Wow, what an amazing feeling to be able to share this story with everyone. When I look back when Jeremy took my dad and I to the box blind for the first time, it’s hard to believe that was almost exactly one year ago.
Talk about an anxious hunter not getting any sleep the night before their big hunt! I honestly don’t think I so much as shut my eyes the night before the first scheduled hunt with Wildlife Pursuit. I was very anxious since I had only been shooting “mouth archery” since February.
First “Mouth Archery” Deer Hunt
I had rifle hunted every year since I had the brain aneurysm, but archery, now that was going to be a whole new ball of wax. The nerves were high, and so was that box blind. Luckily it was a stair like setup which made it easier to climb with my weakness in my left leg. Getting through the bottom of that box blind looked pretty intimidating with only one arm to hold myself up with while trying to hoist my body into the blind. Thank goodness Jeremy was behind me and gave me the needed nudge that got me ito that blind.
Once the cameras were set up and we were chatting my nerves calmed a bit, but then it got to be that time of the evening where they were starting to move. My nerves were at their highest point when the deer started to come within 40 and 50 yards. I was breathing as shallow as possible, thinking the deer would hear!
We were loosing shooting time as the evening progressed and the deer moved all around us. Everyone in the blind was looking one way and all of a sudden Jeremy alerted us to that buck that was missing one side of his horns. He was very close, 15 yards or something. It all happened so fast and caught me off guard. I drew my bow and all I could think was,
“Aim, aim, aim…. Nessa, just release already!!!”
But I over thought it and felt my breathing quicken. All I could see
was my bow wavering from side to side. I knew if I released it would be a definite miss. The adrenaline rush was so intense I felt sick to my stomach. I won’t even mention the sick feeling in my stomach after it sank in that I’d missed my one opportunity within shooting light.
If At First You Fail, Try, Try, Again
The second outing was exactly one week later. I felt more confident this time because I knew the box blind set up and how the deer moved in. When the deer started to come out, I had the game plan set in my mind. Rather than get distracted by how enormous the animals were, I decided to just look at the kill zone on the deer. As the deer were coming in, there was one young buck and a number of does gathering together. A few were past 25 yards and with my set up I wasn’t comfortable taking a shot quite that far,especially my first shot at a deer with my bow. When a small group of does came within that 24 yard range, I had to pick the one that was facing the best direction for me. I felt like the one we zeroed in on was plenty broadside for me. She was bending her head down as I drew back. I felt my breathing quickening again and I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I quickly told myself,
“No Nessa, don’t get so worked up, just BREATHE.”
After a few deep breaths, I released and all I saw was the yellow and blue fletching sticking in her hind quarter as she ran away into the group of trees close by. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of dissapointment and what now. The “not so good” placement of the arrow was exactly what I never wanted to see happen. I didn’t want to be responsible for wounding an animal and not knowing where it could have gone.
After we got down from the box blind we cruised to the group of trees in the buggy and there she was laying in the trees not 50 yards in! I couldn’t believe my eyes, I had harvested my first archery deer via vital artery in the hind quarter. One in two million shot!! At this point in time if I still had the ability to run and jump you can bet I would have done exactly that!
All I can say is your first archery harvest whether it be with two arms or one arm and a strong set of molars is something you will never forget. So regardless of your situation get out there and give whatever you strive to do your best shot.
Thank you to the generous Wildlife Pursuit staff for hosting me and allowing me to share my story with you.
You can view the episode Nessa is referring to here.