is what keeps me going! Thank you Zane for yet another amazing hunt on your beautiful ranch! Hugelland Ranch will forever be a special place to me!

Nov 24, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: 3


3 comments on “Nena’s First Bow Deer

  1. jody geistweidt

    Awesome job NENA!!! So proud to have been there when you did this! It only gets better, promise!!!

  2. Nena Hale

    Thanks Jody! I was glad you and Candace were there to share my excitement! That was a crazy fun weekend! I can’t wait for another hunting or fishing adventure with you ladies! 🙂

  3. taner ceylan

    I cant believe what I saw here. How could a human being so cruel! Lack of empathy, lack of humanity, lack of love.
    I hope from my heart for you “haunter lady”,that you are not going to experience this helplessness which you let lived to this innocent animal..

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