first archery buck girl

First Archery Buck, A Second Chance Buck And An Archery “Sight”

If you love unforgettable outdoor moments, enjoy the stories below of a first archery buck, a second chance buck and a and the best kind of archery sight…

My First Archery Buck Moment

I started hunting while I was in high school. But, it was not until after college that I realized hunting was something I had a great passion for. The 2017 season held a lot of firsts for me, including my first animal with a bow. I practiced shooting my bow nearly every day until the season started, so I knew I would be ready to take my first archery buck…

A perfect hunting day

It was the first cold front of the year. It was mid-October in Washington County, Pennsylvania, the night it all came together for me. The wind was perfect. I had a feeling in my gut something was going to happen this night. I had hunted the morning this same day but did not even see a deer, but I was not discouraged.

The buck shows up

With a good amount of time until last light, this 8-point buck came walking in the field to my left. He came in quickly past me like he was on a mission entering the timber. He stopped to eat 38 yards away from me. He was standing there, quartering away. His body was literally only visible between two trees. I thought the shot would be too far for me, but I wanted him. I ranged him a second time before I pulled my bow back…

The buck stops here

I took a deep breath and took the shot. I watched my arrow sink into him, hitting his vitals. Then, I watched him jump, and then run away with the arrow stuck in his side. I heard him crash no more than 50 yards away from where I hit him. “I got him!” I thought and immediately called my boyfriend to tell him the news. I went back to the house and gave the deer some time before going to look for blood. The blood trail was hard to miss, you could say.

The N1 Moment

As I walked up to my deer, I felt grateful and proud. The hours I spent practicing all paid off.  It was such a special moment for me. I’ll never forget my first archery buck!

– By Jennifer Danella

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A different story about a second buck…

second chance buck pic

This was my first year hunting, and to say I was excited was an understatement. We had gone out scouting and sat for a while the first night when a monster buck came out. I was so excited and filled with adrenaline that I ended up missing. I was devastated and was so down on myself that I wasn’t sure I wanted to try again.

My husband had to give me many pep talks to get my moral back up, but when I got the courage to go back out, that’s when we came across this awesome guy.

Ready, aim, fire… N1 Moment

I got my gun ready and shot. I dropped him at 320 yards with my 22-250. Then, I dropped to my knees just as I was told would happen! There were a few tears of pure joy as I knew I was able to provide food for my family. Such an amazing experience and awesome N1 Moment!

-By Keeley Sanders

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Blindness And A Bow

archery sight deer story pic

For the bowhunter, a chance to harvest an animal at close range is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. But, in an age of trophy-taking, sponsorships and social media competition, bigger often gets the looks and the “likes.” For 24-year-old Austin Carpenter, however, this N1 Moment™ means more than any wall hanger ever could.

“About 7 years ago I got hit in the eye, causing severe trauma,” he said. “For a few months I had so much inflammation behind my eye, I was literally blind.”

Months of treatment finally cleared up the inflammation, but left Austin with permanently blurred vision and a form of visual arthritis that flares up often, making it difficult to see at all, much less shoot a bow. Because of the discouragement and challenges caused by his condition, Austin’s bow lay untouched, collecting dust, for several months prior to the 2016 archery deer season.   

“I honestly had zero interest in it or in hunting,” he said. “I nearly let the adversity beat me.”

But that “itch” a hunter gets before the season begins can be a powerful thing.

The draw of archery season

“Right before the season started, I picked up my bow just to shoot around a bit,” he said. “One shot later, I realized what a mistake I was making, giving up a passion without a fight.”

From that moment forward, Austin began working overtime, getting back into the groove of shooting as accurately as he could and making adjustments. His first opportunity to hunt in the 2016 Georgia archery season presented an opportunity to take a doe that, prior to his condition, he might have taken for granted. But, this time, appreciation preceded and followed the shot. 

“If I told you the emotions and nerves didn’t take over, I’d by lying badly,” he said. “After everything I’ve battled, it took everything in me not to break down.”

But, there was no time for tears. Austin was about to experience an N1 Moment™.

An emotional moment

“I made a less than perfect shot, but she didn’t make it far at all before she expired,” he said.

And while the excitement of the harvest took center stage, Austin knows that there is so much more to this moment than pictures and a full freezer. 

“I’m incredibly blessed and thankful, to say the least. And, I’m thankful to all those who stood behind me and pushed me through all the ups and downs.” 

This is one N1 Moment™ that Austin will see clearly for years to come.

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turkey season coyotes and friends picture

Turkey season, coyotes, and friends

Early turkey season success and a thirst for more

I was fortunate enough to take a jake in the early portion of the 2017 turkey season. But, like so many of us, I was eager to get a chance at a nice, mature gobbler. I had been planning a hunt with a good friend of mine in Peterborough, Ontario. When the chance came up, I loaded up the truck and headed west to meet up with him. Our plan was to scout Friday night to try and find the tom we would want to chase.

The game plan and an unexpected visitor

We found some birds and where they were going to roost for the night. We set a game plan up from there. On Saturday morning, we made our way into our spot in between a cow pasture and corn field where we knew the birds had gone to roost. The woods were loud with gobbles from the roost as the sun started to break on the horizon. But, two coyotes decided to make an appearance and attack our hen decoy.

We started to get nervous the birds might have spooked. About 30 minutes later a young jake and mature tom came on a rope down the edge of the corn field to our set up. But, they stopped just shy of in range and decided to head back to the flock of about 12 turkeys. Once again, our hearts sank. But, I think that’s why so many of us love the thrills of hunting.

One more shot and an N1 Moment

After a short discussion, we decided to crawl back, jump the fence and put a spot and stalk on the birds, as I only had limited time to hunt that day. We made a  mad dash through the woods on the bottom end of the cow pasture, through thick cover, for about 120 yards before crawling the final 60 straight up a hill to the corner of the corn field where we thought the birds would be.  As I crawled to the cedar rail fence and slowly moved the grass to take a look, we were RIGHT ON TOP of the birds! I had 4 hens less than 10 yards and three toms at 25. I raised up the barrel of my 12-Gauge Benelli Supernova and let a 3-1/2″ Winchester longbeard shell fly. At 25 yards laid my turkey, a great tom with a 10″ beard and 1″ hooks. It was a successful hunt with ups and downs, but the best part was adding memories with a great friend in the field. 

– By Cody Price 

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turkey hunting woman

When Your First Turkey Hunt Is A Success

This was my first season of turkey hunting. Well, any kind of hunting, really. I’ve been elk, antelope and whitetail hunting with my boyfriend, but I never actively participated. It was always more like camping to me.

Hunting butterflies

I had tons of butterflies in my stomach the night before. My alarm was set for 3:30 am (way earlier than I have ever woken up for fishing). We layered up our camo, loaded up the truck with our gear, and headed east. We were lucky enough to get access and permission to hunt a small piece of private land along the river bottom of the Arkansas River. After a short drive we arrived at our “home base location,” gathered everything up and started hiking in to were we would set up. I was going to try to bag my first turkey.

The toms speak up

After we were all set up and situated, we still had about 40 minutes before the sun came up. I could see the turkeys still up in their roost for the night, and I didn’t have to wait long before they started gobbling and yelping. I had never heard a wild turkey gobble like that so close, so it was an amazing and unforgettable experience. After about 20 minutes of listening to them, I watched them start to fly down from their roost. I was getting more and more excited after watching nearly 30 wild turkeys fly down and in our area. 

Turkey down

We could see at least three big toms and ten or more jakes. They started heading out away from us, but with our decoys and great calling from my boyfriend, they became interested and headed back our direction. It took them another five minutes (seemed like another hour) to mosey along our way, and get within my shooting range. I raised my shotgun, found a jake, took a breath and pulled the trigger.

BANG! My first turkey down! I will never forget that day!

– By Lindsay Smith

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